On a sunny Friday in mid-March 2014, social innovation-minded leaders, thinkers, and students gathered at the beautifully designed (and LEED Gold certified) Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College for the 6th Annual Center for Socially Responsible Business (CSRB) Conference. The theme for this year was “Achieving Social Impact: To Scale or Not to Scale?”Speakers addressed the critical issue of “scale” for a social impact venture—how is it defined? How can it be effectuated? How does it apply to various organizational forms? How does the conversation about “scale” change based on sector?These questions and more were addressed through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and hosted lunch table talks. Overall the day was enriching—complete with insightful speakers, engaged attendees, and a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals in the impact space.

It was great to be able to share our book ideas and progress with fellow attendees, make connections, and hear valuable feedback on our research and focus areas. Below are a few snapshots from the day.

CSBR at Mills College 2014
Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College
CSBR at Mills College 2014
Deborah Merrill-Sands, Dean of the Graduate School Business at Mills
welcomes attendees and convenes the conference.
CSBR at Mills College 2014
Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO of One Pacific Bank delivers
a compelling keynote about the story of One Pacific Coast Bank,
and how it is has viewed and pursued scale. She concludes in song :)
CSBR at Mills College 2014
Moderator Cecily Joseph, VP of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec facilitates
a discussion exploring “To Scale or Not to Scale?” exploring the why and when of the
concept of scale with panelists representing a variety of CSR initiatives at for-profit
companies and startups.
CSBR at Mills College 2014
One point that Kathy Mulvany, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Cisco
underscored was that partnership is critical for scale.

 

CSBR at Mills College 2014
Jessica Steel, President of UrbanSitter and former Pandora executive,
shared the compelling story of how Pandora amassed 200M users
and how her new startup is choosing how to scale, and how not to.

 

CSBR at Mills College 2014
The conference was expertly organized by the campus Net Impact Chapter, together with the CSRB. It was held at the architecturally breathtaking Business School building, which is LEED Gold certified. Complete with a living roof.
CSRB conference at Mills College
Moderator Steve Wright, VP of Poverty Tools and Insights at the Grameen Foundation
facilitated a panel discussion on “Scaling Strategies” and outlined
three types of scale: expansion, replication, and collaboration
CSBR at Mills College 2014
Lalitha Vaidyanathan, Managing Director of FSG shared valuable insight through a case
study that underscored the importance of the scale of the solution matching the scale of the problem.

 

CSBR at Mills College 2014
Paul Herman, CEO and Founder of HIP Investor (Human Impact + Profit) reframed the
discussion of scale based on companies, institutions, movements that have mobilized
1B people and underscored the importance of valuing talent as an asset rather than a cost.
CSRB conference at Mills College
In a breakout session on scale as applied to public education reform, Angela Le (left) Manager of Growth and Special Projects at KIPP Bay Area and Brian Stanley, Executive Director of Oakland Schools Foundation discussed technical and adaptive problems in scaling and how charter schools have found ways to scale.

 

CSBR at Mills College 2014
Nikki Silvestri, Executive Director of Green For All delivered the afternoon keynote
and shared a powerful narrative of her family and path into social impact.

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