FMS Days 2 and 3: Business Modeling for Frontier Market Scouts

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For the second and third day of the Frontier Market Scouts training program, participants were led by instructor Yuwei Shi through different business model diagrams and approaches to business model design. Yuwei also introduced guest speaker Keely Stevenson who serves on the advisory board of CSIL at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Keely was invited to the FMS training to provide a live case study in the form of Weal Life, an online app that connects people in need of care with a support network of family, friends, and community members. FMS participants have been challenged to redesign and pitch a business model for Weal Life on which they will be judged on the third day of the FMS training. In the next 27 hours, FMS participants will go through an ideation stage, form teams, and compete to design the best thought out and presented business model for their version of Weal Life.




June 2015 Frontier Market Scouts Program Begins!

1430780817742June 1st, 2015 marked the beginning of the Summer FMS program. 27 participants traveled from around the globe from as far as South Africa and India to Monterey in order to learn more about impact investing and social enterprise. The FMS Summer program was kicked off by Morgan Simon from Transform Finance who taught the introductory class on impact investment and social enterprise. Participants were led through definitions of terminology surrounding impact investment as well as the history and current players of the sector. Morgan challenged participants to be “conscientious consumers” of both sectors.

Participants were led through debate style discussion on topics ranging from the privatization of education to critiquing Microfinance and the TOMS Shoes social enterprise model. Morgan also discussed the importance of how impact is measured – “it really depends on what you see as important when you are looking at ways in which to measure impact – are you looking at the status quo? local level or international level?” Participants were left with questions from Morgan to consider for the rest of the training program maybe most important of which: “Who was asked? Who decided? and Who suffers if you fail?”

Developing your WHY Factor

We all can’t be Nina and build a website for each company we wish to work for (#Nina4President). But we can take a page from Nina and learn how to demonstrate our values and value-adds to future dream employers.  I’ve collected and adapted some exercises and strategies you can use to help you figure out your own WHY FACTOR. This can be used in interviews, pitches, professional profiles and the like. Most importantly, it’s for you to uncover your purpose. I challenge you to dig deep and ask WHY. Why do you want to do what you want to do? Why are you driven to do it? Why is this part of your story?

The Head // Heart Hustle
head heartThe idea behind the head heart hustle is that, for meaningful and productive work, we want to merge and   engage both, not just one. This story, borrowed from Echoing Green’s Work on Purpose curriculum, illustrates head + heart:

Andrew spent most of his life trying to help people through direct service, by volunteering for various organizations for a few hours at a time, but he never felt like he was making much of an impact. He was less head heart 2 effective than he could have been because he was not bringing his head to his service. Meanwhile, he was excelling in his career, rising through the ranks of an illustrious consulting firm, but he found no joy in his job because he wasn’t bringing his heart to his paid work. Finally Andrew realized that he could help people most effectively not as a volunteer, but as a CEO.

When we tap into both the head and the heart, that’s when we’re truly able to hustle and get into a streamlined work flow.

headheart 3Are there creative ways to combine items from each? Maybe they don’t all make sense. But think about a time when you applied both your head and your heart and what you were able to achieve. Let’s figure out ways to do more of that.


Life Map

I’m serious. Get out the markers and butcher paper and think about…What brought you here, to this moment? How has your history shaped you? Your family? Education? Challenges? Triumphs? Failures? Relationships? Why are you here, with FMS, why did you make this decision for your career? Reflect on your lived experiences and the choices you’ve made through challenges you’ve overcome. We are in constant motion, change, and states of learning. What might you learn from the sum of your experiences to direct your present and future decisions? Think about how you can be your own feedback loop, iterating, adjusting, and progressing towards our very own sweet spot.

lifemapWe make choices in our lives based on what we value, you said YES to the FMS training because it aligned with your values – whether it’s a 180 from your past life or the next step in your trajectory in pursuit of a meaningful career.  Take some time to reflect on your own values – personal and professional values and how you wish to see the world. Now map it out.

Five Whys

You know how kids ask why a lot? Why is the sky blue? Why does hair grow? Why are you so tall? And then they follow-up with ‘Why?’ a hundred more times until at some point they feel satiated. Though I do encourage curiosity, my point really is to encourage you to ask yourself three to five whys on pointed questions. You can start by journaling about these questions:

Social Impact Story of Self

I want to give a shout out to Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz. He dropped out of Harvard to help mobilize the Ceaser Chavez marshallfarm workers movement. He was instrumental in orchestrating Martin Luther King’s political campaign along with President Barack Obama’s 2008 win. After all, what are political campaigns if not well crafted stories? And to that end, is branding (for products and services or personal use) not the same thing? Ganz’ narrative framework has three phases: Story of Self (personal), Story of Us (community), and Story of Now (sense of urgency). I’ve adapted some pieces from Ganz’ Story of Self method to apply to an exploration of a career in social impact. If you didn’t know Mr. Ganz, now you know!
List your top 3 core values. values

Think of a moment in your life that exemplifies these values. Is there a story from your personal or professional life that illustrates your values in action? Journal about these moments.

