2013–2014 Events

2020-2021 | 2019-2020 | 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 | 2015-2016 | 2014-2015 | 2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-2012 | 2010-2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009 | 2007-2008 | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005 | 2003-2004

A listing of our recurring event programming and community engagement initiatives can be found here, and recorded events can be found here. Click here to see this year's events.


Spark Workshop on Education Technology: Can Education Technology Close the Achievement Gap? with Ryan Betts, Teacher, Darien Public School District; Stanley Buchesky '02, Managing Partner, The EdTech Fund; Daniel Konecky, Director of Online Development, Relay Graduate School of Education; Alia McCants '13, Director of Operations, New York City, Relay Graduate School of Education; Terrence Robinson, Teacher, CASA Middle School, Bronx, NY; and Kevan Ottochian, Teacher, Warwick Valley Central School District

May 10, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 301
3022 Broadway New York, NY 10027

Technology has become a critical part of how today’s school children are educated. From individual classrooms to broader district–wide systems, technology’s integration into established learning systems increasingly raises questions and poses challenges to the status quo. This Spark workshop is dedicated to brainstorming ways that technology can be leveraged to close the achievement/opportunity gap in low–income communities in the US by discussing key problems related to data tracking and reporting, school and school–system operations, classroom learning, and scaling successful solutions.

Potential topics for discussion:

  • Data: What are the current challenges of tracking and reporting on student–, classroom–, school–, and system–level data?
  • School/system operations: What are ways in which technology can provide solutions to the inefficiencies and pain points in running a school or a school system?
  • Classroom learning: What are the current challenges to classroom learning in low–income communities in the US and how can technology provide solutions? (e. g. Teacher quality, appropriate curriculum, access to resources, etc. ) 
  • Innovation: What are the current challenges of incubating, identifying, funding, and scaling technological solutions that have proven to be effective in a very fragmented national education system? 
    Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top


"Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scale" with Ashish Karamchandani, Executive Director, Monitor Inclusive Markets, Monitor Deloitte; Harvey Koh, Director, Monitor Inclusive Markets, Monitor Deloitte; Zia Khan, Vice President for Initiatives and Strategy, Rockefeller Foundation; Amit Bouri, Managing Director, GIIN; Antony Bugg–Levine CEO, Nonprofit Finance Fund; Gita Johar, Senior Vice Dean and Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business, Columbia Business School

Monday, April 28, 2014
6:00 p.m. –8:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 301

Growing interest in the role of market–based solutions in addressing the problems of poverty has led to the emergence of many new and promising business models. These inclusive businesses can be powerful agents of change whether by bringing safe drinking water to slums, powering remote villages, or connecting farmers to markets. Yet very few of these models have been able to operate at scale. Why?

This panel of experts will discuss the findings from a new report from Monitor Inclusive Markets, following on from their 2012 report,From Blueprint to Scale.  We’ll explore the barriers faced by inclusive businesses as they take on some of the world’s toughest problems, and how we can work to overcome them to accelerate achieving impact at scale.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
12:30 p.m.– 1:00 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 416

This conversation with the Founder and CEO of NuRu International, Jake Harriman, is about the leadership challenges associated with building a social venture and training impoverished people to become self–sustaining. NuRu focuses on creating local leaders and equipping people with the tools and knowledge necessary to lead their communities out of poverty.  NuRu identifies local income–generating activities to address a community’s hunger, ability to cope with economic shocks, preventable disease and death and lack of quality education for children.  NuRu targets remote rural areas, gives no handouts, and provides sustainable solutions to agriculture, economic development, healthcare and education problems.  Since its launch, NuRu has helped more than 30,000 people climb out of extreme poverty.         

Jake graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy and served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps. From his experiences, Jake came to believe that to eradicate terrorism, disenfranchisement, lack of education, and extreme poverty must also be eradicated. Jake graduated from Stanford GSB in June 2008 and launched Nuru International in Kenya the same year.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club, International Development Club, and LEAD at Columbia Business School.

Transforming Education around the World with Christie Vilsack, U. S. Senior Advisor for International Education

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
7:45 a.m.–8:45 a.m.
Uris Hall, Room 208

Please join Ms. Christie Vilsack, who oversees all U. S. Government foreign aid for education, for an intimate breakfast to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in the field. Why do literacy rates in countries such as Pakistan, Mali, and Peru persistently hover around 40%? How has Ethiopia (with the help of U. S. foreign aid) enrolled 95% of its children in elementary school? How does this affect us as future business and non–profit leaders and how can we help to advance the gains that have been made in the last several years? Ms. Vilsack oversees more than $1 billion in U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programming that promotes literacy, workforce development, schooling opportunities for students in crisis settings, and technological innovation in international education.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club and the CBS Democrats at Columbia Business School.

