Social Impact Round Up: Week of Nov 1

Wharton Social Impact Initiative presents a weekly round-up of events and news related to social impact topics. These lectures, conferences, speaker series and meetings represent the broad range of social impact opportunities at Wharton and Penn. 

Upcoming Events

connie duckworth

Speaker Series: Connie Duckworth

Thursday, Nov. 7, 5-6 p.m., JMHH F50: Nonprofit leader Connie Duckworth visits Penn for the Joel and Lois Social Impact Lecture Series presented by PennSEM and the Wharton Ethics Program. Duckworth, founder of Arzu, Inc., will be speaking about her experience as a social entrepreneur, as well as her transition from traditional private-sector jobs to a socially-oriented one. For more information or to RSVP, visit the Facebook event page.

Student-Run Social Impact Conference

Friday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. JMHH: The Wharton Social Impact Club invites you to attend the 2013 Wharton Social Impact Conference, an annual student-run event.

The theme of the 2013 Wharton Social Impact Conference is Social Innovation, focusing on how alternate business models, technologies, and financing strategies drive social impact. This year’s keynote speaker is the Acumen Fund’s Chief Innovation Officer, Sasha Dichter, a noted speaker and blogger on generosity, philanthropy and social change. Panels discussions will include topics such as MOOCs and education technology, collaborative consumption, financial inclusion, and impact investing. A full agenda is available online.

Social Impact Through Crowd Sourcing and Big Data: A Workshop

Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Wharton | San Francisco: Social entrepreneurs are harnessing innovations in technology to bring about social change – faster and with fewer resources. Come hear from the experts on how crowdsourcing and big data are being applied in this manner. In this full and interactive workshop, three distinct sections will cover crowdsourcing, big data and expert case studies. Register online.

Penn International Development Conference

Friday November 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., JMHH: The Penn International Development Conference (Penn IDC) is an annual conference hosting leading experts, policymakers, and scholars from the development field. Open to undergraduates, grad students, alumni and professionals from a variety of schools and fields, the conference will discuss current trends in international development — specifically how innovations in technology and the changing role of the private sector are disrupting traditional notions of development. For more information and to register online, visit


Honest Tea illustration in Knowledge@Wharton
Honest Tea illustration in Knowledge@Wharton

Social Impact News

The FastFWD partnership launch generated considerable interest in the media. Wharton/HKS dual-degree candidate Jay Lundy discussed his involvement on our blog prior to the launch event.

  • Knowledge@Wharton interviewed Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, co-founders of Honest Tea. These entrepreneurs set out to make a line of high-quality, low-sugar teas, as well as a brand that was socially responsible and environmentally friendly.
  • On WHYY’s “Radio Times” this week, Wharton’s Olivia Mitchell, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, discusses money management education as a means of improving financial literacy.
  • Spark announced the appointment of a new CEO this week, welcoming Jason Cascarino, a seasoned education and nonprofit  leader. Current CEO and founder Chris Balme, a Wharton graduate, will continue to lead Spark through December and will then transition to become a National Board Member.
  • Business Recorder published a Q&A with Roshaneh Zafar, WG’89. Zafar is considered a “tour de force in the micro finance industry” having  laid the foundations of the first microfinance program in the country to specifically target women.


Do you have a social impact event you’d like us to share? Email your information to Allie Harcharek at