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. A listing of our recurring event programming and community engagement initiatives can be found here, and recorded events can be found here.

See events held in the 2020–2021 academic year here.

November ’21October ’21 | September ’21 | August ’21 | July ’21

November ’21

November 19 — Columbia University’s 20th 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. In this session of the 2021-2022 Digital Event Series, attendees joined panelists for a discussion on “Misinformation, Extremism, and Business.” Anya Schiffrin, senior lecturer and director of the Technology, Media, and Communications at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, moderated a conversation on the rise of misinformation and the responsibility of social media and other online content companies in fighting misinformation and extremism. Panelists Antony Cousins, CEO of Factmata, and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEO of NewsGuard, shared insights on potential solutions to the misinformation problem, the evolution of misinformation through recent elections and the pandemic, and how the news and tech sectors can and have been working together. Following this session, conference attendees had access to a weekend film screening of In Her Shoes, a film by Cynthia Salzman Mondell, which explores the narratives of women in prison through the shoes they wear, have worn, and will one day wear. The film features a series of interviews with women participating in an art program inside the Dallas County Jail, where they reflect on their experiences as survivors of gender and state violence and consider how economic inequality, gender discrimination, and political disenfranchisement have shaped their lives.
Organized by the center, SEC, and GBC.
November 17 — Hacking for Humanity and the Planet Venture Incubator Course Info Session + Networking Mixer
Students from across Columbia’s schools and programs learned about the Social Venture Incubator [B8527] course, taught by adjunct professor Joy Fairbanks ’94, which fosters cross-campus access and collaboration to leverage Columbia talent and resources to build teams, access any necessary technology, advance ventures, and gain investor interest. Interested students, as well as alumni, faculty, and researchers working with student teams, learned about the application process for the course and what qualifies as an impact venture. Following the info session, participants networked with founders and team members to form interdisciplinary teams to participate in the course. 
November 5 — Columbia University’s 20th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, Capital for Good Keynote Kickoff
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. Kicking off our 2021-2022 digital event series on “Impact Investing With Damien Dwin,” founder and chief executive officer of Lafayette Square, and moderator Antony Bugg-Levine, managing director and co-head of community impact at Lafayette Square, discussed what issues motivated Damien to pursue impact investing, how the industry is shifting focus from the “E” to the “S” in ESG, and how place plays an essential role in achieving positive outcomes for local communities. This keynote covered how Lafayette Square is using place-based impact investing and DEI as core investment and talent strategy. Damien shared his perspective on Vera Institute and the broader case for business leaders engaging in tackling the mass incarceration and employment crisis. In our second keynote session, “Investing for Change: The “Total Impact” Portfolio,” Liesel Pritzker Simmons, co-founder and principal of Blue Haven Initiative, shared insights on Blue Haven Initiative's catalytic capital investing approach and how they measure their impact. Audience members heard Liesel’s perspective on why an impact portfolio needs to be completely impact-focusted and the typical management and organizational challenges that ventures face in operating and scaling. This session was moderated by professor Bruce Usher
Organized by the center, SEC, and GBC.