The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer and More Open World with Andrew Winstron, Author, Corporate Strategist

Friday, April 18, 2014
1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs
Altschul Auditorium, Room 417

Andrew Winston will explore "the mega challenges of climate change, scarcity, and radical transparency that threaten our ability to run an expanding global economy and that are profoundly changing business as usual."  He will provide cause for optimism as he profiles leaders in the business community who are bringing value to society and positioning themselves to capture the unprecedented opportunities that will emerge in responding to these challenges.  These individuals and companies, and others to come, will be "the winners of this new game who will profit mightily." The event will be followed by a book signing by the author. Andrew Winston advises some of the world’s leading companies on how companies can navigate and profit from the world's biggest environmental and social challenges. He is a globally recognized speaker, writer, and adviser on sustainable business. Andrew is also the co–author of the international best–seller Green to Gold (125,000 copies in seven languages).
Sponsored by the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

10th Annual India Business Conference with Ajay Banga, CEO, MasterCard; Vik Malhotra, Chairman of the Americas, McKinsey; Michael Schlein, CEO, ACCION; Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate; Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission of India

Friday, April 18, 2014

The theme for this year’s conference is Inspiring India.   Panels this year will focus on Indian Cuisine: From Chicken Tikka Masala to Michelin Star and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.   The conference is a unique premier India–focused platform in New York City and a powerful forum that inspires thought–leadership and generates discussions around the business, social, political and creative undercurrents that permeate India life.  
Sponsored by the South Asia Business Association at Columbia Business School.

Public–Private Partnerships: Increasing Efficiency and Innovation in Infrastructure Development with Ricardo Sanchez, Technical Director North America, Cintra US

Wednesday, April 16th 
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 142

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are becoming a popular method for delivering infrastructure projects in the US and worldwide. In a PPP, a private entity is granted the right to design, build, maintain and operate a project in return for future revenue. While much of the debate on Public Private Partnerships is focused on funding, a key benefit of PPPs is added efficiency and innovation. Ricardo Sanchez will discuss how Cintra brings efficiencies and innovative ideas to each stage of a project including procurement, design, and implementation.  

Cintra is a global leader in infrastructure development and is the lead in a number of Public Private Partnerships worldwide. For example, Cintra is bearing the costs and risks of building several managed lane and toll–road projects in North America in return for future toll revenue.    

Ricardo Sanchez holds a M. S. degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain) and MSc Degree in Transportation from Imperial College London. He has over 15 years experience in transportation engineering focused on analyzing traffic and revenue for toll road projects. Since 2002 he has worked with Cintra, the concessions arm of Ferrovial, initially as responsible for managing the preparation of traffic and revenue forecasts for existing and new projects pursued by the company worldwide. His involvement included the Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road transactions in 2004 and 2005 and the NTE and LBJ Managed Lane projects in Texas in 2009 among others. From March 2007 he has been leading Cintra's North American Technical Department. He manages a team of highly qualified professionals preparing feasibility analysis for new toll roads in the US and Canada, and providing support to Cintra Toll road projects in North America on Operations and Maintenance, Design and Construction, Pricing, Traffic and Revenue. He is married with 2 children and resides in Austin, Texas.
Sponsored by the Center for Pricing and Revenue Management at Columbia Business School.

Fireside Chat on Promoting Global Sustainable Economic and Social Development with Brad Swanson '88, Managing Director at Developing World Markets

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Brad Swanson, Managing Partner of Private Equity at Developing World Markets, will join IDC and CSIMA for a fireside chat this Wednesday. Developing World Markets is an asset manager and investment bank dedicated to making socially positive investments in order to promote sustainable economic and social development on a global scale.
Sponsored by the International Development Club and CSIMA at Columbia Business School.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
6:30 p.m. –8:00 p.m.

Warren Hall, Room 209
1125 Amsterdam Avenue (between 115th and 116th Street)

In New York State, the age of adult criminal responsibility is 16 years old. Each year, thousands of kids leave the criminal justice system with adult felony convictions that are made public to future employers and academic institutions. As a result, opportunity for change is limited and re–offense is common: the recidivism rate for adolescents treated as adults in the criminal justice system is nearly 70%. The adult system has a devastating impact on young people.

Mission: To build and operate state–of–the–art food trucks to hire, train, and empower formerly incarcerated youth ages 16–25. We generate opportunities for youth coming home from adult jail/prison so that they can live crime–free, bright futures.

Drive Change is a hybrid for–profit/non–profit organization. All of our food trucks are for profit LLCs that are wholly owned by the non–profit 501c3. That being said, all sales from the trucks recycle back into the organization so we can subsidize the cost of running our Drive Change re–entry program.

The re–entry program is eight months long and consists of three distinct phases: a 2–month pre–employment training phase, a 4–month employment phase, and a 2–month transition phase. As participants graduate through each phase, they will see an increase in pay scale, from $8/hr up to $12/hr.

Areas of Discussion

  1. How should we balance our hybrid model (for profit/nonprofit) in our marketing/branding? What audiences should we target, where, and how?
  2. What are potential sources of revenue for the nonprofit arm and for the for–profit arm?What strategy can we use to tap into those sources?|

Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top


Research Meets Practice Book talk on "Scarcity: A Talk for People Too Busy to Attend Talks" with author Sendhil Mullainathan

Monday, March 31, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Warren Hall, Feldberg Lobby, 1st Floor
To watch the video, please click here.

