A Look Ahead: Spring Semester Guests & Speakers

spring speakers

At Wharton Social Impact Initiative we are busier than ever.

In addition to our other programming for students and alumni, this semester’s Social Impact Speaker Series promises a surplus of fascinating speakers and visitors.

We’ve invited these experts to campus to enrich and inspire social impact discussion among students, faculty, and alumni; look forward to small group lunches, one-on-one meetings, and moderated “fireside chats” all semester long.

Here’s a look ahead at the next few months. Mark your calenders for the WSII Social Impact Speaker Series…


Various days through May: Visiting social impact practitioner Bill Clark, W’74, former executive director of Philabundance, is making WSII his home base for another semester. Clark will share his experience in social enterprise and nonprofit leadership with students and impact-focused organizations, through one-on-one sessions and group meetings by appointment.

Senior Fellow Jonathan Greenblatt, considered one of the leading experts in the country on social innovation and shared value, will also be on campus several days a month through the end of the semester.

Feb. 23, Noon-1:30 p.m.: Our spring semester speaker series kicks off with a “fireside chat” style lunch presentation with MTV CEO Stephen Friedman, moderated by Vice Dean Katherine Klein. Lunch will be provided.  All students at Penn are welcome to apply and selected students will be notified by Feb. 16.

Feb 24, Noon-1:30 p.m.: You may recognize the name Christine Bader as a previous guest on our SiriusXM show, “Dollars and Change.” Bader is a former BP executive turned human rights advisor, and author of “The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil.” She frequently speaks about corporate social responsibility and how companies can and should work to solve the world’s great challenges. Bader will give a lunch presentation  on corporate social responsibility and her time at BP.

Feb 24: Two impact investing experts, one day.

Joy Anderson, president and founder of Criterion Institute, is a national leader on gender lens investing. A serial entrepreneur and consummate networker, Joy’s leadership and expertise have been at the forefront of the development of the social capital markets over the last 10 years. Suzanne Biegel, former CEO of Investors’ Circle and a Wharton and Penn alumna, is a Senior Advisor to ClearlySo in the United Kingdom. She leads efforts to amplify the role of women in impact investing and investing with a gender lens.


March 5: Wharton MBA Surya Kolluri, a managing director for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will lead a talk about impact investing. In December, he presented a survey that shows “about half of investors want their personal values to be reflected in their investment decisions.”

March 19: Grant Son, C’85, is CEO of Greater Good Ventures. He brings more than thirty years of business experience, including 20 years in digital media, as well as senior roles with iconic brands such as CBS, the NFL, and Sports Illustrated. He was previously a Wharton Entrepreneur in Residence. Students can sign up for a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with Grant; time slots are first-come first serve.

March 19: How can a fashion brand shape the lives of women in Rwanda? Perhaps in more ways than you think. In this speaker series event by Wharton Women in Business and WSII, learn how Kate Spade & Company’s new on purpose collection trains Rwandan women to become valued suppliers in the global marketplace. Hear from Sydney Price, senior vice president for corporate social responsibility, and her team about how they are proving that doing business for good is good for business. An RSVP is required by Tuesday, March 17.

March 23-26: For the third year in a row, we’ll welcome visiting entrepreneur Joey Hundert, founder of the world’s first “sustainable carnival” and an advocate for clean energy technology. Back by popular demand, Joey will host office hours all week, and will meet with students in small group sessions.

Click to sign up for 30 minute one-on-one meetings or small group lunches or dinners with Joey. Space is limited!


April 14: Join the Wharton Social Impact Initiative for an evening “fireside chat” with Wharton alumnus Bobby Turner, W’84, and Professor Katherine Klein, Vice Dean for Social Impact. This enthusiastic alumnus is passionate about helping students understand social impact and incorporate it into their lives and work, and the Q&A session is an opportunity for students to ask one-on-one questions about connecting profits and purpose. All students are invited, but an RSVP is requested.

April 20, 4:30-6 p.m., JMHH 8th Floor: In an event co-sponsored by Wharton Social Impact Initiative and Wharton Women in Business, in collaboration with Wharton professor Adam Grant, entrepreneur and investor Jessica Jackley will discuss social impact and investing. Well known as the  cofounder of microlending site Kiva, Jackley currently serves as an investor and advisor with the Collaborative Fund, investing in entrepreneurs who champion the sharing economy. A reception will follow the talk.

These are just a few opportunities for the semester ahead, and details are subject to change. Please stay tuned to our blog, social media pages, and monthly newsletter for more information on upcoming events. Reach out to Tyler Hoffman at hoffs@wharton.upenn.edu with any questions.