1. VALUE #1____________________________
2. VALUE #2____________________________
3. VALUE #3____________________________

Now, I want you to think about what you gravitate towards in the social impact space. Is it financial inclusion? The ocean? Sanitation & hygiene? For me, it’s about women & girls and economic opportunity.
Describe the change that you wish to see in the world. This may be tough to articulate. Remember, nothing is set in stone. We are always iterating, perhaps, changing our minds, and refining. I wish to see a world where every individual has the opportunity to be self-determined.

Begin to construct your own theory of change. What change do you want to see in this world? Why is it that specific change? You will see that the way in which you see the world and the change you wish to see in the world is a mirror of your values and in alignment with your talents and aspirations. This is the start of your social impact career story.
I’ll share with you my most recent iteration of my social impact career story (based on a mashup of all of the above and then some) in hopes that it helps you construct your own. Remember, 1) you can’t fit it all – keep it succinct, 2) modify it to fit the current audience, and 3) there’s no magic bullet, but if there were one, it would be to keep it authentic, keep it real.

LinkedIn: Donna Sinar

dsindsin why factor2

These are additional resources (slide decks, articles, and TED talks) I found super useful and insanely inspiring:

Build a Career Worth Having – HBR

Quick guide to writing your elevator pitch – Idealist, snappy ways to build punchy sentences.

Acumen Founder & CEO Jacqueline Novogratz TED Talk – WHOA! Say yes to watching this!

Net Impact Self Assessment Passion Mosaic – a 10 minute self-paced guided exercise with Dr. Mrim Boutla. If you are seeking more support in unpacking and aligning your passions with your talents, check this out.

Social Venture Network “Get Inspired” Videos – watch short clips featuring successful social entrepreneurs about the advice they wish they would have gotten from the start.

Elizabeth Scharpf interview about scale and patience.

Commercializing Impact Investment Colloquium Presents: Jenny Kassan from Cutting Edge Capital


On Thursday, May 7th, CSIL and MIIS welcomed guest speaker Jenny Kassan from Cutting Edge Counsel to come and speak as part of the spring 2015 Colloquium on Commercializing Impact Investment. Jenny spoke about her experience as a legal advisor for social entrepreneurs trying to get start up funding for their businesses in the United States. The central message of her talk was: “How can we keep our money local by investing it locally?” – For those that don’t know anything about the legal side of impact investing especially from the lens of a start up social enterprise trying to raise funds for their business, it can be a tricky space to navigate, as Jenny illuminated throughout her presentation.

IMG_9765For social entrepreneurs that want to get their businesses or nonprofits off the ground, they have to keep in mind not only federal laws that govern fundraising in the U.S. but also individual state laws, all of which have different regulations regarding how you can advertise for a fundraising event up to how much you can actually raise from one event. Jenny walked the colloquium participants through a “Securities Law 101 for the U.S.” talking about what constitutes a security when you are trying to get funds for your business or nonprofit and then dove into DPO’s, or Direct Public Offerings. A DPO “is a term that refers to a public offering of securities by a business or nonprofit to both accredited and non-accredited investors in one or more states. Using a DPO (also known as investment crowdfunding), a business or nonprofit can market and advertise its offering publicly by any means it chooses — through advertising in newspapers and magazines; at public events and private meetings; and on the internet and through social media channels.” Overall, Jenny brought her unique perspective to the colloquium by giving participants a new lens through which they could look into the sector of impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

For more information on Cutting Edge Counsel go to:

2015 Colloquium on Commercializing Impact Investment Presents: Mike Lin from Fenix International


On Thursday, April 30th, MIIS and CSIL welcomed Mike Lin, founder of Fenix International to speak as part of the 2015 speaker series on Commercializing Impact Investment. Mike was invited to MIIS to give the social entrepreneur’s perspective on the social enterprise and impact investment sector. Mike started off his presentation giving us some background history on the evolution of his solar energy company, Fenix International. Fenix International started with a unique partnership between nonprofit and private entities with cell phone companies and Fenix International both working together to solve a major problem: How can we provide access to electricity to the millions of people living in rural areas?