Why do successful people get things done at the last minute? Why does poverty persist? Why do organizations get stuck putting out fires? Why do the lonely find it hard to make friends? These seemingly unconnected questions are surprisingly joined by a single psychology of scarcity. The research in our book shows how scarcity––of any kind––creates its own mindset. Understanding this mindset helps illuminate behavior in nearly every walk of life.

Sendhil Mullainathan, Professor of Economics at Harvard University:
Sendhil Mullainathan is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University and Founder of ideas42, a non–profit organization devoted to taking insights about people from behavioral economics and using it to create novel policies, interventions, and products. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Founding Member of the Poverty Action Lab, and a Board Member of the Bureau of Research in the Economic Analysis of Development. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant. ' He has recently been appointed Assistant Director of Research at the U. S. Treasury’s newly minted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Professor Mullainathan conducts research on development economics, behavioral economics, and corporate finance. He has published extensively in top economics journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Political Economy. In addition to being a MacArthur Fellow, Mullainathan is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including those from the National Science Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation.
Sponsored by the Center for Decision Sciences and the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

What is a B Corporation? Panel with Devon Douglas, Strategy Director, BBMG; Michael Elsas, President, Cooperative Home Care Associates; Neha Kumar, Product Manager, B Analytics; Lily Scot, Head of Research, Veris Wealth Partners; and Dawn Techow, COO, Peeled Snacks

March 31, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 140

Are you curious to know how companies across industries are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems? Are you interested in learning from MBAs who have been in your shoes and are now heading successful B Corporations? The Social Enterprise Club hosted a panel discussion, which was moderated by CBS Adjunct Professor Ron Gonen, about what it means to be a B Corporation.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Social Enterprise Career Workshop with Ivy Hatsengate, CMC Career Coach

March 28, 2014
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208

Led by CMC Career Coach Ivy Hatsengate (MBA '01 Kellogg), this workshop is designed to help students clarify personal focus areas within the larger universe of social impact. Starting from a baseline of skill sets and integrating personal strengths and future aspirations, we map a long–term view of one's career trajectory with the goal of optimizing career satisfaction while ensuring employability. Frameworks for evaluation are presented to guide decision–making in the near term (summer internship and full–time roles), as well as for navigating a lifetime of career transitions.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Defining what social impact means to you;
  • Clarifying the relationship between social impact and career satisfaction;
  • Projecting a long–term view with regard to careers with social impact; and
  • Understanding multiple decision–making frameworks and how to make trade–offs in evaluating interest areas and job opportunities.

Sponsored by the Social Enterprise and International Development Clubs at Columbia Business School.

I–Prep! Lunch Session

March 25, 2014
12:30 p.m.– 2:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 330

Want to make a difference in someone's life in just 90 minutes?

I–Prep allows you to make a meaningful impact in a single lunch period by conducting mock interviews and resume reviews with welfare–to–work clients who are about to face a real world interview. Just one interview with a CBS student can make a big difference in a client's job interview preparation and confidence level.
Sponsored by the Center for Decision Sciences and the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

A lunch conversation with Nell Debevoise '12, Founder & CEO, and Yael Silvestein '13, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer, Inspiring Capital

Thursday, March 6, 2014
12:30–2:00 p. m.

This nonprofit organization provides philanthropic advising for donors and forward–looking businesses, and technical assistance and strategic planning to not–for–profits in New York City. Nell Debevoise '12, Founder & CEO, and Yael Silvestein '13, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer, will share their experiences in establishing and running their organization.  

Guest Biographies:

Nell Derick Debevoise is the founder and CEO of Inspiring Capital, which uses all forms of capital – human, social, intellectual, and financial – to help socially minded ventures become self–funding. She is passionate about using insights from businesses and entrepreneurship to make high–potential social ventures sustainable. Nell is an adjunct professor of impact investing at New York University. She is also involved with cutting edge research in the field of entrepreneurship, supporting John Mullins, Associate Professor at London Business School, with his research and writing about customer–funded business models. She is an advisor to Lean Impact and was a founding sponsor of the first Lean for Social Good Summit in New York in 2013. Before establishing Inspiring Capital, Nell was the founding director of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, a nonprofit that has facilitated social and economic development for over 6,000 women and children in the Middle East since 2008. She has studied psychology, education, and entrepreneurship at Harvard, Columbia and London Business Schools, and Cambridge, as well as informal classrooms in 45 countries. Nell speaks English, French, and Italian fluently, as well as some Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese. She has presented at events around the world alongside President Bill Clinton, former First Lady Cherie Blair, Sir Ronald Cohen, and other global thought leaders.

