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As social innovators focus on ways to create, optimize, and measure impact, a natural question arises as to what kind of impact should be pursued. Should you set goals that are attainable and within reach? Or should you strive for impact that is far-reaching and is perhaps beyond what your startup or organization even has capacity to meet with its current resources?Darcy Winslow, a systemic change expert and visionary who introduced key sustainability measures within Nike, explained the nuances between planning for change and designing for transformation. She spoke at the inaugural Strategic Execution Conference hosted by IPS Learning and Stanford University on April 24, 2013.Her talk was impassioned, intimate, and impactful in sharing her personal narrative in sustainability as well as her commitment to creating a culture for sustainable innovation within organizational infrastructure.

 

Darcy’s experience at Nike & the Shambhala Initiative

Darcy spoke about her 20 year career at Nike, which included a number executive roles. When her team was approached to define the impact Nike shoe production was having on the environment and landfills—she was surprised to hear that the equivalent of one shoe of waste was created with the production of each pair of shoes, and that over the course of a year millions of gallons of oil were used to produce Nike’s various lines of athletic gear.

She set forth to shift the company from the inside. Forming a team to address social impact, they established the Nike Shambhala Initiative–an ambitious strategy to re-think Nike operations centered around aspirational sustainability goals.

The goals that Nike set were not intended to reward or recognize themselves for picking low-hanging fruit. They demanded 0 waste, 0 toxics, 100% closed loop systems and other key sustainability deliverables by 2020.

I found myself noting that the plan was markedly ambitious, increasing the chance of failing to reach those high-level goals. Darcy reframed the issue as she explained the power of transformational change.

What is makes change transformational?

Darcy shared her view that any change that seeks less than an all-or-nothing results is not transformational–and is just a matter of degree. For a leading company such as Nike, she knew that a change of degree of impact was not enough. If Nike was going to get into the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement, it would have to do so in a transformational way.

How social innovators can incorporate transformational change goals

Darcy’s talk introduced the concept of a transformational change mindset.
When we seek to transform, rather than just gradually alter ourselves or our ventures there is a different approach, mindset, and energy that is employed. It is as though we must change from within to create change in results—and the process can be transformational at an individual as well as organizational level.
The goal of creating zero waste rather than reducing waste by 50% creates a different purpose, easy measuring stick, and clearly-defined goals. These can trickle down throughout the organization. If the goal was instituted in manufacturing setting, each team of engineers would be clear that their stage of production should yield 0 waste versus and intermediate amount of waste.
Of course, sustainability is often a product of evolution and iteration. So in addition to setting transformational change goals, it is essential to provide enough time to work to that change. When the Shambhala Initiative was introduced, the goal set was 2020–giving two decades to evolve innovation and internal practices to meet the aspirational milestones.

Video of Darcy Winslow, Nike Foundation

You can take a look at Darcy speak briefly at her role with Nike in this short video.

Codex #FutureLaw 2013 ConferenceOn April 26th 2013 hundreds of attorneys, law students, legal startup founders, informatics experts, and venture capitalists gathered for the first ever Codex FutureLaw Conference (i.e. #FutureLaw) hosted by Codex— the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics .Codex #FutureLaw 2013 ConferenceThe day was structured in 5 panel discussions with a kickoff keynote by Charley Moore (Founder of RocketLawyer) and capstone keynote by Daniel Martin Katz (Co-founder of ReinventLaw Laboratory and Asst. Professor at Michigan State Univ). It was a day for thinkers and doers in the legal tech space to talk shop, exchange notes, and ask tough questions about the field.The Reinvent Law movement has been making its voice heard in Silicon Valley. You may recall our recap of #ReinventLaw Silicon Valley through a compilation of tweets and photos. That event, in March 2013,  brought together 40+ speakers in a rapid-fire format to discuss major issues, inefficiencies, and challenges facing the current legal system—and solutions that tech + design + delivery can provide.

The #FutureLaw Conference at Stanford was a logical follow-up to the March event. It took place in a more intimate setting featuring fewer speakers, many of whom were leaders in this emerging space, in  interactive small panels featuring significant audience participation. The exploration into the topic was genuine—with many of the panelists posing questions from the audience in other panel sessions. The atmosphere was collegial and conversations of concepts raised in the panels continued between participants during the breaks and lunch hour.

Recaps of #FutureLaw

There are a few excellent recaps and summaries of the event that have been published. I am including Stanford Codex’s Storify recap of the event below. Here are a few additional resources and recaps:

 

8 Takeaways from #FutureLaw Conference Hosted by Stanford Codex

As the day progressed I began scribbling broad concepts in the margins of my notes. Things that left me…wait for it… #mindblown, or that provided fresh takes on enduring concepts. The field of law is ripe for innovation. The industry has been one of the hardest-hit by the Great Recession. And while select firms and attorneys have survived, if not prospered, for each success there are countless numbers of law school graduates and attorneys who struggle to find a foothold in the field, and perhaps no longer even seek one. Idle/restless legal professionals + tech innovation has given new pathways to take a look at the field through telescope, microscope, and 3D glasses. What has resulted is a movement to disrupt the status quo, and examine the success of law through the lens of its constituents rather than its practitioners. This change of viewpoint lends to re-prioritization and re-thinking of what law should be, and what data and design-driven innovation can lead law to become.

I wanted to share a few broad brushstroke takeaways from Codex FutureLaw 2013.

1. Contracts don’t need to be written documents. The second panel discussion of the day was on computational law and contracts. Panelist Kingley Martin (of KIIAC) brought up the fascinating question of “what is contract?” He reframed the traditional concept of a contract by specifying that above all, it is a “workflow design” and noting that we have chosen to express the workflow through words on a document. However, contracts could also be expressed as code or in a variety of other formats—some of which might be more suitable to replicating, customizing, and operationalizing.

2. Legal startups should choose a VC wisely. The third panel was all about financing legal startups. VCs and founders shared their experience in the funding process. One legal startup founder made it clear that legal startups are a unique animal, and that founders trying to line up funding should seek out a VC who understands nuances of the field. Another panelist summed up his thoughts on exit strategies:  “acquistion is a reasonable outcome, but a terrible plan.”

3. Design for people first.  Budding law students are instructed that one of an attorney’s duties is to zealously represent his/her client. That makes sense for the lawyer, and the client…but not for the field of law. The result is a field that contains, gaping disconnects and inefficiencies, essentially by design. Instead, new legal startups are thinking about the participants in law as they design tools, UI, and resources. They are leveraging what people want to know about the law in designing tools to provide those resources efficiently, cost-effectively, while leveraging copious amounts of relevant data available.

Codex #FutureLaw 2013 Conference4. Open source hybrids are OK. In one of the panels it was brought up that open sourcing legal information is particularly difficult because libraries of contracts, filings, documents, and research are precisely what distinguishes various attorneys and firms. Instead of a full open source mode, there might be innovative hybrid models that will enable attorneys and firms to retain their valuable information while also contributing to the overal open law movement. It doesn’t have to be an either/or thing.

5. Law can be “automated”.  As consumers are already used to “boiler plate” language for everything from online shopping to buying a new car. Instead of recreating the wheel, maybe there’s a way to standardize it to make the content more accessible and understandable. Awhile back Innov8Social covered the movement to standardize #PrivacyIcons, lead by a group called Disconnect. Movements such as that one are showing us that parts of law can be made more efficient through smart automation.