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Mike and his dedicated team at Fenix International have been working through multiple iterations to develop the best possible model to provide access not only to light but also to energy itself by designing a portable, solar battery charger which is multi-purpose and comes with many different attachments so that people are able to plug in multiple devices to power and charge them. Fenix International operates off of a “pay-as-you-go” model where their product is linked to a mobile device payment system so that people don’t have to pay for the device outright and can pay for the wattage that they use on a day to day or month to month basis. Mike also talked about how his product is helping to change gender dynamics in the household with Fenix seeing “women as the purveyors of power.” With Fenix’s impact data, they are able to track who is purchasing as well as who is using their product. While men are the primary buyers of the product, women have been seen as the primary users within the household, using the battery and solar panels to charge and power lights, cell phones, computers, and much more. But, Mike argues, there is much more work to be done not only in the development of the energy sector for the BOP populations but also in social enterprise and impact investment in general: “these problems aren’t easy to solve…if they were, someone would have solved them already.” What is really needed to solve these problems as well as to launch a social enterprise of one’s own, Mike argues, is a team where everyone can work together, has complimentary skill sets, as well as passion for what you are doing on a daily basis.









Cynthia Muller comes to MIIS for Colloquium on Impact Investment


On Thursday, April 23rd, Cynthia Muller from Arabella Advisors came to MIIS to speak on the impact investment sector from the lens of working with Foundations in investing their money in impact. Cynthia started off her presentation talking about the history of the impact investment sector and then launched into the role of Foundations in impacting investing. “In practice this sector (impact investing) has been around for the past 45 years.” But recently there has been a shift in how Foundations in particular have been starting to put more attention towards impact investing. Cynthia explained that a lot of people recently have started to co-opt the term ‘impact investor’ but without really understanding what it means – so with Foundations Arabella Advisors really focuses on explaining what impact investment really is and how Foundations can play a part.


“People are starting to really move into this space and figure things out – and that’s kind of the big question mark: how do you do this in an efficient way? How do you do this in a way where all of your consultants and advisors are on board? And I think that’s been the most challenging aspect of doing this work.” This obstacle of having financial advisors that are willing to try impact investing with a foundation’s money is not a minor one – according to Cynthia, a lot to foundations lean heavily on the advice that their financial advisors give them and, especially for smaller foundations, they can be very cautious and nervous when it comes to impact investing. But with more and more organizations like Arabella Advisors coming in to coach foundations on how to best use their money for impact, we should be seeing more players in the sector in the next few years.

Commercializing Impact Investment Colloquium with Robert Rubinstein



On Thursday, April 16th CSIL and MIIS welcomed Robert Rubinstein, founder of Triple Bottom Line Investing, from Amsterdam to speak on the topic of impact investment. Robert presented an engaging talk on the sector as well as gave advice to the audience on how we can improve and move the sector forward. He argued that getting people into the impact investment sector “isn’t about proof, it’s about belief” meaning that companies, foundations, and or individuals who are looking to invest respond better to being shown what their own self-interest is. “If you don’t align the self- interest, you’re not going to get anywhere (with investors)…as well as seeing (them being able to see) the money flows.” He also commented on the argument that a lot of investors use: “sustainable investing is risky” – when in reality, especially in economic crises, impact investing can be more secure than the risks that big banks and corporations take, especially when the payouts can be as much as $250 billion.


Robert finally ended with “SRI was not a niche market but a big party and we (impact investors) just arrived early.”  The financial herd is forming and interest in impact investment in the financial sector is growing. But, he cautioned, we need to move away from “the world according to Bloomberg, to (Indiana Jones style) grabbing the machete, and going out into the jungle, getting out of your ghetto, and actually seeing something that you don’t already know.” “Impact investing is investing with a story…investing with a soul.”

CSIL Welcomes CEO of Toniic Stephanie Rupp


stephnew1501On Thursday, April 2nd, MIIS and CSIL were proud to welcome CEO of Toniic Stephanie Rupp to campus as part of the Spring 2015 Colloquium: Commercializing Impact Investment. Stephanie was invited to speak on impact investment as an emerging market sector along with how Toniic is contributing to impact investment globally. During her presentation Stephanie Rupp noted: “(Impact investment) is not so much about what consumers want….people are seeking more meaning, as investors or as consumers, it doesn’t matter…as a result (the sector) has changed.” When speaking about the new millennial generation, Stephanie imparted that “there’s an identity crisis. People are seeking meaning…people value experience with meaning, whether that’s Peace Corps, or something else. This new (millennial) generation wants to make a difference.