Yael Silverstein is the Chief Strategy & Operations Officer at Inspiring Capital, and deeply involved in all of the firm’s activity as the second employee.  Yael brings several years of for–profit and non–profit experience to her role, including operations experience at microfinance institutions in India and Israel/Palestine; teaching early childhood education in Israel; corporate philanthropy strategy at the Tory Burch Foundation; and research at a long–short equity hedge fund. Yael earned her M. B. A from Columbia Business School focusing on management, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise.  She holds two B. A. degrees: one from Columbia University where she graduated magna cum laude and earned departmental distinction on her thesis and a second from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America where she graduated magna cum laude, was a List College Fellow, and received the Esther Sommerstein Zweig Educational Award.  She has lived and worked on four continents and has traveled to more than 50 countries, including as a freelance travel blogger. Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top


Social Enterprise Career Workshop: Get Focused to Get Results with Shannon Houde, Career Coach, Walk of Life Consulting

Saturday, February 22, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Led by Career Coach Shannon Houde, who runs a sustainable enterprise–focused talent advisory company, this workshop was designed to help current Columbia MBA/EMBA students and Columbia Business School alumni attendees clarify their career strategy and build confidence in their personal brand to position for roles in the social/sustainability/impact/international development jobs market. Frameworks for mapping your top five values, skills and traits as well as your dream job criteria will help you to "get focused to get results". Shannon also helped to demystify the myths of the current jobs market with real–time trends and perspectives from her partnerships with leading recruitment agencies in the US and UK.
Topics covered included:

  • Gaining unique tips on focusing your career strategy
  • Building confidence in your personal brand
  • Understanding the current jobs market & view of the hiring manager
  • Tools to map your offer to the market and what you want in return

About Shannon Houde: 
Shannon Houde, MBA, is founder of Walk of Life Consulting Limited an international career advisory business focused solely on the sustainability, social impact, international development and Corporate Responsibility (CR) fields. For more than 15 years she has mentored and trained more than 700 professionals and Masters graduates to maximise their personal brands to advance their impact careers. She launched and currently runs the career coaching service for leading sustainability recruitment company, Acre Resources and is partnered with Weinreb Group in the US. Shannon chose sustainability career coaching to combine her diverse experience as a hiring manager, a business coach and a CR consultant for Deloitte, Barclays, Macromedia and WWF, after having started her career 20 years ago in corporate recruiting. Shannon blogs as a sustainability career columnist for Greenbiz, Triple Pundit, 2Degrees Network, and CSRWire and has been quoted in Ethical Corporation, the Independent and The Guardian. She speaks regularly on panels and runs workshops in recruiting, HR, and sustainability including at leading business schools – UC Haas, Cambridge, George Washington, HEC–Paris, LBS and annually at Net Impact Global conference. Previously she spent 10 years managing cross–cultural teams and CR projects in Asia, Europe, North and South America for clients and FTSE 250 companies – Altria, Argos/Homebase, Barclays Global Investors, Cadbury Schweppes, Deloitte, EMI, L’Oreal, Nokia, Reuters, UNICEF, Vodafone Group, WWF, and Yell. Shannon holds an MBA in International Management, with a focus on CR, from Thunderbird in Arizona as well as a BS in Sociology from the University of Colorado. She has served in leadership roles for Net Impact since 2003 and is currently an Advisor to the London Professional chapter. She lives in the Cambridge countryside and is often seen riding her bike on farm roads with her two curious boys.
Sponsored by the Career Management Center and the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

Green Energy & Sustainability Careers Panel with Alex Anich, SIPA ’10, Karbone, Director of Research; Marcel Ham, Co–founder/owner of Rebel; Principal, IMG Rebel; Jon Rappe, ’06, Immodo Energy Services, Vice President and Cai Steger, ’08, NRDC, Associate Program Director

Thursday, February 19, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 142

Alumni advised social enterprise students on career paths, job searching techniques and advice for careers in green energy and sustainability.
Sponsored by the Career Management Center at Columbia Business School.

Alumni Board Panel with Karen Adam '06, Board Member, Jericho Project; Katie Aldrich '09, Board Member, Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union and Yale Alumni Fund; Christian ​Lee '07, Board Member, Bronxworks; and Jeff Turkanis '10, Board Member, Creative Arts Workshop for Kids.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
5:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208
Please join us for the Alumni Nonprofit Board Panel, hosted by the Social Enterprise Program's Nonprofit Board Leadership Program. Recent alumni will share information on nonprofit board service and potential paths to finding nonprofit board opportunities. Alumni will also discuss the unique dynamics of nonprofit boards, and the advantages of being on a board for both personal fulfillment and career opportunities.

Panelist Bios:
Karen Adam '06
Since 2011, Karen has served on the board of the Jericho Project (jerichoproject. org), an organization dedicated to ending homelessness and encouraging self–sufficiency for hundreds of individuals and families each year—for significantly less cost than a NYC shelter or jail.

Karen began her relationship with Jericho out of college, serving as a benefit committee member for several years before launching and chairing Jericho’s Associate Board. In 2013, she served as a 30th Anniversary Gala Co–Chair, helping to raise nearly a half–million dollars in support of Jericho’s comprehensive services.

When she is not serving as a board member or mother to 4–month–old Sam, Karen is active in her full–time position as VP, Business Development at brand engagement firm, Sullivan.
Katie Aldrich '09
Katie Aldrich is a Director on the Cross Platform Strategy Team at Bloomberg LP, the leader in delivering data and news analytics through innovative technology.   She is responsible for projects across Bloomberg’s analytical and media teams focused on increasing the value of the Bloomberg brand and its businesses. >Prior to joining Bloomberg LP, Ms. Aldrich was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in the media and technology practice.

