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Sullivan Foundation to Host Social Entrepreneurship Opportunity Fair Nov. 16

Job opportunities are hard to come by for young college graduates pursuing careers as changemakers, especially during a pandemic. The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation plans to give them a head start with the upcoming Social Entrepreneurship Opportunity Fair, to be held online from 6-8 p.m. (ET), Monday, Nov. 16.

Click here to learn more and register for the free event.

The event, which is free and open to all recent college graduates or current students, takes place in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, scheduled for Nov. 16-22, 2020.

The Social Entrepreneurship Opportunity Fair will feature virtual “booths” manned by social-impact organization leaders around the nation. Some of the groups partnering on the event, to both share opportunities and promote it, include:

Attendees of the Social Entrepreneurship Opportunity Fair will have the chance to connect with social-impact organizations offering internships and jobs and meet representatives from socially minded companies looking to hire. They will also network and interact with social entrepreneurs to receive guidance and feedback.

“We’ve heard from lots of students who are struggling to find opportunities to get started in their changemaking careers,” said Spud Marshall, the Sullivan Foundation’s director of student engagement and organizer of the event. “We’re going to lean on the collective resources across our Sullivan network to help students connect with internships, jobs, education and service opportunities.”

The event will also serve as the culmination to the Sullivan Foundation’s Ignite Masterclass program, which launched this fall. Ignite Masterclasses offer weekly workshops and networking sessions taught by social innovation leaders from around the country.

Social innovators and business leaders who want to participate in the event can fill out a survey here with details on the opportunity they’re offering. If your organization would like to help promote the event, email Marshall at spud@sullivanfdn.org to learn more and to receive resources for sharing to your network.

 

Reading With a Rapper’s Jarren Small Leads Ignite Masterclass on Oct. 28

Jarren Small, the mastermind behind the Houston-based Reading With a Rapper program, will lead the Sullivan Foundation’s next Ignite Masterclass on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The class, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Reimagining Education With Rappers + Corporate America.” Two sessions will be held from 1-2:15 p.m. (ET) and from 2:30-3:45 p.m. (ET).

Related: Jarren Small teaches ELA skills through hip-hop

Click here to register for Session 1 and click here to register for Session 2.

This masterclass will explore creative ways to pursue change within America’s education system through unlikely partnerships. Small is the co-founder of Reading With a Rapper, a venture that connects high-school students with rappers to strengthen their English Language Arts (ELA) skills. Since creating the program, Small has gone on to start a variety of side hustles that are creating impact in his community.

Small will help Ignite Masterclass attendees learn how to build partnerships and connect different parts of their passions to form their own side hustles.

Reading With a Rapper is an innovative educational curriculum focused on teaching ELA in a way that makes today’s young people sit up and listen. Students hone their reading and writing skills through a series of activities and exercises built around rap music with socially conscious lyrics, video content and technology. Students learn how to relate real-world concepts expressed in rap songs to literature and writing.

Students in classes taught by faculty members from three colleges and universities will also participate in this Ignite Masterclass session. The faculty members include Tonia Warnecke, Ph.D., of Rollins College; Scott Kelly of Campbell University; and Valeri Werpetinski of the University of Illinois.

Click here to learn more about the Sullivan Foundation’s Ignite Masterclass program.

Kaveh Sadeghian Explores Principles of Design Thinking in Upcoming Ignite Masterclass Oct. 15

Biases and bad habits often get in the way of innovation and positive change. In the Sullivan Foundation’s next Ignite Masterclass, Kaveh Sadeghian of the Center for Social Impact Strategy will delve into the core principles of design thinking, a process for solving problems in a creative, human-centered way.

Ignite Masterclass facilitator Spud Marshall will host Sadeghian in two sessions titled Design Thinking for Personal Growth + Social Innovation, both presented on Thursday, October 15. The first session takes place from 9:30-10:45 a.m. (ET), followed immediately by the second session from 10:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m. (ET).  All Ignite Masterclasses are free. You can register for the first session here and for the second session here.

