On behalf of the SECON 2017 planning team, we are thrilled to welcome you to the 18th iteration of one of Harvard’s largest student-run conferences on campus, which has been recognized as a leading forum for dialogue, debate, and networking around social enterprise. This year we seek to address the big questions and central tensions in the field under the theme of “What’s the Bottom Line?”. From some social enterprise’s own triple-bottom line — aspiring to financial, social, and environmental returns — to getting to the core of the social enterprise space’s most complex issues, we hope these two days will bring together like-minded students, academics, and professionals to participate in an engaging and interactive conference.
At this conference, you will find tracks based on interdisciplinary questions and opportunities: Startup Society, Unleashing Human Potential, Reimagining Capitalism, and Disruptive Potential. Unanswered Questions. Our programming combines panels and keynotes with interactive solution sessions, debates, networking, skills-based training, and “office hours” with social enterprise experts in order to deeply engage you and help learning stick.
We also hope to reflect on the moment of social and political turmoil that is the backdrop for this year’s conference. We believe social enterprise has an important role to play in supporting civic engagement and providing services to vulnerable populations and that this makes the conversations this year more important and urgent than ever.
Thank you for joining us,
Jen Smith and Reilly Kiernan
For 2017, we are excited to have speakers from Acumen, USAID, Facebook, Bridgespan Group, Deloitte, Pfizer, Microsoft, Ford Foundation, and more.
In previous years attendees have heard from accomplished speakers, participated in problem solving labs with actual social enterprises from across the globe, and engaged in intimate discussion with participants from diverse backgrounds but similar goals. Industry leaders such as Ashoka founder Bill Drayton; social innovation journalist and columnist David Bornstein and City Year and Be The Change, Inc. Founder Alan Khazei have been keynote speakers in past SECON conferences.