For more on Stephanie Rupp:

Stephanie has over a decade of experience in global impact investing, impact fund design and implementation, microfinance, and more recently in crowd funding. Stephanie served as an executive team member of Razoo, a crowd funding platform where she led business development. She spent five years with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, managing investments in debt, equity, LoC and grants for US, South Asia, West Africa and Latin America enterprises focused on property rights and microfinance.

Follow Stephanie on twitter: @StephCohnRupp

For more on Toniic:

For more on the Colloquium: Commercializing Impact Investment:

CSIL Launch Speaker Bios

Daniel Epstein
Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein, Co-founder and Director, Girl Effect Accelerator and Co-founder, Unreasonable Group

Daniel’s life has been shaped by a fundamental belief that entrepreneurship is the answer to nearly all the issues we face today. By the time he received his undergraduate degree in philosophy, he’d already started three companies. In 2012 he was recognized by Inc. Magazine as a “30 under 30 entrepreneur” and by Forbes as one of the “top 30 most impactful entrepreneurs” of the year. In 2013, he received the prestigious “Entrepreneur of the World” award along with Richard Branson at the Global Entrepreneurship Forum. Today, this passion for entrepreneurship and startups has led to the creation of Unreasonable Group.  The vision of Unreasonable Group is to create a collective family of companies that will, together, put a dent on the seemingly intractable social and environmental challenges of this century. Daniel is also the co-founder and director of the Girl Effect Accelerator which is the world’s first program dedicated to entrepreneurs who are positioned to benefit millions of girls in poverty. Daniel believes in militant transparency and truthfulness in his everyday life and in all of the projects he is part of. He also has an overt love for his hometown of Boulder Colorado and for his dog, Kaya.

Sunder Ramaswamy
Sunder Ramaswamy

Sunder Ramaswamy, Senior Advisor for Institutional Initiatives, Distinguished College Professor of International Economics

Sunder Ramaswamy is Senior Advisor for Institutional Initiatives at Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a Distinguished College Professor of International Economics. He served as president of the Institute from January 2009 through January 2015.

Ramaswamy assumed the presidency in 2009 at a critical juncture for the Institute, shepherding the institution through integration with Middlebury College, as well as an ambitious academic reorganization initiative. During his tenure, the Institute has successfully launched new degree programs in nonproliferation and terrorism studies, international education management and international trade and economic diplomacy, as well as three new research centers (the Center for the Blue Economy, the Center for Conflict Studies, and the Center for Social Impact Learning), a cyber security initiative, and a number of other innovative initiatives. Still, he draws the greatest inspiration from the Institute’s own students: “We train future leaders, preparing them with a rigorous and pragmatic academic curriculum and immersive learning experiences to make a difference in the world – to ‘be the solution.'”

Ramaswamy is widely recognized for his scholarly and professional work in international and development economics, particularly in India and Africa. He has written and edited books, authored articles for a variety of scholarly journals focused on development and international economics, delivered presentations at international conferences on four continents, and been quoted in local, national, and international media. In 2011, the Monterey County Business Council recognized him with their Economic Vitality Award in the Education category. In 2014, he was recognized with the Hind Rattan award by the government of India.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University in 1991, in addition to an M.S. from Purdue, an M.A. in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a B.A. in economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India.

Ramaswamy is currently working on projects fostering economic reforms in India. He has also been involved with USAID and INTSORMIL projects on agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa. His teaching and other academic work has been supported by grants from the Davis Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Kellogg Foundation. He has also been a consultant to UNCTAD, UNIDO, the United Nations University, and the World Bank.

Ramaswamy, his wife, Varna, and their son, Srivatsan, live in Monterey.


Maame Afon Yelbert-Obeng, Performer and Activist

Equipped with a MIIS education, Maame devotes her time and expertise to the development of women’s leadership; champion transformative mentorship for women and girls in Africa; and foster social change philanthropy. For five years, she worked at the Global Fund for Women channeling resources to support African women’s efforts around environmental and economic justice; civic and political participation; education, health and ending gender-based violence.  She is a board member and Programs Director for Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership and supports the work of We Care Solar and African Women’s Development Fund–USA. Her work extends to women’s leadership in environmental justice, especially around water, sanitation and hygiene.  Maame uses her music and speaking engagements to promote social justice and philanthropy. Her first album was released in 2012, and her latest is a music for social justice project titled ékomé (One), a message of unity and collaboration. In 2009, she graduated from the Global Women’s Leadership Network program where she learned to embody the values of “Whole Woman, Whole Leader.”  Maame was born and raised in Ghana. As a “Whole Woman”, family is a priority and she and her husband enjoy raising their twin daughters and son.

