Ubuntu Pathways is a nonprofit organization that takes orphaned and vulnerable children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa from cradle to career. Nuancing traditional development models, Ubuntu redefined the theory of “going to scale”; rather than expanding geographically, it focuses on the depth over breadth of its programs within a community of 400,000 people. Ubuntu's programs form an integrated system of medical, health, educational, and social services, ensuring that a child who is orphaned or vulnerable can succeed in the world of higher education and employment. Ubuntu's child-centered approach highlights the difference between merely touching a child's life and fundamentally changing it.
In 2016, Jacob appeared in Fortune Magazine's 40 Under 40 list of the most influential young people in business. Jacob was a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and is a visiting fellow at the university's new global policy research center, Perry World House. He has served as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative Advisory Committee, was named one of the world’s 101 Most Innovative Visionaries at the Decide Now Act Summit, has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and was selected as an Aspen Institute Global Fellow. His book, I Am Because You Are, focuses on his journey in South Africa and the creation of Ubuntu Pathways (Rodale Inc, 2015).