About Impactathon for Future Flourishing

Impactathon for Future Flourishing was organized as an interactive 24-hour hackathon experience to innovate inclusive solutions to global poverty amid covid-19 and rising awareness of the importance of building more inclusive systems. It took place on Aug 21-22, 2020. Participants joined as teams or individually to build social impact solutions. Cash prizes for top teams included $2000+, as well as non-monetary prizes included will be awarded to top teams.


Impactathon for Future Flourishing event image with Impactathon logo and black and white photos of Impact Catalysts

About this Event

Impactathon® for Future Flourishing was a call to all changemakers and social entrepreneurs driven to find new ways to uplift communities and alleviate poverty in a post-pandemic world.

Participants from hubs around the world joined for a two-day virtual Impactathon where they deepened their understanding about what causes poverty locally and globally and worked in teams to develop solutions.

Poverty, in this moment

Since launching this unique Impactathon in early June, covid19 cases surged and systemic racism emerged as a global movement. Poverty is a critical part of this story. Estimates for global poverty have been increased by 50M attributed to covid-19 (Brookings).

An Impactathon focusing on the mindset of “building an inclusive future”

For Impactathon for Future Flourishing, the 16th Impactathon, Innov8social collaborated with Join the Journey, an international empowerment organization, to take participants on a journey of discovery– diving into realities much of the world faces living day-to-day without stable electricity, water, and paved roads–and exploring how covid-19 affects these issues. Teams worked together to ask questions, research existing solutions, identify gaps, and brainstorm and build approaches to build a thriving future using innovative strategies and existing technologies in a sprint-to-the-finish 24-hour push. Top solutions were awarded cash and other prizes.

Participants heard from a handful of speakers and Impact Catalysts who have started social enterprises and impact organizations that have helped hundreds of thousands of people. You can tune into the recordings to hear their candid experiences in how they navigated unique challenges with an entrepreneurial mindset.

This event did not require a background in social impact. Participants were asked to bring their deep curiosity, a sense of empathy, and a problemsolving mindset. Through Impactathon,  an Impact Workshop walked participants through an introduction to social enterprise and design-thinking approaches to understanding a problem and developing solutions. This Impactathon was designed for those who have ever felt a deep desire to create positive impact, whether locally in their city or globally for the world.

Impact Talk Speakers

  • Mike Sehzue, Partner at Global SouthxSouth, Founder of Miseh Distilling Company. Social Entrepreneur, Impact Investing Advisor.
  • Julie-Anne Savarit-Cosenza, Founder & Executive Director of the African Education Program. Systems thinker in poverty alleviation.
  • Daniel Jean-Louis, President and CEO of Bridge Capital S.A. Social Entrepreneur & Investor.

Impact Catalysts and Panel Speakers

  • Ezenwayi Amaechi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship, Johnson & Wales University, Market Strategist. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Spencer Arnold, Director of Global Operations, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University.
  • Heather Arora, M.S. in Organizational Behavior, Founder of Purple Plants. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Anita Balaraman, Product Management and Marketing Consultant. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Marc Alain Boucicault, Founder and CEO at Banj. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • David Babbs, PhD Social Work (Social Innovation), Activist, Macro, Veteran. Educator.
  • Brendan Barbato, Startup pitch expertise, Brand & Partnerships. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Chuck Brown, Founder of Orion Consulting, Social Enterprise Alliance Board Member. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Nick Brown, Founder at Clear Purchase. International Payment System Expert.
  • Sam C. Burke, Brand Communications and Marketing. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Theresa L Carpenter, Navy Public Affairs Officer, Communication Professional, Advocate for women and companion animals.
  • Adam Cole, Founder of Join the Journey. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Sylvia Doss, Data-driven Strategic Consultant, Senior Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University.
  • Gloria Ferrer, International Economic Development Specialist, Partner at COMPETITIVENESS. Founder of KINADONA. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Miloni Gandhi, Founder and Principal International LLC, Adjunct Faculty Foothill College. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Nathaniel Gilman, Co-founder of Mariner Credential Service. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Michael Gordon, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.
  • Flossie Hall, COO Assoc.Military Spouse Entrepreneurs. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Andrew Hening, Co-founder Opening Doors Marin, Director of Homeless Planning & Outreach San Rafael. Systems Thinker.
  • Prasad Jaladi, Chief Facilitator of Suraksha.Social Entrepreneur.
  • Cate Johnson, Founder ArborRevolutions, Innovation Catalyst, Advisor, Facilitator. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Mary Patrick Kavanaugh, Director of Special Projects at Soka University. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Michelle Kurian, Executive Director of The Harvest Fund. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Ramon Llamas, MPH, Population Health Strategy at Everytable
  • Mark Lovett, Founder of Storytelling with Impact, TEDx organizer. Impact Storyteller.
  • Mwihaki Muraguri, Storysmith, Principal at Paukwa House. Impact Storyteller.
  • KP Naidu, VP Benetech Labs. Poverty Alleviation Systems Thinker.
  • Pamela O’Brien, Director of Development at African Education Program, International Development Strategist.
  • Adeniyi Oluokun, Co-founder at Consulting Youth, Co-founder at Access Drive. Social Entrepreneur.
  • Mark Papia, Head of Content & Communications at iMerit Technology Services. Social Intrapreneur.
  • Neetal Parekh, Founder of Innov8social, Host of the Impact Podcast, Author. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Leena Patel, MD, MPH, Senior Technical Officer, Public Health Professional
  • Jean-Louis Robadey, Principal Company at Impact Consulting Group LLC. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Larry Simpson, Join the Journey Board Member, Puget Sound & Family Ministry Field Representative.
  • Brian Walker, Founder of Culture Bridge, Social Intrapreneur. Social Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Leon Wang, M.S. in Biomimicry, ABAR Intersectional Environmentalist. Impact Ecosystem Builder.
  • Gillian Foster Wilkinson, Microfinance Learning Manager at HOPE International. Microfinance Specialist.


