Last month, Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship announced that it would award two tickets to the Social Capital Markets conference (SOCAP) to two alumni with an interest in how money can be leveraged to create social change. It was no surprise that those who applied were talented, motivated social changemakers working in a variety of impact fields and geographic regions. We are pleased to introduce you to our winners, Hannah Doress ’88 and Mark Mullen ’89.
Hannah Doress has launched and managed community serving events and programs since 1996. She is an email newsletter and online promotion pioneer. In the 90’s her company Hanarchy Now Productions launched Boston’s LBT community into a more vibrant and inclusive era and her archives from that business are held by the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe/Harvard University. In the San Francisco Bay Area Hannah Doress Events is known for diversity, health and sustainability promoting events and programs. She developed a community-building arts & events program as Events Programmer for San Geronimo Valley Community Center (SGVCC) with an emphasis on high quality multicultural festivals as engaging to adults as to children. She cofounded the bilingual arts and social equity program Revivir la Cultura promoting greater integration and appreciation of Latino immigrants at SGVCC. In 2010 she entreprenuerially founded Earth Day Marin, developing a four robust festivals serving between 2,500 and 3,500 attendees. In 2010 she developed the Climate Change Solutions Day of Action framework to align cross sector exhibitors and attendees to generate over 1,000 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly, to advocate for related policies, and to otherwise take action on the drought and other sustainability issues. In 2013 Hannah founded Shore Up Marin, a multiracial coalition promoting community-based emergency preparedness and equitable sea level rise and flooding adaptation.
Hannah wrote “Social capital has demonstrated the capacity to rapidly advance climate change solutions such as clean tech and renewables. As the climate crisis worsens I am interested in the potential of social capital to profitably and effectively address the urgent needs for sea level rise adaptation and greenhouse gas sequestration/elimination, especially methane. My hope is to meet others with these interests at SOCAP to explore possibilities of advancing these two critical areas through social enterprise.”
Mark Mullen is the current chair of Orbeliani based in Tbilisi, Georgia. After graduating from Wesleyan in 1989 with a degree in Intellectual History, this Dallas, Texas native moved across the globe. After living in Tokyo, he moved to Malawi where he worked in drought relief and voter education between 1992 and 1993. That work led to Palestine where he set up a civic education program, before moving to Albania and, finally, Tbilisi in 1997. After the “Rose Revolution” he started the chapter of Transparency International in Georgia which he chaired until one year ago when he was elected to its international board. He was a Sloan fellow at London Business School in 2006 to 2007 and is president of GeoCapital, a microfinance organization in Georgia.
In his SOCAP application, Mark wrote about his experience in the the international non-profit and contracting sectors, and his understanding of the complexities of their operations. He is currently building a platform for donors – primarily governmental donors, but also individual philanthropists – that is funded by the government of Sweden. “It is a new tool for those who want to promote social change more directly, both volunteers and donors. But it is a very conservative sector, particularly the governmental and multi-lateral donors. I am hoping those that focus on innovation can lead the way.”
A long time resident of Mtatsminda in the center of Tbilisi, he recently moved to San Francisco. He has a life long interest in new ideas and how they can be communicated and explored across society.