Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Babson Social Innovation Summit

The following post is from Marvin Tarawally ’17.

The second annual Babson Social Innovation Summit took place on April 7th and 8th, and successfully convened thought leaders from academia, intergovernmental organizations, non-profits, established companies, and startups. The Babson Social Innovation Summit was organized to stimulate Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Adopted in 2015, the seventeen SDGs are designed to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. Babson College’s mission is to educate entrepreneurial leaders who create social and economic value –everywhere. Achieving the SDGs requires a massive cooperate effort between all sectors, and this year’s Babson Social Innovation Summit demonstrated how each goal provides a unique, actionable opportunity for entrepreneurs and business people everywhere to make a difference.

On Friday April 7th, the Babson Social Innovation Summit kicked-off with a panel discussion about impact investing hosted by the Conscious Capitalism Boston Chapter. Eight industry experts shared their insights with the Babson College community. We explored some of the current trends, opportunities and challenges in the impact investing world and how they affect global problems. Next, several young entrepreneurs presented their start-ups in the Social Venture Marketplace, which ultimately culminated in the Social Venture Challenge. We welcome three of those startups into the inaugural Babson Social Venture Fellowship.  These are our winning ventures: Corage Dolls ($5,000.00), Inala Organic Farms ($3,000.00), and SeedKit ($2,000.00). The organizing team behind the Babson Social Innovation Summit would like to thank the students that offered overnight accommodation to event participants visiting from other universities.

On Saturday April 8th, Babson College President Dr. Kerry Healey welcomed an engaged and diverse audience, and emphasized Babson College’s commitment to educating Entrepreneurs of All Kinds®. Cheryl Kiser, Executive Director of The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation and The Babson Social Innovation Lab, offered additional opening remarks about social innovation and the SDGs. Following these introductions, Mike Brady, CEO of Greyston Bakery, presented his keynote on how to mobilize social innovation.  This keynote presentation was followed by a panel featuring:

  • Jacob Donnelly, Senior Vice President at Bain Capital
  • Richelieu Dennis, Founder and CEO of Sundial Brands
  • Jonas Haertle, Head of UN PRME
  • Emily Levy, CEO and Co-Founder of Mighty Well
  • Ian Lapp, Babson College Undergraduate Dean (Panel Moderator)

In the afternoon, the Babson Social Innovation Summit first offered a range of workshops, and then launched into a collaborative team case challenge. We would like to thank Emily Levy, Daquan Oliver, Darby Hobbs, Claire Sommer, Cheryl Heller, and Savitha Sridharan for designing and teaching their workshops:

  • Pitching to Get to “Yes”
  • Entrepreneuring in College: Methods to Start and Scale Your Organization in College and Beyond
  • Understanding What You Value and How That Aligns with Impact Investing
  • Accelerating SDGs Action
  • Personal Power, Language, Communication Design, and Social Impact
  • Creativity, Innovation, and the Eradication of Energy Poverty

We also greatly appreciate Sundial Brands, Verizon, SQUAD, Watson U, and TimeBanks USA for participating in the Babson Social Innovation Summit. Both Sundial Brands and SQUAD asked students to help them figure out how to scale their impact, while Verizon focused on how to better communicate its efforts. TimeBanks USA also had a marketing-related challenge – how to launch a new product with a very limited budget. Watson U asked its team of students to come up with new ideas about financial sustainability. The workshops gave students an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, and the team case challenge allowed them to apply those learnings through human-centered design and rapid prototyping exercises. Indeed, the philosophy of the Babson Social Innovation Summit is to showcase the wealth of information and expertise that exists on the subject of social innovation, while also highlighting how it can be applied to solve even more problems.

150 people attended this year’s Babson Social Innovation Summit, and the event is expected to become a mainstay of the Babson College experience. We would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the Babson Social Innovation Summit, including our sponsors:

  • The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation
  • Babson College Student Government Association
  • The Glavin Office of Multicultural and International Education
  • Student Leadership and Activities
  • The President’s Office
  • The Undergraduate Dean’s Office
  • The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
  • The Millennium Campus Network
  • Babson College Alumni and Friends
  • Conscious Capitalism Boston Chapter.