Net Impact Conference – A Life Changing Experience
Post by Rene See Yat Wong ’18
The Net Impact Conference blew me away. It was one of the most inspiring and life changing conference I’ve ever went to. It motivated me to want to take instant action in social entrepreneurship and be part of the group that helps change the world in a positive way. The conference was separated into keynote speakers and interactive workshops.
The keynote speaker that inspired me the most was Stephen Ritz – the CEO of the Green Bronx Machine. His speech was very energetic and motivating. He talked about what his company was about and had amazing facts and quotes to motivate the audience to think about the current poverty situation that we can help eliminate by simply empowering kids to grow their own food and learn to sell the remaining for monetary value. I’ve laughed, cried, felt angry and disappointed, and felt hopeful throughout the entirety of his speech. He was a very motivational and thought provoking speaker. I was able to talk to him after his speech and he was very excited to hear that Fatoumata Sow ‘18 and I were from Babson College and urged us to invite him back. We learned that Babson has actually invited him three years ago, and from that conversation we thought it would be absolutely inspiring to invite him back to talk to Babson students about how it is possible to create a greener community while eliminating poverty and hunger at the same time.
The other inspirational keynote speaker was Lateefah Simon – the Program Director of the Rosenberg Foundation. Having helprf multiple social focused companies succeed, Lateefah talked a lot about the hardships in her life. Instead of having a fun but thought provoking speech like Stephen, Lateefah had a very profound conversation with the audience. The most inspiring sentence was that “There’s never a right time, if you’re not ready to change the world, then get out of the way”. This sentence was very inspiring. She talked about how people might think social entrepreneurship and social impact is hard to achieve given that the world is so profit focused, but it is important that the way we present this path for others to know that it’s not just about the money. Of course, making money is very important because without a sustainable company, there isn’t much of a value we can create. But what is important is to note that there is a way to earn profit and provide positive social change to the world, we just have to embrace ourselves to this mission and commit to it. As I have always believed, it is hard but not impossible.
Throughout the conference, I also went to a lot of chapter leader workshops to learn from other schools about how to fully carry the potential impact of Net Impact and raise more awareness on campus in terms of this new way of business and using business as a force of good.
Overall, the conference was a very inspirational and motivating event. It gave me more courage to pursue the path of social entrepreneurship and has made me more determined to create social change and urge Babson students to be aware of this idea as well. Thank you Babson and the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund for letting me experience this amazing life changing Net Impact Conference.