The second annual Igniting Innovation Summit is one of the first and largest undergraduate-led events devoted to the topic of Social Entrepreneurship. Hosted by the newly established Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative, the conference will bring together leaders from across sectors to explore, engage, and incubate interest in the field. Because the Summit is intended for those with and without prior knowledge of Social Entrepreneurship, it is designed to present a diversity of perspectives through a dynamic series of TED style speeches, interactive panels and action-oriented workshops led by top experts.
The surging interest in Social Entrepreneurship on college campuses and the need for innovation to solve today's greatest problems inspired the conference theme: "Embracing the Social Entrepreneurship Movement: Get up and do something!" In honor of the theme, the conference will explore the many angles of the movement, from academic models to modes of application to physical action. No long lectures at this conference!
The first 100 registrants will also be invited to attend a kickoff event on Friday evening, Sept 30, featuring a panel hosted by CNN's David Gergen, a documentary screening hosted by the Executive Director of Women Make Movies and refreshments with top speakers.
Please join us in uniting and igniting innovation! Register today!
Recognizing a need to bring together the budding undergraduate community of social entrepreneurs at Harvard, Kara helped plan the inaugural Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship as Business Director in 2010. The success of the conference sparked Kara to co-found the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative to continue the community born there. Prior to Harvard, Kara co-founded Nika Water Co, a social enterprise whose profits support clean water projects, and worked extensively with urban youth. At Harvard, Kara is pursuing her interest in the nexus of organizational development and service, studying Government and Sociology. She is deeply involved in the Leadership Institute at Harvard College and has been a leader in the campaign for a new Secondary on Innovation for Social Change. A runner, snowboarder and yogi, Kara shares her energy to move and uplift through her personal blog.
Innovation Showcase Director
Excited about the power of social entrepreneurship to enact global change, Smitha was on the inaugural 2010 Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship steering committee. To harness the energy and momentum of the conference Smitha co-founded the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative (SIC) and is actively involved in establishing a social entrepreneurship presence on Harvard's campus. She is also involved in the movement to pass a secondary in Innovation for Social Change. A concentrator in Environmental Science and Public Policy with a secondary in Government, Smitha's interests range from science research to environmental justice to global youth empowerment. Since age 12, she has advocated for social justice and is a global water activist driven to lead and create social change in the world. In addition to her commitment to public service, Smitha loves to choreograph, travel, and paint!
Suvai is from Madison, Wisconsin and has been inspired to work on increasing social entrepreneurship after many years of volunteer work and service activities. Most recently Suvai has been part of the Harvard Youth Leadership Institute, a program that teaches leadership skills to middle school students, as well as ExperiMentors, a program that hopes to inspire curiosity in kids by doing hands on scientific experiments with them. She hopes that through SIC and the Igniting Innovation Summit many undergraduates will gain the confidence and tools they need to finally make their world changing ideas become a reality. In her spare time, Suvai enjoys watching movies, cooking, hanging out with friends, and doing wheel pottery.
Meredith became interested in social entrepreneurship after her time working at an orphanage in La Ceiba, Honduras. She has since gone on to teach in Namibia and Kenya and is passionate about innovative approaches to education in developing countries. At Harvard, she is a columnist for the Crimson about politics and humanitarian issues in developing countries and works at the Institute of Politics. In her spare time, Meredith plays guitar, watches the Colbert Report, and avidly reads Nick Kristof in the New York Times.
Bari became passionate about social entrepreneurship after having the opportunity to intern at Youth Represent, a unique organization that works with young people involved with the criminal justice system. A co-director of PBHA's Youth Prison Tutoring, she continues to be interested in programs that utilize education to solve the greatest issues facing urban youth--particularly in Brooklyn, which she calls home. To Bari, the most amazing aspects of social entrepreneurship are the drive, intellect, and enthusiasm of her fellow students interested in the field.
External Relations Director
Emily has been interested in microfinance and international development for the past several years. Last summer she lived in Gujarat,India working as an intern for SEWA Bank and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network there. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, yoga, Frisbee, and being outdoors.
Willa founded the Igniting Innovation Summit in 2010 to unite and ignite people in entrepreneurship for social change. She is delighted that the Summit will return for its second year this fall, and acts as a mentor, maven and adviser for the new and energetic Summit Board. Willa is also the founder of the PBHA SEED School alternative spring break trip and loves to dance hip-hop, salsa, and almost every other style too! She is a licensed zumba instructor and is especially interested in promoting good exercise and nutrition habits through community. She worked with Ashoka during a semester off, co-authored a proposal for a secondary field in Social Innovation at Harvard, is an Acumen Fund Student Leader and also has experience with education, Native American rights, and international law. Willa hopes to study abroad in New Zealand next spring, and always welcome a good conversation. Please say hello if you see her!
Ryan has gotten to see the power of social innovation through her work on water with Engineers Without Borders, as well as her work with education through WorldTeach, Girls' Angle Math Mentoring, the Harvard-Allston Education Portal, and her own non-profit. Last spring, seeing the need for a voice and vehicle for social entrepreneurs and enthusiasts on campus, she co-founded the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative and is helping to pass a secondary in Innovation for Social Change. In her free time, she loves to ski, run, bake (or attempt to), do art, and be with her friends. She is thrilled and honored to work with such a talented board, and she can't wait for another unbelievable Summit this year!
Bio coming soon!
Liora Simozar is currently a sophomore in Dunster studying Applied Mathematics in the field of Economics. She’s extremely interested in technology and internet development, and hopes to work in the Startup scene of Los Angeles after college. At Harvard, aside from working with LIHC, she works in both the Economics and Mathematics Departments as a teacher’s assistant and grader, and enjoys the teaching side of education. She is also the Website Director of Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business and treasurer of the Dunster House Committee.
Carolina hails from Nevada City, California, where her parents and two younger siblings still reside. She spent last year co-directing the Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program through the Summer Urban Program. She is on fire for social entrepreneurship, specifically in education. Her favorite part about social entrepreneurship is the way it combines a business model with a social mission! In her spare time she loves to run, work on her tan, and hang out with her friends.
Paolo is studying government and economics at Harvard. Paolo's worked with social enterprises on increasing access to sources of income and social services in developing countries. There is a great amount of room and need for innovation in community development - in all fields, innovation is what makes the world go around. S.I.C. is a forum for sharing and learning ideas on the latest initiatives in social innovation from campus, Boston, and abroad.
Originally from Chicago and raised in Texas. I revisited my Chicago roots during my gap year with City Year, which opened my eyes to the countless ways that a few people with some innovation can make a huge difference in people's lives. When I'm not being inspired by my amazing fellow Board members, I'm either baking or working on the Harvard Undergraduate Leadership Magazine.