Eric Stephenson
Eric Stephenson

Eric Stephenson, Portfolio Director, Cordes Foundation

Eric Stephenson is the Portfolio Director at the Cordes Foundation, focused on deploying resources across multiple asset classes and industries to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Previously, Eric was part of the Fund Investment Team at Hamilton Lane, a private markets investment firm with $170BN of assets under management, where he worked to provide private equity investment recommendations to a global client base. Prior to Hamilton Lane, Eric worked in the Global Leasing Group at Xerox Corporation, helping roll out a start-up leasing platform targeting the US small-to-medium business market, while also developing strategic business plans to enter the equipment leasing markets in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Eric is an active alumnus of the Semester at Sea Alumni Association Board of Directors and active alumnus and mentor for the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Career Program.

Steph Cordes
Steph Cordes

Stephanie Cordes, Vice Chair, Cordes Foundation

Stephanie Cordes is Vice Chair of the Cordes Foundation and works alongside her parents, Ron & Marty Cordes, to drive the vision and work of their family foundation. Stephanie’s work emphasizes the advancement of women’s rights through education, asset creation initiatives, and access to health care.  Stephanie focuses especially on the Foundation’s work on millennial engagement and has been invited to speak at the White House, Capitol Hill, the World Economic Forum, among many other convening’s on the topic of millennial engagement in philanthropy and impact investing. As a savvy investor, Stephanie serves as a member of the Foundation’s investment committee and co-directs its impact investing strategy by leveraging catalytic capital to sustainable enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid.  To this end, Cordes is building out a thesis that financial return and impact are not mutually exclusive. Stephanie previously worked as a Publishing Associate at Conde Nast and within the luxury fashion industry at brands including Maiyet and Alberta Ferretti. Stephanie is a loyal advocate for ethical sourcing and advances the foundation’s efforts in Fair Trade Certification, labor rights, and overall transparency in the global supply chains.

Sakena Yacoobi
Sakena Yacoobi

Sakena Yacoobi, CEO, Afghan Institute of Learning

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is the CEO of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), which she founded in 1995 in response to the lack of education and healthcare that the Afghan people were facing after years of war and strife. Since its founding, AIL has directly and indirectly impacted the lives of more than 12 million Afghans. She is Vice President of Creating Hope International (CHI) and has established four private schools, one private hospital and a radio station in Afghanistan. She is the recipient of five honorary doctorates from institutions including Princeton University. Dr. Yacoobi was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Opus Prize, is a Skoll Social Entrepreneur, Schwab Social Entrepreneur and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She currently serves on the board of the New Global Citizens, the advisory council for the Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and is a former board member for the Global Fund for Women. She is an advisor for the Fetzer Institute, a Kravis Prize Awardee, a Gruber Prize Awardee and is a member of the US – Afghan Women’s Council. Before founding AIL, Dr. Yacoobi was a professor at D’Etre University in Detroit, MI and was Coordinator of the Women’s Programs for the International Rescue Committee in the Afghan refugee camps in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Sabiha Malik
Sabiha Malik

Sabiha Rumani Malik, Co-founder FMS; Founder, World Bee Project

She is the initiating founder of the World Bee Project, a social enterprise that aims to conserve biodiversity, increase food security, and reduce poverty by establishing beekeeping projects worldwide in partnership with local communities and enterprises.  The World Bee Project vision is to demonstrate that mobilizing low-income farmers for beekeeping is good business for the farmers, for healthy bee populations around the world, and for investors of financial capital. Sabiha also initiated the World Bee Council, the world’s first knowledge-sharing platform that brings together scientists, researchers, practitioners and citizens dedicated to addressing the critical themes of biodiversity loss, bee decline, and global food security. In 2010 Sabiha co-envisioned the ‘Frontier Markets Scouts’ concept with Dr. Yuwei Shi, and co-founded Sanghata Global, a UK charity, with him. In 2009, Sabiha was an associate founder at Singularity University, California. Prior to that, between 1991-1995 Sabiha was a director at the architecture firm Foster and Partners, where amongst other work she produced the design concept for the reconstruction of the Reichstag building in Berlin. She also designed furniture for Tecno, Italy, for the library at the Cranfield Institute of Technology in England, and for a house in Japan.


