Social Impact Round Up: Week of April 28

Wharton Social Impact Initiative presents a weekly round-up of events and news related to social impact topics. 

As the academic year comes to a close, we’d like to thank all of our supporters throughout this year. WSII looks forward to congratulating this year’s graduating class at Commencement on May 18, and welcoming a new group of students this summer. As our Vice Dean Katherine Klein says, it is an exciting and inspiring time to be involved in social impact at Wharton.



Impact Investing with Professor Chris Geczy

chrisgeczyApril 29, 4.30 p.m. – 6 p.m., JMHH F55: In an evening lecture presented by the Private Equity/Venture Capital Club, Wharton Professor Chris Geczy will discuss the field of impact investing — its origins and promises, industry challenges, and the trends he foresees going forward.

Dr. Geczy has been on the finance faculty since 1997, and has recently taken on the Academic Directorship of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative at Wharton Executive Education. He also serves on the advisory board for Wharton Social Impact Initiative’s impact investing projects.

All students are welcome to attend. Federal Donuts and coffee will be provided. Please RSVP by April 28, and contact for more information.

WSIC presents: Amy Lin (WG’09) on Accelerating Innovation

April 29, Noon-1:30 p.m., JMHH 250: The Wharton Social Impact Club presents an interactive session with Wharton MBA grad Amy Lin, now the Senior Market Access Advisor at USAID‘s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact.

“Despite the existence of hundreds of technologies to improve global health, relatively few are available to save lives in the developing world, where morbidity and mortality burdens are greatest,” Lin says. In its mission to tackle the world’s  most important health challenges, the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact promotes and reinforces innovative, business-minded approaches to address common setbacks to development and scale.

Lin will share insights into USAID’s approach to creating impact, and answer questions from attendees. All students are welcome, and undergraduates are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided. Contact Rita Karnard for more information.

PowerPoint Presentation

Penn Bookstore Discussion: Corporate Diplomacy and Corporate Idealism

May 7, 6-7 p.m., Penn Bookstore, Study and Events Room: How can companies create shareholder value while addressing stakeholders’ needs? How can you create a “business case” for sustainability and ethical practices? And what’s the best way for multinational corporations to interact with their neighbors? Their consumers? Investors?

Explore the answers to these questions in this one-hour panel discussion on corporate diplomacy and idealism, led by Wharton management professor Witold Henisz, and Christine Bader, former BP executive, Columbia University lecturer, and pro bono Advisor to the U.N. Secretary General’s special representative on business and human rights.

Henisz is the author of “Corporate Diplomacy: Building Reputations and Relationships with External Stakeholders,” and Bader, is the author of “The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil.” Both books will be available at the bookstore during this free public event. Contact for more information.

News and Opportunities

Spend your summer doing meaningful work! Conduct vital research on impact investing, help to develop community impact programs in West Philadelphia, or tackle a poverty elimination program in Botswana. Our social impact job board has new summer opportunities and internships posted now, but applications are closing fast.

Knowledge@Wharton explores the topic of sustainability in health care – its recent article explores how many hospitals are starting to considering “going green” in order to benefit its financial health. Read the story here.

How does a non-profit organization provide sustainable and affordable housing services to slum communities? PennSEM’s ThinkTank presents a case study on Gawad Kalinga (GK), a non-profit organization in Philippines that partners with both the public and private sector to build “GK communities” for the poorest of the poor. Read more here.

FastFWD, our partnership with the City of Philadelphia and GoodCompany Group, won a Webby Award this week! The FastFWD website, created by local impact-focused design agency Here’s My Chance, received the “People’s Voice” award in the city and urban innovation category.

Post by Joanne Ho, W’15. Do you have a social impact event or news item you’d like us to share? Email your information to Allie Harcharek at Please send timely information with at least a full week lead time prior to your event.