6. Law can be re-imagined. When you are sitting at a library studying the Rule Against Perpetuities in law school or slogging away memorizing key concepts and case law for the Bar exam, there is little room for thought on ways to re-imagine the field of law itself. But the truth is, of course it can be re-imagined. Entrepreneurs and attorneys complain that the patent law system and taxation mechanisms haven’t changed or adapted to emerging needs and industries. The influx and availability of digital data also changes how we interact with the field. Not only can law be reimagined, it is almost feels imperative that the movement to do so continue.

credit: Margaret Hagan

7. Law can be beautiful. One of the house favorites of the day was the panel on design. The startups and designers presented beautiful, simple, mindblowing ways to think about legal tech data. It becomes quite clear that the proof is in the pudding when you view the work of these designers, such as Margaret Hagan

8. Lawyers can re-invent law. It may be tempting to wait for changes to the field. But the conference showed that there are already a number of attorneys who are taking bold steps to reinvent the field. The final speaker of the day, Daniel Katz spoke to tangible ways that law school education can be tweaked to prepare the next generation of legal professionals—who have studied not only Torts but also computational law, informatics, and have actually worked with a team to pitch, code, validate, and launch a project leveraging law, tech, innovation, design with data and delivery.

Stanford Law’s Storify: A Look Back at Codex FutureLaw 2013

[View the story “A look back at CodeX FutureLaw 2013” on Storify]

Attending events and writing about them for Innov8Social planted a seed to organize an unstructured event on social innovation. Having been to StartUp Weekend a couple of times I noticed that a hackathon-style gathering can lead to great ideas, teamwork, and empowering ways to think bigger.

social innovation unconference hackathon at legalforce

 

the idea

After interviewing Nathan Pham from Goodjoe I noted his passion for bringing together people and creating new forums for ideas. I pitched him the idea for an unstructured gathering of social innovation thinkers and doers. He was (thankfully) enthusiastic and interested. We worked together to plan an informal “social innovation unconference” involving a relatively small group of people immersed in different disciplines, with a knack for creating impact.

social innovation unconference hackathon at legalforce

social innovation unconference hackathon at legalforceIt was a grand experiment to see what happens when you put people with different life/work experiences, who are passionate about creating a positive impact in a room together with the premise of identifying local problems and brainstorming solutions.

the first group

Our initial group included: a youth services professional, founder of social enterprise GoVoluntr, graphic designer with a passion for virtual currencies, a pediatrician with international relief experience, founder of social enterprise Goodjoe (Nathan), and founder of a blog on social innovation (myself).

the first venue

The event was held at the beautiful, hip storefront LegalForce BookFlip—which is a sizeable experiment of its own. The Founder of Trademarkia and LegalForce, Raj Abhyanker, founded the swanky concept store as a retail location for law. Nestled in the heart of bustling downtown Palo Alto, across from the new Apple Store, LegalForce is what you might imagine an Apple approach to law to look and feel like. Bold bursts of orange draw the eye and the modern, design-centered theme carries through to every corner of the shop. Attorneys are on hand to answer questions and there is an array of legal and leadership books available for browse and buy.

Raj and his team welcomed us to use their lower level conference room for our un-event. Against the creative backdrop, we sat down and begun to explain our backgrounds and what experiences have shaped our desire to use our careers to create change in addition to generating value.

a social innovation unconference/hackathon

It was a fascinating few hours. The congenial atmosphere led to an abundance of humor and joking, as well as serious dives into pressing issues.

At the end of the session we whiteboarded our options for issues to address, what we wanted from the experience, and solutions to begin exploring. One local issue that came up was the lack of youth resources in the county. While a number of organizations serve youth, there didn’t seem to be many centers or creative learning spaces for youth to seek mentorship, build skills, and just hang out.

social innovation unconference hackathon at legalforceThe idea to address the youth issue through building some kind of youth accelerator program emerged. It could be a way for professionals to mentor youth, and for youth to drive their learning and interests. We have informally continued exploring the idea, even ‘validate’ the concept by pitching it to local youth.

The day for me sparked something amazing. It was an opportunity to attend an event—and be transported from the audience to the speaker panel on stage. It was empowering to share some of the high-level concepts I have gleaned from writing and thinking about these issues for a long time with others who have also been exploring social innovation through their own lens.

We are hoping to test out this social innovation hackathon unconference concept out again in the near future.

 

#WSIC2013: Wharton Social Impact Conference 2013 in SF

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, over 150 people packed an auditorium at the scenic Wharton San Francisco campus to hear about relevant issues in the social innovation space.

The event—The Wharton Social Impact Conference—was held on April 4th 2013 and featured two lively panel discussions by impact investors and social entrepreneurs.

#WSIC2013: Wharton Social Impact Conference 2013 in SFThe conference was organized by Wharton SF business students and was attended by colleagues, thought leaders in the field, aspiring social entrepreneurs, and members of the community interested in the topic.

 

#WSIC2013: Wharton Social Impact Conference 2013 in SF

Panel 1: The Impact Investors

The first panel brought together four prominent leaders in the impact investment space.  Geoff “Chester” Woolley of Unitus, a VC firm that invests in scalable businesses serving East Asia that address poverty. When asked about what kinds of social enterprises his firm funds, Mr. Woolley said that Unitus is more focused on funding great entrepreneurs rather than financing individual ideas. He emphasized the importance of having a talented, cohesive team.




Next up was Ed Marcum of Humanity United, that funds efforts to give voice to the underrepresented and advance human freedom. He was followed by Penelope Douglas of Social Capital Markets (SOCAP)–which oversees HUB co-working spaces as well as the SOCAP conference. She emphasized that markets + business are crucial levers of change in social enterprise. The final speaker of the panel was Raj Gollamudi of Omidyar Network who spoke about various forms of capital and the increasing importance of patient capital or slow money—to fund major innovation.

#WSIC2013: Wharton Social Impact Conference 2013 in SF

Panel 2: The Social Entrepreneurs

After a brief networking break, the event resumed for an engaging second panel.Oftentimes, there’s a certain electricity that is generated when you get a group of social entrepreneurs in a room. It’s as though their energy, passion, and perseverance radiates to those around them.This panel was no different.

Each successive speaker brought more to the table and delved into a particular unique facet of their social entrepreneurial experience. Leila Janah of Samasource was poised, articulate, and eloquent in explaining her non-profit’s commitment to alleviating poverty through job creation.

She was followed by Alicia Polak of the Bread Project whose candor and openness about creating a local job training & culinary program was disarming, instructive, and entertaining.

Always a crowd favorite, Back to the Roots co-founder Nikhil Arora recapped his journey into social entrepreneurship and touched on the remarkable growth and media their gourmet mushroom kits have garnered. Next up was Jill Vialet of PlayWorks who enlightened the audience about the importance of play and her company’s innovative approach to facilitate play-inspired recess sessions.

Erin Gruwell of Freedom Writers literally brought the crowd to tears with her story of her work challenging her inner-city high school students to write a book. Her passion for her work and her students touched not only the audience in the room but many thousands who watched the Hollywood movie based on her story, Freedom Writers (She was played by Hilary Swank)

In asking one of event organizers, Raghavan Anand about what he took away from the event, he shared his 3 key takeaways, “1) There is value in attaching meaning to money and seeing what impact it can make rather than the raw purchasing power; 2) As the quote goes, ‘Success does not drive happiness but happiness drives success’,” and he pointed out the passion that was felt when the social entrepreneurs explained their work. Finally, Anand noted “3) Happiness is not the end-game. Meaning is, as Viktor Frankl said. And you derive meaning by giving to others, and leaving your impact on the world.”

