2nd Annual Turner Family Center for Social Ventures Summit | April 1, 2017 | The Wond’ry @ Vanderbilt University
On the first Saturday of April, students from across the Vanderbilt graduate schools, gathered at The Wond’ry to hear speakers from diverse backgrounds discuss how their work informs their social impact, or inversely, how social impact informs their work.
Our keynote speaker, Pam Dorr, put her heart to work alongside her design trained mind to transform the town of Greensboro, Alabama. Josh McManus embeds his desire to create inclusive work environments in the Rock Ventures family of companies, expanding employment opportunities to hundreds of individuals in a variety of careers. Jessica Lawson traveled to the Dominican Republic in the wake of the economic turmoil of 2007-08. She was dissatisfied with the practices that she saw and co-founded The Mariposa DR Foundation, which we partner with today.
Students also learned about new ways to attack large scale problems from Ryan Derfler and Sean McNamara. Ryan represented Geneva Global and discussed the importance of “Systems Entrepreneurs” and how large problems require close collaboration between multiple entities to succeed. Sean represented Enso.co and explained its vision to create impact at scale by helping build mission- driven brands as well as foster collaboration around shared missions.
Local entrepreneurs, Barrett Ward of Fashionable and Will Anderson of Salemtown Boards, discussed the Nashville social impact environment and the importance of transparency in operations, as well as how their personal experiences motivated them to leverage business as a way to drive change.
Vanderbilt alumni Greer Tidwell, Jeff Gowdy, and Rachel Taplinger also joined the list of speakers. Greer used his love of the outdoors to drive cultural buy-in at Bridgestone Americas, leading to the development of an extremely successful Environmental Sustainability department. Jeff discussed his path to sustainability consulting and the positive changes that graduating students can drive at their future companies. Finally, Rachel discussed her experiences in Corporate Social Responsibility and the importance of catalyzing systemic change in the supply chain.
With students from all eight Vanderbilt University Graduate Schools, community partners, and neighboring universities in attendance, the 2nd Annual TFC Social Ventures Summit was able to embody our center’s values of global thinking and local action. The lessons learned during our 2nd Annual Summit will certainly scale far beyond the borders of our campus and home here in Nashville. Opportunities for continued partnership have already been discussed, and we are excited to see how we can leverage our existing programming, such as our Project Pyramid and consulting courses, to further the work of some of the amazing organizations represented at The Summit.
Thank you to all that were able to attend. If you were particularly inspired by a speaker or would like assistance in connecting with a speaker or their company, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have comments or suggestions for next year, please complete our survey here.
Abigale Jasinsky & Paul Finelli
TFCSV Summit Student Coordinators