Events

Speakers, forums, seminars, workshops, and conferences are an integral part of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise — they expose students and alumni to the wide range of issues in the field of social enterprise. Events were organized by the center unless otherwise indicated, and departments and clubs mentioned below are a part of Columbia Business School unless otherwise indicated. Click here for a listing of our recurring event programming and community engagement initiatives.

 See events held in the 2019–2020 academic year here.

December ’20 | November ’20 | October ’20 | September ’20 | August ’20 | July ’20

December ’20

December 9 — Pushing the Boundaries of Clean Technology
Attendees learned about the cutting edge of climate technology from a TIME 100 cleantech scientist and entrepreneur. Dr. Daniel Nocera has built a successful storage company, is working on an ag. tech startup and invented a way to make hydrogen from sunlight.
Organized by the Energy & Infrastructure Club.
December 9 — Sustainability in Business Today: Pepsi and L'Oreal
Members joined the GBC for a small panel discussion on the growing role of sustainability and CSR within business today. Panelists Lauren Cotter, senior director of sustainability strategy at Pepsico; and Danielle Azoulay, VP of CSR and sustainability at L’Oreal USA and lecturer in professional studies at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, shared their personal experiences, view on industry trends, and opinions on the strategic paths towards more sustainable business practices.
Organized by the GBC.
December 4 — Columbia University’s 19th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, Capital for Good Digital Event Series
The conference provides a unique opportunity for attendees to tap into the vibrant ecosystem of capital for impact through the lens of philanthropy, impact investing, ESG, and social venture and business examples. This session of the 2020-2021 Digital Event Series included a panel discussion on “News + Money” with panelists Kaizar Campwala, vice president of News at Disney; Nick Chen, co-founder and CEO of Pico; Sherrell Dorsey, ’18JRN, founder and CEO of The Plug; Elizabeth Green, CEO and co-founder of Chalkbeat; and Sibel Lowin, global partnerships solutions lead at Google, with moderator Josh Benson, partner of Old Town Media. This session discussed the various approaches to funding news organizations (reader revenue/subscriptions, venture-backed, philanthropic giving, etc.) and provided insights into building sustainable news organizations. Panelists also explored how media outlets ensure they are not just writing the stories their readers and donors want to hear, while at the same time making news accessible to those who cannot pay for it.
Organized by the center, SEC, and GBC.
December 3 — Social Impact Career Series, Tackling the Climate Crisis With Sustainable Innovation
Francisco Norris, co-founder and CEO at ZELP, is a social entrepreneur on a mission to tackle the climate crisis. He co-founded ZELP, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member, in 2017 with the ambitious goal of “significantly reducing the environmental impact of the livestock industry,” helping build a first-of-its-kind wearable device for cattle that neutralizes methane exhaled in real-time, while recording valuable statistical data. Looking at a problem commonly addressed by social entrepreneurs, Francisco came up with an innovative solution. Students joined this session to learn about his startup's journey.
December 1 — Youth INC Virtual Speaker Series: The Future of New York City
With one to two firms moving out of state every day, retail shops and restaurants closing their doors, and an estimated 250,000 people leaving New York City, it is of the utmost importance that the city understands and addresses these trends. Youth INC hosted an intimate conversation about the future of New York City and urban life with Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs; Nnenna Lynch, CEO of Xylem Projects; and Richard Florida, professor at University of Toronto and author of Rise of the Creative Class, on the pressing subject and how it will affect all New Yorkers, including so many under-resourced communities that Youth INC serves. The discussion was moderated by Tom Wagner, co-founder of Knighthead Capital and Youth INC national advisory board member.
Organized by Youth INC, which is led by Rehana Farrell ’99.