Storify: Wharton Social Impact Conference (#WSIC2013) in Tweets, Photos, and Posts

To get an even better snapshot of the day, below is a storify compiled to with images, twitter comments, and articles and posts.

[View the story “Wharton Social Impact Conference (#WSIC2013)” on Storify]

A lively gathering of young South Bay progressives gathered in downtown San Jose on Thursday evening, March 28th, 2013 to connect, network, and honor Congressman Mike Honda as part of a Young Progressives Spring Mixer.

A Gathering of Emerging Progressive Leaders

Campbell Mayor Evan Low welcomed attendees—who represented groups including the Silicon Valley Young Democrats, NextGen Bay Area, SJSU Campus Alliance for Economic Justice (CAFEJ), and the Young Workers Council.

Silicon Valley Young Progressives Mixer with Congressman Mike Honda
Campbell Mayor Evan Lowe

Mayor Lowe provided a funny, poignant introduction to the evening. Lowe is a trailblazer himself, who was elected as the nation’s youngest openly gay mayor in 2010. As an Asian American, he also maintains strong ties to the community. He concluded his opening by noting that though he can officiate marriages, he cannot himself marry; and though he can host Boy Scout groups at City Hall, he is not welcome in the organization.

California Congressman Mike Honda

Congressman Mike Honda took to the stage to share his own experiences and observations about the importance of young progressives taking an active role in shaping their communities and local offices.
Silicon Valley Young Progressives Mixer with Congressman Mike HondaCongressman Honda, representing California’s 17th congressional district, was born in the Bay area (Walnut Grove) in June 1941—six months before the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  He spent the majority of his first five years in a Japanese internment camp in Colorado—one of 100,000+ Japanese and Japanese-Americans physically relocated and excluded from society.
Over a decade later, in 1953, Honda’s family returned to California and he completed high school in San Jose and went on to pursue a teaching credential, interrupted by two years of service as Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador. His career as an educator spanned 30+ years and his first foray into local government was when he successfully ran for election to the San Jose Unified School Board in 1981.
Honda served as an elected official in various capacities before running for U.S. Congress in 2001. He has been re-elected four times consecutively.
Here an excerpt of Congressman Honda’s remarks on equality, justice, and leadership.

“When We Oppress Other People, We Become Oppressed.” – Rep. Mike Honda

References:

Mike Honda (Wikipedia)
Japanese American Internment (Wikipedia)
California 17th Congressional District (Wikipedia)

Innovation is not effective when seen as a sedentary object that be passed from company to organization, or that merely serves to accessorize an office desk or town hall meeting.

Innovation is better understood when seen to be a living, breathing entity that mixes, blends, challenges and inspires impact in diverse industries, cultures, and organizations. Acknowledging this dynamic nature of innovation, two prominent institutes known for teaching organizational strategy and process are teaming together to present the first conference of its kind.The 1st annual Strategic Execution Conference is is being hosted by IPS Learning and the Stanford Center for Professional Development on April 24-25th at the Hyatt San Francisco.

IPS Learning

Meet Tim Wasserman, Chief Learning Officer Tim Wasserman

The conference will bring together organizational leaders and change agents to discuss, explore, and connect on issues surrounding organizational strategy, execution, experience, design, and impact.Innov8Social had a chance to talk to Chief Learning Officer and key organizer of the conference, Tim Wasserman. In his role, Tim also serves as Program Director of the Stanford Advanced Project Management program, where he teaches a number of courses.

How do Strategic Execution and Innovation Connect?

In explaining how the conference came to be, Tim emphasized that IPS and Stanford already have a fourteen year partnership centered around teaching strategy and execution. Additionally, the entities collaborate to offer a Stanford Advanced Project Management Certificate. Tim mentioned that over 4500 students have ‘graduated’ from the certificate program, and nearly ten thousand individuals have taken participated by taking a course in the subject.

He explained that many graduates from the program inquired about how to connect with others in the field, other graduates, and to learn about the ‘real world’ application of strategic execution theory outlined through the coursework.

And thus, the seed for the conference was planted.

Who Should Attend the Conference?

Participants and graduates of the Stanford Advanced Project Management Certificate program are encouraged to attend. Additionally—since the focus is on real-world application and learnings—executives and leaders in of social enterprises, companies, and non-profits would not only gain but also be able to add value to the ongoing conversation about execution and process.

What Should an Participant Hope to Gain from Attending?

The conference organizers recently released the official agenda for the Strategic Execution Conference.  For social innovators, the Wednesday afternoon keynote speech by Nike’s former Sustainability Innovator, Darcy Winslow—will be of interest.

Since the field of strategic execution and process has been evolving and developing for a over a decade, social innovators can also stand to learn by asking questions about how project managers measure impact, and how project management differs and parallels when applied to social enterprise.

You can find out more about the conference and register on the Strategic Execution Conference website.

Special Offer for Innov8Social Readers

The organizers of the Strategic Execution Conference are offering Innov8Social readers a special offer for the event.
Enter the promotion code SECINNOV8 when you register to receive:
  • $1995 special rate, discounted from the original $2395 list rate (savings of $400)
  • One night free hotel at the Hyatt Regency (location of the conference)
Imagine a room full of inventors, designers, social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and individuals passionate about water innovation—and you can begin to picture the Water Entrepreneurs Showcase 2013 hosted, fittingly, by Imagine H2O.Innov8Social first wrote about the work of Imagine H2O in 2011, in a video interview of one of its team members, Brian Matthay.Imagine H2O 2013 Showcase WinnersImagine H2O, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is dedicated to inspiring and empowering people to turn water challenges into opportunities. For its annual gala held on March 19th 2013, the organization gathered diverse constituents together to meet finalists and announce the winners of its startup competition. The event highlighted promising innovative impact-oriented startups in the water sector based on the selected theme of the year. Past themes included: water efficiency (2009), water energy nexus (2010), wastewater (2011), and consumer water innovations (2012).

The Competition

The 2012 competition kicked off in the Fall, with a call for business plans to be submitted between September 1st and November 15th 2012.  Startups worked on pitches, business strategy, and product design and a win based on judge feedback. Imagine H2O Showcase winners receive cash prizes, free software, mentorship and a spot on Imagine H2O’s exclusive Accelerator Program.

The Venue

The Water Entrepreneur’s Showcase was held in the beautiful gallery of Autodesk building in downtown San Francisco. Autodesk is one of the headlining sponsors of Imagine H20 and itself has a vibrant Clean Tech Partner Program within its division for Sustainable Design. The gallery showcases incredible innovations in design (including the crowd favorite, a life-sized motorcycle suspended with cables—that was printed from a 3D printer…see below for a tweeted photo)

 

Winners

Finalists were divided into two broad groups depending on their stage of development and production. The Pre-Revenue track included those startups in their early stages of operations, with a strong business plan, measurable methods of impact, but no operating revenue.

The second broad group, the early revenue track includes startups that are farther along in their product development and sales but still relatively new in the entrepreneurial space.

Below you will find the winners and finalists along with descriptions of the startup ventures, as displayed on the official Imagine H2O finalist page.