Christian Lee ’07
Christian Lee currently serves as SVP and Head of M&A for Time Warner Cable, where he is responsible for all acquisitions, divestitures, investments, and joint ventures across TWC’s businesses and new business initiatives. During his career he has helped execute numerous transactions including the acquisition of DukeNet, the acquisition of Adelphia and associated system swaps and redemption of Comcast’s interest in TWC, the acquisitions of Insight, New Wave, Navisite, and the spin–off of TWC from Time Warner Inc. He has also led TWC’s efforts in venture investing since the separation from Time Warner.

Before working at Time Warner Cable he worked as a Director in the Finance & Acquisitions department at Time Warner Inc. and prior to that he worked as an Associate in the Investment Bank at Citigroup. Christian received an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Carleton College. He serves on the TWC Pension Investment Committee, the Alumni Board of Carleton College, and the Board of Directors of BronxWorks, a non–profit focused on helping underserved Bronx residents improve their economic and social well–being. He lives with his wife and two children in Manhattan.

Jeff Turkanis '10
Jeff Turkanis is an Director at Oxford Properties and is responsible for U. S. commercial real estate investment opportunities. He was introduced to CAW through Columbia Business School’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Program in 2008. He was asked to join the Board of CAW in 2011. Jeff has been actively involved in the nonprofit community and previously served on the Copley Society of Art’s Circle Board of Advisors in Boston. Mr. Turkanis holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Program at Columbia Business School.

Education Careers Alumni Panel with Daniel Gennaoui ’11, Uncommon Schools; Tania Shinkawa ’04, NYC Dept. of Education; Alia (Smith) McCants ’13, Relay Graduate School; moderated by Raji Kalra ’04, David Lynch Foundation

Monday, February 17, 2014
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 141

Alumni advised social enterprise students on career paths, job searching techniques and advice for careers in education.
Sponsored by the Career Management Center at Columbia Business School.

International Development Career Panel with Jessica Carta, SIPA, COO at First Access, Jonathan Jacoby '06, Policy and Campaigns Manager in the Private Sector Department at Oxfam, Laura Goldman '12, Project Manager, Delberg

Thursday, February 13, 2014
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 303

Alumni advised social enterprise students on career paths, job searching techniques and advice for careers in international development.
Sponsored by the Career Management Center at Columbia Business School.

A Conversation with Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross

Thursday, February 13, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Low Memorial Library

About Gail McGovern: 
Gail J. McGovern joined the American Red Cross as president and CEO on April 8, 2008. McGovern has overseen the American Red Cross response to multiple high–profile disasters, including the Haiti earthquake, Japan earthquake and tsunami, the record–breaking tornadoes, floods and wildfires that affected the U. S. in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy.

Prior to joining the Red Cross, McGovern was a faculty member at the Harvard Business School and served as president of Fidelity Personal Investments. She was also executive vice president for the Consumer Markets Division at AT&T, the $26 billion residential long–distance organization and largest business unit.

Ms. McGovern earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Sponsored by the David and Lyn Silfen Leadership Speaker Series at Columbia Business School.

Social Entrepreneurship Career Panel with David del Ser '08, Founder, Frogtek; Donnel Baird '13, Founder, BlocPower; Erica Lock '10, Associate Director, Fellowship Programs, Echoing Green; Michael Dwork '07, Founder, VerTerra

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 311

Alumni advised social enterprise students on career paths, job searching techniques and advice for careers in social entrepreneurship.
Sponsored by the Career Management Center at Columbia Business School.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

It has been a year since Super Storm Sandy devastated the New York area with $65 billion  in damages. Meanwhile, CO2 levels continue to increase globally, causing polar ice sheets to melt and sea levels to rise, along with the frequency of “100 Year Storms. ” The scientific community once again affirmed, in its strongest language yet, the near certainty that global warming is caused by human activity.   What should individuals, business– es and governments do to address the challenges climate change presents to our communities?
Join us as our expert panel examines the impact of climate change, its diverse effects and possible solutions to how we manage our infrastructure, our economy, our health and the way we live. This event is part of the MAKING GREEN FROM GREEN series.
Sponsored by the Sustainable Business Committee of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York.

Back to Top


Conversation with Vinayak Lohani, Founder of Parivaar

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
6:45 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. 

Parivaar is an Indian nonprofit that shelters, educates and supports some of the poorest, most at–risk youth in India. They currently educate over 900 children and have ambitious plans for growth, aiming to be the largest residential facility of their kind in India by 2020.

Vinayak Lohan Founded Parivaar after graduating from the prestigious IIT and IIM. Lohan will discuss his motivation for starting Parivaar, rather than pursue a corporate career, after years spent training for a technical degree and an MBA. He will also share his view on how skills from his MBA prepared him for founding a successful nonprofit, and how the MBA community can have a positive impact on the broader world.
Sponsored by the International Development Club at Columbia Business School.