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November ’20

November 30 — Leadership Speaker Series, Professor Bruce Usher in Conversation with Mark Gallogly ’86
Mark Gallogly ’86, cofounder and managing principal of Centerbridge Partners, and Bruce Usher, Professor of Professional Practice and the Elizabeth B. Strickler ’86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 Faculty Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, discussed Mark’s 30-year career in investing and finance and the role of business leaders in combatting climate change.
Organized by the Dean's Office and External Relations.
November 19 — NBLP Check-in Meeting
Participants of NBLP gathered together to discuss progress on their projects and resources available to them. During the meeting, Jillian Roland ’16 and Hannah Siegelberg ’18 from Bridgespan presented best practices for nonprofit consulting.
Organized by the NBLP leadership team, within the SEC, and center.
November 18 — Engineering for Humanity: Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprises
Professor Ray Horton guest lectured on nonprofit management, and social enterprise leadership, as well as shared his experience founding the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School with the club members of Engineers Without Boarders.
Organized by Engineers Without Boarders-USA Columbia University.
November 17 — Social Impact Career Series, Investing in the Future of Edtech
While the education technology sector had already been growing in prominence in recent years, the impact of COVID-19 on schooling has placed it front and center. Technology-focused strategies for education are no longer just a trend, but a necessity. Michelle Dervan ’14, partner at Rethink Education, discussed the venture capital perspective on the changing ed tech landscape, as well as how her firm’s investment approach has shifted with these changes.
November 13 — Columbia University’s 19th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, Capital for Good Digital Event Series
The conference provides a unique opportunity for attendees to tap into the vibrant ecosystem of capital for impact through the lens of philanthropy, impact investing, ESG, and social venture and business examples. This session of the 2020-2021 Digital Event Series covered sustainability and green business in the energy and retail sectors. During the “Solving Renewable Energy Intermittency: Can the United States Rely on 100% Renewables?” panel, Steven Cohen, professor in the practice of public affairs at SIPA, director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at The Earth Institute, and director of the MPA Program in Environmental Science and Policy, moderated a discussion on the challenges of converting our energy usage to 100 percent renewables and solutions to the energy grid that can be implemented to convert to 100 percent renewable energy with panelists Chelle Izzi  04, executive director of distributed generation at NextEra Energy Resources; Donna Sanders ’17, founder and CEO of Virimodo; and David Snydacker, CEO of Lilac Solutions. Rachel Cernansky, ’08JRN, sustainability editor at Vogue Business and freelance journalist, moderated a panel discussion on “Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: Is it Scalable?” exploring the multi-layered approaches to mitigating the impacts of garment and footwear supply chains on people and the environment with panelists Ashia Sheikh Dearwester, chief strategy and partnerships officer at Nest; Mallory McConnell, senior director of supplier sustainability and partnerships at PVH Corp; Anushka Salinas ’10, president and chief operating officer at Rent The Runway, and Jessica Schreiber, ’11GSAS, founder and CEO at FABSCRAP.
Organized by the center, SEC, and GBC.
November 12 — Ask Me Anything (AMA) About Impact Investing
At this AMA style panel, attendees had the opportunity to learn from MBA graduates currently working in impacting investing. Participants had the opportunity to ask their questions about the sector and learn from Andrew Harris ’04, principal, North Sky Capital; En Lee, partner, LGT Lightstone; and Shanthakumar Bannirchelvam ’22, partner, Global Impact Partners, on career opportunities to enter into the impact investing space, why choose a career in impact investing, and what skillsets are valuable and/or great to develop while at CBS.  
Organized by the SEC.
November 12 — Ørsted Off-shore Wind Talk
Members of GBC gathered for a discussion with Grant van Wyngaarden ’17, senior supply chain development manager at Ørsted, on the off-shore wind landscape and Ørsted's strategic decade-long transition from Danish oil and natural gas to off-shore wind pioneer
Organized by the GBC.
November 12 — Second-year Career & Internship Advice Panel
Members of the Social Enterprise and Green Business Clubs attended a career panel led by second-year students who spent their summers in social enterprise and green business industries. Panelists shared recruiting advice and helpful tips as you plan for next summer. Panelists included Danielle Kohn ’21, Rishi Iyengar ’21, Lizzie Merrill ’21, Sam Mindlin ’21, and Anil Rizaoglu ’21.
Organized by the SEC and GBC.
November 11 — What Are the Short- and Medium-term Implications of the US Elections for the Modern Political Economy?
In an engaging discussion, Dean Emeritus Glenn Hubbard; Ray Horton, the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor Emeritus of Ethics and Corporate Governance; and Tano Santos, the David L. and Elsie M. Dodd Professor of Finance, examined the political and economic realities the incoming Biden administration will face in a country that has been changed by four years of a Trump presidency. The discussion was moderated by Hannah Levintova, ’21BUS ’21JRN.
Organized by the Dean’s Office and External Relations.
November 5 — TFSV Portfolio Showcase – Tech & International Development
The Tamer Fund for Social Ventures has awarded grants to over 35 social ventures after completing ten cycles of funding across a variety of sectors. The portfolio showcase features these entrepreneurs by sector to highlight the impactful work they do and discuss the challenges and opportunities they have encountered along the way. This showcase featured Mehemed Bougsea, ’17SIPA, co-founder and CEO of Think.iT, and Jason Friesen, ’12MPH, founder and executive director of Trek Medics International, in a candid discussion on the social impact their businesses have within the international development sector with the use of technology.

