May 13-15, 2016
Omega Institute  |  Rhinebeck, NY

SVI Hudson Valley is no ordinary experience: a weekend of profound problem solving, visioning and connecting, all in the inspired setting of one of the world's premier educational retreat centers. (No bland hotels for us.)

People say that the real learning and the true value at most conferences come from the downtime, the unscheduled time, the time between the panels and sage-on-the-stage talks.

At SVI Hudson Valley, those times are built into the program as a central part of the format. This is what makes it so different from most business conferences (aside from the values alignment).

It’s not about jam-packing the schedule and cramming new ideas into your head. It’s not just about learning a new tactic or discovering a new resource. It’s about harnessing collective intelligence in an inspired setting to actually work through creative solutions to vexing challenges.

It’s about injecting new life into your enterprise… and yourself.

We have a full schedule, but we leave room to breathe, to think, to do — through a variety of approaches and frameworks.

Think of it as an ad hoc advisory board. With depth.

High-quality mentors, a supportive environment, practical problem-solving formats — all give participants a rich portfolio of skills, a plan to grow their social ventures, and a network to support their journey.

We want you to leave not only inspired and informed… but ready to act.

I came away with clarity, direction, and a sense of community with the people attending the weekend…. I am shifting the way I think about community and the process of creating a culture within an organization.
— Anthony Whitehurst, Enlightened Culture

True Confessions

A signature Social Venture Institute feature...

During True Confessions leading entrepreneurs share their trials, tribulations and triumphs in creating socially responsible organizations. It's sort of like a keynote around the coffee table, or the campfire... without the fire (that comes later!).

Marissa Feinberg is a publicist, marketeer, and brand builder with a passion for championing new ideas and connecting people. She co-founded Green Spaces NY, which was acquired in late 2013 by MissionHUB, a network of Impact Hub coworking spaces and SOCAP Conference for impact investors, and until recently served as their VP of PR & Marketing.

Jonathan Rosenthal has spent 30+ years working to transform the power of business from a destructive force of accumulation into a healing force honoring the interconnectedness of all people and our earth. He co-founded Equal Exchange, Oké USA and Belmont-Watertown Local First, and now serves as Executive Director of the New Economy Coalition.

Case Study

The core of the SVI model, where the greatest learning happens...

In the Case Study session, an entrepreneur presents a specific, strategic business challenge. A panel of experts and retreat participants alike offer advice based on their experience and expertise. Each Case Study gets an hour of focused problem solving.

It's a powerful way for the entire group to work collectively and gain a wealth of practical ideas to deal with the challenges of running a social enterprise.

2016 Case Studies

Michaela Hayes / Crock & Jar
A food preservation business with the mission of supporting local farmers: by producing a line of products using local produce, and teaching preservation methods while encouraging students to buy more local produce in season and preserve it to eat locally year round. They have a growth opportunity and need to find capital to make it happen.

Theresa Widmann / O+ Festival
The nonprofit (pronounced o-positive) connects musicians, artists, and health & wellness providers for weekend-long celebrations featuring concerts and performances, art making, and wellness offerings for the entire community. They need advice understanding the human capital needs to operate successfully — how to prioritize paid positions and plan for continued operational growth.

The pointed questions of the case study guest panelists were very helpful to my thinking about my goals and methods…. It is like briefly dropping into business school.
— Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Hone Strategic

And More...

We’ll combine all that with group problem-solving workshops, mindfulness-based practices, community-building, and strategic visioning, a vogue-ish high-level exercise in business, urban planning, nonprofits… anywhere where thinking strategically about future direction is helpful.

Thanks to our sponsor GCSEN Foundation we'll be awarding 2 fully subsidized scholarships to the 2016 High Impact Social Entrepreneurship (HISE) Boot Camp (a $4,000 value for each). Held Aug 15–19 and hosted by the Marist School of Management (Poughkeepsie), the weeklong intensive provides the same tools offered at the highest level graduate business schools in the world and developed by some of the most successful firms across all sizes.

Friday (May 13)

  • 5:00 PM  /  Welcome + Orientation
    Our first chance to connect with one another and create a safe space for the weekend.
  • 6:30 PM  ++ dinner ++
  • 7:30 PM  /  True ConfessionsMarissa Feinberg, Triple Bottom Why

Saturday (May 14)

  • 7:00 – 8:45 AM  ++ breakfast ++
  • 9:00 AM  /  Movement + MindfulnessAmy Soucy, Yoga + Meditation Instructor
    Exercises to get your body flowing, your mind open, and your creative spirit to flourish. Dress comfortably!
  • 9:45 AM  /  True ConfessionsJonathan Rosenthal, New Economy Coalition
  • 12:15 PM  ++ lunch ++
  • 1:30 PM  /  Mindful Nature Walk
    Take a break from the intellect. No better way to ground and inspire than mindfully soaking in Mother Nature.
  • 2:15 PM  /  Case Study Presentations — expert panelists
    Powerful way for the entire group to work collectively and gain a wealth of practical ideas to deal with the challenges of running a social enterprise.
  • 6:00 PM  ++ dinner ++
  • 7:30 PM  /  Socialpreneurs Sounding BoardScott Tillitt + Ajax Greene, SVI Hudson Valley Co-producers
    Think of this as a mash-up of an ad hoc advisory board and group therapy for your work.
  • 9:30 PM  /  Bonfire + Performance — Amy Soucy with Glen Roethel, Singer-songwriter
    Since the dawn of time, humans have bonded around fire. Share stories and commune with the SVI tribe (conditions permitting). Contemporary folk chanteuse Amy will serenade us with her folk chart-topping, evocative songs exploring the kaleidoscope of human experience.

Sunday (May 15)

  • 7:00 – 8:45 AM  ++ breakfast ++
  • 9:00 AM  /  Movement + Mindfulness — Amy Soucy, Yoga + Meditation Instructor
    Exercises to get your body flowing, your mind open, and your creative spirit to flourish. Dress comfortably!
  • 9:45 AM  /  Visioning for Change WorkshopScott Tillitt, Founder / Antidote Collective + BEAHIVE, Co-founder + Board Chair / Re>Think Local, Co-producer / SVI Hudson Valley
    Series of high-level exercises to think strategically about future direction. Includes time to share with others for feedback and connection.
  • 12:00 PM  ++ lunch ++
  • 1:30 PM  /  Personal Leadership WorkshopColette Ruoff, Founder / Terra Nova Facilitation And Consulting, President / SageArts
    Growing yourself to grow your business, giving feedback, engaging in difficult conversations
  • 3:15 PM  /  Closing Circle + Meditation

* schedule subject to change