The 7th Annual Social Enterprise Symposium

Friday, February 27th, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland


9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Registration Open
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Morning Keynote
11:05 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. Breakout Session 1
12:10 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Break / Networking Lunch
1:20 p.m. - 2:35 p.m. Breakout Session 2
2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Do Good Showcase
3:20 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Afternoon Buzz
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Networking Reception


Join Shira Shafir, Director of Social Innovation and Impact at TOMS and hear first-hand how this social enterprise is creating a positive social and environmental impact around the world. TOMs was established in 2006 and has grown to be a household brand and recognized industry leader - with a track record of giving 35 million pairs of shoes in over 60 countries to children in need, creating local jobs by producing shoes in countries where they give, and having restored the sight of over 250,000 individuals since 2011 with the launch of TOMs Eyewear. Dr.Shafir will share her experience of being a ‘changemaker’ within a successful for-profit business, and specific insights as to her role at TOM’s, which is focused on innovation and external, cross-functional partnerships.

BREAKOUT SESSION 1: PANEL DISCUSSIONS (11:05 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.) 

“Investing in Women: Fostering Female Social Entrepreneurs” 

Today, more than 200 million women are entrepreneurs worldwide. Women-owned enterprises are steadily growing, strengthening household incomes and growing national economies. However, female entrepreneurs are still a minority and they continue to face social constraints and barriers that limit contributions. This session will explore women as leaders and social entrepreneurs, and discuss the potential to drive growth and innovation by investing in female industrialists. Attendees will come away from this session with a comprehension of how we can inspire, incubate, and scale more female social entrepreneurs, empowering attendees to begin their path in higher education and move toward their goals beyond graduation.

“Science for Social Impact: A UMD Showcase” 

From Entomology to Engineering, the sciences at UMD help drive innovation, sustainability, and social impact - on campus and beyond. Join us for this engaging session showcasing University of Maryland research that’s changing the world and driving economic and environmental sustainability. Gain first-hand insights and hear lessons learned from our very own Terps helping to build a better world.

Speakers include: 

  • Stephanie Lansing, Bio-digesters
  • Ryan Fisher &  Taylor Myers, Mulciber stove 
  • Dennis, Pollinators & the Sentinel Hive Program

“Tackling Hard Problems: Social Entrepreneurs & International Development” 

Social entrepreneurship and innovation have emerged in the last 20 years as means of addressing societies faced with serious issues of poverty, discrimination, repression, and violence. People in these conditions are desperate for assistance, but help is often inhibited by corruption, lack of will, failing governments, and infrastructure and resource deficiencies.  Social entrepreneurs and innovators can be adept in navigating such hurdles, help fill the gaps where needed, and offer responsive, adaptive solutions. Yet such activities amid volatile environments are risky, and can be undertaken in naive, imperious, and inappropriate ways. Against this backdrop, this session has two primary aims: first, to foster awareness of what is entailed in implementing viable initiatives in settings with major development and security challenges and second, to provide tangible guidance for aspiring social entrepreneurs who aim to pursue their own ideas in the international development realm.

BREAK / NETWORKING LUNCHEON (12:10 – 1:15p.m.) 

Stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat in the food court – or visit the Green Tidings Food truck parked just outside of Stamp! The Food Truck features delicious local and sustainable products and a menu that changes biweekly.  Professional guests, speakers, VIPs, AshokaU attendees, and other and paid guests are invited to mix and mingle at the Networking Luncheon in the Colony Ballroom.

BREAKOUT SESSION 2: MINI WORKSHOPS (1:20 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.) 

“Artist & Innovator: Harnessing the Arts & Humanities for Social Change”

Using the College of Arts and Humanities signature programs, Social Innovation Scholars and Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative, this session will demonstrate how the humanities can be used to identify and employ strategies to foster effective change, and how art can be used to strategize creatively.  The session will also highlight University of Maryland students who are using the arts and humanities to foster change, and will be followed by a physically active exercise to channel the creative process design by movement.

“Strategic Giving vs. Conscious Capitalism – Which Creates Greater Impact?” 

This session will feature a lively debate with two industry professionals facing off over one big question – strategic giving or conscious capitalism? Which makes the greater impact? Speakers will discuss the financial scale of corporate philanthropy, the future of strategic giving, and explore whether profit-centered companies employing conscious capitalism are best suited to realize financial success and transformational impact. Session participants will break into groups and engage in guided mini-debates/discussions about the pros and cons of each approach. 

“Unleashing Your Inner Innovator – Using Design Thinking to Solve Social Problems” 

Everyone has an ‘inner innovator.’  This session will help attendees get in tune with theirs, and get acquainted with Design Thinking as a tool that can help drive innovative solutions to social and environmental problems.  Participants will be guided step-by-step through a design challenge, making their way through all steps of the design process including:  interviewing, brainstorming, prototyping and testing ideas.  The session will conclude with a debrief that draws out key takeaways as well as showcases some of the designs.  

DO GOOD SHOWCASE (2:30 – 3:15 p.m.)

Students competing in the Do Good Challenge Ventures Track will showcase their ideas at the 2015 Social Enterprise Symposium. Stop by, wander around, and check out what these aspiring social entrepreneurs have to offer! Listen to a pitch, challenge them, ask questions, and when you're ready, use your "Do Good Dollars" (distributed via program booklets) to "invest" in the Venture you find most promising. Each "Do Good Dollar" is matched 1-for-1 with real dollars, sponsored by the Do Good Challenge.

MAINSTAGE: AFTERNOON “BUZZ” (3:20 – 4:30 p.m.)

The Afternoon “Buzz” is a series of exciting, back-to-back solo presentations by thought leaders on our main stage.  Speakers will cover topics ranging from choosing a career path that’s about more than money to advancing corporate sustainability. There will even be a spoken word performance! At the close of this session we’ll announce the winners of the Do Good Showcase, who will automatically advance to the Do Good Challenge Semifinals. Confirmed speakers of the Afternoon Buzz include: 

  • Mrim Boutla, Co-Founder, More than Money Careers
  • Albe Zakes, Global Vice President - Communications, Terra Cycle
  • Tony Keith, Spoken Word Poet


Join us for our closing dessert reception with facilitated (and fun!) networking where you can mix and mingle with impact-oriented students and professionals from across UMD and beyond.