I manage a sustainable finance fund (700M€) focused on Demographic Megatrends. An ageing, growing population poses social and environmental challenges but also creates opportunities, disruptive ideas, and innovative business models. In addition, I regularly collaborate as mentor for social entrepreneurs, helping them fine-tune their business model, properly report and measure impact and, particularly, in reaching investment readiness, a frequent drawback in scaling up the business and/or securing funding.
Social Innovation Academy is an interesting project to me because we share the vision that 1) education is the most powerful tool to foster change and 2) social innovation should be the norm, as we can no longer afford to think economic profit is detached from its cost to societies and environment.
After immersing myself in the social entrepreneurship world through my investor lens, I realized that the lack of financial acumen was often a barrier impeding social innovators to access appropriate funding. Finance is a crucial ally for upscaling transformative ideas and to ensure that social innovation proves to be both a business and a societal opportunity worth funding. I wish to contribute my experience to this end, and in Social Innovation Academy I see a perfect partner to create a powerful network effect.
Industrial engineer with 13years of experience managing investments for global firms like Citigroup, Credit Suisse and currently Candriam. Since 2015, I have actively supported social entrepreneurs develop their business strategy and reach investment readiness. Currently based in Belgium, having previously lived in France, Mexico, Canada and US.
Currently I’m part of the technical financing team for Portugal Social Innovation, which is a public initiative of the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the Portuguese Government, which has mobilized 150 million euros, from structural funds, to develop a social investment market to support initiatives of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Portugal is pioneer in Europe, regarding the creation and implementation of social financing instruments and has already a pool of approved projects where the focus on social impact is very strong.
My interest in joining the Advisory Board is natural as I’ve been working closely in this area. As the Academy will be the first European, fully online management training programme focusing exclusively on social innovation I can see the strong links with my academic knowledge and practice over the last years.
In fact, for about 18 years, I’ve been part of Enterprise Europe Network (een.ec.europa.eu), providing tailor-made advice in innovation management, access to new markets and sources of funding, acting also as key account manager for companies funded by the SME Instrument of the European Program Horizon 2020.
I’m a Mentor in Copernicus Accelerator, which is an initiative funded by the EC that provides a customised business development scheme for the winners and finalists of each Copernicus Masters Challenge, supporting from idea conception into real commercial ventures.
I’ve received dedicated training in areas related with innovation management, creativity and business idea, intellectual property and technology transfer, value proposition, market studies, business plan, strategy and marketing, communication and negotiation.
I’m attending the MBA “Managing Impact Business” focused in areas of such as innovation and competitiveness, performance management and impact measurement, business models and sustainability, negotiation, investment valuation and treasury management.
As the Social Innovation Academy will target the managers of companies, NGOs/civil society organisations and intermediaries and social entrepreneurs willing to learn how to set up and run social innovation initiatives to solve the most pressing societal challenges I believe that I can add value to this major goal.
Teodora is a change agent with extensive experience of leading global teams and programs in purpose-led innovation. Currently she is Director of Social Innovation at Pearson, one of the world’s largest learning companies focused on helping people of all ages make progress in their lives through learning. In this role Teodora drives forward Pearson’s strategy and investments in the development of new solutions and business models for underserved learners. This includes developing and implementing multi-year social innovation partnerships with international organizations such as the United Nations and Save the Children. In addition, Teodora launched and oversees Pearson’s first internal incubator focused on the R&D of education and employability solutions for low-income markets throughout the world.
Teodora joined Pearson from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she worked with corporates and social enterprises on business models that deliver social, environmental and commercial returns. Prior to that she worked as a corporate sustainability consultant in Beirut, Lebanon, and in New York City with the East Harlem Tutorial Program. Teodora has a B.A. in Political Studies and Human Rights from Bard College, and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is a Global Fellow at the League of Intrapreneurs.
One of the key challenges I have observed over the years is that despite there being many people in the private sector who want to contribute to a more equitable and environmentally sustainable world, they often lack the skills to do so and are unsure of where to start and how to make the case for change. It is my hope that the Social Innovation Academy will help to address this gap by providing the necessary skills and tools with which intrapreneurs and social entrepreneurs can accelerate their work and impact in the world.
I currently work for Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, within their Challenge Prize Centre. I co-ordinate an international consortium delivering the European Social Innovation Competition on behalf of the European Commission. This is a yearly competition with a changing theme, offering three winners €50,000 each, as well as providing mentoring and training to 30 semi finalists. The competition aims to support and encourage social innovation across Europe.
Prior to this, I worked in the youth social action sector, first for Generation Change and then vInspired. In these roles I supported young people to volunteer in their communities in meaningful ways. I sit on the board of the youth and community development charity Hackney Quest, and founded the social impact career directory and mentoring scheme Progressive Careers. I hold an MA in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of York.