Pre-Revenue Track Winners of Imagine H2O Showcase 2013 

Imagine H2O 2013 Winner: Leak Defense Alert
Leak Defense Alert Founder Scott
Pallais holding his award.

Leak Defense Alert combines an easy-to-install sensor and transmitter that automatically identifies home leaks and notifies the homeowner that there is an issue requiring attention – essentially creating a “smoke detector” for water leaks.

Led by a team of Haitian and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors, Dlo Haiti offers a market-based solution providing safe drinking water in Haiti at a price average Haitians can afford. Dlo Haiti seeks to replace centralized water purification and delivery by truck with a decentralized approach to lower costs and improve water quality.

By matching the flow of water to lawn outlines, Innogation’s SMARTRotor™ dramatically reduces water used for outdoor irrigation while providing up to 98% distribution uniformity.

Early Revenue Track Winners of Imagine H2O Showcase 2013 

  • Winner: PaveDrain
    PaveDrain is an innovative paving system made up of arched concrete blocks that feature internal store chambers to absorb storm-water runoff while still maintaining a tough rugged exterior able to withstand extreme weather conditions, heavy vehicle loads, and storm downpours. The PaveDrain system is comprised of interlocking paving stones that are visually appealing, water saving, and highly functional. The PaveDrain system can be be used in a multitude of settings including driveways, city streets, sidewalks, and parking lots.

Finalists

Pre-Revenue Track Finalists
This stainless steel retrofit toilet flapper is designed to address a very basic, yet large, source of lost water. According to the American Water Association, one out of five toilets are leaking today because of faulty toilet flappers.
A biomimicry and nanotechnology company that harvests water from the air, NBD Technologies employs materials science and chemical engineering innovations to create water from the air. ReFresh
A provider of water on the go, ReFresh’s water distribution machines provide bottled water and accept used bottles for a partial refund making drinking water cheaper, more convenient, and more environmentally friendly.Early Revenue Track Finalists

Jompy 
The Jompy water boiler is a simple, easy to use device that allows the user to cook food and boil water simultaneously, so saving on fuel and time spent over an open fire. The Jompy will pasteurize contaminated water reducing the chance of water borne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera.

The HighSierra Showerhead combines a low-profile design that uses 40% less water and a flow control that maintain the feel and experience of a conventional showerhead even at varying pressures.

Tweets, Images, Articles from #ih2o13 made with @Storify

[View the story “@ImagineH2O Water Entrepreneurs Showcase 2013: #ih2o13 Recap, Photos, and Tweets” on Storify]

On a beautiful sunny Friday, hundreds of attorneys, legal tech folks, law students, legal bloggers, and others interested in innovation in law gathered at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View California to learn about innovation in law.

 

#ReInventLaw 2013 Silicon Valley Conference

A Movement to ReInvent Law

While Innov8Social has been a platform to explore social innovation and startup social entrepreneurs, I was surprised to begin to learn about the emerging innovations in law and legal tech. Speakers focused on design and process-oriented practice of law and focused on taking a long, tough look at whether the legal industry today best meets the needs of clients and the legal profession.

Silicon Valley Conference, March 8th 2013: Rapid-Fire

#ReInventLaw 2013 Silicon Valley ConferenceIn rapid-fire style, the conference featured over 40 speakers–many of whom presented in 6-8 minutes. The quick progression of speakers made the presentations more of a “pitch” than an in-depth view and allowed for many ideas to be presented in a short time. With numerous scheduled networking time, the organizers wanted to encourage discussion and debriefing with other attendees.

MSU Law Leads the Movement for Innovation in Law

Michigan State University College of Law (@MSULaw) has taken a leadership role in cultivating and growing this area of legal innovation. Organizers of the conference, Daniel Martin Katz and Renee Knake are faculty members at MSULaw and Co-Directors of ReInvent Law Laboratory that is actively pursuing building a platform to share and exchange ideas and innovation on how evolve the legal industry.

With funding from the Kauffman Foundation and MSULaw, the ReInventLaw Laboratory is focusing on building tools to address the R&D gap felt by law firms, legal departments, and other legal fields. Additionally, ReInventLaw Lab hosts Fellows to further the work and research in innovation in law. The core tenets of ReInvent Law Laboratory are: law + tech + design + delivery.

Twitter Recap of #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley 2013,  @Storify

[View the story “Twitter Recap of #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley 2013 ” on Storify]

Twitter Recap of #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley 2013

The ReInvent Law Silicon Valley 2013 conference on 3/8/13 explored law, tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the legal profession—and paid special attention to disruptive technologies, future trends, and identifying needs of clients. Here’s a recap of Twitter highlights!

Storified by Neetal Parekh· Sat, Mar 09 2013 12:34:27

Images from #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley 2013 by @margarethagan

#ReInventLaw a VC’s thoughts on the legal tech space, my #sketchnote http://pic.twitter.com/EQNsygiMXaMargaret Hagan
What is wrong with Law School? http://www.razblint.com/2013/03/law-students-on-law-school/ a Top 11 List from law students #reinventlaw http://pic.twitter.com/V2l7UxSOtVMargaret Hagan
Legal forms alone are not enough! #ReInventLaw Clients need wholly designed legal experience. http://pic.twitter.com/mCJV9WE8MHMargaret Hagan
Visualize the Law! #ReInventLaw let’s build legal maps… http://pic.twitter.com/hlnjsyYUlbMargaret Hagan
#ReinventLaw Where will good Legal Innovation come from? Good design process — some ground rules for brainstorms: http://pic.twitter.com/CMQlZeu3XwMargaret Hagan
#ReInventLaw To really design access to justice, we need to look beyond just making law publicly available. http://pic.twitter.com/gSzFAbOkSNMargaret Hagan

