VIP Speaker Series 

URBANST 131 - Very Impactful People (VIP) Speaker Series

The VIP Team runs the Very Impactful People: Social Innovation & the Social Entrepreneur bi-annual speaker series which offers students exclusive speaking events with some of the top global social entrepreneurs/ founders. The VIP team chooses the speaker lineup for the course, works directly with the entrepreneurs to organize the events and facilitates each class. 

Current Speakers: Fall 2023

TAs: Melanie Quan, Lucy Loughridge

Week 1 (10/2)

Alex Brown, Alga Biosciences

Week 2 (10/9)

Kjell Clarysse, Forestbase

Week 3 (10/16)

Keenan Wyrobek, Zipline

Week 4 (10/23)

Anne Toba, Ripples

Week 5 (10/30)

Nadya Okamoto, August

Week 6 (11/6)

Maricel Saenz, Minus Coffee

Week 7 (11/13)

Tracy McCurty, Black Belt Justice Center

Week 8 (11/20)

No class. Thanksgiving break. 

Week 9 (11/27)

Michelle Zhu, Huue

Past Speakers

Fall 2021

TAs: Sam Roberts & Savannah Ardrey

Spring 2022 

TAs: Kate Peña & Sohayla Eldeeb

Fall 2021

TAs: Kate Peña & Sohayla Eldeeb

Spring 2020

TAs: Lola McAllister & Grace Lu

Fall 2020

TAs: Lola McAllister & Grace Lu

Spring 2019

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

2023-24 Team Leads

Lucy Loughridge

VIP Co Lead

Lucy Loughridge is a second-year student studying data science and creative writing. She loves the outdoors and, as a result, has a deep passion for climate activism and making a positive impact. She chose to be a part of SENSA because social entrepreneurship allows her to practice three of her favorite things: analytics, story-telling, and enacting social change. 

Melanie Quan

VIP Co Lead

Melanie Quan is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Human Biology. She's passionate about using science and engineering to positively impact the world and joined SENSA in 2021 to explore social entrepreneurship as a means of creating positive change. She's excited to lead the VIP team and learn from conversations with founders tackling pressing global issues. She cares deeply about our oceans, public health, and water access.