Conferences, Conferences, Conferences (updated 3/10)

There is rarely a dull moment at Wesleyan – especially inside the Allbritton Center – and with so much activity happening right here on campus, it’s easy to overlook opportunities to learn outside of the Wes bubble. Throughout the year and around the world, there are countless conferences, institutes, bootcamps, meetups, and startup weekends focused on social entrepreneurship, and if you find one that fits your schedule and budget, it will prove pivotal to your personal and professional experience as a social changemaker.

With that in mind, we’d like to share some of the biggest and most well-known events taking place this year. The price tags must surprise you, but don’t let the sticker shock scare you away: undergrads can always apply for a Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) Enrichment Grant to help defray costs, and there may be other sources of funding out there, such as the WSA’s Student Budget Committee if the event is closely related to your work with a student group. The conferences often overlap with classes, but if you find yourself stranded on campus, you can usually follow along online for free.

We’re eager to hear your thoughts on these events and hear about others you have attended. If you plan to attend any events this fall, we may be able to arrange rideshares. Please add a comment below or contact Makaela Kingsley ’98, Director of the PCSE.


Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) SOCAP14
September 2-5, 2014
San Francisco, CA
$1395 (Read the reports from our two scholarship winners)
“SOCAP14 is the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise. Held in San Francisco, September 2-5, SOCAP14 will unite innovators in business, tech, the sharing economy, health, philanthropy, and more to advance environmental and social causes. This year’s theme, ‘Igniting Vibrant Communities,’ challenges us all to look for vibrant communities when seeking evidence of successful impact.”

Leading Change Summit Leading Change
September 3-6, 2014
San Francisco, CA
“Engage with diverse voices to ignite new ideas. Activate your strategies with expert advice and planning tools. Change the way you create impact… Exclusively for nonprofit leaders, this event offers three tracks to accelerate your career development: Impact Leadership, Digital Strategy, and the Future of Technology.”

Better World by Design Better by Design
September 19-21, 2014
Providence, RI
Students: $25 for one day, $45 for three days
Professionals: $175 for one day, $245 for three days
Free tickets available for volunteers
“Each year, Better World by Design brings a global community of innovators to Providence, Rhode Island to reach across disciplines and unite under a common goal: building a better world. Presenters share engaging stories, workshops teach creative skills, and discussions reframe perspectives. Better World is an immersive experience that deepens our understanding of the power of design, technology, and enterprise to engage our communities and sustain our environment.”

Social Good Summit Social Good Summit
September 21-22, 2014
New York, NY
$70 per day
“The Social Good Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Held during UN Week from September 21-22, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time.”
President Roth presented on the “Future of Education.”

Social Enterprise World Forum SEWF
October 14-16, 2014
Seoul, Korea
“The forum will look at how we can address social change specifically through examples of Social Innovation, Social Inclusion and Social Investment from some of the industry’s global leaders. This event will showcase innovative concepts for sustainable development and growth of social enterprise. It will also establish a strategy for social integration, the key driver for social value creation through social innovation and social enterprise.”

Kairos Global Summit Kairos
October 17-19 2014
Laguna Niguel, CA
“Young entrepreneurs and influential leaders gather to ask, ‘if you could focus the next generation of entrepreneurs on solving one problem, what would it be?'”
More information on registration coming soon.

PopTech PopTech
October 23-24, 2014
Camden, ME
“600 thought leaders in business, industry, science, technology, design, social and ecological innovation, the arts and humanities, philanthropy and other fields will convene to share ‘breakthrough ideas at the edge of change.’ The conference is designed to foster relationships and collaborations.”

Social Enterprise Conference by the Columbia Business School Columbia
October 31, 2014
New York, NY
“Help spark the conversation on driving sustainable change beyond the new millennium: How are companies successfully ingraining sustainability into the development of their corporate strategy and business practices? What are the challenges to harnessing the power of capital markets to create sustainable impact for the global community and environment? How can design thinking, new behavioral models, and socially-conscious marketing create the right incentives for lasting structural and systems-wide changes?”

Net Impact Conference net-impact-logo-1
November 6-8, 2014
Minneapolis, MN
Students: $429
“Engage with 350+ inspiring speakers from across sectors who are breaking new ground in social and environmental change. Learn from 100 sessions across 10 tracks – from Sustainable Food to International Development – designed to take your inspiration, innovation, and impact to the next level. Connect with 2,700 like-minded student and professional peers and thought leaders from our global Net Impact community.”

b5a59d_6618564bb25cdf8542b0a76c22b92380.png_srz_360_189_85_22_0.50_1.20_0Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship
November 8, 2014
Harvard University
“The Igniting Innovation Summit unites students, academics, and leaders in the field who are passionate about developing innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems. Over the past four years, the Summit has grown from a small-scale initiative of Harvard students to a nationally recognized forum for social change.”

cta_logo_used_in_letterheadFinger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute
November 7-9, 2014
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
$200 (Scholarships available)
“Building on the success of the last two years, this Institute will feature tools that are essential to the success of a social venture, a keynote talk, plenary presentations with inspiring and innovative social entrepreneurs, a pitch session, a workshop on compassionate communication, and field trips that showcase transformative local efforts that are helping to create an ecological sound and socially just community that works for everyone.”

