Tag Archives: Food Supply

Sustainable Business Models for Social Ventures

Panel Description for ForSE 2009

In decades past, many non-profits have achieved only temporary success and limited scale due to dependence on grants and donations. A new breed of ventures has begun innovating revenue models to build greater capacity and sustain operations. These approaches leverage the power of markets to meet social needs. Whether they’re building a socially responsible brand of clothing, providing renewable energy solutions, or bringing banking to the poor, these organizations have discovered the sustainable power of partnering with their customers.

Hear from a panel of innovative organizations that are thinking outside the box in terms of building sustainable models. Click here to register.



  • Prof Nitin Joglekar, School of Management, Boston University

Equal Exchange – Special In-depth Case Study and solutions brainstorming

Case Presenter: Rodney North, The Answer Man, Equal Exchange

Moderator: Gaurav Rohtagi, Principal, Continuum

Equal Exchange, the Massachusetts-based employee-owned worker co-operative best known for introducing Fair Trade coffee to American grocery stores in that late ‘80s.

Equal Exchange has over 100 employees in 6 states and $35 million in annual revenue. They’ve recently won six different awards for their environmentally and socially responsible business practices including the Social Innovation Award from the Financial Times newspaper and the World’s Most Democratic Workplace award from WorldBlu.

TIECON Social Enterprise Track Provides New Perspective

For the first time TIECON EAST – TiE Boston’s annual conference on entrepreneurship and innovation – had a dedicated track on Social Enterprise. The three panels in the track – ‘Healthcare Innovation in a Global Village’, ‘IT & Communications for the Developing World’ and ‘Feeding 9 Billion people’ – were all well attended and engaged the attentive audience with the incisive discussions. Here are some excerpts from an article I wrote for Lokvani about the sessions. Continue reading

ForSE 2008 – Speakers and Panels for conference

We have a terrific line up of speakers and panels for ForSE 2008 on October 10th at Boston University. See the list below. Do make sure you have registered as there are very few seats left.

To register go to: http://www.bu.edu/forse

Click on the ForSE 2008 link.

Opening Plenary Panel 9.00 to 10.45 am

  • Nishith Acharya, Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation.
  • Naveen Jha, Director of Programs, Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Meenakshi Verma Agrawal, Program Officer, Global Exchange Programs, Deshpande Foundation

Closing Keynote 4.00 to 4.30 pm

  • Keynote Speaker Gerald Chertavian, CEO and Founder, Year Up. Recipient of the 2003 Social Entrepreneurship Award by the Manhattan Institute.

Track Themed Panels from 11.15 to 12.15

Adapting to Climate Change

  • Lynne Carter, Director, Adaptation Network
  • Paul H. Kirshen, Research Professor, Director, Water, Systems, Science and Society, Tufts University
  • Missy Stults, Sr. Program Officer, Northeast, ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives)

Mobile Solutions for the Masses

  • Jhonatan Rotberg, Founder, Director, Next Billion Network
  • Amir Alexander Hasson, CEO, United Villages
  • Barry Vercoe, Professor, MIT & Advisor OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

Beyond Microfinance: Opportunities for change

  • Chandni Ohri, Regional Director, South Asia, Grameen Foundation
  • Sarita Gupta, Vice President, Women’s World Banking
  • Tanya Palit, Project Manager, Grameen America
  • Dr. Jeffrey Blander, Executive Director, Bienmoyo Foundation, Course Director, Harvard Health Science & Technology Division

Building a Sustainable Food Supply

  • Kristen McCormack, Faculty Director, Public and Nonprofit Management Program, Boston University School of Management
  • Florence Reed, Founder, Sustainable Harvest International
  • Margaret Williams, Executive Director, The Food project

Cultivating a Generation – Engaging Young Entrepreneurs

  • Xing Hu, Youth Venture, Ashoka.org
  • Alvona Cunningham, Education Manager, JA Academy and Scholars Program
  • Clare McCully, Executive Director, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Case Studies 1.00 to 2.30 pm


  • Case Presenter: Mishi Jaggi and Bob Beauchamp, Nano Decopier, JMD Manufacturing
  • Case discussion moderated by: Peter Russo, Executive-In-Residence/Senior Lecturer, Strategy and Policy Department, Director, Entrepreneurship Programs – ITEC, Boston University School of Management

Mobile Solutions for the Masses

  • Case Presenter: Click Diagnostic
  • Case discussion moderated by: Tilak Subrahmanian