Spark Workshop on Kangu 2013 with Casey Santiago ’07, Founder, Kangu Co– Anu Khosla, Marketing and Community Director, Kangu
Winner of Social Venture Pitch Competition at Columbia Social Enterprise Conference

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208

This workshop will focus on finding solutions to the challenge of financing and customer growth. Areas of discussion:
1. Financing to support growth and scale: angel investors, impact investors, foundations, and business development
2. Customer growth: driving footfall and conversion
About Kangu
Leveraging the power of technology, Kangu is a crowdfunding start–up that aims to reduce the 250,000 women that die each year from pregnancy and childbirth globally. Nearly all of these deaths are preventable when women have access to basic healthcare services. At our website, www. kangu. org, anyone with $10 to give can connect with a specific high–risk pregnant woman in South Asia and sub–Saharan Africa and sponsor her access to care. Kangu is making the world a smaller, healthier, safer place for women and their babies.   In less than 3 months, Kangu brought together 1000 people who funded healthcare services for over 150 women.  

About Casey Santiago
In 2012, after becoming a mother, Casey Santiago founded Kangu to leverage crowdfunding technology to reduce preventable maternal and neonatal deaths and disability. Before founding Kangu, Ms. Santiago worked for fifteen years in global health, innovative finance and technology. As an early staff member at Kiva. org, Ms. Santiago managed a multi–million dollar investment portfolio in West Africa, and led engineers to develop software for 100+ local institutions. She has advised for–profit, nonprofit and social enterprises on strategic planning, new product development and financial sustainability, including Doctors without Borders, Institute for OneWorld Health, Bristol Myers–Squibb, GAVI and USAID, both independently and as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte. She also blogs for Forbes. com, Women 2. 0, and the Huffington Post and was recently selected by 85 Broads as a “CEO to watch. ” She has worked in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. Ms. Santiago holds a BA from Wellesley College, an MBA from Columbia Business School and an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University.

About Anu Khosla
Anu Khosla graduated Stanford University in 2012 with a BA in Human Biology. She has interned with International Medical Corps, a global health and humanitarian organization. She is keenly interested in leveraging technology for social change and has worked with Donors Choose and with Kiva. She is currently the Marketing and Community Director at Kangu. org, an innovative financing website that raises funds to reduce maternal mortality, initially in India, Uganda and Nepal.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

MBAs in the Social Sector

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  
Warren Hall, Room 416

R4D’s Market Dynamics Practice harnesses the power of the private sector to broaden access to vital goods that positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions globally. R4D has developed strategies to achieve over a billion dollars in efficiency savings and ensure sustainable availability of high–quality products for nutrition, AIDS, malaria, and neglected diseases treatment and prevention. Today as much as $1 out of every $2 health dollars is spent on products such as HIV/AIDS drugs and bed nets, highlighting the vital importance of access to these goods. R4D’s Market Dynamics practice has developed strategies to achieve over a billion dollars in savings and sustainable availability of high–quality products for a broad range of health and nutritional products. R4D’s team achieves this by leading high–impact engagements with all levels of the marketplace – manufacturers, major donors, and buyers – to harness commercial interests effectively in service of the poor. Initiatives, for example, may include developing new in–country private sector delivery models to drive uptake of nutritional products for children; or creating strategies and policies which support countries and donors in purchasing the most cost–effective bed nets for malaria prevention. R4D’s Market Dynamics team is comprised of business and development experts with experience from leading organizations and academic institutions such as McKinsey, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Bechtel Enterprises, and Stanford and Harvard Business Schools. We combine these skills with R4D’s outstanding networks to achieve transformational impact.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Site Visit to Center for Social Innovation

Friday, November 8, 2013
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  
Center for Social Innovation

The SEC visited to the Center for Social Innovation, an incubator for social entrepreneurs in New York City. CSI provides its members with the spaces, relationships and knowledge they need to translate ideas to impact. The site visit includeed a tour, as well as an opportunity to brainstorm with some of CSI’s social entrepreneurs.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top


Research Meets Practice: Social Impact Bonds with Jeff Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Director at the SIB Lab

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Warren Hall, Feldberg Space

Each year, governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars aimed at addressing social problems.
In most cases, we have no idea how effective these dollars have been in achieving their goals: perform
ance is rarely assessed, and measurement tends to focus on tracking the number of people served or the quantity of services provided rather than the outcomes that are achieved.

Social impact bonds are a promising new approach to financing government social programs.   By combining performance–based payments and market discipline, pay–for–success contracts using social impact bonds have the potential to improve results, overcome barriers to social innovation, and encourage investments in cost–saving preventive services.

Attendees joined us for a discussion with Jeffrey Liebman on how social impact bonds and other new strategies are helping governments and the private sector work together to bring about social change.

Jeffrey Liebman:
Jeffrey Liebman is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School where he teaches courses in social policy, public sector economics, and American economic policy. In his research, he studies tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, and income inequality. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, Liebman served at OMB, first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist and then as Acting Deputy Director. From 1998 to 1999, Liebman served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Clinton Administration’s Social Security reform technical working group. For the past two years, he has been providing pro bono assistance to state and local governments interested in implementing pay for success contracts using social impact bonds.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

Research Meets Practice: Turnaround Third World Lessons For First World Growth with Peter Blair Henry, Dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Feldberg Space

In Turnaround, economist Peter Blair Henry argues that the secret to emerging countries' success (and ours) is discipline–sustained commitment to a pragmatic growth strategy. With the global economy teetering on the brink, the stakes are higher than ever. And because stakes are so high for all nations, we need less polarization and more focus on facts to answer the fundamental question: which policy reforms, implemented under what circumstances, actually increase economic efficiency?
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

The 2013 Social Enterprise Conference: Engaging Customers and Clients in Social Change

Friday, October 4, 2013
7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Lerner Hall, Columbia University

The 2013 Social Enterprise Conference: Engaging Customers and Clients in Social Change, highlighted leading ideas and brought together professionals interested in or working in the field of social enterprise, with deeper dive discussions and cross cutting themes.

