While we have all been inspired by her accomplishments, anyone who knows Pamela will have been touched by her energy, her fierce disdain for bureaucracy, and her unique ability to get things done when others would have found the task impossible. As the book she wrote with John Elkington was titled, Pamela certainly did channel “The Power of Unreasonable People.”
At the Skoll Centre, we gathered this morning to mourn and reminisce over tea, and felt a huge sense of loss for the powerful force that had brought us all together. The global community of Skoll Scholars and Saïd Business School alumni whose lives have been touched by her generosity have been reaching out, sharing their gratitude for the opportunities she opened up for them, the inspiration she provided, and the lessons she left them with. And the wider world of social impact educators and practitioners will certainly be mourning the loss of her thought leadership and passion for change.
At the core, the message we at the Centre feel left with is a sense of love. She had an incredible love for her family and for making others feel like family. There are many around the world who know and love the Hartigans as well as a global network of changemakers because of her incredible ability to connect people to each other to get things done, while building life-long friendships along the way. She also had an incredible love for her work. She poured her heart into it, because she saw it as her channel to change the world, and that she certainly did. We can remember how, a few years ago, a group of students asked her to teach a course about social entrepreneurship because they weren’t in the Business School and they wanted to learn from her. She told them “I’ll give up my next 5 Saturdays to teach you, if you commit to showing up.” She had more than 100 people taking that class, on a Saturday morning, and she held true to her commitment, bringing in speakers and lecturers. She offered this course, on her Saturdays, for no pay and no fee, because she loved helping people learn how to improve the world.
She will be greatly missed. Our heart is with Pamela’s family and her global network of friends today as we mourn the loss of such a unique and “unreasonable” woman. Saïd Business School and the Skoll Centre will be celebrating her life in the weeks to come, but today we wanted to share this sad news with our community so you too can hold up your teacups and sing her praises. She lived an incredible life, and we all feel blessed to have been touched by it.