Social Impact Round Up: Week of March 17

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



PennSEM Presents: The Third Annual Social Impact Talks

March 19, 6-7 p.m., JMHH F65: PennSEM presents the annual Social Impact Talks event,  a dynamic 50-minute exchange of “ideas, information and insight on the most pressing issues of today.” The talks feature five university professors presenting an eye-opening perspective on social impact as it pertains to energy, public policy entrepreneurship, impact bonds, art and more.

Speakers will include Legal Studies and Business Ethics professor Sarah Light, Penn School of Social Policy & Practice professor Mark Stern, Healthcare Management professor Ashley Swanson, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics professor Noam Lior, and Management professor Tyler Wry.

Food and dessert will be provided. RSVP on the event’s Facebook page.

Scale/Scope Social Impact Design Symposium

March 20 5-7 p.m. and March 21, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Meyerson Hall: Penn Design will host a two-day social impact design symposium and workshop, that promises to “empower design students to engage their social agenda” through a series of lectures and discussions.

Scale/Scope will examine a handful of groundbreaking design projects with a focus on information, infrastructure, method and market, demonstrating how the leading edge of impactful design practice is an innovation on the process and product of design itself. A keynote presentation by John Peterson, Public Architecture will kick off the event, followed by a “civic do-gooder happy hour” and lectures the following day.

For a full schedule, visit the event page.

MIINT Competition

March 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., JMHH: The MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (MIINT) Program is a national competition, where student-led investment teams from ten top business schools compete for the chance to win a $50,000 investment into the company they present. Co-produced by Bridges Ventures and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, the third annual MIINT competition will be held this Saturday.

The MIINT Program simulates a traditional early stage investment fund and trains students on how to source, analyze, and conduct due diligence on early-stage companies that are not only attractive investment opportunities but also include a positive social or environmental impact. Each school creates an investment thesis – focusing on investments in sectors ranging from the environment to education and financial inclusion to healthcare. The program takes students through a rigorous due diligence process, and each team narrows their own selection down to one company that they feel is a strong investment opportunity.

miint teaser

In this final stage of the competition, student teams from each school will have 30 minutes to present their final analysis and selection to a committee comprised of impact investing practitioners from across the country.

Student teams, comprised of approximately 200 MBA students, represent the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, Columbia Business School, David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and the Wharton School.

Penn Microfinance Conference 2014: Microfinance – Beyond Its Roots

Mar. 29, 9.00am-6.00pm, JMHH: The 8th Annual Penn Microfinance Conference is back. This year’s conference, themed Microfinance – Beyond Its Roots, will focus on exploring how the microfinance model has evolved over the years to adapt to the changing economic, social and cultural landscape that businesses are interacting in today. Highlights include keynote speaker Elisabeth Thyne, co-creator of the Smart Campaign, and in augural case competition, speaker panels and coffee chats.

Tickets are free for all University of Pennsylvania students. Registration is available here.

Wharton IGEL Book Discussion with Nature Conservancy

Apr. 15, 11.30 a.m, JMHH 8th Floor: Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership is hosting a seminar with Mark Tercek, President & CEO of the Nature Conservancy, about his latest book.

Tercek is the author of “Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature”. A 24-year Goldman Sachs veteran, Tercek brings deep business experience to his role leading the Conservancy, where he champions the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people. Registration is available online. Further questions can be directed to Lunch will be provided as well as a complimentary copy of Nature’s Fortune.

News and Opportunities


  • The second annual Wharton | San Francisco Social Impact Conference is coming on April 10. This student-run conference spotlights many inspiring organizations and companies, with a full day of panel sessions and speakers like K. Robert Turner (W’84), Omaze co-founder Matthew Pohlson (WG’12), and Ben Cain of Revolution Foods. A limited number of early-bird tickets are available for only $50.
  • WSII Managing director Sherryl Kuhlman, WG’01, was selected to join the CLASSY Awards “Human Rights & Social Justice” Leadership Council, an honorary board dedicated to the advancement of social progress.

Do you have a social impact event or news item you’d like us to share? Email your information to Allie Harcharek at View previous round-ups in our archives