Keynote Speakers included:
Charles Best of DonorsChoose.org
Deborah Dugan of (RED)
Jeremy Heimans of Purpose
Dr. Naif Al–Mutawa ’03 of Teshkeel Media Group
Issac Solotaroff of WHAM! BAM! ISLAM!

To view the program, please visit our website at http://www. columbiasocialenterprise.org/conference2013/
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Green Business Club, the International Development Club, and  the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Inside Scoop Series: Social Enterprise

Monday, September 30, 2013
5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 311

Attendees joined the inside scoop panelists to learn from second–years about career paths, job functions, lifestyle and more. The panel was followed by a networking reception among the four areas of Social Enterprise.
Sponsored by the Career Management Center at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top


Meet Tom Serres, founder of Rally.org

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Tom shared his entrepreneurial journey towards creating a crowd–funding mechanism with real social impact.  You can learn more about rally.org here.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

What is the future of Social Impact Capitalism? with Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of The Portland Trust, Big Society Capital and founder and former chair of Bridges Ventures; Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co–Founder, Social Finance US; Audrey Choi, Managing Director and Head of Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley; and Alicia Glen, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs, Adjunct Professor, Columbia Business School; moderated by Georgia Levenson Keohane, Fellow, Roosevelt Institute, Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia Business School

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion

In recent years there has been much noise about the emerging fields of social finance and innovation, impact investing and new ways that private capital is being harnessed to address social and environmental problems. Please join us to hear from three of the field’s leading pioneers and practitioners who will explain what they mean by social impact capitalism – what works, what does not, and what we can expect to see in the years ahead at the intersection of profits and purpose.

About the Speakers:
Sir Ronald Cohen, widely considered to be a founding father of both modern venture capital and the impact investing field, is the former Chair of Apax Partners Worldwide LLP. He launched and chairs the U. K. ’s Social Investment Taskforce in 2000, The Portland Trust, Bridges Ventures, Social Finance U. K. , and Britain’s Big Society Capital bank, all dedicated to advancing social impact finance. As one of the architects of the world’s first social impact bond, Sir Ronald Cohen has become the leading champion of investment that considers the “invisible heart” as well as the “invisible hand. ” 

Tracy Palandjian is the CEO and Co–founder of Social Finance U. S. , the sister organization of Social Finance UK and Social Finance Israel, and one of the country’s leading nonprofits dedicated to mobilizing investment capital to drive social progress.  The Social Impact Bond, which is core to Social Finance's current work, has been recognized for its potential in providing innovative financing solutions to some of the most persistent societal problems in the U. S. and abroad. Previously she was a managing director at The Parthenon Group, worked at Wellington Management Co. and McKinsey & Co.

Audrey Choi is Managing Director and Head of Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance. The Global Sustainable Finance group harnesses the power and discipline of the capital markets to advance impact investing, expand economic opportunity, promote community development, and enhance environmental sustainability. Previously, she served in the Clinton–Gore Administration in senior policy positions at the White House, in the Commerce Department and at the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to this, Ms. Choi was a bureau chief and foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.   Ms. Choi was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the U. S. Community Development Advisory Board.    

Alicia Glen is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and is the Head of the Urban Investment Group (UIG), the firm’s business platform focused on providing capital to under–served domestic urban markets and coordinating CRA investing and lending activity. In addition to serving on the UIG Investment Committee, she is a member of the GSBank Management Committee, and Co–Heads the 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. Under her leadership, UIG has become the industry leader in structuring complex public–private partnerships, catalyzing more than $6 billion of development across dozens of residential, mixed–use and commercial projects, as well as financing job creation and neighborhood revitalization strategies like the $40mm New York Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund.  Most recently, UIG structured, and was the sole investor in the first domestic Social Impact Bond, a $10mm initiative with the City of New York to reduce recidivism among young male adults in the Rikers jail. Alicia is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.

Moderator adjunct professor Georgia Levenson Keohane at Columbia Business School, is also a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where she works on a range of issues in economic policy including poverty and inequality, employment and job growth, and social entrepreneurship and the role of firms in society.   A former McKinsey consultant and foundation executive, Keohane advises a number of organizations including philanthropies, educational entities, community development agencies, and think tanks. Keohane is the author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century: Innovation Across the Nonprofit, Private and Public Sectors (McGraw Hill 2013).
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

Social Enterprise Career Workshop with Dr. Mrim Boutla, More Than Money Careers

Sunday, September 22, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Uris Hall, Room 301

This interactive workshop, led by Dr. Mrim Boutla of More Than Money Careers (MTM Careers), provided a framework to help MBA students identify social impact career paths that best align with their unique values, skills and life priorities. Attendees left with a customized plan for effectively using your skill set and time at Columbia Business School to advance their ideal career path.

