The 5th Annual Social Enterprise Symposium: “Here and Now”
Friday, March 1, 2013, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland
The 5th annual Social Enterprise Symposium, created and hosted by the
for Social Value Creation at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School
of Business, will take place March 1, 2013, at the Stamp Student Union.
Unlike any other event on the campus, the Symposium explores the role of business
in creating economic prosperity and lasting social and environmental change. From
sustainability to social entrepreneurship, the Social Enterprise Symposium helps
connect students with thoughts leaders who are using the tools of business to change
The Symposium features two keynotes (Director of Environmental Stewardship for
CLIF Bar, Elysa Hammond, and President and CEO of the Calvert Foundation, Lisa Hall), a series of breakout sessions and
workshops, the 3rd Annual No Limits Social Impact Pitch Competition,
and an evening networking reception.
This year’s theme – “Here and now” – is a call to action in becoming more informed,
motivated and active participants in this crazy thing we call life. With today’s
complex challenges, we don’t have the luxury of sitting and waiting for solutions.
Problem solving begins with each of us, whether as individuals or organizations,
and it must begin now.
Austin Lee, Do-Gooder
Austin Lee, a junior at the Smith School, has always wanted to “do good” with
his career. Already president of the Net Impact Undergraduate Chapter at Smith and
an active member of Terp Changemakers, Lee always thought he was destined for the
nonprofit sector. But through his work with Net Impact and the Center for Social
Value Creation (CSVC), he’s been exposed to other business models and career opportunities
that create social value.
“I think that business is a great common ground for other disciplines. Business
is what connects the globalized world and if you understand this connection it gives
you a great foundation to attack social issues or causes. It’s also really exciting
to understand how business is changing the world and what social innovation truly
Lee is also helping to shape the Social Enterprise Symposium. Stretching his
networking skills and finessing his business and social innovation skills, he’s
organizing his own session for the Symposium: “Social Value as a Driver of Corporate
Strategy.” The session will explore why profit-centered companies are increasingly
embedding social value in strategy and daily operations and hopes to answer the
question: Can corporate social impact be truly profitable, or is it the next passing
Lee’s all-star list of panel members includes:
Emmy Lang-Kennedy, Cross-sector Connector
In 2006 Emmy Lang-Kennedy found herself working as a small business consultant
with the Peace Corps in Senegal. Over the two years she would spend in the town
of Kaffrine, she worked with young women to expand and grow their juice and jelly
business. While there, she keenly observed the impact of businesses on the entire
community, from farmers growing experimental trees to a shop owner providing personal
microfinance loans. Lang-Kennedy resolved to better understand the complexities
of the business-community relationship through an MBA.
In her initial consideration of six different east coast universities, Lang-Kennedy
sought out schools that demonstrated a specific focus on social impact through business.
“I wanted to be at a place that understood my ‘non-traditional’ MBA path, that seems
to be becoming more traditional each year, and where I could gain a great foundation
in business with exposure to broad business application in public, private and nonprofit
For her, that place was the Smith School. Drawn in by CSVC and the Net Impact
chapter, Lang-Kennedy decided to attend the Social Enterprise Symposium as an accepted
student who still had to commit to a university. It was there that she was blown
away by how well CSVC “walked the walk.”
“They are involved, not just in creating amazing events, but they support faculty
research and the integration of social impact cases and discussion into the curriculum,
creating practical experiences that show students how they can apply their skills
to create change.”
Two years later, she’s a graduate assistant with CSVC who is working diligently
on outreach for the Social Enterprise Symposium, as well as leading a lunchtime
session at the event.
“The Symposium is a must-attend for students at Smith and UMD. The caliber of
speakers with great insight on leading thinking in their field and career advice
along with the hands-on workshops really offer something for everyone.”
And her time at Smith has put her exactly where she wants to be in her career
post-MBA. Lang-Kennedy has accepted an offer from Deloitte Consulting to work with
Federal clients. This, she says, will allow her to better work across sectors and
be the connector that she sees as essential to social and global change.
Debby Spear, Believer
A real estate appraiser who had long considered finding something more fulfilling,
Debby Spear was never able to articulate what was missing from her life and her
career. That is, until March 1, 2012.
Encouraged by her daughter, a devoted vegan and undergraduate environmental science
major at the University of Maryland, Spear decided to devote a day of her life to
better understanding the many conduits through which one can become a social changemaker.
Putting skepticism aside, she registered for the 2012 Social Enterprise Symposium.
It turned out to be a pivotal experience for her.
“It really was the best day. When it was over, I was so disappointed that it
had already ended. I immediately began looking for more ways to partner with the
Center for Social Value Creation.”
Spear found the most personal value in the “More than Money Career Workshop.”
She realized that she had long been unhappy in her job as a real estate appraiser,
and wanted work that connected her with people and a better corporate culture. So
she polished her networking skills and landed at Payroll Network, a company committed
to corporate values of integrity and the value they place in human capital.
And while working through her fulfilling new position, she’s finding time to
nurture her passion for the Symposium through bringing awareness of the event and
its message to other professionals. “Reaching out to professionals for the Symposium
got me back into the business world. Little by little, I started bringing up the
Symposium, and people would react much more positively than when I’d talk about
my then-job. My enthusiasm is infectious.”
Now, Spear is a believer. She believes that with a good corporate conscience,
lives can change and global good can be done. She believes that relationships are
the key to change and finding one’s place in the world. And she believes that the
Social Enterprise Symposium at the Robert H. Smith School of Business was the key
to this understanding, and her new direction in life.
For more information and to register for the 5th Annual Social Enterprise Symposium,
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the
University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations in North America and Asia.