Click here to learn more about Sullivan’s Ignite Masterclass series and upcoming sessions.

a photo of Kaveh Sadeghian

Kaveh Sadeghian

Sadeghian will introduce participants to the core principles of design thinking, creativity and social innovation. The session will explore why meaningful work is so hard to come by and how you can use design thinking methodology to identify and ultimately create opportunities that exist at the powerful point of intersection between your identity, values and the problems that weigh most heavily on your community.

Students in classes taught by faculty members from seven colleges and universities will also participate in this Ignite Masterclass session. The faculty members include Montressa Washington, Ph.D., of Shenandoah University; Melissa Nelson of Rollins College; Bruce Dorries, Ph.D., of Mary Baldwin University; Susan Conradsen, Ph.D., of Berry College; Melanie Bullock Harris of Elon University; Linda Feltman of Penn State University; and Valeri Werpetinski of the University of Illinois.

In the September-October 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Jeanne Liedtka, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, described design thinking as a “social technology” that “has the potential to do for innovation exactly what [Total Quality Management] did for manufacturing: unleash people’s full creative energies, win their commitment and radically improve processes.”

“By now most executives have at least heard about design thinking’s tools—ethnographic research, an emphasis on reframing problems and experimentation, the use of diverse teams, and so on—if not tried them,” Liedtka wrote. “But what people may not understand is the subtler way that design thinking gets around the human biases (for example, rootedness in the staus quo) or attachments to specific behaviorial norms (‘That’s how we do things here’) that time and again block the exercise of imagination.”

Sadeghian is the creative director and founding member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy and a faculty member for the Executive Program in Social Innovation Design. He designs and facilitates leadership development programs, leveraging leading practices in organizational psychology and design thinking to help impact leaders work more effectively and compassionately.

Sadeghian also consults for high-impact organizations and speaks at purpose-driven conferences, designing and leading interactive workshops that increase clarity, confidence and community. He has trained more than 4,000 impact leaders, and the online programs he helped design have reached more than 90,000 learners to date. Prior to co-founding the Center, Sadeghian was a change manager for Ashoka, where he managed the development, launch and expansion of a nationwide high school social entrepreneurial incubator program.

Throughout Fall 2020, the Sullivan Foundation will host weekly Ignite Masterclass workshops and networking sessions taught by social innovation leaders from around the U.S. Each class features an expert mini-lecture on a specific social innovation, followed by a chance to network with peers, Sullivan coaches and other social innovators. All sessions are designed for college students and faculty alike and are free to the public.

Students, Faculty Rank Sullivan Foundation’s Ignite Masterclass as Best Virtual Event They Have Ever Attended

As the pandemic continues to rage across the country, it has gotten harder to network and collaborate with fellow changemakers and share new solutions to social issues. Now the Sullivan Foundation is making it easy again, thanks to a new online program called Ignite Masterclass.

With its popular Ignite Retreats, usually held twice a year in North Carolina, currently on hold, the Sullivan Foundation is bringing social-change leaders, college students and faculty/staff together through the weekly Ignite Masterclass sessions—and all classes are free. Even better, many participants say it’s the best online event they have ever attended.

Click here to learn more about Ignite Masterclass, sign up and view the 2020 schedule.

Spud Marshall, the Sullivan Foundation’s director of student engagement, leads the sessions. Each one features a mini-lecture from a social innovator about a specific initiative, followed by a chance to network with peers, Sullivan coaches and other leaders in the field.

Additionally, classes taught by professors from across the Sullivan network – as well as some non-Sullivan schools – attend and participate in the sessions.

“The Ignite Masterclass introduces you to leaders around the world engaged in social change and helps open doors so you can take the next step on your changemaking journey,” Marshall said. “With more than 50 coaches and speakers joining the sessions every week throughout the fall, bring your curiosity, because you never know who you might meet each week!”

With the Sullivan Foundation’s Ignite Retreats on hold due to the pandemic, retreat leader Spud Marshall has found a new way to bring changemakers together through the Ignite Masterclass program.