Ron and Marty Cordes

Marty Cordes, Co-Founder, Cordes Foundation

Marty Cordes is Co-Founder of the Cordes Foundation, which she created with her husband Ron in 2006. She directs the activities of the Foundation focused on global human rights and empowering women and girls, including initiatives in education, health care and job training. She also serves on the Boards of Ripple Effect Images, Grameen PrimaCare and Freedom From Hunger. Previously, she enjoyed a career in the banking industry, and served in several volunteer leadership capacities with social service organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ron Cordes, Executive Co-chairman, AssetMark; Co-founder, Cordes Foundation

Ron D. Cordes has enjoyed a 30+ year career in the investment industry. He co-founded and then sold a leading U.S. wealth management services provider, AssetMark, to Genworth Financial in 2006, and participated in re-acquiring the firm in 2013 with two private equity partners.  He currently serves as Executive Co-Chairman of AssetMark, which is responsible for over $23 bb of assets in partnership with 4,000 independent investment advisors. Ron is also co-founder of the Cordes Foundation, which has a global mission of driving market-based capital to address the world’s most important problems. Ron speaks extensively on impact investing and achieving meaning and purpose in an “encore” career, and has been profiled in multiple publications including the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s,  FastCompany, Forbes, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Private Wealth Management and The New York Times. He chairs the Executive Committee for ImpactAssets, a non-profit financial services company he co-founded in 2010, and is also co-chair of the Opportunity Collaboration, a global poverty business retreat.  In addition, he serves as board chair of FairTrade USA, and on the boards of and MicroVest Capital Management.

Keely Stevenson
Keely Stevenson

Keely Stevenson, Social Entrepreneur and Impact Investor

Keely Stevenson is the former Chief Executive Officer if Bamboo Finance and helped to build the portfolio for Bamboo’s first private equity fund, Oasis Fund.  Last year the World Economic Forum selected Keely Stevenson as 2013′s Young Global Leader (YGL).

Keely has worked in the field of social entrepreneurship and finance for over thirteen years with experience on five continents. She joined Bamboo after living in East Africa and working with the Acumen Fund, a social venture capital firm. She supported the establishment of Acumen’s Kenya office and also worked with AtoZ, a producer of anti-malaria mosquito nets, focusing on distribution and pricing strategies in Tanzania.  Earlier in her career, she was the first employee hired by the CEO of the Skoll Foundation where she designed grant programs for social entrepreneurs and led the team who created the world’s first online community for social entrepreneurs, Social Edge. She has also served as the Interim Executive Director of a social enterprise in Peru (ProPeru Fund) and a startup professional development program for social entrepreneurs in India (Social-Impact International, now DASRA). She was a consultant on the viability of a UK based risk capital fund for Triodos Bank and economic development strategies for the Royal Bafokeng Nation, one of Africa’s wealthiest kingdoms.  She studied politics at UC Berkeley and her passion for business led her to pursue an MBA degree at Oxford University. She is on the board of several companies in Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Yuwei Shi
Yuwei Shi

Yuwei Shi, Director of Research, CSIL

Dr. Yuwei Shi is Professor at GSIPM and Director of Research at the Center for Social Impact Learning. His research interests include competitive strategy, early-stage venture business model design and evaluation, and impact investing. He has published over three dozen papers in peer-reviewed journals and a number of books and book chapters. Dr. Shi has taught MBA and doctoral programs in nearly a dozen universities across the world. He won the Excellence in Teaching Award at MIIS in 2008 and the Allen Griffith Teaching Award in 2009. Dr. Shi is the founding director of the award-winning Frontier Market Scouts Fellowship Program. He currently serves on the boards of Sanghata Global, a U.K. public charity, and the World Bee Project, a community interest corporation. He is an RSA Fellow. Dr. Shi is the inaugural dean of the graduate school of international policy and management. Dr. Shi has over fifteen years of experience building programs and companies in various capacities as advising partner at Indachin, columnist for the China Economic Daily, consultant to Bain & Co and Acccenture, board director at Scholarly Exchange, president and chief executive officer of SFKX, and director of the executive program at Nanyang Business School.

Eleanor Horowitz
Eleanor Horowitz

Eleanor Horowitz, FMS alumna and Former Fellow with Unitus Seed Fund 

An alumna of the Frontier Market Scouts program, Eleanor is passionate about scientific innovation, technology, and finding scalable solutions to social and environmental challenges worldwide. Previously, Eleanor worked at Mission Markets, a financial marketplace for sustainable investing, where she developed business strategy for environmental credit markets and helped manage the investment pipeline for social enterprises raising capital. Now she works with local startups in India that are serving bottom of the pyramid customers with Unitus Seed Fund, a seed stage venture fund investing in education, livelihoods and basic necessities for low-income families. Eleanor is a California native, who grew up in New York, studied abroad in New Zealand, has worked in Ghana, speaks French and loves adventures. She graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a joint major in Chemistry and Environmental Studies and a minor in Global Health.