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October ’21

October 26 — Digital Finance for Climate Resilience: A Framework for Action Launch
Millions of people around the world are already experiencing the negative effects of climate change. Unfortunately, many exposed populations lack access to solutions and resources that can build resilience to the negative impacts of climate change. We believe digital finance can be a critical enabler in improving the affordability, accessibility, and reach of climate resilience solutions among vulnerable populations globally. We urgently need to scale innovations in “digital finance for climate resilience” and see the emergence of an innovation ecosystem as a critical first step. To understand the opportunity for digital finance and fintech to power greater climate resilience, BFA Global convened a task force of climate and financial service experts, including World Resources Institute, CGAP, PayPal, UNCDF’s Better Than Cash Alliance, and the team of the UN Race to Resilience campaign. Together, the task force developed a Digital Finance for Climate Resilience (DF4CR) Framework for Action, detailing the critical actions that must be taken to catalyze the emergence of an innovation ecosystem for DF4CR. Participants joined the DF4CR Task Force for a panel discussion on how to launch the Digital Finance for Climate Resilience Framework for Action.
Organized by BFA Global, where David del Ser ’08 is fintech director, and supported by the center.
October 25 — Social Enterprise Career Workshop
In this workshop, director Ivy Hatsengate hosted a live facilitation of a career workshop recording from Emily Lamia at Pivot Journeys. Students learned ways to help identify and define their future career in social enterprise; zero in on what they enjoy about work; clarify the skills they want to use in their next position; create a more refined ‘pitch’ to communicate their value and what they’re looking for; and nail potential interview questions. Ivy also discussed career resources available to students interested in pursuing a career in the social enterprise sector.
October 15 — NBLP Orientation
Students and partner organization staff and board members participating in the program gathered online for the program’s orientation session to learn about their nonprofit board projects for the academic year and to discuss initiatives and best practices.
Organized by NBLP, within the SEC, and center.

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September ’21

September 30 — Columbia Business School Loan Assistance Program Info Session
Managing director Sandra Navalli OAM '03, and the Office of Financial Aid hosted an informational session for students and alumni interested in applying for Columbia Business School’s Loan Assistance Program, which enables MBAs to take management and leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors, and with social ventures. The program is designed to help alleviate the financial burden associated with repaying education loans while pursuing a career in these sectors, which typically pay lower salaries but have unmet needs that Columbia Business School graduates are able to address.
September 30 — SESF Cross-campus Project Presentations
The center and the 2021 SESF cross-campus participants celebrated the current cohort of fellows. This networking event served as an opportunity for students to learn about the program first-hand from the center’s most recent cohort of fellows, listen to summer project presentations, and get to know social enterprise students from across Columbia University's campus. This year’s summer fellows interned across social enterprise sectors including international development, health care, arts, conservation, and beyond. Visit our summer fellows website to read about past summer experiences.
September 29 — Senior Leaders Program (SLP) Information Session Webinar
This program offers senior nonprofit executives the opportunity to gain strategic management and leadership skills and cutting-edge business knowledge to help them develop actionable plans for their organizations. Interested program participants learned about the program; gained a better understanding of how the program can benefit them, their staff, and their organization; gained insight into the program's content, hybrid in-person and virtual structure, main assignments, and program outcomes; learned about the application process and tuition assistance opportunities; and asked questions about the program experience and logistics.
September 28 — SESF MBA Project Presentations
The center and the 2021 SESF MBA participants celebrated the current cohort of fellows. This networking event served as an opportunity for interested students to learn about the program first-hand from the center’s most recent cohort of fellows, listen to summer project presentations, 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, philanthropy, impact investing, sustainability, real estate, and beyond. Visit our summer fellows website to read about past summer experiences.
September 23 — Nonprofit Board Leadership Program (NBLP) Information Session
Students interested in taking on an independent consulting project for a nonprofit learned more about the NBLP program, application process, and nonprofit board service.
Organized by NBLP, within the SEC, and center.
September 21 — Three Cairns Climate Fellowship Information Session
At this information session, Reilly O’Hara, program manager, 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.
September 14 — Tamer Center Clubs Kickoff
The center and professional clubs provided information on the social enterprise community at the Business School. Students interested in exploring the field of social enterprise during their time at Columbia Business School had the opportunity to meet students and faculty whose passion for international development, social entrepreneurship, ESG/CSR, impact investing, renewable energy, 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 club initiatives on campus and opportunities to be involved in the social enterprise community.
Organized by the Green Business Club (GBC), (Social Enterprise Club) SEC, and center.
September 10 –12 — Columbia University’s Hacking for Humanity (H4H)
Hacking for Humanity at Columbia University harnesses the diverse talent and resources of the campus community and beyond to solve pressing global challenges affecting people and the planet. In just three days, students, alumni and researchers from across the campus formed interdisciplinary teams to design and develop innovative solutions to urgent problems, refined their ideas with advice from experienced mentors, and pitched their startups to expert judges. Venture teams developed valuable entrepreneurial experience, built professional relationships inside and outside the University, and competed to win both awards and prizes to further develop their ventures. In the inaugural year, our winning ventures were: 1st Place: Soluminos; 2nd Place: THIMBLE; 3rd Place: Moby; Top Environmental Venture: Soluminos; Top Health & Wellness Venture: THIMBLE; Top Social/Economic Inclusivity Venture: Opal; Best Undergraduate Venture: Pattern; and Crowd Favorite: Authentic Housing.
Organized by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, in collaboration with Columbia Entrepreneurship, Columbia Technology Ventures, School of Engineering and Applied Science and School of Bio-Medical Engineering at Columbia Engineering, Columbia Data Science Institute, Columbia Climate School, The Earth Institute, Columbia World Projects, Brown Institute at Columbia School of Journalism, GSAAP, Mailman School of Public Health, SIPA, Columbia Law School, Global Columbia Collaboratory, student groups across campus, and more.
September 1 — Advancing Racial Equity (ARE) Info Session Webinar
The Advancing Racial Equity program provides participants with an in-depth understanding of the barriers that organizations face in increasing diversity and racial equity, offering a range of solutions and hands-on tools for eliminating these barriers and creating more inclusive organizations. Participants learned about the program and its live online learning format and content, met the faculty directors, and asked questions.