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October ’20

October 30 — Columbia University’s 19th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, Capital for Good Digital Event Series
The conference provides a unique opportunity for attendees to tap into the vibrant ecosystem of capital for impact through the lens of philanthropy, impact investing, ESG, and social venture and business examples. This session of the 2020-2021 Digital Event Series covered “Capital for Justice: Using Impact Investing for Racial Equity,” “The .06%: Founding and Fundraising as Women of Color,” and a book talk with author Sheryl WuDunn on Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope. In our first session on Capital for Justice, speakers Melissa Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures and co-founder of Ureeka, and Kesha Cash ’10, founder and general partner of Impact America Fund, discussed how the flow of social impact capital from asset holders to Black and underrepresented founders and entrepreneurs can be accelerated to generate systemic solutions that create diverse, equitable, and inclusive economies in a discussion moderated by Jenny Tolan ’14 co-founder at Level. During the “Founding and Fundraising as Women of Color” panel, panelists Kiara Butler, CEO and founder of Diversity Talks; Amanda DoAmaral, founder and CEO of Fiveable; Shani Dowell, founder and CEO of Possip; and Beverly Leon, ’20BUS ’14CC, founder and CEO of Local Civics, shared the challenges and experiences the faced as Black, Indigenous, Women of Color (BIWOC) founders and CEOs and how things have changed due to the pandemic and recent social unrest in a conversation moderated by Aaron T. Walker, founder and CEO of Camelback Ventures. The series closed with a book talk discussion moderated by Bruce Usher, co-director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, Elizabeth B. Strickler ’;86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 Faculty Director and professor of professional practice at Columbia Business School, where Sheryl WuDunn discussed the systemic inequality facing working-class America and solutions to mend a half-century of government failure.
Organized by the center, SEC, and GBC.
October 29 — Social Impact Webinar Series, Reviving Beirut: From Nonprofit Organizations to Venture Philanthropy, How Social Enterprise Is Shaping the Aftermath of the August 2020 Explosion and Beyond
On August 4, 2020, a blast at the Port of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon killed over 200 people, injured upwards of 5,000 others, and displaced around 300,000 people from their homes. The disaster relief effort immediately took shape and is now nearly three months underway. However, the devastation will take years to repair and requires a concerted effort from many players in Lebanon and beyond, with crippling economic and financial crises and the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the country’s woes. With Columbia’s strong international community, alumni and current students were directly affected. Attendees heard from panelists about how the Columbia Business School community has taken action and learned the role the social enterprise sector can play in providing relief to Beirut and ensuring long term recovery. The event included an introduction from Tony Tamer, founder and co-CEO of H.I.G. Capital; speakers Kim Issa ’14, director of advancement at International College; Zeina Mhanna, director at LIFE - Lebanese International Finance Executives; Michelle Mouracade, country director at Alfanar - Arab Venture Philanthropy Organization; Mona Shantouf, board member and secretary at Nusaned; and Johnny Yaacoub ’16, engagement manager at Strategy& (part of the PwC network); and was facilitated by Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Club co-president Zahi Ghorayeb ’21 and club member Lara Najjar ’21.
Organized by Johnny Yaacoub ’16, MENA, and the center.
October 27 — Mapping Your Social Impact Career
Emily Lamia of Pivot Journeys helped MBA students identify and define their future career in social enterprise. During this workshop session, Emily helped attendees identify what social impact means to them, understand what information they need to gather in order to determine the best possible career prototypes to explore, and reframe networking conversations to be most informative to their social enterprise career search. Pivot Journeys is passionate about helping people grow and develop in their careers. Emily has been helping people grow and develop in their careers for over a decade.
