VIP Speaker Series


Very Impactful People speaker series, URBANST 131

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. Speakers for this quarter (take the class!!) include Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of Grameen Bank) Wendy Kopp (founder of Teach for America/Teach for All) and Paul Rice (founder of Fair Trade USA).

Past Speakers

Fall 2021

TAs: Sam Roberts & Savannah Ardrey

  • Troy Carter, Earthshot Labs

  • Sami Inkinen, Virta Health

  • Diego Saez Gil, Pachama

  • Tyler Huggins, Meati Foods

  • Joi Jackson-Morgan, 3rd Street Youth

  • Joe Makower, GreenBiz

  • Hannah Sieber, Artyc

  • Michael Charley, Sunski

Spring 2022

TAs: Kate Peña & Sohayla Eldeeb

  • Sal Khan, Khan Academy

  • Austen Allred, fka Lambda School

  • Cheryl Dorsey, Echoing Green

  • Lia Ellis, Sublime Systems

  • Rick Aubrey, HomeRise

  • John Boyd Jr., National Black Farmers Association

  • Paola Santana, GLASS

  • Becca Heller, International Refugee Assistance Project

Fall 2021

TAs: Kate Peña & Sohayla Eldeeb

  • Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat

  • Chris Anderson, TED Talks

  • Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank

  • Marjorie Scholtz, Verbhouse

  • David Keith, Carbon Engineering

  • Raj Panjabi, Last Mile Health

  • Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor

  • Marc Koska, Apiject

  • Vineet Singal, CareMessage

  • James Kanoff, The Farmlink Project

  • Nicolas Pinkowski, Nitricity

  • Kimbery Schreiber, NeuroNav

Spring 2020

TAs: Lola McAllister & Grace Lu

Fall 2020

TAs: Lola McAllister & Grace Lu

  • Cherly Dorsey, Echoing Green

  • Keller Rinaudo, Zipline

  • Paul Rise, Fair Trade USA

  • Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank

  • Durreen Shahnaz, IIX

  • Nididi Nwuneli, LEAP Africa

  • Marcos Igreja, Genecis

  • Wendy Kopp, Teach For America

  • Marcc Koska, Apiject

Spring 2019

  • Daniel Kish, Co-Founder & Executive Director, World Access for the Blind

  • Joanna StrobeR, Founder & CEO, Kurbo Health

  • Brian Hill, Founder & CEO, Edovo

  • Seth Goldman, Co-Founder & TeaEO Emeritus, Honest Tea

  • Daniela Fernandez, Founder, Sustainable Oceans Alliance

  • Leva Zand, Founder & Executive Director, ARTogether

  • Bart Myers, Founder & CEO , Countable & Countable Action

  • Rob Joyce, Founding Principle, Social Impact Designs

  • Jake Woods, Co-Founder & CEO, Team Rubicon

Spring 2018

  • Karen Tse, Founder & CEO, International Bridges to Justice

  • Adam Braun, Founder, Pencils for Promise

  • Melanie Edwards, Founder & CEO, Mobile Metrix

  • Sakena Yacoobi, Founder & Director, Afghan Institute of Learning

  • David Mikkelsen, Co–Founder, Refunite

  • Gregg Treinish, Founder, Adventure Scientists

  • Yuja Chang, Co–Founder, Aira

  • Ruth Shapiro, CEO, Center for Asian Philanthropy and Society

  • Ohad Elhelo, Founder & Executive Director, Our Generation Speaks

  • Aerica Banks, Founder, BEACON

Fall 2017

  • Pamela Hawley, Founder and CEO, UniversalGiving

  • Kola Masha, Founder and Managing Director, Babban Gona

  • Christa Gannon, Founder & CEO, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY)

  • Anne Moses, Founder and President, IGNITE

  • Marcello Palizzi, Co-Founder, B LAB Europe

  • Nick Tilsen, Founder, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation

  • Doniece Sandoval, Founder and CEO, Lava Mae

  • Steve Davis, CEO, PATH

  • Lesley Marincola, Founder and CEO, Angaza Design

  • Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar, PACS & Director, Digital Civil Society Lab

Spring 2017

  • Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Founder And President Of The Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF)

  • Chris Ategeka, Founder And CEO Of Rides For Lives

  • Lucy Sanders, CEO And Co-Founder Of The National Center For Women & Information Technology (Ncwit)

  • Eren Bali, Serial Entrepreneur Who Co-Founded Udemy

  • Christopher Gray, Founder Of Scholly

  • Susan N. Herman, President Of The American Civil Liberties Union

  • Marc Freedman, Founder And CEO Of Encore.Org

  • Larry Kramer, President Of The William And Flora Hewlett Foundation And The Former Dean Of Stanford Law School

  • Vince Siciliano, President And CEO Of New Resource Bank

  • Ann Mei Chang, Executive Leader At The Intersection Of Innovation, Technology, And Global Development. Previously, Chief Innovation Officer And The First Executive Director Of The U.S. Global Development Lab At Usaid.

Fall 2016

  • James Bildner, CEO, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

  • Xavier Helgesen, Co-Founder and CEO, Off Grid Electric

  • Zac Bookman, CEO, Opengov

  • Alexandra Bernadotte, Founder And CEO, Beyond 12

  • Jini Kim, Founder And CEO, Nuna Health

  • Matt Flannery, Co-Founder, Kiva; Founder And CEO, Branch.Co

  • Laura Stachel, Co-Founder And Exec. Director

  • We Care Solar And Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder And Co-Director. Roc United.

Team Leads

Sam Roberts

VIP Co Lead

Savannah Ardrey

VIP Co Lead