1. It's about the people.
Quality vs. quantity: We're bringing together an illustrious, interesting mix of social entrepreneurs, innovative business-builders and nonprofit leaders, the dreamers and doers, the thinkers, the visionary world-changers, creators and catalysts. Folks who are having (or will have) real impact in their organizations and their communities. Folks like:
- Astronaut / design director (brand strategy and integrated communications firm)
- Bread and Yoga / founder (NYC yoga studio/community gathering space)
- Brooklyn Bouillon / founder (sustainable and traceable concentrated food stocks)
- Community Compost Co / co-founders (organics collection and compost production)
- Crock & Jar/Rise & Root Farm / founder (food preservation products supporting local farmers)
- Green Circle & LocalMotive Workshop / CEO (triple bottom line consulting and coaching services)
- Luminary Media / various staff (custom media agency; publishers of Chronogram, Upstater, Upstate House)
- Mid-Hudson Workshop for the Disabled / director of sales & marketing (provides meaningful work for disabled people)
- O+ Festival / LO+VE Director (nonprofit connecting musicians, artists and wellness providers for weekend-long celebrations)
- Re>Think Local / board and staff
- Schwartz Heslin Group / managing director (blends management consulting with investment banking)
- Topical BioMedics / various staff (makers of Topricin)
2. Case Studies, where the greatest learning happens.
Our most popular sessions each year! An entrepreneur presents a specific, strategic business challenge. A panel of "experts" and retreat participants alike offer advice based on their experience and expertise. It's a powerful way for the entire group to work together and gain a wealth of practical ideas to deal with the challenges of running a social enterprise.
3. True Confessions, a signature SVI feature.
In which leading entrepreneurs share their trials, tribulations and triumphs. 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 recently served as VP of PR & Marketing of MissionHUB, a network of Impact Hub coworking campuses and SOCAP Conference for impact investors. Previously, Marissa co-founded Green Spaces NY, acquired by MissionHUB, and Flockd, powering productivity and connectivity for innovation.
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.
4. Only connect!
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. We build those times into the program as a central part of the format.
We create a more intimate, immersive experience over the weekend than typical conferences. We have a full schedule, but we leave room to breathe, to think, to connect (the agenda includes mindfulness practices). Bonus: Share stories and commune with the SVI tribe around the evening bonfire (see below)!
5. Profound problem solving.
It’s not about cramming new ideas into your head, 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.
The agenda includes something we call Socialpreneurs Sounding Board and a strategic visioning workshop, a vogue-ish high-level exercise for thinking strategically about future direction.
6. Omega Institute.
This all takes place in the inspired setting of one of the world's premier educational retreat centers. More than simply a place, Omega is a global community that awakens the best in the human spirit through innovative educational experiences.
7. Wisdom of the SVN elders.
We borrow the SVI format from Social Venture Network, a highly influential network of accomplished, values-driven business leaders, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors. Many of our presenters are longtime members of the SVN tribe.
8. Scholarships to High Impact Social Entrepreneurship (HISE) Boot Camp
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.
9. Amy Soucy around the bonfire!
Since the dawn of time, humans have bonded around fire. Share stories and commune with the SVI tribe (conditions permitting). Contemporary folk chanteuse Amy Soucy will serenade us with her folk chart-topping, evocative songs exploring the kaleidoscope of human experience. She's also a yoga and meditation instructor and is leading movement and mindfulness Saturday and Sunday mornings — as she has every year.
10. Preeminent partners.
Our partners and sponsors mirror the illustriousness of our participants and presenters.
** That's not a typo up there. For the uninitiated, "in journalism and blogging, a listicle is a short form of writing that uses a list as its thematic structure, but is fleshed out with sufficient copy to be published as an article" (Wikipedia).