Set 1 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers: 8 Talks, 6 Min

Henry Jones, Managing Director @Axiom_Law
RT @lbridgesmith: #ReInventLaw Henry Jones notes that the GC’s at the top 200 companies control 80% of legal work. Meeting their needs…Axiom
Henry Jones from @Axiom_Law kicks off #reinventlaw Silicon Valley 2013! http://pic.twitter.com/tETCoKNFVuComp Legal Studies
VC looks at @Axiom_Law but as investor, does not see exit strategy given non-lawyers can’t own #ReInventLaw [RF: but Axiom not a law firm[ronfriedmann
Stephanie Kimbro, Attorney @BurtonLaw
Assumptions about lawyer advertising need to be rethought; impeding access to justice @StephKimbro #ReinventLaw #LegalRebelsRachel M. Zahorsky
@StephKimbro asks: why so many under employed lawyers AND such a gaping need for legal services? #ReInventLaw – Good Question.Ed Walters
Silvia Hodges, Director of Research Services @CTTyMetrix
#reinventlaw Silvia Hodges – lawyers need to focus on efficiency and numbers – use UTBMS codespracticePRO
Ray Bayley, CEO @ Novus Law
Just did the 6 minute fast talk at #reinventlaw. Listening to CEO of Novus Law. Story telling increases learning.StephKimbro
“@ronfriedmann: #ReInventLaw Ray Bayley. Novus uses gamification to motivate workers” || Best thought legal business I’ve seen.Patrick Lamb
#reinventlaw Ray Bayley – groups always outperform individuals – get people working togetherDanPinnington
Ben Gubernick, Founder @ Resolvable
#reinventlaw Ben Gubernick: courts are like 10,000 independent burger joints – we need a McDonalds model for the courtsDanPinnington
Yes! Ben Gubernick: adoption, not technology, is our challenge to change the legal system. #reinventlawWeorce
Joe Kelly, Law Student @MSULaw
#reinventlaw Joe Kelly from MSU Law: we need to make law more visual – think Google Maps and touch http://milaws.orgDanPinnington
Totally! “@agoldner: Why is law text only? Why not at least as pictures? Joe Kelly wins most interesting idea thus far at #reinventlaw”Jeena Cho
Show what the law says: present the law in more consumer friendly formats. UX/UI > text-make law more accessible. Joe Kelly #reinventlawFair Document
#reinventlaw Joe Kelly, real people need real time legal solutions they can understand and accessLarry Bridgesmith
Nicole Auerbach, Founding Member @ Valorem Law Group
#ReInventLaw Nicole from Valorem Law – 50% women coming into law for last 20 years but only 15% equity partners in top 200 firms! ShockingRiverview Law US
Nicole Auerbach of Valorem talking about why billable hour is detrimental to women lawyers.-That’s why I unbundle w/fixed fees. #ReInventLawStephKimbro
“The billable hour disparately impacts women.” @ValoremNic on why women should bash the clock @ReInventLaw @MSULaw http://pic.twitter.com/8pUIIbz7YDRenee Knake
Colin Rule, CEO @Modria
Colin Rule takes the stage at #Reinventlaw to discuss Online Dispute Resolution. #ModriaLoic COUTELIER
#reinventlaw colin rule – 90% of 60 million disputes resolved by eBay through online dispute resolutionDavid Bohrer
Colin Rule – the EU will make ODR mandatory for all eCommerce vendors by 2015! #Modria #reinventlawLoic COUTELIER

Set 2 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Ed Walters, CEO @FastCase
#ReInventLaw Ed Walters from Fastcase on who owns the law?Aric Press
#reinventlaw Ed Walters from Fastcase: Should big corporate publishers own the law? Audience answer: “Hell no!”DanPinnington
Law is a damn cool data set – Ed Walters of FastCase #ReInventLawR. Amani
Ed Walters: Law must be both free AND open; law is our code of ethics #reinventlawDonna Seyle
Sol Irvine, Partner @YusonIrvine
How to #ReInventLaw you asked? Data-driven contracts talk by Sol Irvine. Great stuff!Daniel W. Linna Jr.
#reinventlaw Sol Irvine – amazing value-add for lawyers – tell your clients about the data in their contractspracticePRO
#reinventlaw Sol Irvine has totally convinced me most contracts can be written as a dozen data points in ExcelDanPinnington
Daniel Martin Katz, Co-Founder @ReInventLaw Lab, Asst. Professor MSU Law
A pretty packed house tuning into co-founder of #ReinventLaw Lab, Daniel Martin Katz talking about the future of law http://pic.twitter.com/Km4XLCGHw5Neetal Parekh
#reinventlaw daniel katz-KEY “you can’t sell something to someone who does not want to buy it” Just cuz we build it . . .David Bohrer

Set 3 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Jason Mendelson, Managing Director @FoundryGroup
VC investor Jason Mendelson of The Foundry Group is interested in the legal space & would love to disrupt the AmLaw 10! #ReInventLawReid Trautz
Jason Mendelson: big data is nothing without insight #reinventlawDonna Seyle
Insightful talk by Jeff Mendelson of @foundrygroup—legal education is ripe for transformation #ReinventLawNeetal Parekh
Focus on consumer & work efficiency- impact driver of innovation-the consumersJason Mendelson @foundrygroup#reinventlaw @FairDocumentsJustin Yarmark
Sell margins not hours. Lawyers need to think strategically about creating profit and margins not # of hours. #reinventlaw @foundrygroupJustin Yarmark
Jason Mendelson “Great lawyers will buy things to make them more efficient” – very true. #ReinventLawThe Law School App
Josh Becker, CEO @LexMachina
Thanks Andrew! “@agoldner: Josh Becker rocking #reinventlaw. @lexmachina delivers empirical value and saves companies money.”Josh Becker
#ReInventLaw josh Becker describing money ball techniques to predict judge or lawyer behavior.Aric Press
Raj Abhyankaer, CEO @Legal Force (@LawInspiring)
Raj Abhyanker talks how a dissatisfied associate became an entrepreneur taking on the legal industry #Trademarkia #LegalForce #ReinventLawRachel M. Zahorsky
RT @aricpress: #ReInventLaw Raj on trademarkia: 24k clients world’s largest trademark firm @legalforce @trademarkiaNeetal Parekh
Raj Abhyanker from @legalforce: Invest in retail access to law, not lobbies. #ReInventLaw Beautiful slide deck! http://pic.twitter.com/rizv70Dvr3Ed Walters
#ReinventLaw – Video, talk by #LegalForce CEO Raj Abhyanker, Silicon Valley, March 8 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxiSlG2Lcmw&sns=tw via @youtubeLegalForce
Dane Stangler, Director of Research & Policy @KauffmanFdn
Dane Stangler, Kaufman Fdn: looks at how reinvention of law can affect other areas of economy, release entrepreneurial energy #reinventlawDonna Seyle
Dane Stangler of Kauffman Foundation: “How can legal sector help other sectors open themselves up to innovation?” #reinventlawGideon Grunfeld
#ReinventLaw Law can be a tool to encourage entrepreneurship. Almost an unbelievable truth from Dane Stangler, Kaufmann Foundation.Tweet The Debates

Set 4 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Tim Stanley, CEO @Justia
Hearing the history of free law online from @Justia Founder/CEO Tim Stanley…not as much change as you would expect in 18 yrs #ReInventLawNeetal Parekh
Tim Stanley (@justia): We can’t rely on Google for everything…or maybe we can #ReInventLawDavid Kemp
Tim (@Justia) Stanley talking about origins of the #openlaw movement. He’s led effort for many years. #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/PaP0c31PWGEd Walters
Michael Bommarito, Co-Founder @ Quantitative Legal Solutions
#ReInventLaw @mjbommar up now. Law’s Future from Finance’s Pastronfriedmann
Value + risk management is what clients want, not hours. #ReInventLaw @mjbommarronfriedmann
.@mjbommar has posted slides of his #ReInventLaw presentation, “Law’s Future from Finance’s Past”: http://bommaritollc.com/2013/03/08/slides-from-reinvent-law-silicon-valley-talk/Robert Richards
John Murdock III, Partner @ Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP (@BABC_Law)
#reinventlaw John Murdock brings process management to knowledge management in legal production like no one else! Well done John.Larry Bridgesmith
John Murdock illustrates what efficiency sounds like. #ReInventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/lUAeFAPn7MEd Walters
Mark Sherman, Asst. Director Education Division @ Federal Judicial Center
#ReInventLaw mark Sherman from fed judiciary on big strides by fed judges into 21st c. Includes iPads, apps, YouTube. Judges! Who knew?Aric Press
Federal judiciary follows gamification, leverages YouTube and nearly 60% employ iPads. #reinventlaw Mark Sherman federal judiciary centerJustin Yarmark
#reinventlaw Bend, flip, collaborate learn with content, interactivity and repeat. These words are the future of leaning. Mark ShermanLarry Bridgesmith
Renee Knake, @ReInventLaw Lab, Assoc. Professor @ MSU Law
Why are we here at #ReInventLaw? It’s gotta be the (law)ntrepreneurship, explains Renee Knake of @ReInventLaw Lab @msulawNeetal Parekh
Lawentreprenuership -making legal industry affordable, accessible and focused on the users experience in law. #reinventlaw Renee KnakeJustin Yarmark
My slides from @ReInventLaw Silicon Valley on (Law)ntrepreneurship – why are you here? http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/reneeknake/knake-talk-on-lawntrepreneurship-re-invent-law-silicon-valley-march-2013Renee Knake