October 26 — A'Lelia Bundles Scholars Presentation Series, Community Development, Leadership, & Social Entrepreneurship in Northern Manhattan
The A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholars Program was founded in 2013 and provides a formal opportunity for community-based scholars from Northern Manhattan to access Columbia University resources and participate in the intellectual life of the University through interaction with faculty, students, and other visiting scholars. This event provided an opportunity to hear from four local community members who presented their projects, shared insights on social entrepreneurship and community development, and the impact their projects are making within the larger community. Speakers included Karioki Crosby, founder of Latimer Heights and The Harlem Maker Fair; Renée Cummings, founder and CEO of Urban AI and Criminal Justice Intelligence Inc.; Debbie Meyer, founding member of Dyslexia (Plus) in Public Schools Task Force; and Vivian Williams-Kurutz, founder and executive director of Harlem Wellness Center; and Flores A. Forbes, associate vice president for Community Affairs at Columbia University Office of Government and Community Affairs, moderated a panel discussion with the scholars.
Organized by Columbia University's Office of Government and Community Affairs and the center.
October 21 — The Pandemic Digital Health Investment Wave: Smart Investing in Healthcare Communications and Technology During and After COVID
With a nearly 20 percent increase (~$5.5 billion) raised by US digital health companies in the first six months of 2020, digital health is gaining momentum to reshape health care. The panel of leading investment experts provided a deep dive into the fundamentals and emerging opportunities evaluating and investing in digital health. Panelists focused on how investors should identify, evaluate, and measure small, medium, and large financial stakes in the digital health ecosystem. Attendees expanded upon their existing business knowledge and learned how to apply that knowledge to the digital health investment market. Stan Kachnowski, ’06SIPA, director of the Digital Health Program at Columbia Business School’s Executive Education, moderated a discussion with Sara Chokshi, director of Research at Healthcare Innovation & Technology Lab; Ezra Mehlman, managing partner at Health Enterprise Partners; Damon Phillips, Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise and co-director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School; and Bill Taranto, president of Merck Global Health Innovation Fund.
Organized by Columbia Business School’s Alumni Club of New York.
October 20 — TFSV Portfolio Workshop and Networking Session
Tamer Fund for Social Venture recipients learned from executive voice coach Melanie Espeland ’17, founder and CEO of Espeland Enterprises, about actionable tips to immediately improve their voice and executive presence for fundraising and strategic growth. Following the interactive workshop, fellow founders within the fund’s portfolio had the opportunity to connect with one another and get an update on the status of the portfolio.
October 16 — Spark Workshop, BlackOakTV: Building Advocacy Through Entertainment
Attendees brainstormed innovative ways to deliver entertainment content that also addresses today’s societal challenges about race and social justice with Uzo Ometu, ’13BUS ’06CC, founder and CEO of BlackOakTV. About two thirds of Black people in the United States pay for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, such as Netflix. But the underwhelming number of shows centered around Black stories and characters contribute to the prevention of Black viewers, who watch more long-form video content than any other ethnicity, from subscribing to SVODs at higher rates. For instance, of the current original scripted comedies and dramas aired on Netflix, only seven percent have majority Black casts. Not only does this dearth of representation keep potential subscribers from committing to a streaming service, it also negatively affects how Black people view themselves and how others in society perceive and interact with Black people and Black culture. BlackOakTV is on a mission to super-serve Black viewers around the world with entertainment and information reflecting their lives and experiences, while eliminating the under-representation and misrepresentation of Blacks in media that promotes antagonism against Blacks across the globe.
October 15 — Sustainability in Real Estate Panel
