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March 25-26


Welcome to #SECON2017

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


Our Mission: To inspire participants to engage in truthful dialogue about the past and to dare to embrace the challenges of the future.



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.

See 2017 Speakers






Registration is now Open!

frequently asked questions


Who will be the speakers this year?

The SECON planning team is currently in the midst of inviting speakers and finalizing logistics. We will be updating our website, and sharing information with attendees as more information becomes available.

In previous years attendees have heard from 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.

Are press credentials available?

Yes. If you are a member of the press we would be happy to give you a press pass for this year’s conference. Please send us an email at info@socialenterpriseconference.org to learn more about press passes.

Can I buy a single day ticket?

Currently, we do not have plans to offer single day tickets. It is possible that as the schedule is finalized and logistical constraints arise, we will offer a small number of single day tickets; however, those tickets are contingent on the scheduling and logistical needs that may arise later in the spring.

Do you have group discounts?

Yes, we do offer group discounts! Groups of 5 or more friends or teammates can purchase a “Group Discount” ticket for 10% off. Larger group discounts are also available for professionals from any organization that is sponsoring the Social Enterprise Conference. Please email info@socialenterpriseconference.org to learn more about sponsoring.

Who can attend SECON?

SECON is an outstanding opportunity for anybody – both graduate and undergraduate students from all universities and professionals from all fields are welcomed. We primarily cater to people who are interested in Social Enterprise or people who are already working in Social Enterprise. However, if you are new to the field, we would definitely like for you to join us at this year’s conference to explore all the facets of social enterprise.

Is financial aid offered?

Yes! SECON is committed to bringing together the best and most committed social entrepreneurs, regardless of financial situation. Therefore, we offer a limited amount of financial aid to those with a genuine need. To apply, please send an email to info@socialenterpriseconference.org with the subject “Financial aid application.” The email should include a brief description of your financial circumstances, and an explanation of why you would like to attend SECON. In addition to financial aid, volunteer opportunities are also available.

Can I be a speaker at SECON this year?

We are currently in the midst of determining our needs for speakers, based on attendee interests. However, e-mail us at info@socialenterpriseconference.org so that we can put you in touch with our programming leads who can follow up with you if any opportunities become available.

Can I volunteer at SECON this year?

Absolutely! Volunteers dedicate a few hours to helping with the conference, in exchange for a 50% ticket discount. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the following form.

Do you have hotel and accommodation suggestions?

Attendees traveling from out of town typically arrive on Friday evening, and leave Sunday evening. There are a large number of hotels around campus and within the Boston/Cambridge area, but a few that are frequently used by guests are:

Doubletree Boston/Cambridge

  • Book here for a discounted rate.
  • 10 minute walk to Harvard Business School; 20 minute walk to Harvard Kennedy School (shuttles are also available)

Charles Hotel

  • Book here for a standard rate: charleshotel.com
  • Location: 5 minute walk to Harvard Business School; 5 minute walk to Harvard Kennedy School

Courtyard Boston/Cambridge

  • Book here for a standard rate.
  • Location: 15 minute walk to Harvard Business School; 25 minute walk to Harvard Kennedy School

March 25

9:00 am -10:30 am
Memorial Hall, Harvard University
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138

11:15 am - 7:00 pm
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge MA 02138

March 26

9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Harvard Business School
100 Western Ave. Boston, MA 02163