Set 5 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Karnig Kerkonian & Rudy Minasian, Principals @ Velawsity (@VelawsityApp)
#ReInventLaw starting after lunch beak with Karning Kerkonian and Rudy Minasian @Velawsityronfriedmann
http://Velawsity.com launching now at #reinventlaw. LPM in the cloud.Elmer Masters
#reinventlaw Velawsity Integration of knowledge data communication and collaboration: best practices made perfect and data made real time.Larry Bridgesmith
Amani Smathers, Law Student @MSULaw
The martini glass of legal services. @R_Amani @ReInventLaw @MSULaw http://pic.twitter.com/whQvBiHUBqRenee Knake
Does what we call ourselves matter? Lawyers need to rebrand ourselves. @R_Amani rocks the stage @ReInventLaw @MSULawRenee Knake
Kevin Colangelo, Managing Partner @YousonIrvine
Show clients the guts of your process – Kevin Colangelo #ReinventLaw that’s a great way to set client expectationsSachin Bhatia
Law factory? Sounds ominous. RT @aricpress: #ReInventLaw Kevin colangelo on building the law factory.Gwynne Monahan
Dan Lewis, CEO @RavelLaw
Very cool data viz tools – looking forward to seeing more from @ravellaw! #ReInventLawEd Walters
Blown away by the dataviz demos for legal info. @RavelLaw is awesome. #reinventlawmarcidale
Dan Lewis launching @ravellaw at #ReInventLaw. http://pic.twitter.com/2YfjXjolTxEd Walters
Sam Rysdyk, Fellow @ReInventLaw Lab
Sam Rysdyk a #ReInventLaw fellow on object oriented lawyering. Every law student should know some programming. Law as code. Rock on.Elmer Masters
#ReinventLaw Fellow Sam Rysdyk says successful law students will have programming skills. How many liberal arts grads will listen?Rachel M. Zahorsky
Because coders now get the ladies (or gents)! @reneeknake @rysdyk @reinventlaw @msulaw #CodingistheNewCoolLast Honest Lawyer

Set 6 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Charley Moore, Founder @RocketLawyer
RT @LawScribbler: @RocketLawyer Charley Moore: nearly ½ small biz operate w/o legal help, now, collaborating w/lawyers online #ReinventLawAlli Gerkman
After hearing from Charley Moore at #ReInventLaw I have to get a copy of the new @RocketLawyer consumer survey before #ABATECHSHOW in April.Reid Trautz
81% of small business owners expect 2013 to be better than 2012 #RocketLawyer #ReInventLawAJ

Hon. Ann Aiken, Chief Judge @ Federal District Court of Oregon

Hon. Ann Aiken – evidence based practice for reentry – #reinventlaw Silicon Valley 2013 http://pic.twitter.com/wmqFVzLyWUComp Legal Studies
Amazing presentation on reentry into society from the criminal justice system by Judge Ann Aiken (fed dist OR) at #ReInventLawR. Amani
Wow. Judge Ann Aiken (Fed-OR) has an ask (& a spec!) — an app to prevent recidivism. Hello, Silicon Valley! #reinventlaw #gov20marcidale
Judge Aiken: we’re losing geniuses to broken criminal justice system. #ReInventLaw #RememberAaronTweet The Debates
Judge Aiken talking about 3553(a) factors #ReInventLaw #SentencingGuidelinesJosh Blackman
David Estrada, Legal Director +GoogleXLabs
David Estrada @googleXlabs makes the pitch to roomful of lawyers to support #selfdriving cars. Is Skynet around the corner #reinventlawJustin Yarmark
David Estrada – google x labs – discussing the inapplicability of existing laws to self-driving cars – more than I imagined! #reinventlawDonna Seyle
David Estrada, Legal Director of Google X. Time for Skynet automotive … err, self-driving cars. #ReInventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/nB47CgFP3wEd Walters
David Estrada – who is responsible if two self-driving cars crash in the woods #reinventlawDanPinnington
Kinglsey Martin, Owner @KMStandards
Kingsley – computer capacity will exceed lawyer capacity soon #reinventlawDanPinnington
@Kingsley_Martin building tools for quantitative legal prediction. #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/dAcU5xEPWfEd Walters
Kingsley Martin – machines will draft and review contracts #reinventlawpracticePRO
New post: Reverse Engineering Legal Logic (Live from #ReInventLaw) http://bit.ly/X4WE0F @Kingsley_Martin #KMronfriedmann
Ajaz Ahmed, Founder @Legal365.com
Ajaz Ahmed, founder of http://Legal365.com, based in the UK says “The legal market is too big for entrepreneurs to avoid.” #ReInventLawReid Trautz
@ajaz_ahmed: Great innovators do the obvious before it’s obvious to everyone else. #ReInventLaw #truth http://pic.twitter.com/0vChFDZmEREd Walters
@ajaz_ahmed @LEGAL365 We will see outsiders (like, Apple and Amazon) in the legal services space. #ReinventLawRachel M. Zahorsky

Set 7 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Chas Rampenthal, General Counsel @LegalZoom
Chas Rampentahl, GC of @LegalZoom up at #ReInventLaw on Retail Lessons for the Legal Industry. Cites Quality Solicitors in UK as exampleronfriedmann
“If you can’t afford a solution it’s not a solution.” Chas Rampenthal @LegalZoom @ReInventLaw @MSULaw http://pic.twitter.com/uXI8X2jdsWRenee Knake
Great talk by Chas, @LegalZoom, our fellow traveler in retail legal innovation. Hope to visit Legalzoom in a @Target one day. #ReInventLawLegalForce
TargetLaw=solution? @ronfriedmann: Intrstng focus on those 2 poor to pay rack rates but don’t qualify for free aid #ReInventLaw @LegalZoomRachel M. Zahorsky
Sorry to say, but I haven’t met a person yet whose used @LegalZoom and had the “right” experience. #reinventlaw So be careful tagging TargetJason Wilson
Bill Henderson, Professor @ IU Bloomington Law (@IUMaurerLaw)
#ReinventLaw the great and good bill Henderson on new approach to lawyer development.Aric Press
Bill Henderson talking about original Cravath development system: raw talent, salary, training, teamword, up or out #reinventlawDanPinnington
Love the pedagogical shift suggestion by Bill. Love the suggestions for legal ed. Love love love.We’re on the right track at UT #ReInventLawAaron Dewald
Bill Henderson’s clockworks #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/yWmHvzsNYaDanPinnington
#reinventlaw Bill Henderson, project management, systems engineering, knowledge management and system design: key legal education componentsLarry Bridgesmith
#reinventlaw Bill Henderson says that the leverage model of today’s law firms serves the partners very well. Not so much clients and assocLarry Bridgesmith
Deven Desai, Professor @ Thomas Jefferson Law School (@TJSL)
Love it. RT @DanPinnington: Deven Desai – Should law firms have a T-rex in the lobby? (a reminder to evolve or disappear) #reinventlawR. Amani
Deven Desai – “lawyer of the future should be preventative” (that means understanding the client’s business) #reinventlawDanPinnington
Lawyers shouldn’t help people do whatever they want, they should help people do whatever they want that’s legal. Deven Desai #ReInventLawTweet The Debates
Andy Daws, VP for North America @RiverviewLaw
#reinventlaw Andy Daws with Legal Services Act and ABS initiatives, UK has become the world’s legal laboratoryLarry Bridgesmith
Andy Daws of @RiverviewLaw captures a key trend in law firms adopting new technology. #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/vJYU4GueTcEd Walters
Andy Daws: Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?A: Hourly, or flat fee? #ReinventLawEd Walters
#reinventlaw With retail legal services, consumers can buy tea and legal services with loyalty points: Andy DawsLarry Bridgesmith

