Simon Sommer, Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation and Sharath Jeevan, Founder of Intrinsic Labs



Simon Sommer, Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation, and Sharath Jeevan, Founder of Intrinsic Labs, join Alberto Lidji to explore motivation in the world of foundations

A great conversation on how foundations are able to nurture the organisations they fund and support. We look at the power dynamic between grant-maker and grantee, delve into fostering trust and explore how foundations are able to provide support that goes beyond financial grants.


Simon Sommer is Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation, which has 7 billion Swiss Francs in assets (roughly USD $7 billion), granted out nearly 90 million Swiss Francs in 2020 and is a strong backer of education, internationally.


Sharath Jeevan is the Founder of Intrinsic Labs, which helps leaders and their organisations tackle deep motivation challenges. He is the author of the recently-published book “Intrinsic”.


Thank you for downloading this episode of The Do One Better Podcast.


About Simon Sommer


Simon Sommer has been the Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, since 2019. With assets of CHF 7 billion, the Jacobs Foundation is one of the world’s large philanthropies focusing on child development and learning. In a collaborative effort involving team and stakeholders, he developed the Foundation’s ten-year strategy “Understanding and Embracing Variability in Learning”, resulting in a CHF 500 million pledge to help children learn and thrive together globally.


Before joining the Jacobs Foundation in 2006, he worked at the Volkswagen Foundation in Hannover, Germany’s largest private research funder, and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Berlin, Germany. He holds graduate degrees in Cultural Studies and Musicology.


About Sharath Jeevan


Sharath is an expert on how to practically re-ignite the inner-drive (or intrinsic motivation) in our lives. He is the Executive Chairman of Intrinsic Labs, which supports organisations all around the world to solve deep motivational challenges.


Sharath founded and led STiR Education - arguably the world's largest intrinsic motivation initiative. STiR re-ignited the motivation of 200,000 teachers, 35,000 schools and 7 million children in emerging countries.


He was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2014 and was recognised as one of the UK’s ten leading social entrepreneurs in 2019.


Sharath holds degrees from Cambridge University (First Class BA/MA in Economics), Oxford University (MSt) and INSEAD (MBA with Distinction). He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his contributions to the field and was invited to serve on the high-level steering group of the Education Commission, the pre-eminent global think tank founded by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.