Bartlomiej has 7 years working experience in management and IT consulting. Working in various industries, Bartlomiej held numerous management positions in 10+ Fortune 500 companies implementing efficient business practices in the USA and Europe. After a medical emergency that literally changed his vision on life, Bartlomiej has spent the past 6 years dedicating himself to ending extreme poverty around the world by investing in groundbreaking ideas from local community leaders through Groundwork Opportunities. When not working directly with tomorrow’s change-makers, Bartlomiej finds inspiration by simply reflecting on the glory of just being alive, right here, right now.
Bartlomiej Jan Skorupa
Co-Founder/Executive Director at Groundwork Opportunities
Member Since January 2012
FCF: What drew you to Full Circle Fund's work, and what compelled you to become a Member?
BJS: I first heard about Full Circle Fund through an intern at work that I suggested I attend an early grant cycle meeting. As a social entrepreneur that invests in local leaders who are ending poverty in their communities, I was instantly drawn to the people and leaders who are doing the same. On a side note, that intern that made the recommendation was instantly promoted for her excellent research for such an excellent recommendation!
FCF: What is the most meaningful aspect of being a Member?
BJS: Simply being in the presence of leadership and watching it develop is enough inspiration to last a lifetime.
FCF: In three words, how would you describe Full Circle Fund?
BJS: Leaders Helping Leaders. (Wow! We love that.)
FCF: What has been your highlight with Full Circle Fund thus far?
BJS: My highlight was co-leading my first project with Krista Van Tassel. Together, we drove the inquiry process on MESA, won them the grant, and then led their project team. The people on our team were excellent and it’s created amazing relationships that have transcended the organization. Nothing ever beats the first time; you are learning while leading, realizing your strengths, the strength in others, and fusing all those together to help amazing people do great work that improves the human condition.
FCF: How does Full Circle Fund align with your values and view of philanthropy?
BJS: My view on philanthropy is simple. People give to people, not organizations. And FCF is a collective of wonderful people that truly just want to help — with the wisdom and ambition to address the root causes of poverty — if only they were properly supported. By engaging a global network through technology, GO (Groundwork Opportunities) is able to provide these leaders with the tools — visibility, training and seed funding — they need to bring their projects to scale and accelerate systemic change in their own communities and beyond.
FCF: What is one thing that no one knows about you?
BJS: I have a coral reef named after my dive partner and me (“Bart-Rek”) as we were the first humans to ever discover it. I am greatly humbled to know that we were the very first people in the history of our planet to discover something, especially since it continually reminds me how little we know about our own oceans.
FCF: How do you spend your free time?
BJS: In the amazing presence of my wife, always and whenever I can. As a CEO, time moves faster than I can control it. With her, it stops and the world passes while we fondly remember the incredible lightness of being. We are one.
FCF: What book is on your nightstand right now?
BJS: Confessions by Leo Tolstoy
FCF: In your opinion, what are qualities that make one a great leader?
BJS: Meekness is one of those mysterious virtues that we hardly even ponder. We may gossip that a brazen leader that is hardly humble, yet we rarely think, "You know, what that guy needs is a little more meekness." Meekness sounds weak, wimpy, almost negative. If someone's meek, it sounds like they are a pushover. A doormat. A wimp.
Yet here's the reality: true meekness exerts incredible power. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is strength, is tender; consulting the feelings of others, and willing to bear much pain rather than inflicting it. It has softened hearts and toppled empires. It's a power that can't be countered. Meekness is not a soft, yielding, natural disposition, nor a prudent bridling of a passionate nature; but it is humility applied to the world, not taking offense at the offenses of the world. **These thoughts and words are from Samuel Magombo, an amazing leader ending poverty in his community.
Bart was part of the innovative Black Girls Code team last year, as part of the Economic Opportunity Circle. Thanks for your contributions to our membership, network, and to the greater community, Bart! You're an inspirational leader.