This panel served as an exploration of the ways real estate industry professionals can meet environmental sustainability goals. Panelists explored metrics for success, avenues for sustainable innovation, and available incentives to encourage green development and capital expenditure projects. Featured speakers included Dana Arnold, chief of staff for Mesurabl; Lindsey Boylan ’12, deputy secretary for economic development and special advisor to Governor Guomo; Kirby Brendsel, AVP of sustainability and ESG at Welltower; Owen Glubiak, global customer success at Comfy, and Rob Watson, founding father of LEED.
Organized by the Real Estate Association, GBC, CBS Energy Club, and Government & Business Club.
October 15 — NBLP Orientation
Students, partner organization staff, and board members participating in the program gathered at orientation to learn about their nonprofit board projects for the academic year. At the event, attendees discussed initiatives and best practices.
Organized by the NBLP leadership team, within the SEC, and center.
October 13 — Social Impact Career Series, Building Inclusive and Engaging Organizations
Through a career in the education and nonprofit sectors, Cristina Jones ’08 has developed expertise in human resources, talent management, and organizational development, with a focus on equity and justice. Cristina discussed how her career has led her through a number of impactful organizations, as well as provided insights on developing an inclusive and engaging organizational culture from the perspective of a prominent community-building and social justice-focused nonprofit.
October 9 — Columbia University’s 19th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, Capital for Good Digital Event Series
The 19th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, Capital for Good provides a unique opportunity for attendees to tap into the vibrant ecosystem of capital for impact through the lens of philanthropy, impact investing, ESG, and social venture and business examples. Kicking off our 2020-2021 Digital Event Series was Amy Domini, founder and chair of Domini Impact Investments, who spoke about the need to harness the capital markets in order to enact change and create solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. The role of a fiduciary needs to have the responsibility for the wellbeing of their beneficiaries before its shareholders. Debbie Wright, board member of Citigroup and Memorial Sloan Kettering, shared her thoughts on the solutions to the social and environmental issues we see today require involvement and innovation from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. It’s up to us to push the needle and demand a more equitable and sustainable future for everyone. And closing our kickoff were Abigail Disney, ’94GSAS ’87GSAS, CEO and co-founder of Fork Films, moderated by S. Mona Sinha ’93, board chair of Women Moving Millions and the ERA Coalition Fund for Women’s Equality. Abigail advocated throughout her remarks that dignity isn’t a privilege, it’s a worker’s right. We should seek to work for and create businesses that prioritize employees in order to offer economic opportunity to everyone.
Organized by the center, SEC, and GBC.
October 6 — Bridging the American Divides Speaker Series, Election 2020: What Role Can individuals Play This Fall and Beyond?
From voting to organizing to running for office, American democracy calls upon each of us to engage in some form of political action. While it is easy to debate the issues and discuss the candidates, how can individuals make an impact or get more involved in the political process? Amanda Litman, co-founder and executive director of Run for Something, and Georgia Senator Emanuel Jones ’86 discussed the role Business School students and business leaders play in our electoral process with moderator Gwen Shufro ’06, director at The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise.
Organized by Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business and the center.
October 3 — Racial Justice Lightning Talks
The Holder Initiative hosted a series of lightning talks on racial justice in the United States. This TED Talk-styled showcase featured alumni, students, and faculty from a host of fields who have unique perspectives to share in this current moment of activism and civil unrest. Damon Phillips, Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise Management and co-director of The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, shared his remarks.
Organized by The Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights.