Richard Granat, CEO @DirectLawUSA

@rgranat up at #ReInventLaw. Richard has been working for decades to deliver affordable legal services to middle class.ronfriedmann
#ReInventLaw Richard Granat says US shouldn’t let UK be only legal lab in world. If lawyers can’t solve access to justice, let non-lawyers!Riverview Law US
Richard Granat – 75 million clients in $45 Billion latent legal market (and Big Law doesn’t serve them) #reinventlawDanPinnington
#reinventlaw Clients want transparency, price certainty and convenience. Richard GranatLarry Bridgesmith
Richard Granat (@rgranat) of @DirectLawUSA on private investment in legal services. #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/IYvp59p5uMEd Walters

Set 8 #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley Speakers

Ron Dolin, Lecturer @ Stanford Law, Research Fellow @CodexStanford
@calbarlpmt ‘s own Ron Dolin presents on “Thinking Outside the Bar”. #ReInventLawPerry Segal – Charon
#ReInventLaw Stanford’s Ron Dolin asks what law really means. We need an attitude that thinks beyond current legal system and beyond the BarRiverview Law US
#reinventlaw Ron Dolin: let software do what it can do best (process) so lawyers can do what they do best.Larry Bridgesmith
Use legal technology to amplify human judgment rather than replacing it with inadequate short cuts. (Ron Dolin, Stanford) #reinventlawAlli Gerkman

Josh Blackman, Founder @HarlanInstitute, Asst. Prof. @ South Texas College of Law

Amazing @joshmblackman talk on potential of #bigdata in legal system. Nod to @aaronsw re: closed #PACER data. #reinventlawmarcidale
@JoshMBlackman: How we get from learning by precedent to learning by data, then to predicting w/data. #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/vZdBzFDxGnEd Walters
@JoshMBlackman is looking to liberate all the good data locked in PACER, to use it to change law, make predictions. http://www.fantasyscotus.net/Elmer Masters
@JoshMBlackman has crowdsourced outcomes of court cases w better results than most experts. #ReInventLawronfriedmann
@JoshMBlackman re: eventual effects of tech on law – we’re prob not far off from tools that aid justice, but what about equity? #reinventlawDavid Marble
At #ReinventLaw speakers read notes from smartphones, not index cards. #MineWasImpromptuJosh Blackman
Michael Poulshock, Founder @ Hammura.bi
Michael @Poulshock talks about the Hammurabi Project, to make law computable, like TuboTax for law. #ReInventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/y4kNp6WkmGEd Walters
@poulshock: why not publish the law in source code, a chunk of open logic? #ReinventLaw #codeislaw #lawiscode Big idea.Ed Walters
Marci Harris, CEO @PopVox
@marcidale of @popvox: How public participation changes lawmaking. #ReinventLaw http://pic.twitter.com/48sVet2C7FEd Walters
#reinventlaw Marci Harris, traditionally public policy making consisted of moving money or moving people. Now Congress is over capacityLarry Bridgesmith
Lobbying meets social media w/ @Marcidale and #PopVox #ReInventLawAJ

Andy Ninh (@_ninhja), Law Student @ MSU Law

#ReInventLaw Andy Ninh from MSU suggests augmented reality will transform future legal services. Must get a pair of those Google glasses!Riverview Law US
@A_Ninhja shares his recent visit to google and future of augmented reality within legal system #reinventlaw http://pic.twitter.com/q1AQoDC29WSam Hensley
Tony Lai, Co-Founder @LawGives
@TonyKLai of @LawGives discusses why lawyers – humans – so important for legal services, even (especially?) today? http://pic.twitter.com/ahI6CTAuUsEd Walters

Seth McGrath, CTO @PropylonUS

Missed #ReInventLaw Silicon Valley conference on legal tech & services innovation? See tweets & resources here: http://legalinformatics.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/8-march-reinventlaw-silicon-valley-2013-conference/Robert Richards
Sean McGrath of Propylon is final #reinventlaw presenter; talking paperless using TimeArc software–product for legislative drafting.Reid Trautz
Over fifty women and a handful of men gathered at the eco-chic offices of Kiva in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, February 12th 2013 to discuss social entrepreneurship. The panel of experienced women practitioners and mentors in the field was organized by Linda Cleary and Barb Krause of Women in Business (WIB), a subgroup of the Northern California German American Business Association (GABA).

GABA Panel of Women Social Entrepreneurs @ Kiva
Women Social Entrepreneurship Panel, hosted by GABA and Kiva

 

While the panelists—from IndieGoGo, Kiva, Santa Clara’s GSBI program, and social enterprise startups— explained their work and organizations’ missions, they made the gathering uniquely personal by sharing their individual stories and journeys in the field.

Moderated by Britt Huber of Kiva

 

Seven panelists shared the stage and were hosted by the evening’s Moderator Britt Huber, Kiva’s VP of Human Resources. Britt outlined the role Kiva has played in expanding microfinance, noting that repayment rate for the organization’s micro-loans to borrowers in developing countries is over 95%. Kiva, a 501(c)(3) non-profit,  has expanded it’s presence to 67 countries since its inception in 2005 and is powered by over 100 employees and 400 volunteers.
GABA Panel of Women Social Entrepreneurs @ Kiva
Moderator Britt Huber

The speakers sat on stools in front of the audience creating an informal, intimate setting.  Each gave a brief introduction, and then Britt posed a few questions spurring anecdotes and candid reflections before opening the session up for Q&A from the audience.

  • What was the trigger motivation that shifted your interest to social entrepreneurship?
  • What are you most proud of? What keeps you up at night? (See below for their responses)
  • How do you define a nonprofit and for-profit social venture? How should a social entrepreneur decide?

Meet the Panel

Panelist Dr. Laura E. Stachel, Co-Founder of WE CARE Solar.
After fourteen years practicing obstetrics-gynecology medicine, a back injury took Dr. Laura out of the daily practice of medicine and on a path to pursuing policy through a Masters in Public Health.  She redefined her connection to the medicine following a trip to Nigeria. The purpose of the travel was to study and support local physicians in a region with high maternal mortality rates; however, she discovered a very essential problem limiting medical care at the facility. Light, or the lack of it. Because of the region’s sporadic electricity, doctors and nurses were using makeshift lighting methods such as candles and headlamps to administer surgeries and intensive care. Dr. Laura emailed her husband, a solar energy innovator, and the seed of a social enterprise was planted.  Together they developed prototypes and researched need for a solar-powered off-grid electric system that was portable.  Five years later, and WE CARE solar suitcases have been delivered to medical facilities in countries including Sierra Leone, India, Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, Malawi, Thailand, Burma, and Somalia. Organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, WE CARE Solar has received recognition, awards, and multiple grants facilitating its growth and scalability.

