Press Releases

Mills College Conference Assembles Diverse Experts to Explore Growth in Social Enterprise

Oakland, CA–March 4, 2014 On Friday, March 14, 2014, Mills College will present the Sixth Annual Spring Conference on Social Enterprise: “Achieving Social Impact: To Scale or Not to Scale?”

The daylong event will explore the dilemma of whether to scale or not to scale, which will eventually confront every organization seeking social impact in the for-profit, hybrid, nonprofit, or public sectors. Bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences, the annual conference will explore strategies for maximizing impact while considering questions of breadth, depth, reach, and size of organizations and their offerings.

Hosted by the Center for Socially Responsible Business (CSRB) at Mills College and the Net Impact Chapter at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, students and promising social entrepreneurs alike will have the opportunity to engage with some of the country’s top business, nonprofit, civic, and social enterprise leaders to learn how leading organizations are managing growth, as well as to get to know others who are actively working for change.

Nikki Silvestri, executive director of Oakland-based Green for All, will deliver the keynote address. Ms. Silvestri has spent the last decade advocating for environmental and social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, and economic development.

Green for All is a national organization whose mission is to build an inclusive, green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. The organization collaborates with the business, government, labor, and grassroots communities to increase quality jobs and opportunities in the green industry—all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of its agenda. Prior to joining Green for All, Ms. Silvestri served as executive director at People’s Grocery as Nikki Henderson.

At this year’s CSRB conference, a diverse mix of corporate, nonprofit, civic, and social enterprise experts—ranging from Cisco, Symantec, One Pacific Coast Bank, to Title Nine, the Oakland Unified School District, and HIP Investor, among others—will provide insight on navigating the growth dilemma. Sessions will explore scaling strategies and decision making, shared economy organizational forms, public policy implications for growth, supply chain scaling, designing products and services that scale, and building and sustaining culture while scaling.

One session, “Scale for Your Stage,” will explore the challenges in setting up systems, clarifying a value proposition, and delivering on the potential of an organization based on organization size.

“This unique conference exemplifies why the Center for Socially Responsible Business is so central to the mission of the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College,” said Deborah Merrill-Sands, dean of the Lokey Graduate School of Business. “We prepare organizational leaders who have the knowledge and courage to lead and hold themselves accountable for ensuring that their organizations make a positive impact on society today, tomorrow, and over the long term.”

Sessions and Presentations:
To Scale or Not to Scale: Moderated by Cecily Joseph, vice president, corporate responsibility, Symantec Corporation

Scaling Strategies: Replication, Expansion, Collaboration, and More: Moderated by Steve Wright, vice president, poverty tools and insights, Grameen Foundation

Leveraging Policy and Community Development in Scaling Private Enterprises: Moderated by Sharyl Rabinovici, visiting assistant professor, Public Policy Program, Mills College

Scaling the Responsible Supply Chain: Moderated by Carol Theokary, assistant professor of business, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College

If Not Scale, Then What? Comparing Approaches to Reform in Public Education: Moderated by Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, visiting associate professor and director, Center for Urban Schools and Partnerships, Mills College School of Education

What Is the Net Social Impact of New Organizational Forms? The Case of Shared Economies: Moderated by Sharon Cornu, founder and chief strategy officer, Opportunity Partners (former deputy mayor of Oakland and former executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council)

Designing Social Benefit Products and Services that Scale: Moderated by John Won, senior designer, IDEO.org

Building and Sustaining Culture While Scaling: Moderated by Judy Weisinger, associate professor of business, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College

Scale for Your Stage: Moderated by Jose Corona, CEO, Inner City Advisors

Keynote Speaker: Nikki Silvestri, executive director, Green for All

2014 Conference:
“Achieving Social Impact: To Scale or Not to Scale”
Friday, March 14, 2014
8:00 am–5:00 pm
Mills College, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, first floor
Register online at: http://bit.ly/1gaZffT
Conference website: http://csrbmills.org/conference/

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 1,000 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 378 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit www.mills.edu.

 

Last Updated: 3/4/14