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September ’20

September 29 — SESF Project Presentations, Cross-campus Fellows
The center and the 2020 SESF cross-campus participants celebrated the current cohort of fellows. This networking event was a great way for students to learn about the program first-hand from our fellows, hear about their summer projects, and get to know social enterprise students from across Columbia University's campus. This year’s summer fellows interned across social enterprise sectors including education, health care, conservation, SME development, community development, architecture, engineering, and beyond. Please visit our summer fellows website to read about past summer experiences.
September 26 — Social Enterprise Virtual Welcome Retreat
The center, first- and second-year students, alumni, and faculty gathered online for a community event filled with games, trivia, and icebreakers. Attendees had the opportunity to meet fellow social impact students. 
September 26 — EMBA NBLP Info Session
EMBA students interested in taking on an independent consulting project for a nonprofit attended the info session to learn more about the NBLP, application process, and nonprofit board service.
September 24 — ClearRoad and Traffic Congestion Pricing
Paul Salama, ’04SEAS, co-founder of ClearRoad, a company recently added to the Tanner Fund, spoke on the history and current issues with road/toll pricing and how ClearRoad aims to solve this problem in the 21st century.
Organized by the GBC.
September 24 — SESF Project Presentations, MBA Fellows
The center and the 2020 SESF MBA participants celebrated the current cohort of fellows. This networking event was a great way for students to learn about the program first-hand from our fellows, hear about their summer projects, and get to know social enterprise students at the Business School. This year’s summer fellows interned across social enterprise sectors including education, health care, arts, impact investing, SME development, community development, and beyond. Please visit our summer fellows website to read about past summer experiences.
September 22 — Neuberger Berman ESG Investment Challenge Information Session
Prior to the “Neuberger Berman ESG Investing Challenge, Income Inequality” held in November, Jonathan Bailey, managing director and head of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing at Neuberger Berman came to speak about the firm’s engagement in impact investing and the upcoming case competition
Organized by Neuberger Berman in partnership with the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing and Tamer Center for Social Enterprise.
September 22 — NBLP Info Session
Students interested in taking on an independent consulting project for a nonprofit attended the info session to learn more about the NBLP, application process, and nonprofit board service.
Organized by the NBLP, within the SEC, and center.
September 21 — Green Business Club Kickoff
The Green Business Club (GBC) provides educational and career development resources focused on a wide range of green business industries. At this club kickoff, GBC provided an overview of the club, events planned this year, and a presentation on solar project finance.
Organized by the GBC.
September 17 — Social Impact Career Series, A Venture Philanthropy Approach to Solving Global Water Challenges
Sean Davis, founder and CEO of Merton Capital Partners (MCP), and Alex Loucopoulos, principal at Sciens Water, discussed their partnership with the Water Philanthropy Fund and insights from a private equity fund on social impact.
September 17 — Tamer Center Clubs Kickoff
The center and professional clubs provided information on the social enterprise community at the School. Students interested in exploring the field of social enterprise during their time at the School had the opportunity to meet students and faculty whose passion for international development, social entrepreneurship, CSR, renewable energy, and nonprofit consulting and nonprofit management has elevated the School to be one of the top business schools for social enterprise. Students learned about the different clubs’ initiatives on campus and opportunities to be involved in the social enterprise community.
Organized by the Green Business Club (GBC), SEC, and center.
September 15 — Three Cairns Climate Fellowship Info Session
At this information session, Katie Neff, 20BUS 20SIPA, discussed upcoming deadlines for the fellowship and answered questions. The Three Cairns Climate Fellowship at Columbia Business School provides support to MBA and EMBA students who complete semester- or year-long projects at the intersection of climate change and business.

