On Nov. 13-14 Wesleyan will host the inaugural Social Impact Summit, a gathering of alumni and parents who are passionately working for social change on a local, national and global scale. The summit is underwritten by James Shasha ’50, P’82, and organized by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, and the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations.
Many alumni joke about the “Wesleyan Film Mafia” but less well-known is the “Wesleyan Social Impact Mafia,” a large web of alumni engaged in social impact work.
“Alumni in this sector frequently cross paths in their professional lives, and have been asking for better ways to convene, compare notes and develop professional connections,” said Makaela Kingsley ’98, director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “This was the inspiration behind the summit. As organizers, we believe that social change will happen better and faster if Wesleyan grads are working on it and working on it together.”
Between 100 and 200 people are expected to attend. Most of the conference will be spent in small-group conversations and mentor-facilitated, topic-based breakout sessions. A key part of the summit will be peer-to-peer mentorship: alumni with expertise in the social sector who can advise each other, and those just getting started.
The event will also feature TED-style keynotes, as well as two panels of experts designed to teach best practices and practical skills, and a “Celebration of Wesleyan Impact” showcasing the work of individuals. A full schedule for the summit is available here.
On Nov. 13, students and community members are invited to attend the 4:30 opening remarks and keynotes in Memorial Chapel, followed by a reception in Zelnick Pavilion. There is no charge and pre-registration is not required.
The Keynote speakers are:
- Kirk Adams ’73, P’13, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union.
- Irma Gonzalez ’78, P’09, principal of Zeon Resources, specializing in change and transition management in support of social justice advocacy.
- Jessica Posner Odede ’09 and Kennedy Odede ’12, co-founders of Shining Hope for Communities, a non-profit that combats extreme poverty and gender inequality.
A full list of speakers is here.