The pandemic brought a screeching halt to live events like the Ignite Retreats, but virtual programming has filled the gap. In fact, holding Ignite Masterclasses online once a week allows Marshall to recruit dozens of thought leaders to share their ideas and time with participants. “One of the biggest values of the Ignite Retreat is the ability for people to connect with others who can help you take the next step on your changemaking journey,” Marshall said. “With the Ignite Masterclass series, we are creating the same networking experience and offering it weekly throughout the fall. We have more than 50 coaches and speakers for participants to connect with during the sessions.”

Marshall said he conducted a survey of participants to get their feedback on the sessions. “The majority of participants rank the Ignite Masterclass as the best virtual event they’ve ever attended,” he said.

“We’ve designed the sessions so that everyone walks away with content and connection,” he added. “Our featured speakers share stories about their work and helpful tips and frameworks they use to advance social change in their field. And then we end the sessions with a networking lounge for participants to connect with coaches who can help you figure out how to apply that content to your personal life, problems in your home community, and through projects you want to get involved in.”

Ignite Masterclasses offer benefits to college students and faculty/staff members who are passionate about creating positive social change. All classes are aimed at both audiences, who can collaborate to launch their own initiatives both in and beyond the classroom.

For students, the benefits include:

  • Building relationships with peers and fellow students throughout the country
  • Access to national leaders in the social innovation and changemaking space
  • An inspiring alternative to Zoom webinars—these sessions are fully interactive and motivate participants to start taking action now.

For college faculty and staff members, the benefits include:

  • Access to new topics and national speakers each week for nine weeks
  • Interacting with up to 70 Sullivan partner schools and their students in real time from classrooms throughout the country
  • Creating assignments around topical workshops and sessions each week
  • Workshops are relevant to students as well as faculty
  • All faculty and students are welcome to participate at no charge

Recent Ignite Masterclass sessions have covered topics such as sustainable design and how to apply the principles of sustainability to product design and development; storytelling for racial and social justice and the media’s role in perpetuating social injustice; and pushing through adversity and navigating the discomfort of change and uncertainty.

Tessa Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Asset Education, will lead an upcoming Ignite Masterclass session on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The next Ignite Masterclass will be held in two sessions, from 12:30-1:45 p.m. and 2:00-3:15 p.m. (ET), on Tuesday, Sept. 29. It features Tessa Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Asset Education, and focuses on maintaining health and well-being in a chaotic and conflict-ridden era. The session will explore a variety of stress-reducing, resilience-boosting tools and strategies that will help you be well and stay well.

Here’s a preview of sessions scheduled for October 2020:

  • 11 a.m-12:15 p.m. and 3:00-4:15 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, Oct. 6: Developing Empathy as a Tool for Social Justice, with Reagan Pugh of Assemble. The session will guide participants through a dialogue on default mindsets, examine how fear prevents us from growth and provide strategies for developing empathy to advance social causes you care about.
  • 9:30-10:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m. (ET), Thursday, Oct. 15: Design Thinking for Personal Growth and Social Innovation, with Kaveh Sadeghian of the Center for Social Impact Strategy. Sadeghian will introduce participants to the core principles of design thinking, creativity and social innovation and explore how to create meaningful work that matches your personal values.
  • 2:30-3:45 p.m. (ET), Monday, Oct. 19: Nature-Inspired Solutions for a Healthier, More Sustainable World, with Jared Yarnall-Schane of the Biomimicry Institute. This session will introduce participants to biomimicry, a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges. It will also highlight case studies on businesses that learn from and support the natural world.
  • 1:00-2:15 p.m. and 2:30-3:45 p.m. (ET), Wednesday, Oct. 28: Reimagining Education With Rappers and Corporate America, with Jarren Small of Reading With a Rapper. Small will discuss creative ways to pursue change within the education system through unlikely partnerships, such as bringing rap artists into the classroom to teach language and arts skills.