I want to support the work of the Social Innovation Academy as I am passionate about breaking down the walls around social impact work and increasing the popularity of social innovation. I think the academy will play a fantastic role in making social innovation training accessible, which will in turn increase the number of effective social innovators, which is an exciting prospect!
As an Innovation Strategist based in the Netherlands l lead the grant innovation, grant management, and global operations efforts in the philanthropic side of the COFRA-C&A Group of entities. Besides I am an Associate Professor in Strategy, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Businesses at UIBS International Business School Amsterdam, as well as Chair of their Examination Committee. I also publish on innovation at the HARVARD Deusto Business Research Journal.
Being an Orchestrator at heart, I am a strong believer in the power of innovation as a catalyzer for systemic change fostering a more inclusive and carbon-positive economy. My personal commitment is to advance innovation dialogues and effective design in environments where it is not yet present. The Social Innovation Academy proofs to be a strong organization with a clear purpose to advance innovation and learning in the social sector. Because these goals are close to my heart, I am honored to contribute to that and help to leverage the diverse strengths of cross-sectorial collaboration.
With vast executive and non-executive experience in the private, public, non-profit sectors and in academia, I have held positions as Chief Operating Officer, Head of Global Operations & Innovation, Head of the Economic Section or Corporate Innovation Manager at respectively C&A Foundation, International Water Association, Embassy of Peru, Abengoa and Schneider Electric. I hold a Ph.D. in Business Law (University DEUSTO/ HEIDELBERG); MBI Master in Business Innovation (Deusto / Cambridge JUDGE Business Schools) and am certified by HARVARD and INSEAD in Creating Shared Value and Value Innovation
Jose Antonio Morales
The first years of my entrepreneurial career were focused on information technologies as an opportunity for the development of small businesses. I worked in Lima with Microsoft Peru and in Ljubljana with Microsoft Slovenia precisely to support business people in their efforts to make technology work for them. Throughout those years I learned that leadership is not about authority, it is a dedication to the deliberate development of people.
A second phase of my career started in the year 2012. After two years living and working in New York for a management consulting firm, I decided to return to Slovenia and let technology aside in order for me to create a new path. Since then I started many initiatives and among them Fear & Fail Global and Aurora Coworking. Both initiatives are focused on the importance of community building, entrepreneurship as a force for human growth and the role of fear as a source of resistance and limitations for individuals and collectives. Six years of experience talking, mentoring, coaching persons from more than 10 countries has been a powerful experience and I wish this to go on!
I’m starting as a culture consultant for innovative companies that deliberately care about their employees. I’m a mentor for ABC Accelerator Slovenia and also actively participate as speaker, facilitator and trainer for conferences and events.
I see the Social Innovation Academy as a great opportunity to increase the impact of my work. Social Innovation is getting momentum and the only way we can transform a trend into effective change is by cooperating. I see the world shifting paradigms and building up a new fundament for the businesses of the future, it is a a shift from cultures of scarcity and fear to one of responsibility and freedom. The Social Innovation Academy makes the path for the new social innovators effective.
Carolina Parisi is a lawyer and is currently Senior Legal Counsel, Associate Company Secretary and Compliance Officer at ArcelorMittal S.A. in Luxembourg, the world’s largest steel producer.
She is also the Founding Curator of the Luxembourg City Hub of Global Shapers and Country Chair of Global Dignity Luxembourg.
She has a multi-cult profile having also worked on a green field project in India and lectured Commercial and Tax Law in Brazil.
She is passionate about education and social causes. In Brazil, she is one of the founders and member of the non-governmental organisation AME (“Minas Action for Education”) – which educates vulnerable groups and promotes informed and responsible citizenship later incorporated into the Federal Industry Confederation of Minas Gerais social program – SESI.
In Luxembourg she is the co-founder of Bitbank – a blockchain advisory startup, a board member of SOCIA – a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union – aiming to put in place the first European, fully online management training program focusing exclusively on social innovation, and the VP for strategic partnerships at Avantgarde Analytics – a Data Science AI and algorithm campaigning. Carolina holds a BA in Law, a M.Sc. in Tax Law from the University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and an Executive MBA from the European School of Business (Germany).
I have 20 years working in social innovation in the UK. In 2015 I moved to Australia. Here we have established a social enterprise that is using the evidence of leadership to help create purpose driven organisations and showcase that this in turn improves performance. The transitional learning journey is carried out side by side with a community of difference. This allows participants to be vulnerable, disruptive, focused on asset-based approaches and develop their full human potential.
