Past Events

For further information please contact the Center for Social Innovation and Impact at


Serving on Non-Profit Boards

November 10, 2016

Panel discussion of business professionals discussing their work on non-profit boards: why do they get involved? How do they choose the organizations with which they engage? How do their business experiences enable them to contribute?

Impact Without Borders

Impact Without Borders is proud to announce the opening of applications for the 2nd Cohort of Unreasonable Lab serving San Diego-Tijuana-based entrepreneurs that are tackling social and environmental problems.

We have partnered with the Unreasonable Institute for their mission-driven approach to empower entrepreneurs to address major problems at scale. Our 5-day Business Model Validation (BMV) Lab is designed to do one thing: provide early/idea-stage entrepreneurs with a step-by-step methodology to rapidly and systematically validate their venture's business model. Our Autumn 2016 BMV Lab will focus on supporting early stage entrepreneurs to:

  • Understand what their job description is as an early-stage entrepreneur
  • Identify the foundational assumptions that underpin the venture
  • Design and run experiments to validate or invalidate those foundational assumptions through customer discovery, rapid prototyping, engaging with world-class mentors, and building out a basic budget and financial model

The application period will run through September 16, 2016. More information can be found on the Unreasonable Lab San Diego website and below is how you can help us recruit and select amazing teams:

1. Please nominate ventures (for-profit and nonprofit) that you feel are a good fit for Unreasonable Lab San Diego. You can email us at

2. We are recruiting mentors and sponsors, if you are interested, please let us know by emailing us at

3. Please share this information with your organization’s networks, social media, newsletters, etc.

Laura Brenner Kimes, co-founder and Director of Ecosystem Services, Fresh Coast Capital

Description: Hear from a cofounder and social entrepreneur of a newly-launched mission-driven for-profit company what the path was from b-school startup to a successful and scaling business operating in 4 states.  New social entrepreneurship tools of impact investing, conservation finance, community organizing, and clear communications and marketing form the toolkit for the intrepid entrepreneur. This talk will cover the creation and growth of Fresh Coast Capital, challenges and opportunities for impact investing, and what lays ahead for firms in this space. 

Building a Successful Employee-Owned Company: the KAPCO Global Story

Topic: Building a Successful Employee-Owned Company: the KAPCO Global Story

Presented by: Andrew Todhunter is CEO of KAPCO Global, a Southern California-based company that has grown over the past 15 years to become a leading player in the global aerospace parts distribution market. The firm is owned entirely by its employees through an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP.

Date/Time:February 24, 5:15pm - 6:15pm

Venue: Otterson Hall - MPR2, Rady School of Management

More than Money - How to Achieve That Triple Bottom Line

Topic: More than Money - How to Achieve That Triple Bottom Line

Description: What do Qualcomm, Sempra Energy, Thermo Fisher, Vans, and FTD Companies all have in common? Besides being well-known successful companies, they all have top corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments whose directors and managers have agreed to share their expertise! The Rady Net Impact Club is proud to announce this speaker panel in which we will learn that “doing good” does not mean we must sacrifice profits. Turns out social and environmental responsibility make people more willing to buy from you and work for you! This seminar is a unique opportunity for you to learn more about CSR within a variety of industries, network with established professionals, and also show the business community that Rady students are business leaders committed to doing good. Qualcomm, Sempra Energy, Thermo Fisher, Vans, and FTD Companies are ready to talk about the impact they are making on their companies and the world through their CSR/S initiatives. Don't miss the opportunity to learn from their experiences and advice. The speaker panel will be followed by a Q&A session and networking mixer with light appetizers.

Date/Time:February 17, 5:15pm - 6:15pm

Venue: Otterson Hall - MPR2, Rady School of Management

Human Trafficking in San Diego

Topic: Human Trafficking in San Diego

Presented by: Dr. Ami Carpenter

Description: Did you know that sex trafficking is San Diego's second largest underground economy? Join SVP Partners and guests to learn about the scope and nature of the problem of human trafficking in San Diego. Dr. Ami Carpenter will present information unearthed in the groundbreaking study, “Measuring the Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego”, which is one of the largest, most comprehensive human trafficking case studies in the United States to date.

This session will provide critical context for SDSVP Partners who may fund an organization addressing this heartbreaking problem and important lessons for any guest in attendance.

Date/Time:February 16, 8:00am - 10:00am

Venue: Otterson Hall - MPR2, Rady School of Management

Philanthropic Incentives and Incentivizing Collaboration

Topic: Philanthropic Incentives and Incentivizing Collaboration

Presented by: Professor Uri Gneezy - Professor of Behavioral Economics and Economics & Strategy at Rady

Description: Professor Gneezy will talk about his research on how incentives affect behavior, specifically whether and how philanthropic funders can incentivize collaboration among grantees

Date/Time:February 12 (Friday), 7:30am-9:00am

Venue: MPR1, Rady School of Management

MBA Mentoring Program

MBA mentoring program is a volunteering program involving Rady’s MBA students and faculty in partner with HTHCV – a high school that facilitates students to do design projects for the better environment and wellbeing of communities.

MBA volunteer mentors work with the students on how to synthesis research to present a design/case to a client, and additionally, individuals to mentor the students through the design process. The program is led by Professor Gneezy, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Marketing at Rady and participated by 10 volunteers.

Timeline of the Program

mba mentoring program

Friday, Jan 15, 2016, 9:30am-2:30pm @MPR1, Professor Gneezy gives a workshop about creating awareness, changing beliefs and the importance of story-telling to the students.

mba mentoring program All the volunteer mentors attend the workshop, introduce themselves to the students in their team and conduct the mentoring based on Professor’s workshop

Friday, Feb 5, 2016, 8:45am-9:45am, follow up mentoring take place through skype

Is Branding and Marketing Different For Non-Profits Vs. For-Profits?