Hannah Judge
Hannah Judge

Hannah Judge, Co-founder, Broad Street Maps

Hannah Judge is the co-founder of Broad Street Maps, a social enterprise that creates mapping analytics platforms for community health organizations in developing countries. Hannah currently leads business development and finances for Broad Street Maps. She has spent time living in India and Peru, and has previously worked with Partners In Health, GlobeMed, and John Snow, Inc. She holds a BA in Geography with a minor in Global Health from Middlebury College, and currently lives in Seattle, WA.

David Hopkins
David Hopkins

David Hopkins, Co-founder, Creative Expansion

David Hopkins is co-founder and managing partner of Creative Expansion LLC, a creative digital agency focused on messaging, design and consulting with organizations making a positive social or environmental impact in the world. Creative Expansion (Ce) reflects and ignites the core values of an organization through the “living the brand” approach, which carries the central message of an organization through all aspects of communication, branding and decision making. David previously served as the Membership and Campaign Director of The GameChangers. Similar to how Fortune 500 ranks organizations on revenue, the GameChangers 500 (GC500) ranks the top 500 For-Benefit companies, such as Patagonia, Tesla, Whole Foods, and IDEO, based on their ability to make a profound positive impact using business as a force for good.  He is co-author of The Tactics of Hope: How Social Entrepreneurs Are Changing Our World (foreword by Desmond Tutu), and speaks professionally on topics including next generation leadership, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and intergenerational collaboration.

Spencer Ton
Spencer Ton

Spencer Ton, Executive Director, Cordes Foundation

Spencer is Executive Director of the Cordes Foundation, and oversees the Cordes Family’s strategy in building out a more safe and secure world through the advancement of the foundation’s philanthropic, impact investing, and field building work around women and girls empowerment and poverty alleviation through social enterprise. Prior to this role, Spencer served as Associate Director of the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific, a research and social enterprise hub for the advancement of social entrepreneurship leadership and education. Ton also co-founded Fashion4Freedom, a social enterprise and design incubator that creates products and processes that lead to ethical and alternative supply chains which ultimately end environmental and labor exploitation in the fashion industry. Spencer was also an instructor of English and International Relations at the College of Foreign Languages in Hue, Vietnam and has worked for a wide range of public organizations including the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s office and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Cabinet. Spencer is also Board Chair of Design Capital, a non- governmental social enterprise organization focusing on enhancing the livelihoods of disadvantaged youth and the economic development of Vietnam by leveraging capital to country’s “missing middle” entrepreneurs. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Chinese, and Economics from the University of the Pacific’s School of International Studies and received advanced Chinese language training at Peking University.

Sydney Alfonso
Sydney Alfonso

Sydney Alfonso, Founder, Etkie

Sydney has lived in Argentina, Germany and Turkey. Her mom raised her in rural New Mexico where she grew up surrounded by inspiring, determined, and talented women. Passionate about social consumerism, financial inclusion and gender equality in the workplace, she is a former CBYX Scholar, Mellon Fellow and Davis Peace Project recipient.


Mustafa Babak
Mustafa Babak

Mustafa Babak, Program and Outreach Associate, CSE at Middlebury College

A native from Afghanistan, Mustafa Babak is a recent graduate of University of The Pacific. Prior to attending UOP, Mustafa worked extensively in social marketing, communication for development, public relations, project management, and qualitative outreach programs in Afghanistan. Before coming to the states to study, Mustafa worked as the Country Director of Sayara Media & Communication in Afghanistan, helping Afghan ministries, United Nations, USAID, GIZ, US and British Embassies and non-profit organizations to design and implement public awareness campaigns on a wide range of social impact issues. During his undergraduate experience in the US, Mustafa Babak worked as the President of University Council for Social Entrepreneurship, leading student driven social impact activities. He also worked for three consecutive years with CGI U as a student representative, student mentor and campus delegate. He has spoken extensively at TEDx SanJoaquin, Afghan Youth Leadership Summit in California and several local and international conferences on the role of young Afghan leadership in the future of Afghanistan.Mustafa Babak now works with the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Middlebury College as the Program and Outreach Associate.

