Social Impact Round Up: Week of February 10

Social Impact Round Up redEach month, Wharton Social Impact Initiative brings you an update on student activities, events and opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania. These lectures, info sessions, and conferences are just a sampling of the broad range of social impact opportunities available as part of the student experience. View previous roundups in our archives.


Impactful Thursday Presents Tom Tierney, Co-Founder of Bridgespan

Thursday, Feb. 12, Noon-1:30 p.m., JMHH 340: Hear from Tom Tierney, Co-Founder of The Bridgespan Group as he joins Wharton Social Impact Club’s Impactful Thursday to share his perspectives on “Social Intrapreneurship” and more. Lunch will be provided, but an RSVP is requested.

The Bridgespan Group is a nonprofit advisor to mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. Tom Tierney is also of the six exemplar profiles in Prof. Stew Friedman’s newest book.

NAACAP Speaker: Benjamin Todd Jealous

Friday, Feb. 13, 4:30 p.m., Arch Auditorium: Penn’s chapter of NAACP will host former National NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous for a public lecture open to all of Penn. Jealous is a Rhodes Scholar graduate of Columbia and Oxford universities, and after serving as the youngest leader of the NAACP in the organization’s history, he became a partner at Kapor Capital, the venture capital investment arm of the Kapor Center for Social Impact.

Impact Investing Lunch with Tom Balderston of Sustain VC

Tuesday, Feb 17, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Vance 105: The PEVC Club will host a discussion with Tom Balderston, a managing principal of Sustain VC, an impact investing firm based in Concord, MA and Radnor, PA. Tom has a rich background in both Private Equity and Venture Capital, having served as the President of SGI Capital and having founded his own VC firm, Balderston Capital, in 2001. Light snacks will be served

Impactful Thursday with Ohneka Farms & Gurus

Thursday, Feb. 19, Noon-1:30 p.m.: Join the Wharton Social Impact Club for a Q&A session with Wharton and Penn social enterprise start-up leaders. Lunch will be provided but an RSVP is requested.

Wharton student Joe Choorapuzha launched Gurus last year; the company presents a stylish interpretation of an ancient Indian style using sustainably sourced rubber. Penn Integrated Product Design MSE alums Eric De Feo and Brielle Pettinelli also launched Ohneka Farms last year, with the aim of enabling farming in urban spaces.

Lunch and Learn: Matthew Wilkins

Friday, Feb. 20, | 12-1:30 p.m., JMHH 641: Pedal Forward creates sustainable solutions to poverty, environmental, and transportation issues using bamboo bicycles. They provide jobs for the underemployed and use domestic sales to help fund the distribution of bamboo bicycles in Tanzania. In a lunch-and-learn event hosted by PennSEM, Matthew Wilkins, the CEO, President, and Co-Founder of Pedal Forward will speaks about his experiences in launching and running a social enterprise. Space is limited, so please RSVP here by 2/17. This event is ideal for Wharton and Penn undergrads.



Wharton Social Innovators Conference

Saturday, Feb. 21, JMHH: The Wharton Social Innovators Conference, a student-led initiative, brings together students, professionals and thought leaders across the private, non-profit and academic sectors to explore models for driving large scale social change. This year’s theme, “From Entrepreneurship to Intrapreneurship: Evolving models of Social Impact”, focuses on channeling business forces towards innovative solutions for good across different sectors. Tickets are available online. 

WSII Speaker Series: Stephen Friedman

Monday, 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. Space is limited, so enter the lottery by 11:59pm Tuesday Feb. 10. Lunch will be provided.  All students at Penn are welcome to apply and selected students will be notified by Feb. 16.

WSII Speaker Series: Christine Bader

Tuesday, Feb 24, Noon-1:30 p.m.: Christine Bader is a former BR 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. Enter the lottery here by 11:59pm Tuesday Feb. 10. Confirmed attendees will be notified by Monday Feb. 16 with the location of the meeting.

Capital for Social Impact Series

Thursday, Feb 26, 6-8:30 p.m.,  Penn Club of New York, 30 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036: At this latest event in the Capital for Social Impact Series, Wharton Vice Dean Dr. Katherine Klein will lead a conversation with Rockefeller Foundation president Dr. Judith Rodin (CW ’66) and Dr. Chris Geczy (C ’89), on the latest market trends in impact investing. This rapidly growing sector provides individuals, corporations, and institutions with more tools and opportunities to expand the positive impact of their investment and philanthropic dollars while still seeking appropriate financial returns. These “impact investments” are financing diverse efforts – from education technology, sustainable agriculture and financial services to innovations in healthcare and affordable housing.

In this exclusive event, speakers will delve in to industry- and sector-specific innovations and investments, and how individuals and organizations can implement and assess impact investing strategies in their own work.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite, and are required for entry. Cocktails, beer, wine and canapés to be served. For any questions about this event, please contact Nick Ashburn at

IGEL Lunch Seminar: Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr.

 April 7, Noon-1:15 p.m., JMHH F70: The Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative present a lunch lectures with Robert Mosbacher, founder and chairman of BizCorps. 

Mosbacher has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. As a result of his travel while head of OPIC, he concluded that there is no shortage of SME entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world. However, there is a severe shortage of businesses that have the capacity, particularly human capacity, to realize their potential. That is why he launched BizCorps, a non-profit program which recruits and places MBAs from top business schools with high potential, growth-oriented SMEs in targeted markets where they help address the capacity challenges of those businesses. The program is in its second year of operation in Kenya and Colombia and he will discuss that experience and others from the international economic development world. To attend the lecture, please RSVP to


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To submit social impact-related events, news, or opportunities, contact WSII Manager of Communications Allie Ilagan. Information must be submitted at least two weeks prior to event date, and must include a date, time, location and contact information.