Beyond Microfinance: Opportunities for change

  • Case Presenter: Eric Melin, Founder, Philanthropist.org
  • Case discussion moderated by: Ramesh Advani, Vice President of Finance, India Operations, Fidelity Investments

Building a Sustainable Food Supply

  • Case Presenter: Lydia K. Bergen, Associate Director, Strategy and Outreach, Sustainable Fisheries Initiative, New England Aquarium
  • Case discussion moderated by: Barry Horwitz, Horwitz & Company LLC

Cultivating a Generation – Engaging Young Entrepreneurs

  • Case Presenter: Julie Nessen, Co-founder & Executive Director, Young Entrepreneurs Alliance
  • Case discussion moderated by: Paul McManus, Director International Programs, ITEC, Boston University

Sustainable Ventures for non-profits

  • Case Presenter: Roger Wellington, Director, Abundant Table Enterprises & Susan Miskell, Business Operations Manager, Abundant Table Enterprises
  • Case Discussion moderator to be finalized

Track Themed Panels from 2.45 to 3.45 pm

Mobile Solutions for the Masses

  • David Reich, Founder & CEO, Assured Labor
  • Vishwanath Anantraman, Co-Founder, Dimagi

Cultivating a Generation – Engaging Young Entrepreneurs

  • Barton Kunstler, Author, The Hothouse Effect
  • Preeta Banerjee, Assistant Professor of Strategy, International Business School, Brandeis University
  • Joshua Schuler, Executive Director, Lemelson-MIT Program, MIT

Sustainable Ventures for non-profits

  • Tim Prestero, Founder and CEO, Design Than Matters
  • Alex Chisholm, Executive Director and Founder, Learning Games Network
  • Therese Ellis, CEO, Common Impact
  • Andrew Motta, Operations Director, Artists For Humanity

Workshops – from 2.45 to 3.45 pm

Careers in Social Entrepreneurship

  • Presented by Marty Rod, Director of Entrepreneur Outreach, Ashoka

Marketing for Social Entrepreneurs

  • Presented by Beverly Schwartz, Vice President and Director of Global Marketing, Ashoka

Strategic Philanthropy: Implications of Recent Trends

  • Presented by Anne Radday, Philanthropy Researcher, Social Innovation Forum

Building a Sustainable Food Supply

Here is the final track description for the upcoming ForSE 2008: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs on October 10th at Boston University.

Building a Sustainable Food Supply

Today’s attention grabbing headlines increasingly focus on the high price of oil, the availability of water and the spiraling cost of food. Governments, business and nonprofit organizations around the world have responded to these challenges with programs or policies designed to help farmers grow more food using less resources, grow food closer to where it will be consumed and provide a better economic outcome for farmers. Current solutions range from new business models connecting small farmers as suppliers of multinational food corporations to teaching communities low impact, high yield farming techniques. However, the move toward a sustainable food supply is only beginning and provides an opportunity to explore resource constrained solutions.

Topics to be addressed in this session include: increasing yield from existing acreage, solving market access barriers facing small farmers, reducing the resources and environmental impact required to produce food, and resolving distribution problems with locally grown food in the U.S. and globally.

ForSE 2008 signups off to a great start

We finally opened registration for ForSE 2008:Forum for Social Entrepreneurs on Wednesday, September 10th. The response has been terrific!! We had over 60 people register within 48 hours. This is shaping up to be a great gathering of like minded people interested in social entrepreneurship.

Last year we had hoped to have 150 attendees, instead over 250 signed up and we had to shut down registration. At the rate we are going, it looks like we will quickly reach the registration limit for this year’s Forum also.

We have tried to keep ForSE very affordable for our attendees, many of whom are students or starting non-profits and social entrepreneurs. The registration fee for attendees is nominal ($20 for students /$35 for affiliates of BU and TIE /$/75 for all others) for a full day conference including meals. However these discounted fees will only be available for the first 180 registrants. If you are interested in attending I would encourage you to register soon. The fees will go up substantially after we have 180 attendees signed up.

To help encourage dialog and discussion among the conference attendees and to build a community around social entrepreneurship, we have added an interesting attendee email feature on our conference website. Registrants who opt in are listed on the “Participants page“. Attendees can contact others thru a blind email system to discuss issues, tracks themes or other conference topics prior to and after the conference. At no point is your email displayed to others on the website. When someone contacts you, the system forwards you their message with their email contact and it is up to you to choose to respond to the message. We hope this gets people talking to each other before we meet.