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Philanthropists, Social Innovators Gather for Symposium Celebrating New Center

February 11, 2014 – Georgetown celebrates the launch of the new Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation today with a symposium that featured key thought leaders from the social innovation sector.

“Social impact, innovations, social change, changemakers [are a part of] the lexicon that we all seem to be talking about,” says Sonal Shah, a professor of practice at Georgetown and the new center’s founding executive director. “It’s the generation of students not just at Georgetown, but around the world and country who are talking about how to have social impact… and universities have the opportunity to train that generation of leaders to meet those challenges.”

Shah moderated a discussion with Jean Case, interactive technology pioneer and the co-founder and CEO of the Case Foundation, and Pam Omidyar, humanitarian and founder of HopeLab and Humanity United.

Salim Ismail, founding executive director of Singularity University also talked about technology and innovation during the one-day symposium, which included workshops on design thinking with Nadia Roumani of the d.school Institute of Design at Stanford University and a storytelling session with Ellen Roche and Cecili Thompson Williams of Free Range Studios.

“The timing of the launch of this center is ideal … we are embarking on a deep period of reflection on designing the futures of Georgetown University,” Georgetown Provost Robert Groves said to the audience of more than 150 members of the Georgetown, government and nonprofit communities. “I can’t imagine a better forum to help us do that wisely.”

View the video of the Shah’s discussion with Case and Omidyar and Ismail’s talk.