APOPO attend the 2018 Skoll World Forum

By Anna Bouchier | Executive Director Switzerland, APOPO Foundation

APOPO’s social experience during the 2018 Skoll World Forum

From April 10th to 13th, Charlie Richter, Bart Weetjens and I were invited to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, UK.

The Skoll World Forum is an international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Its mission is to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by uniting them with essential partners in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change.

Such international meetings are always important to APOPO, as it is a unique occasion to meet our partners in person and share our work and vision with people from all around the world. This year was especially unique as APOPO was invited by Airbnb to their exclusive Skoll Breakfast where I was delighted to present our organisation and our mission to about fifty guests.

Our partnership with the Californian start-up went even further as we also held a joint Skoll Ecosystem Event with them, where we organized a “meet the HeroRATs” social experience allowing Skoll attendees to meet and take pictures with two African giant pouched rats and learn more about APOPO and the work we do. Our team was very pleased to see visitors showing a real interest in these amazing animals and the great work they can do.

My colleagues and I are very thankful to the Airbnb team for its support and to the National UK Pouched Society volunteers and rat’s owners for their precious help.



“A truly memorable experience!! These animals are so smart and sweet you will want to take one home. And they will certainly challenge any and all societal stereotypes you might have about rats.” – Marina, on the event page

“Even if you think you hate rats, you can't deny that finding landmines and detecting tuberculosis is more impressive than anything most humans achieve! I've supported APOPO for a while but it was great to meet some of the staff in an informal setting and hear about the incredible things these rats do for a few grapes and some banana... Everyone involved was friendly and helpful, answering everyone's questions patiently, and it was fun to meet some pouched rats (think hamsters with pouches full of food, only bigger and more cuddly). Great organization with everyone - human and rodent - doing amazing work.” - Isobel, on the event page