The Academy can motivate, inspire, nurture, challenge and advocate for the global role that millions of organisations and individuals are involved in and provide them with the best Innovation tools to flourish, succeed and innovate. To be part of that leadership and to create the environment for others from our experience is a real honor.
I moved into public policy after training as a Chef when the UK Food Standards Agency was established in 2000 and led the Transformation of School Food in UK following my appointment as Chairman to School Food Trust. I am also a founder of a Community Interest Company and a Charitable organisation working around food policies. I have had experience as a Non-Exec with NHS Primary Care Services as well as other private, public and non-profit appointments. I currently run a Social Enterprise and involved with social innovations as a Non-Exec of a Dementia Charity and a Neighborhood House. As a Policy Fellow with Victoria University I focus on Social Prescribing and innovations in Obesity and Malnutrition.
Dr Tuukka Toivonen
Tuukka Toivonen is an expert on creativity in entrepreneurship, social innovation and collaborative organisations. He holds a PhD from the University of Oxford and currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Social & Economic Innovation at the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity. Tuukka’s empirical creativity research has been funded by the ESRC, the Skoll Foundation, think tanks such as Sitra as well as several university funds.
Key questions Tuukka’s collaborative research seeks to address include: How are the idea journeys of digital entrepreneurs shaped by (affective) moments of collective creativity with peers, mentors and others? What determines who has ‘creative influence’ on the ideas of creators operating in fluid, networked contexts? How are team-level attitudes and other characteristics related to how creative teams benefit from social innovation labs, competitions and accelerator programmes? How do socially transformative innovations take shape, and can they be ‘produced’ or catalysed by strategic initiatives? Tuukka is also planning new research projects into long-term processes whereby human and machine creativity intertwine and co-shape an emerging creative product.
Having taught diverse professionals at several global top universities in the UK and Japan, Tuukka strives to maintain a constant, inspired dialogue between research and practice. He engages in a variety of exciting projects that seek to shape the future of our economies and our approaches to innovation, creativity, entrepreneurial work, technology and organisations.
SOCIA is precisely the kind of project needed in the world today and I am especially pleased to join its Advisory Board. By making social innovation know-how more accessible and relevant to managers and executives, SOCIA paves the way for transformative change right across key sectors of the economy and society more broadly. As such, I hope it continues to positively shape our social innovation landscape well into the next decade and beyond.
Dr Ruth Yeoman
I am a Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. My research examines meaningful work and mutuality as an organising principle in organisations, cities and supply chains. This includes exploring how theory can be translated into practice using participatory research methods. I have created a portfolio of funded projects in the public and private sectors, using change labs and action learning to help practitioners develop socially oriented organisations.
I am interested in SOCIA because it will educate a new generation in the philosophy and practices of social innovation – a necessary move for addressing global challenges of climate change, technological shifts and rising inequalities. I also consider that this initiative has the capacity to contribute to a European- wide social economy, and therefore provide a model which can be adapted to other parts of the world. I can offer the Advisory Board expert insights into the latest research on meaningful work and mutual organisations, as well as connections to the UK context, and experience of organisational change.
I am a member of the HM Treasury Council of Economic Advisors, the Fabian Society’s Changing Work Centre, and New York University’s (NYU) working group – ‘Work: The Hard Problem’ – led by Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah. I am also a Research Associate at King’s College, London where I am collaborating with Professor Katie Bailey to establish a Meaningful Work Consortium. My book, Meaningful Work and Workplace Democracy: a philosophy of work and a politics of meaningfulness, was published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Ama Marston is an internationally recognized mission-driven leader as well as a highly respected entrepreneur, innovator, strategic advisor, and thought leader. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of Type R Partners and the founder of Marston Consulting as well as the co-author of Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World (Hachette Book Group). Ama has worked on five continents with leaders like Mary Robinson, first female President of Ireland, and Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate economist as well as FTSE and Fortune 500 companies, the United Nations, Oxford University, NGOs, governments, and local communities. Ama’s work has been widely featured including in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Slate, and numerous others as well as in innovation forums such as SXSW and UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. She has long been hailed as a leader, original thinker, and innovator and she has won several awards, including an Axiom Business Book Gold Medal as well as a Council of Women World Leaders Fellowship. Ama earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is an avid art and nature lover and lives in the Bay Area.
I am dedicated to social innovation and finding new ways to create social impact, working across sectors, segments of society, and countries. There are important synergies between the Social Innovation Academy, my work on transformative resilience, and my own social entrepreneurship in addition to having previously been on the Advisory Board of SOCIA and inputting on its earlier development. I look forward to building bridges between social innovation in Europe, North America, and linking with other innovators and partners around the world.