Non-profit

11th Hour Project

Website:

11thhourproject.org

Location:

Paolo Alto, CA

Project of:

The Schmidt Family Foundation

Type:

Grantmaking Organization

President:

Wendy Schmidt

The 11th Hour Project is the main grant-making vehicle of the left-of-center Schmidt Family Foundation of former Alphabet (Google) CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy Schmidt. It chiefly supports nonprofit organizations that focus on environmentalist advocacy and international development issues.

Background

Founded in 2006, the 11th Hour Project is the main grant-making arm of the left-of-center Schmidt Family Foundation, which was jointly established by Eric Schmidt, a billionaire businessman notable for working as CEO for Google and its parent company Alphabet, and his wife, Wendy Schmidt, who is the 11th Hour Project’s president. The Project focuses on three issue areas: reducing the consumption of conventional energy and transitioning to environmentalist sources, campaigning against commercial agriculture, and stimulating economic growth in developing countries using left-of-center approved methods instead of traditional mining, energy, and agriculture projects. [1][2][3]

An Inconvenient Truth

The 11th Hour Project sponsored screenings of the controversial 2006 documentary film An Inconvenient Truth about former Vice President Al Gore’s environmentalist advocacy campaigns to highlight the alleged risks of climate change. The film featured, among other things, alarmist simulations of Florida sunk beneath rising sea levels and a prediction that within a decade of the film’s initial screening there would be no more snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro. [4][5]

Grant Recipients

Grant recipients of the 11th Hour Project include the New York Environmental Justice Alliance, Civil Eats, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, Southeastern African-American Farmer’s Organic Network, Advocates for Community Alternatives, Human Rights Watch, WOMIN, and Inclusive Development International. [6][7][8]

People

Wendy Schmidt, wife of former Alphabet (Google) CEO Eric Schmidt, is president of the 11th Hour Project and the Project’s parent organization, The Schmidt Family Foundation. Schmidt is also a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international environmentalist advocacy organization, and has supported environmentalist propositions and candidates in her home state of California. Schmidt was a supporter of Proposition 87, a 2006 initiative that would have raised taxes on conventional energy companies, and a donor to the gubernatorial campaign of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. [9][10]

Amy Rao is 11th Hour Project executive vice president and sits on the boards of left-of-center advocacy organizations including Human Rights Watch and the Fund for Global Human Rights. She is the chair of Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. [11]

Executive director Joseph Sciortino is a board member of the environmentalist organization Regeneration Project and is active in organizations including the Environmental Grantmakers Association and the California Academy of Sciences. [12]

Numerous other senior staff have associations with prominent left-of-center organizations. Sarah Bell, a program director, is a board member of the Pie Ranch, an environmentalist farming initiative, and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. [13]  Negeen Darani, director of emerging strategies, was the executive director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. [14] Jamie Dean, director of impact investing, was a program officer in the agriculture subprogram at the left-of-center David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and has worked with the environmentalist organization Fairtrade USA. [15] Maria Koulouris, another program director, was the director of the Africa division at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, and has worked with other organizations including Global Rights and Human Rights Watch. [16]

The Schmidt Family Foundation

The Schmitt Family Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation created in 2006 by Eric and Wendy Schmidt and based in Palo Alto, California. While the 11th Hour Project constitutes the majority of the Foundation’s activity, the Foundation also owns a subsidiary organization, ReMain Nantucket, which provides financial support as well as venture investment to Nantucket businesses. ReMain has invested in the renovation of several older buildings in downtown Nantucket with the intention of attracting businesses to rent in the area. [17]

Additionally, the Foundation operates 11th Hour Racing, which sponsors sailing races, events, individuals, and groups, as well as Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, which provides “scaled funding” to environmentalist projects, recent examples of which include GreenWave, an ocean-based farming initiative to grow seaweed and shellfish, and AquaPix, a project to develop a cheap underwater camera with  360 degrees of rotation. [18][19]

References

  1. “Human Rights.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 6, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/human-rights ^
  2. “Food & Agriculture” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 6, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/food-agriculture ^
  3. “Energy.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 6, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/energy ^
  4. Kiger, Patrick. “What ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Got Right (And Wrong) About Climate Change.” How Stuff Works. January 17, 2017. Accessed September 6, 2019. https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/conservationists/inconvenient-truth-sequel-al-gore.htm ^
  5. “Free tickets offered for Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.” The Paly Voice. May 31, 2006. Accessed September 6, 2019. https://palyvoice.com/17371/news/node-17371/ ^
  6. “Human Rights: Some of Our Grantees.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 6, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/human-rights ^
  7. “Food & Agriculture: Some of Our Grantees.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 6, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/food-agriculture ^
  8. “Energy: Some of Our Grantees.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 6, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/energy ^
  9. “Wendy Schmidt.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/wendy-schmidt ^
  10. “Proposition 87.” Institute of Governmental Studies. November 7, 2006. Accessed September 10, 2019. https://igs.berkeley.edu/library/elections/proposition-87 ^
  11. “Amy Rao.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/amy-rao ^
  12. “ Joseph Sciortino.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/team-member-1 ^
  13. “Sarah Bell.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/team-member-4 ^
  14. “Negeen Darani.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/negeen-darani ^
  15. “Jamie Dean.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/team-member-6 ^
  16. “Maria Koulouris.” 11th Hour Project. Accessed September 10, 2019. http://www.11thhourproject.org/team-member-5 ^
  17. “Gathering Places.” ReMain Nantucket. Accessed September 10, 2019. https://remainnantucket.org/index.php?id=260#292 ^
  18. “About Us.” 11th Hour Racing. Accessed September 8, 2019. http://11thhourracing.org/about-us/ ^
  19. “About.” Schmidt Marine. Accessed September 8, 2019. http://www.schmidtmarine.org/about-1 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Eric Schmidt
    Officer/Board Member
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11th Hour Project


Paolo Alto, CA