Non-profit organizations are as much in need of strong brand and marketing strategies as their for-profit counterparts; however, most don't understand the role brand and/or marketing plays in their organization nor where to get started. The harsh reality is that most non-profits, because of their altruistic foundations, don't think of themselves as being in a "competitive environment" competing for "market share". But, this is exactly how they need to be thinking to thrive in the increasingly competitive world of philanthropy.

Steve Bellach and his firm, BottomLine Marketing, have helped several non-profit organizations, ranging from scientific research to higher education to community healthcare, develop brand propositions that better position them in their respective marketplaces and marketing/development plans that help them raise much needed funds. He will share his team's approach to working with non-profits, and discuss why they need strong branding and marketing now more than ever!

Social Entrepreneurship Program


Center for Social Innovation and Impact, together with Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, and the Anti-Defamation League have joined with High Tech High Chula Vista’s “ReVision Project” – a project in which 12th grade students create and design hubs for civic and social innovation in Chula Vista and San Diego County. 

The goal of the partnership is to support and inspire high school seniors with the vision of social improvement and equip them with the tools needed to realize their vision of effective and practical social innovations. Under the academic supervision of Ayelet Gneezy, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Marketing and JoAnne Starr, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs of the UC San Diego Rady School of Management who co-direct the Rady School’s Center for Social Innovation and Impact (CSII), the participating high school seniors have been matched with MBA students from UC San Diego and will be mentored by them throughout both the creative process and the proposal process.  


9:30am -2:30pm, Friday, Jan 15 2016: a workshop about creating awareness, changing beliefs and the importance of story-telling were given by Professor Gneezy to the students. All the volunteer mentors attended the workshop, introduced themselves to the students in their team and got to know about their projects.  

8:45am-9:45am, Friday, Feb 5 2016: MBA mentors gave on-line mentoring with the students through skype
Feb 6 2016 – May 30 2016: follow up mentoring upon students request
June 9 2016: showcase and TED talks at High Tech High Chula Vista 

Feedback from Mentors

Sabrina, Full Time 17' MBA student, mentoring the management team of ReVision Project members

"Talking with the group of students at Chula Vista High Tech High was really fun.  I had the chance to hear about their creative ideas to make 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista a more lively, pedestrian friendly place and their plans to reach out to funders and community members to make their ideas reality. I have experience in grant writing, and I was able to share with them some stories about the grant writing process and my thoughts on how to tailor their message to the criteria of the specific grantor they are trying to connect with.  I really enjoyed learning about their interests, their school and the real world skills they are developing.  Their 3-D models of 3rd Avenue and their project GANTT chart were really impressive!  They were a great group.  I can't wait to hear about their progress."


The USD Center for Peace and Commerce presents Inter-Campus Social Innovation Mixer at Tesla Showroom

This networking mixer, hosted by the University of San Diego Center for Peace and Commerce, is an opportunity for students from all different college campuses in San Diego to come together and learn more about the Social Innovation Challenge, connect with members of the San Diego social impact community, and experience the Tesla Showroom. There will also be an opportunity for students to connect with potential teammates from other universities to work on a social innovation project.

Sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures & Wireless Reach.

Idea Lab: Ideas Meet Reality

The winners of the 2015 Social Innovation Challenge will share about the reality of implementing their social innovation projects. Come and learn from these social entrepreneurs about the successes and challenges of putting an idea into action. A panel will give you the opportunity to hear how past winners have tackled the challenges of implementation and overcome obstacles. You will then have the opportunity to dialogue with these winners and receive coaching and feedback from them to develop your idea into a successful social venture for the 2016 Social Innovation Challenge.

Click here to learn more about the 2015 Social Innovation Challenge Winners

Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World

As dire as the water crisis is, it presents opportunities for new economic growth through improved water technology, infrastructure, and business. Seth Siegel, author of Let There Be Water, will discuss what we can learn from Israel. With sixty percent of the country in a desert and despite a rapidly growing population, Israel has jumped ahead of the water-innovation curve and created a culture that understands the central role of water in building a dynamic, thriving society.

Seth M. Siegel is a businessman, activist and writer. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and other publications around the world on business, political and cultural issues. Siegel has often appeared on television and has been widely quoted in major print media. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

CSII is pleased to join Rady's US – Israel Center on Innovation and Economic Development is sponsoring this event. Open to interested students, faculty, staff and community members.

Employee ownership and networked enterprise as social innovation: The Case of the Mondragon Corporation.

The Mondragon Corporation is an integrated network of over 120 employee-owned enterprises in the Basque Country of northern Spain with a work force of 74,000. It is a global leader in several advanced manufacturing sectors and also has substantial retail, finance and knowledge businesses. The Mondragon case shows how broad-based ownership among networked firms can influence issues as diverse as productivity and heart disease, income inequality and organizational identity, or innovation and domestic violence. Presented by: Dr. Fred Freundlich, Professor, Mondragon University, Spain, and Visiting scholar, Beyster Institute, Rady School of Management.


Impact Investing: An Introductory Workshop

The global impact investing industry is currently estimated at $120 billion, and impact initiatives are increasingly recognized as powerful tools for economic development and poverty reduction. This session explored the impact investing sector, examining the drivers for its growth, key challenges for investors and entrepreneurs, and industry trends and opportunity – especially in regards to the US impact investing sector. Presented by: Leehe Skuler, Impact Investing professional, currently consulting to impact enterprises, investors and international organizations. Previously Leehe worked at E+Co, a pioneer impact investment firm that invested in clean energy projects in developing countries, working to raise E+Co's Africa fund and manage the Africa portfolio. Prior to E+Co, Leehe worked in global microfinance investment, in the non-profit sector in Israel, and for the Israeli Discount Bank.