Later this week, students at Wharton | San Francisco, the West Coast campus of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will host the Wharton San Francisco Social Impact Conference. The event, which will take place on April 4th, marks one of the first times students at the San Francisco campus have organized and run their own conference.
The event this week builds on an inaugural conference students organized last year jointly with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, the Baker Retailing Center and the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership. “The half-day event was attended by more than 120 Wharton students, alumni and friends and was a great success,” wrote Raghavan Anand in a Wharton Magazine blog post. “So we decided to continue the tradition, except to organize and run it ourselves this time around,” he continued.
This year’s conference will focus on two themes: how to finance impact investing ideas and get them funded and how to come up with ideas and find ways to scale them up. It will feature one panel on impact investing and networks that bring funders and investors together, including speakers from Omidyar Network, Social Capital Markets and Humanity United. A second panel will examine social entrepreneurship and sustainability, with panelists sharing how they spotted a social challenge and then built a business to address it. Among the panelists are the founders of Back to the Roots, who grow gourmet mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds, and PlayWorks, an organization that transforms schools by providing play and physical activity at recess and throughout the school day.
“As Wharton solidifies its presence in the Bay Area, we expect the trend of these student-run conferences to continue, much like the tradition back East,” Anand noted.