Net Impact Conference – SIGN UP BY SEPTEMBER 24th TO RECEIVE 15% OFF


Accelerate your impact. Join 2,800+ change makers at the 20th annual Net Impact Conference to share ideas and tools, meet sustainability leaders, and build the collaborative relationships needed to accelerate your impact through the work you do. It all happens this October 25-27 in Baltimore, Maryland.


Important Note:  When registering to the conference, please affiliate yourself to any Columbia University Chapter of your choice to receive further information about pre-conference events, networking opportunities and travel arrangements.

The Net Impact Conference in Numbers:

  • 2,800+ professionals and students interested or working in corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, international development, nonprofit leadership, social entrepreneurship, and more.
  • 3 days of eye-opening keynotes and sessions, powerful dialogue, and unbeatable career and networking opportunities
  • 100 great sessions in 8 tracks including Career & Professional Development, Community Development & Urban Revitalization, Corporate Impact, Energy & Clean Tech, Environmental Sustainability & Natural Resources, Finance & Investing, International Development, and Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
  • 300 of the world’s great thinkers and doers will speak in Baltimore to share how they are improving the world through their everyday work.
  • 80+ for-profits, nonprofits, and social enterprises paving the way in social and environmental responsibility will be hiring at the conference
  • Only 200 miles away from NYC!

Learn more and register at

“Charting Your Own High-Impact Career Path.”

When: Friday, March 30, 2012

Have you ever felt caught between your head and your heart, not sure which to listen to when it comes to career decisions?

This interactive workshop, led by Dr. Mrim Boutla of More Than Money Careers, will provide a framework and several exercises to help you identify the world-changing career path that best aligns with your unique values, skills, and life priorities. You’ll leave with a customized roadmap to get started and a plan to effectively use your skill set and time at SIPA to advance your ideal career path.

For those interested in social enterprise and/or starting their own organization: Dr. Boutla has worked with major players such as Echoing Green, AshokaU, and Net Impact, and will speak about social enterprise in the workshop and discuss specific opportunities for social enterprise during each thematic coaching session.

The High-Impact Careers Workshop is open to all SIPA students and will be held at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in Altschul Auditorium.

This workshop will be followed by specialized coaching sessions with Dr. Boutla in the following areas, and will be capped at 15 students each:

  • Renewable Energy and Clean Tech (1:00-1:45 pm, IAB 1102)
  • Sustainable Food and International Agriculture (2:00-2:45 pm, IAB 1102)
  • Environmental Sustainability (3:00-3:45 pm, IAB 1102)
  • Impact Investing (4:00-4:45 pm, IAB 1102)
  • Women’s Empowerment (5:00-5:45 pm, IAB 1102)
  • Technology-based Social Innovation (6:00-6:45 pm, IAB 1102)

Register online now at or in person at the ECO table this week on the IAB 4th floor

“The Greening of Business: Why It’s Not Optional and How Companies Profit From It”

Special Guest Lecture

Andrew Winston, Author and Sustainability Strategist

Friday, March 23, 2012, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

602 Hamilton Hall

Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Potent will welcome Andrew Winston, co-author of the international bestseller Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value and Build Competitive Advantage and author of Green Recovery: Get Lean, Get Smart, and Emerge from the Downturn on Top. These books have won critical acclaim from both the business and environmental communities as “providing the definitive thinking on how business leaders can address environmental issues (Michael Porter, Harvard Business School).”

Mr. Winston is the founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and is a graduate of the Columbia Business School.  His clients have included Bank of America, Bayer, HP, Pepsi, Boeing and IKEA.  He sits on the Sustainability Advisory Boards at Kimberly-Clark and Hewlett-Packard, and serves as an ongoing Sustainability Advisor to PwC.

Mr. Winston will discuss the forces coming to bear on companies and the ways organizations create value with sustainability strategy.  He will present compelling examples of innovation in this field and profile exciting new directions for green business.  This lecture is being presented as a session of the course entitled “Corporate Sustainable Development and the Role of Government in Advancing Environmental and Social Performance,” offered within the SIPA MPA Program in Environmental Science and Policy.

RSVP recommended.

Welcome to Shoot the Waste: Urban Edition!