  • Radha Basu, CEO of iMerit Technology Services, Founder of Frugal Innovation Lab at Santa Clara University.
  • Will Harris, CEO of Willpower Consulting, Chairman of Willpower Humanitarian Foundation.
  • Grace Rodriguez, CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston, Advisor to Social Enterprises
  • Eric Van Trump, Board Member at Join the Journey, Entrepreneur.


Topic-based Panel Discussions

Informal topical panel talks with various Impact Catalysts were recorded to dive deeper into aspects of poverty alleviation (in developing and developed countries), economic empowerment, social enterprise and impact storytelling.

These talks were shared with Impactathon participants ahead of the start of the virtual Impactathon as a way to learn about topics, meet the Impact Catalysts, gain an introduction into the ‘systems view’ of poverty alleviation, and to being to think like problemsolvers.



Join the Journey awarded cash prizes to top teams. Additionally, Impact Hub Houston awarded three 3-month Accelerate Memberships along with mentoring and pro bono consulting hours awarded by Sponsors.


Who Attended Impactathon for Future Flourishing

  • Social entrepreneurs with proven ideas and traction who are looking to scale their work.
  • Student changemakers
  • Young Professionals looking to learn more about social enterprise
  • Experienced/retired professionals seeking to leverage expertise for social good
  • The active-duty and veteran tech community
  • Faith-based groups seeking to serve through social innovation


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

SDG Goal 1 is Eliminating Poverty. From the UN, “The decline of global extreme poverty continues, but has slowed…. People who continue to live in extreme poverty face deep, entrenched deprivation often exacerbated by violent conflicts and vulnerability to disasters. Strong social protection systems and government spending on key services often help those left behind get back on their feet and escape poverty, but these services need to be brought to scale.”


Open to All

Impactathon for Future Flourishing was open to all participants and is not based upon participant race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic background, sexuality, and gender.


Watch the Panel Talk Videos

About Join the Journey

Join the Journey (JTJ) is a faith-based empowerment organization that provides crowd-sourced micro-loans to entrepreneurs in vulnerable parts of the world. The impact organization recently launched Spark, a mobile application that is a platform to match entrepreneurs and potential donors. JTJ was founded in 2010 by a military servicemember whose experiences serving in the Haiti relief mission post-earthquake there inspired him to work on behalf of the most hurting.


About Innov8social

Innov8social creates experiences, content, training, and tools to make social entrepreneurship and impact leadership more accessible and actionable. This includes The Impact Podcast and book, 51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship, and Impactathon® event series. Its mission is to help individuals and organizations reach their impact potential. Innov8social has partnered to co-convene 15 Impactathons in cities including San Francisco, New York City, Aliso Viejo, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge.

Impactathon is a registered trademark of Innov8social.



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