2017 Social Enterprise Conference

Friday, October 6, 2017
Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall, Auditorium
2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
8:45 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.

Directions & Parking →

Alfred Lerner Hall

Event App

The Social Enterprise Conference is Digital!
Get full program details with our Social Enterprise Conference mobile app, powered by Whova, or on the website.
Download Whova from your phone’s app store, search for 2017 Social Enterprise Conference, and enter SECONF as the invitation code.


The attire for this event is business casual.

About Us

Columbia Business School has long been committed to advancing the practice and understanding of social enterprise having trained leaders with a commitment to solving social and environmental issues for over three decades. By supporting new ideas from faculty and industry leaders, as well as the curricular and extracurricular opportunities of students, the Business School is increasing the understanding of how management can contribute to society while developing the next generation of social enterprise leaders.

In 1981 Professor Ray Horton founded the Public and Nonprofit Management Program, which was renamed the Social Enterprise Program in 2000, and widened to include social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and international development. The mission was to advance the understanding of how business can contribute to society and the environment, by emphasizing the vital role that social enterprise plays in transforming communities.

In 2015, The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise was established by a generous gift from Sandra and Tony Tamer, which expanded the existing Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. The new funding allowed for the launch of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, expansion of the existing Loan Assistance program, extension of the Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship Program to Columbia students beyond the Business School, funding for social ventures at the Columbia Startup Lab and further development of the advisory network for Columbia’s social entrepreneurs.

Read more about this transformative gift online.

About Columbia University’sSocial Enterprise Conference

Social Enterprise topics are embedded in various student conferences at Columbia Business School. The first conference at the beginning of each academic year is the Annual Social Enterprise Conference, jointly organized by the Social Enterprise Club (a chapter of Net Impact), Green Business Club, and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. This event brings together industry leaders, professionals, academics, students, and alumni to share best practices and engender new ideas surrounding the intersection of business and society.

Other MBA students groups that have offered conferences with social enterprise content include: Columbia Women in Business, Latin American Business Association, the Energy Club, and South Asian Business Association.

In addition, students attend conferences held by other areas of Columbia University including the Earth Institute and the School of International and Public Affairs, as well as external conferences organized by Net Impact, and Business for Social Responsibility to name a few. Social Enterprise-related clubs are also an important part of student life across the University. The Conference unites graduate and undergraduate students from many clubs at this headline event, including a selection of student clubs: Social Entrepreneurship Club, Columbia Impact Investing Initiative, Columbia University Coalition for Sustainable Development, Barnard and Columbia Student’s Design for America, SEBS, Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization, Columbia Law School’s Environmental Law Society, Columbia FinTech, Students for Environmental Action, and Community Impact at Columbia University.

Read more about the Social Enterprise Conference.

Governing Board

A special thank you to all our Governing Board members who guide the direction and develop the content of this conference!

Nancy Barry

President, Enterprise Solutions to Poverty; Former President, Women’s World Banking

Melissa Berman

President & CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Adjunct Professor, Columbia Business School

Mark Cirilli ’03BUS

Co-Founder & Managing Director, MissionPoint Capital Partners

Nancy Conrad

Founder & Chairman, The Conrad Foundation

Alexander S. Friedman ’98BUS

Chief Investment Officer, UBS AG

Mark Fuller

Chairman and Founder, Monitor Group

Craig Hatkoff ’78BUS

Founder, Tribeca Film Festival

Joan Hornig ’84BUS

Founder, Joan Hornig Jewelry Design

Rob Katz

Co-founder & Co-Managing Editor, www.NextBillion.net; Knowledge Portfolio Manager, Acumen Fund

Asad Mahmood

Managing Director, Global Social Investment Funds, Deutsche Bank; Founder, Microfinance Club of New York

Janet Morgan

CEO, Sequent Management Group

Maggie Neilson ’07BUS

Partner and CEO, Global Philanthropy Group

Henrik Skovby

Founder and Global Managing Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

David Steinberger

President and CEO, Perseus Books Group


The 2017 Social Enterprise Conference will be held at Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall, Auditorium (2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027), which is easily accessible by subway or taxi. For more information, please review our information page here.

The Conference attracts professionals and alumni from all sectors (business, nonprofit and public) and students interested in business and social impact. We expect to host about 700 attendees.

In order to reduce paper use, all materials are only available online including the program at a glance. In addition, up-to-date information will be posted on our mobile conference app.

The Social Enterprise Conference is Digital! Get full program details with our Social Enterprise Conference mobile app, powered by Whova, or on the website. Download Whova from your phone’s app store, search for “2017 Social Enterprise Conference,” and enter SECONF as the invitation code.

Volunteers will be located in the lobby area near registration. Anyone wearing the Columbia Business School pin can assist you in downloading the app.

Welcome to New York! For travel and accommodation information, please check out some of our wonderful travel sites:
Time Out: http://www.timeout.com/newyork
NYC Go: http://www.nycgo.com/
NYC Visitors Guide: http://www.nyc.com/visitor_guide/

Please review the MTA site for information on New York’s subway, bus, rail, and bridges & tunnels, http://www.mta.info/. Are you driving into Manhattan? You may park on the streets around Columbia University’s campus or use the local parking garages. The garages are listed here.

All Columbia University/Barnard/Teachers Colleges Alumni qualify for the alumni ticket pricing. Please use your University lifetime ID when registering for the conference and use discount code CUAlumni at registration. Alumni ticket sales will be reviewed to confirm alumni status.

For corporate/business credit cards:
Please check with your financial department regarding the restrictions on your credit card; some cards restrict purchases of event registrations.
Browser troubleshooting: Sometimes there is an issue with the Internet browser you are using. Please try using another browser.
Website registration troubleshooting: If neither of the above methods solve your problem, please email Diana Rambeau at ddr2121@columbia.edu with the exact error message you receive from our registration site for help on troubleshooting your registration.

Please select your dietary restriction on the event registration. For any special requests, please indicate your restrictions in the space provided on the event registration. We will do our best to accommodate meals for all attendees. If you have any questions, please email socialenterprise@gsb.columbia.edu.

Please provide a detailed description of any special accessibility accommodations needed while attending the conference. For questions, comments or concerns please email Diana Rambeau at ddr2121@gsb.columbia.edu.

Session and speaker planning begins in January each year. To nominate a speaker, please provide information on your speaker and references of past conferences spoken at, in addition to topics relevant to the current conference that (s)he would like to speak on. Information regarding this year’s conference theme can be found on our website here. Please e-mail your nomination to socialenterprise@gsb.columbia.edu.

The conference does not currently issue a call for papers. If you would like to nominate someone to speak on the conference theme, please email socialenterprise@gsb.columbia.edu.

The conference is business casual.

Unfortunately, the conference does not sponsor visas for international travel.