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August ’20

August 26 — Charting A Path Forward Series, Systemic Racism, Inequity, and the Role of Tech Entrepreneurship
As the country continues to experience a mass movement for social justice and equality to end centuries of racism, how can we all contribute to lasting change? Tech, as a sector that shapes so much of our daily lives, has the opportunity to lead in the fight for equality and racial equity. At this event, Lili Gangas, chief technology community officer of Kapor Center, moderated a conversation with panelists Marcus Bullock, CEO and founder of Flikshop; Anil Dash, founder and CEO of Glitch; Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO and co-founder of Promise Pay,;and John Madsen, chief architect for technology and partner at Goldman Sachs, on the opportunities they see for the tech sector to shape the future of a more equitable, inclusive, and just society.
Organized by Justice Through Code (JTC), a joint partnership between the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and Columbia University’s Center for Justice.
August 14 — Spark Workshop, Local Civics: Reimagining Civic Engagement and Education for America’s Youth
Local Civics has a theory of change that the more students interact with their communities, the more social impact they generate. By leveraging technology and using game-based learning, Local Civics incentivizes and empowers students to become active citizens in their communities. This interactive workshop, facilitated by Beverly Leon, ’20BUS ’14CC, founder and CEO of Local Civics; and Caitlin Gallagher ’20, director of growth strategy at Local Civics, focused on brainstorming geographic and product growth strategy to incorporate civics into education systems and communities. 
August 7 — Virtual Nonprofit Board Showcase – Social Justice Organizations
This showcase provided an opportunity for students and alumni interested in joining a nonprofit board with a social justice mission. Gwen Shufro ’06 facilitated quick pitch presentations from the organizations followed by breakout sessions to provide time for attendees to network with organization leaders to ask question about their organization and board service. Participating nonprofits included The Bronx Community Relief Effort, Bronx Legal Services, Charter High School for Law and Social Justice, Equality New York, Exalt Youth, Generation Citizen, Good Shepherd Services, Harlem Wellness Center, Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Let's Breakthrough, Inc, Make the Road NY, Staten Island Urban Center, Inc., and Youth Represent.

