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.

August ’20 | July ’20

August ’20

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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