Student Community Engagement & Leadership Conferenceselfie.jpg2_-300x76
November 14, 2014
University of Connecticut – Storrs
“Connecticut Campus Compact (CTCC), in collaboration with its member campuses and strategic community partners including will hold its first annual student leadership one-day conference to create a dedicated space and platform for students who are committed to civic engagement, social justice, and social change. The 2014 theme of Beyond the Selfie: Linking Identity, Community, and Social Change is designed to provide a framework where students examine their motivations for service, enhance their understanding of social issues, and increase their capacity and skills to positively impact their campus and community.”

Lend for American Summit LFA
November 15-16, 2014
University of California, Berkeley
“The LFA Summit connects student leaders from across the country with national experts for a weekend of intensive training and peer learning. Through hands-on sessions that use real-life examples led by both students and professionals, attendees walk away with clear and ambitious plans for their Campus MFIs.”
LFA will also accept session proposals until September 21.

Social Entrepreneurship Institute
December 5, 2014
New Haven, CT
Students: $70
Non-Students: $90
Apply to present!
“The Social Entrepreneurship Institute will draw public health, social entrepreneurship, and education professionals and students for a focused, highly interactive and collaborative institute on quality, effective involvement in global health, social entrepreneurship, and international development. The expert speakers will offer key lessons, mentoring, and guidance about strategies that participants can apply to their work in global health, social entrepreneurship, international development, and education.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 7.31.13 AMKinetic Action Conference
January 16-18, 2015
Williams College, Williamstown, MA
Students: $40
“Often on college campuses, students develop passions for social issues and changemaking but lack a centralized means to turn the potential idea into an actionable project that makes a difference. The Kinetic Action Conference will provide a space for aspiring social innovators to leverage design thinking, in-depth research, and collaborative problem-solving to actively engage in issues that matter to them!”

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.47.48 PMSocial Entrepreneurship and the Future of Global Health
January 22-24, 2015
Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
Hosted by the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “The CSE Annual January Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship brings together members of the College community, interested area residents, and leaders from around the world in social entrepreneurship. The symposium puts together a range of dynamic and insightful events including keynote addresses by our Vision Award recipients, participatory workshops with leading social entrepreneurs, Google + Hangout sessions, and Hackathon.”

Ashoka U Exchange AshokaU
February 26-28, 2015
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Applications open now
Students: $475 (early bird rate)
Non-students: $650
“The Ashoka U Exchange is the world’s largest convening for social entrepreneurship in higher education. The Exchange brings together 650 university faculty, staff, and administrators representing 150 institutions to share new ways of teaching and learning that will shape the way educational institutions influence the world.”

logoAlleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship (APTE) Summit
February 28, 2015
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
“The Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship (APTE) Summit is an annual, student-organized event held at The Ohio State University that gathers social entrepreneurs from around the globe, students, and community members to explore sustainable solutions to poverty.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 7.25.47 AMDiscovering Social Innovation through Engaged Scholarship
March 19-20, 2015
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Application due February 7, 2015.
“Through this symposium we aim to network across disciplines, enhance skills, and shape the priorities in the field. Our aim is to discover the field of social innovation: novel solutions to social problems that are “more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.” This year’s symposium seeks out grounded, collaborative, place-based, and action research that tackles the many complex problems facing 21st century global communities like New Orleans.”

Open conference (by VentureWell)
March 20-21, 2015
Washington, D.C.
Early-bird rate (ends 2/4): $1,399
VentureWell is dedicated to fostering an emerging generation of young inventors and entrepreneurs driven to improve life for people and the planet. Our Open conferences gather together engaged faculty and university students from across multiple disciplines to share stories, start new collaborations and learn best practices in technology entrepreneurship education.

Global Health and Innovation Conferenceglobal-health-innovation-conference-ghic-2012_500x286
March 28-29, 2015
New Haven, CT
Students: $130
Non-students: $185
Apply to present!
“The Global Health & Innovation Conference (#GHIC) is the world’s leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.” We have blogged about this here.

Global Engagement Summitglobal-engagement-summit
April 15-19, 2015
Evanston, IL
The Global Engagement Summit (GES) builds the capacity of the next generation of change-makers. By identifying young, talented, and driven individuals, providing them with skills training as well as connections to innovative thought leaders, GES empowers these individuals to produce responsible and sustainable solutions to shared global problems. In addition to tangible outcomes, resources, and opportunities, GES also strives to provide a forum for discussing critical issues and evaluating why we want to ‘do good well.'”

Register-for-SEEED-150x200SEEED Summit
April 24-25, 2015
Brown University
“SEEED is a two-day national gathering focused on building effective social enterprise ecosystems that drive economic development. Convening social impact trailblazers to share best practice and create new collaborations, the conference is itself a partnership between Social Enterprise Greenhouse, the Social Innovation Initiativeat Brown University, Worldways Social Marketing, and the SEEED at Brown student group. Over 750 social entrepreneurs, practitioners, business leaders, academics, impact investors, students, and policymakers are expected to attend in 2015.

imgres-1Social Enterprise Summit
September 16-18, 2015
Denver, CO
Early-bird pricing starts at $750
“For the last dozen years, this three-day national event has been the gathering of social enterprise, with a typical attendance of 500 to 700 participants and dozens of expert speakers.”