Sponsored by the Career Management Center and the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.

International Development Club Career Event

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 331

Curious about career opportunities in international development? Panelists currently working in international development finance, consulting, entrepreneurship, and corporate operations shared advice and information on  how they have built successful careers in international development.
Sponsored by the International Development Club at Columbia Business School.

Social Enterprise Meetup

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Amsterdam Restaurant and Tapas 

The Social Enterprise Club invited club members out for a night of networking between 1st and 2nd year students interested in social enterprise.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208

“What would it be like if you were known for the worst thing you’ve ever done?” asked Defy Ventures founder Catherine Hoke as she started the workshop. In this session, Catherine explained how Defy Ventures provides carefully selected, ambitious men and women who have criminal histories with life–changing entrepreneurship, leadership, and career opportunities. Its mission is to transform the lives of business leaders and people with criminal histories through their collaboration along the entrepreneurial journey. Attendees were asked to explore questions around scaling nationally by examining models currently used by other organizations and adapting them for Defy. The group felt that Catherine’s involvement in Defy was crucial and needed to remain a priority. It was also suggested that Defy Ventures create local “chapters” in expansion cities with headquarters in New York. Certain attendees thought that a franchise model may not be suitable for Defy, given the strong ties needed for the mission and the difficulty of standardizing processes and activities. One breakout group tackled the issue of whether they should create a for–profit/hybrid structure to improve their current business model. Ideas varied from partnering with Macy’s to create fashion lines with graffiti lining for a percentage of proceeds, to ideas around creating a structure that drew from organizations such as Accion, Endeavor and Acumen. Attendees also suggested developing an online course for prisons as an opportunity to increase revenues as well as help identify key individuals for the full–scale program. For information on how to get involved, please click here to see the upcoming events and to sign up for: Taste of Defy, Mocktail Day, and Sales Expo events.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

International Social Entrepreneurship Workshop with Selen Ucak '03, The American Turkish Society; Nell Derick Debevoise '12, Inspiring Capital; Tami Kesselman, Vision2Action / IvyGirl Advisors; Shireen Khan '02, Virtue Consulting, Shubio; Decker Ngongang, Echoing Green

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208

After attending the Spark Workshop on Building the Ecosystem for Social Ventures; Selen Ucak proposed a workshop focused on International Social Entrepreneurship. This workshop also served as a place for international social entrepreneurs to meet peers within the network and build relationships that will hopefully help advance their venture. This community shares some challenges with social entrepreneurs in the US; however, international social entrepreneurs face additional challenges including cultural differences when scaling, differing government regulations and compliance restrictions, marketing and branding challenges given cultural differences, among others factors. Attendees broke out into groups to generate solutions to these challenges and identify the types of platforms needed to help implement these solutions. Among the many suggestions were the strengthening of existing mentorship programs, online platforms for questions to help entrepreneurs, best practices for tapping into diaspora funding, developing benchmark metrics, and more. Facilitator Nell Derick Debevoise mentioned the importance of pitching a social venture to investors and emphasized the aspects that investors will be looking for.
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top


Patronicity Workshop with Chris Blauvelt, Patronicity; moderated by Rachel Jacobs ’02, Detroit Nation

Tuesday, June 25, 2013  
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208

Patronicity is a localized crowdfunding platform that enables anybody to make a difference in their community by supporting local businesses, organizations and events while simultaneously offering incentives to do so. They accomplish this by helping these local entities—for example a small business—raise small amounts of capital through online donations for specific growth–related projects. In return for their support, the business offers value–adding rewards to the donors. Workshop attendees discussed the potential to scale Patronicity in major cities or whether geographic focus was the best strategy, as well a s how to best develop a brand identity that differentiates them from competitors. Attendees focused on creating a strong marketing and social media campaign which in turn could bring brand awareness to the communities Patronicity has projects in. Suggestions were provided on how to use news articles, blogs and media mentions of successful Patronicity projects to create a demand for their more projects, as the organization continues to expand.   

Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Social Sushi Workshop with Jay Rayford, Social Sushi; moderated by Rachel Jacobs ’02, Detroit Nation

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Warren Hall, Room 208

Social Sushi was founded as a social event to bring together professionals who enjoy sushi, want to meet other professionals in Detroit, and have a common interest in local community projects. It soon became clear that Social Sushi founder Jay’s special sushi sauce was a crowd pleaser at each networking event. During his workshop, Jay worked with attendees to determine what his next step should be, and how to scale the organization. The workshop determined that Jay’s key assets are his connections and the ability to bring together large networks of Detroit citizens interested in working on social change. Attendees proposed that Social Sushi become more like an event planning company, with a social mission dedicated to connecting those interested in change in Detroit. As his network increases, he can also start selling the addicting Social Sushi Sauce for additional revenue, brand recognition and additional donations back into the local community. “If it weren’t for the excellent feedback that I got from my Detroit Nation session with Columbia Business School, it may have took me a long time to drill down on my focus and see clearly how we could be effective in a way that benefits everyone,” said Jay Rayford in an article on Detroit Nation.  
Sponsored by the Social Enterprise Program, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center and the Social Enterprise Club at Columbia Business School.

Back to Top