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July ’20

July 31 — TFSV Information Session
The Tamer Fund for Social Ventures provides seed grants of up to $25K to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage social and environmental ventures. Funding is made available to around seven ventures each year. Katie Neff, ’20BUS ’20SIPA, hosted an info session for students and alumni of Columbia University to learn and ask questions about the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, application process, upcoming deadlines, and qualifications to apply. 
July 30 — TFSV Pitch Competition
Following the TFSV Pitch Workshop held the week prior, the same entrepreneurs participated in a VC-style pitch competition. Six ventures had six days between the workshop and competition to practice their pitch in front of a panel of judges, which included Casey Santiago, ’07BUS ’07SIPA, managing director of Consumer Healthcare at Founders Factory; and Sydney Thomas, senior associate at Precursor Ventures. Second-place went to Hemish Dave ’20 for Boda Coffee and first-place went to Patrick Varuzza, ’20SEAS — each took home mail care packages from Purple Carrot and Eat Offbeat, respectively. 
July 28 — TFSV Webinar Series, Portfolio Showcase – Health
The portfolio showcase featured portfolio members of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures (TFSV) by sector to highlight the impactful work they do and discuss the challenges and opportunities they have encountered along the way. This showcase featured Jason Kang, ’16SEAS, co-founder and CEO of Kinnos; Usama Javed Mirza, ’17TC, co-founder and CEO of Saving 9; Helena Plater-Zyberk ’06, co-founder and CEO of Supportiv; Sylvana Sinha, ’04LAW, founder and CEO of Praava Health; and Caroline Weinberg, ’12PH, founder and program director of Plan A Health, in a lively discussion on the social impact their businesses have within the health care sector.  
July 24 — TFSV Pitch Workshop
From a pool of 14 applicants, eight entrepreneurs were selected and participated in this four-hour workshop to help perfect and enhance how they communicate their social impact business idea to potential investors. In this workshop, participants pitched their business to facilitators Keith Katz ’03 and Jason Della Rocca, co-founders of Execution Labs, who provided feedback on how to better communicate their mission and then apply what they just learned, not only from their feedback but also from their peers, into a second pitch. 
July 20 — TFSV Networking Session
Sandra Navalli OAM ’03 welcomed the portfolio venture founders to the first virtual Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio networking session. Founders from within the portfolio had the opportunity to hear a status update on the portfolio, meet each other, and network with fellow social entrepreneurs.  
July 16 — Bridging the American Divides Course Info Session
Bridging the American Divides is a fall semester elective designed for MBA students to gain a better understanding of the causes and consequences of the American divides — and what might be done to help bridge them as future business leaders. A primary focus is on the linkages between business decisions and practices and these divides. The course also examines how each of us play a personal role in directly or indirectly enabling and fueling the divides. Students heard from Professors Todd Jick and Bruce Usher on the course curriculum outline, what to expect from the class, and how to apply for the course. Students asked questions, learned about what the professors are looking for from applicants, and asked questions of former classmates who took the class.
Organized by Chazen and the center.
July 16 — Social Impact Career Series, Addressing Social Issues at Scale with Venture Philanthropy
Having spent 20 years in private equity, Sean Davis founded and currently leads Merton Capital Partners, a Florida-based firm that creates high-impact giving vehicles for philanthropists to deploy large gifts and solve global challenges over the long-term. Focused on scaling and accelerating the impact, Merton Capital Partners provides that capacity to nonprofits that are solving today’s pressing issues around the world, including reducing homelessness and increasing access to clean water. In this event series, Sean shared insights into how his organization is helping nonprofits scale and accelerate their impact.
July 14 — Tamer Fund for Social Venture Webinar Series, Portfolio Showcase – Social Justice & Employment
The portfolio showcase featured portfolio members of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures (TFSV) by sector to highlight the impactful work they do and discuss the challenges and opportunities they have encountered along the way. The first in a series of showcases featured Manal Kahi, ’15SIPA, co-founder and CEO of Eat Offbeat; Su Sani, founder of Dollaride; and Elizabeth Suda, co-founder of Article 22, in a panel discussion with Katie Neff, ’20BUS ’20SIPA, on what it’s like to align business with a social purpose. Panelists shared insights on how they are currently pivoting to stay afloat during the pandemic, how they are using their business to promote racial equity, and the challenges and opportunities they have come across since launching their business. 
July 9 — Defunding the Police Discussion
Participants connected online to hear from panelists Jeffrey Fagan, professor of law at Columbia Law School and epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health; Alexis Hoag, Columbia Law School lecturer and practitioner in residence at the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights; and Ana Champeny, director of city studies at the Citizens Budget Commission, about what defunding the police policy really means, who supports it, how we got here, and what the pros and cons are. Following the presentations, classmates had the opportunity to discuss what they just learned and share their own perspectives during these emotional times.
Organized by John Mihovics ’20, a member of the Social Enterprise Club (SEC).
July 9 — Social Impact Career Series, Leveraging Private Equity Tools to Design Sustainable Water Systems in East Africa
Based out of Maputo, Mozambique, Ryan Phillips-Page has committed the past 10+ years to living and working in Southern Africa. In the past four-and-a-half years, he has founded and grown Operation Water, utilizing tools from his experience in finance to develop sustainable water infrastructure projects across Africa, while building global awareness to the water scarcity and contamination issues millions of people face daily. During this session, Adam Gravitt ’20, and Ryan shared information about Operation Water and discussed career opportunities for MBA students in the clean water sector. 
July 1 — Social Impact Career Series, Shaping a New Economy: Elevating Marginalized Communities
Aquila Leon-Soon founded and runs ATS (Advance Talent Solutions) + Partners, a firm that helps organizations align their human capital to their mission and values. In this career series installment, Aquila explored how ATS and other social impact supporters — both organizations and individuals — can help shape a new economy post-COVID-19. Aquila shared information about how her organization is helping to provide solutions that help communities that have faced the hardships of marginalization around areas such as food insecurity, a technological divide, education inequality, remote work inequity, and more.
July 1 — Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship (SESF) Virtual Check-in Meeting
During shelter-in-place and remote work, the center launched a monthly check-in virtual meeting with the 2020 summer fellows cohort as a way to create a community for fellows to connect online. Fellows gathered together to discuss best practices for working from home, hear about the social impact projects fellows are working on, and meet each other. The discussion also served as an opportunity for fellows to reflect on the current pandemic and protests in the United States as members of the cohort shared personal stories.

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