Lissa Piercy
Lissa Piercy

Lissa Piercy, Executive Director, Strength of Doves Productions

Lissa Piercy is a Boston based performance poet and the Executive Director of Strength of Doves Productions, an agency that represents socially conscious, activist, spoken word artists.  Lissa teaches and performs with the performance collective Flatline Poetry, winner of Boston’s 2013 Poetry Award for Best Poetry Group.  She was a member of the 2014 Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Team, and is a MassLEAP trained teaching artist.  Lissa is also the creator of PWP (Performance With Purpose), a conference that brings together college students across Boston for workshops and dialogue around the idea that performance can facilitate change and action.  Lissa’s passion for poetry has brought her to stages across New England and beyond, including an open mic she hosts at the Opportunity Collaboration conference in Ixtapa, Mexico.  Lissa has joined forces with individuals across various fields to use poetry as the catalyst for conversation within schools, conferences, and even religious services. She brings energy, passion, heart, and grit to each performance, along with determination and drive to use poetry as a means to create change through conversation and action.

Rabeya Jawaid
Rabeya Jawaid

Rabeya Jawaid, CSE Fellow at Middlebury College

Rabeya grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, but attended high school in Hong Kong before coming to Middlebury. Last year, Rabeya organized a program to train deaf Pakistani women how to sew and embroider as well as how to communicate in sign language in order to help these women gain financial independence, and she returned to Pakistan last summer to implement her project with a grant from the MCSE. Rabeya is currently undeclared but is considering majoring in Economics, and is passionate about women’s rights, public policy and journalism.

Alan-LovewellAlan Lovewell, Co-founder, Real Good Fish

Alan grew up on the small island of Martha’s Vineyard. Surrounded by water he quickly learned to swim, dive, sail and fish for fun and for work. Stories of the wild and expansive Pacific brought Alan to Santa Cruz in 2000 to pursue an undergraduate degree at UCSC. After graduating, he headed south to teach sailing on the Sea of Cortez with the National Outdoor Leadership School. He returned a couple years later to study Marine Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Alan has spent time with The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International in Indonesia. Currently he is a Sea Grant Fellow with NOAA’s Northwest Fishery Science Center. He is a cofounder of Real Good Fish, a community supported fishery that connects people with local fishermen for sustainable seafood. For Alan, the ocean sustains, inspires, and defines his way of life.

Jordan Axani
Jordan Axani

Jordan Axani, Founder, A Ticket Forward

Jor believes that travel can lead to incredible personal transformations. He is the Executive Director of A Ticket Forward. Before his internet notoriety, Jordan has been a lifelong community leader and philanthropist. When the opportunity arose to create something of enduring social value out of a simple viral story, he was quick to pull together a team of big thinkers to create A Ticket Forward.

Featuring Special Guest Patrick Keane for a Community Mapping Session with Panelists During Official Launch Day on March 25

#csilactionThe CSIL Launch is an all-day event focused on catalyzing millennial engagement in social entrepreneurship and impact investing. The day begins at 10am with a buffet brunch and pop-up market place featuring local social entrepreneurs, food vendors, and artisans. Special guest and social design professional Patrick Keane will also be featured to offer pop-up market shoppers an interactive and inspiring community mapping session in collaboration with millennial panelists including David Hopkins and Daniel Epstein. View the full event schedule via:

Spread the word: This event is open and free to the MIIS community. RSVP is required via:

About Patrick Keane
Born in Kenya, Patrick grew up living in Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Thailand, Uganda, the US, Ireland and Nepal. He has seen, firsthand, the prospects for the future of community leadership in emerging economies. Patrick is a firm believer that social enterprise can drive local communities to collaboratively design and implement strategies for sustained development. As a StartingBloc Fellow, he is an active member of the social entrepreneurship community. Patrick co-founded ThinkImpact, an education travel company offering university students, faculty, and young professionals full immersion programs in rural Africa and South America. He also served as a strategic consultant to Moneythink, a non-profit working to restore the economic health of disadvantaged youth in the United States through financial education. In 2014, he completed the Wendt Partners Digital Business Fellowship, an intensive introduction to digital business focused on social media strategy, buyer personas in marketing, customer relationship management and social selling. Patrick is currently completing his M.A. in Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Maryland.

THE CENTER FOR SOCIAL DESIGN at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
The Center for Social Design utilizes a human-centered and collaborative process to understand and define social problems, identify opportunities and generate ideas, and make tools that support positive change. Our goal is to shift relationships between people and people, and people and institutions.

The Center is dedicated to demonstrating and promoting the value of design in addressing complex social problems, and to inspiring and preparing the next generation of creative changemakers.

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.