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August ’21

August 18 & September 2 — Columbia University’s Hacking for Humanity (H4H) Team Formation & Mixer
Interested Hackathon participants joined adjunct professor Joy Fairbanks ’94 in this team formation and mixer event. Founders had an opportunity to pitch their venture ideas to an audience of interested Columbia University students and alumni. Following the pitches, founders had the opportunity to meet with interested participants and form interdisciplinary teams for the Hackathon event.
Organized by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, in collaboration with Columbia Entrepreneurship, Columbia Technology Ventures, School of Engineering and Applied Science and School of Bio-Medical Engineering at Columbia Engineering, Columbia Data Science Institute, Columbia Climate School, The Earth Institute, Columbia World Projects, Brown Institute at Columbia School of Journalism, GSAAP, Mailman School of Public Health, SIPA, Columbia Law School, Global Columbia Collaboratory, student groups across campus, and more.

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July ’21

July 14 — Columbia University’s Hacking for Humanity (H4H) Info Session
Is it possible to create a social impact startup in a weekend? Adjunct professor Joy Fairbanks ’94 welcomed interested participants to an info session about Columbia University’s Hacking for Humanity hackathon. Joy discussed how Hacking for Humanity harnesses the diverse talent and resources of the campus community and beyond to solve pressing global challenges affecting people and the planet. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions, meet fellow participants, and form venture teams. These interdisciplinary teams use the weekend to design and develop innovative solutions to urgent social and environmental challenges, refine their ideas with advice from experienced mentors, and pitch their startups to expert judges. Read more about Hacking for Humanity at Columbia University here.
Organized by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, in collaboration with Columbia Entrepreneurship, Columbia Technology Ventures, School of Engineering and Applied Science and School of Bio-Medical Engineering at Columbia Engineering, Columbia Data Science Institute, Columbia Climate School, The Earth Institute, Columbia World Projects, Brown Institute at Columbia School of Journalism, GSAAP, Mailman School of Public Health, SIPA, Columbia Law School, Global Columbia Collaboratory, student groups across campus, and more.
July 1 — Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship (SESF) Virtual Check-in Meeting
With much success in the summer, the center continued the monthly SESF virtual check-in meetings with the 2021 summer fellows cohort as a way to create a community for fellows to connect online. Fellows met each other online to discuss best practices for working remotely and learn what their peer social impact projects fellows were working on.

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