Before you head off for Spring Break, take a minute to read about our photo competition!  And don’t forget to bring your camera along to take some pictures of sustainability in global cities! And remember to check out our Facebook Page:

Cities have examples of both exciting innovation in sustainability and immense waste. Our challenge to you is to find the best examples of each in your community! You can submit photos into one of four categories: New York City (best and worst sustainability) and Global Cities (best and worst sustainability). Traveling to Tokyo, Rio or Minneapolis over spring break? Remember to take a picture of your city’s new wind powered plant. Have a great picture of an urban garbage dump that you took on your trip to Malaysia last year? Submit it! Be creative!

Highlights From the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared as a series on’s special on the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference. Check out other NextBillion articles on the conference here and here.This post was published by Alex Gregor on Acumen Fund’s Blog.

Part 1 – At Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, SKS’s Akula Opens Up On Failure

Conferences usually are not the venue for admitting failure. But on the first day of the Harvard University’s 2012 Social Enterprise Conference, Vikram Akula, the founder of SKS Microfinance who left the organization in November 2011, made just such an admission.

In a speech delivered at the day’s closing reception, Akula described his experience first establishing the organization as a non-profit, converting to a for-profit model, and taking the company public in 2010. He recalled how Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank criticized him and the SKS model, and observed: “Today, I can look back at what we did and say, ‘Professor Yunus was right.’”

Continue reading ‘Highlights From the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference’

Impact Investing Forum: Capitalizing Sustainable Agriculture

Don’t miss the second panel co-sponsored with the Ci3 Impact Investing Forum!

The panel will cover the status of Impact Investing in the agriculture sector and its potential to foster socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. Ci3 is honored to welcome:


  • Mr. Barrett Prinz, One Acre Fund
  • Ms. Sapna Shah, Global Impact Investing Network, GIIN
  • Moderator: Dr. Glenn Denning, Director, Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute

The first half will be dedicated to a discussion between the speakers, which will be followed by exchange of views with the audience. The conversation will cover the following topics: introduction to the sector, opportunities and challenges, policy and regulatory issues, investment process, impact measurement and profitability.

This event will take place at Uris Hall, Room 332 (3022 West Broadway  New York, NY 10027).

For more information, check out the event website:


SIPA Net Impact Kick-off Meeting!

Want to learn more about how business can have a positive impact on society? Do you like free lunch?

If so, come to Net Impact’s Kick-off meeting on Monday, Feb 20 from 1-2PM in room 1302. You can learn about what we do and find out about upcoming events!

Opportunities and Challenges of Impact Investing in the Housing Sector

Want to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of impact investing in the housing sector?  Come join us on Tuesday, February 14th at 6:15pm, Room 326 in Uris Hall, as we explore these questions with:

  • Joshua Lockwood, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity – NYC
  • Shuaib Siddiqui, Portfolio Manager, Acumen Fund
  • John Napolitano, Director of Community Development & Planning, HANAC, Inc
  • Moderator: Ester R. Fuchs, Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science and Director of the Urban and Social Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Please sign up for the event here:
Hope to see you there!

New 2012 Net Impact Board

SIPA Net Impact is pleased to announce the new board for 2012!

Board members:
  • Co-Presidents: Mona Jaber and Helene Roy
  • Social Enterprise Chair: Shahbano Tirmizi
  • Sustainability and CSR Chair: Carolina Ocampo-Maya
  • Communication Chair: Elyse Klein
  • Treasurer: Sun Hwang
  • Board Member at Large: Julia Radunsky

We are looking forward to a great year!

Social Enterprise Bootcamp in Seven Steps

Authored by This article was first published on

To see pictures from this year’s Social Enterprise Boot Camp, please click here (Day 1) and here (Day 2).

Directed at budding social entrepreneurs, Social Enterprise Bootcamp, a recent two day workshop organized by students at Columbia, NYU and the School of Visual Arts, offered practical advice from an impressive array of speakers. Here are a few of the key take-aways:

A social enterprise can change the world, but only a part of it.

Greg van Kirk, founder of the New Development Solutions Group and of the micro-consignment model, told participants, “Social entrepreneurship is when people tell you you’re crazy, that your idea will never take off, but you decide it’s important enough to do anyway.” With a lofty vision, deep conviction for your cause, and solid execution capability, almost anything is possible. At the same time, however, the best social enterprises know their limits. No business can change everything, van Kirk said, and businesses that attempt to do too much will inevitably fail. Instead, he advised participants to pick what they want to influence and do it well.

Continue reading ‘Social Enterprise Bootcamp in Seven Steps’

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers