What do an airline, an olive oil company, and a clothing brand have in common? During the Social Impact Industry Day on Friday, September 20, 2019, we learned that a wide variety of companies and groups focus on social impact, in ways that we might not have thought about before.
The day started out at our D.C. campus with an inspiring introduction that set the tone of the day from Farouk Dey, vice provost for integrative learning and life design at the Johns Hopkins University. Following this, each speaker was given seven minutes to talk about their experiences with social impact and how their work allows them to make an impact. The speakers were Dipa Sharif, impact investment consultant and co-founder of WIIN (Women Impact Investing Network); Paul Daniele, portfolio officer, IFC Operations Management at IFC (International Finance Corporation)/World Bank Group; Emily Jarvis, senior online and events editor at GovLoop; Karen Price Ward, corporate community affairs manager at Southwest Airlines; Caroline Chisolm, best practice chair at B Corps Mid-Atlantic; Mattan Sharvit, corporate social responsibility manager at Pompeian; Patty Simonton, director of Bethesda Green’s Innovation Lab; Laura Zobor, retail team leader at Patagonia; and Danielle Tergis, director of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility at Perdue Farms.
Each speaker told inspiring stories of how they ended up getting involved with social impact at their respective companies and showed us that often times, we don’t know where we are going to end up, but that it’s about the journey and the impact that we can make along the way. One lucky audience member was even given two airline tickets from Southwest Airlines! The presentations transitioned into a round of questions from the audience, after which we all headed to the student lounge for a networking lunch. As we were leaving for lunch, we were each given a bottle of olive oil from Pompeian. Following the theme of the day, lunch was catered by Hip City Veg and featured some delicious chicken nuggets and sliders, all plant-based meat alternatives.
For the next two hours, we were able to eat lunch and speak more with the speakers and other clubs and companies present. Conversations flowed and we all had an amazing time talking about what social impact means to us and what we hope to achieve in the future. We left the event surprised at how many different industries focus on social impact and in all the ways that we can get involved. It was a valuable day for everyone that inspired us to push ahead in our paths to social impact.