What she is proud of: Creating an impact on women’s healthcare.
What keeps her up at night: The daily challenges of running a business.

Panelist Lesley Silverthorn Marincola, Founder and CEO of Angaza Designs
Lesley’s background in human-centered design stems from her study of product design and mechanical engineering at Stanford and hands-on work on the first three generations of the Amazon Kindle. She co-founded Angaza Designs in 2009 after living in Tanzania and experiencing first-hand the local dependence to kerosene-powered light. Lesley and a small team were compelled to innovate a design-oriented solution. She shared the iterative ideation process Angaza Designs has gone through in developing an off-the grid energy solution that is also affordable. The team’s initial product was a high-powered light bulb with relatively steep up-front costs. Realizing that it wasn’t affordable for the populations they were trying to serve, Angaza pivoted to create a low-cost pay-as-you go solution. The product that resulted was the
GABA Panel of Women Social Entrepreneurs @ KivaSoLite3 Solar Home System that emits bright LED light and also charges cell phones, which is supported by a unique payment platform allowing for small-sum payments. Her company is a for-profit social venture, with an emphasis on keeping up-front costs low.

What she is proud of: Being okay to fail.
What keeps her up at night: Fundraising—you need to be really resilient as a social entrepreneur, passion is not always enough.

Panelist Dr. Lee Ng, Director of Social Venture Technology at Siemens and Mentor at SCU’s Global Social Business Incubator.
In a humorous, candid style, Dr. Lee imparted sage advice to social entrepreneurs and would-be social entrepreneurs based on her years of experience and mentorship in the field. Her day job at Siemens keeps her close to emerging technologies in cleantech, and as a mentor at SCU’s GSBI program for the past seven years, she has been able to impart valuable knowledge to entrepreneurs from around the world who have a social mission for their venture. She emphasized taking a practical approach to deciding on a social entrepreneurship structure—consider first, the type of funding your organization will be seeking and then evaluate the formation structures with that in mind.

What she is proud of: Her mentees who have succeeded in their social ventures.
What keeps her up at night: Her teenagers :)



Panelist Michelle Kreger, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kiva.
When Michelle joined Kiva in 2006, after volunteering with the organization as a translator, Kiva serviced $2M in micro-loans to borrowers fighting poverty in developing countries. Seven years later, the non-profit has serviced over $400M in loans. The exponential growth in participation in  microfinance has also changed the landscape and needs of the industry. In 2011, she joined an emerging group at Kiva dedicated to exploring new loan products to serve the influx of new players in the social impact world. One main constituencies she focused on was social entrepreneurs. Kiva has partnered with over 30 social enterprises to fund projects and support their work. These new partnerships span fields from education, innovative agriculture, clean energy, water and sanitation, to transportation and health. Her team recently partnered with Strathmore University in Kenya to create student loans payable in 10-12 years.

What she is proud of: Consciously deciding to break a model that works to create new models.
What keeps her up at night: How to find people who are social entrepreneurs and don’t know it, and how to use Kiva’s network to support their work.

GABA Panel of Women Social Entrepreneurs @ KivaPanelist Erica Bliss, Past Manager at Technoserve and President of Women Entrepreneurs at Haas.
After gaining experience as a business analyst, Erica discovered Technoserve as a way to leverage her consulting skills to support social enterprises in developing countries. She spent two-and-a-half years as a TechnoServe Consultant and Manager in Uganda assisting local farmers develop partnerships and products to increase local market share. She also served as a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Africa before returning to California to pursue an MBA with a focus on social enterprise. She shared a unique experience working with local farmers to create a mango juice sourced from local mangoes to parallel popular juices imported from other countries.

What she is proud of:  Building a cohesive team in Africa that continues the work they started together.
What keeps her up at night: The massive population of youth under the age of fifteen in Africa and the challenges, such as job creation, that they will face in the coming years.

Panelist Juli Betwee, CEO, Pivot.Point Partners and Mentor at SCU’s Global Social Business Incubator.  Juli has over twenty-five years of experience in business consulting and strategy. Recently, she partnered with the GSBI at Santa Clara University to leverage her knowledge and experience in business to support social entrepreneurs. New to the field of social entrepreneurship, she offered a practical look at the industry from the lens of corporate growth and scalability. About how to measure social impact, she noted that assessing social impact engages a three-dimensional way of thinking which calls on looking at predictive analytics rather than historic analytics and focusing on trends, patterns, and correlations rather than simply numbers.

What she is proud of: Impacting and influencing over 100 women entrepreneurs.
What keeps her up at night: How to move more quickly to make greater impact with social entrepreneurs.

Panelist Erica Labovitz, Director of Strategic Programs at Indiegogo.
Erica admitted to the audience that she hadn’t considered herself to be a social entrepreneur before speaking on the panel, but in sharing her personal history in engaging in education and policy work in the U.S. and abroad it became clear that she wears the title well. Erica studied in Economics in college and pursued a Masters degree at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. While on a volunteer trip in Africa she received an email from the founders of IndieGoGo asking her if she wanted to join their team. She was one of the first four employees at the popular crowdfunding platform. She is interested in finding creative ways to leverage the potential of crowdfunding platforms and enterprise tools to serve social impact. IndieGoGo is a for-profit corporation.

What she is proud of: Generating esteem-building through job creation.
What keeps her up at night: How to create a level playing field for startup entrepreneurs.

GABA Panel of Women Social Entrepreneurs @ Kiva

 

 

Amid the dark wood and high ceilings of the second floor of an upscale Irish bar & restaurant in downtown Sunnyvale, CA over fifty people gathered to celebrate and honor the achievements of three local winners of the 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards.The 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards, hosted by New Leaders’ Council (NLC), recognizes emerging leaders across the country who have created impact in fields such as political leadership, social entrepreneurship, media leadership, and effect advocacy.The Silicon Valley Chapter of NLC organized the event to honor the three local award recipients.

New Leaders Council offers an annual fellowship to inform, tool, and connect emerging progressive leaders interested in fields such as social entrpreneurship and advocacy. You can find out more about the fellowship program on the NLC website and learn about other fellowship programs here: 50+ Fellowship Programs for Social Innovators.

Here is a recap of the event in photos.

Photo Essay: 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards, New Leaders Council Silicon Valley 2013

NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
Attendees including current NLC Fellows, Alumni, Board Members, and
friends gather, mingle, and connect.
NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
NLC Silicon Valley Co-Directors, Reeta Sharma and Kalen Gallagher 
 welcome guests and give opening remarks.

 

NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
Ash Kalra, NLC Silicon Valley Honorary Chair, San Jose City Council Member
introduces the 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards and reflects on his own
experience in progressive leadership.
NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
Award recipient Sarah Granger, prolific impact blogger, journalist,
 entrepreneur, and new media expert & trainer, accepts her award in
Media Leadership.

 

NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
Services of Silicon Valley, accepts his award for Leadership in
Entrepreneurship.
NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
Award recipient Alexandra Acker-Lyons, Director of Youth Engagement Fund,
accepts her Media Leadership.
NLC SV 40 under 40 Awards Reception
NLC SV Co-Directors thank the honorees and attendees, and the crowd
continues to connect and engage amid the drum beats and
vocal sound-checks of a live band warming up.