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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

When Big Is Beautiful

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Session Description

A conversation between panellists and delegates will explore how social ventures and social entrepreneurs can create great impact using a variety of different techniques, from replication to changes in society’s beliefs and norms.

When | Where

10:00 - 12:00 Wednesday, March 28

Session leaders

  • Jim Fruchterman Speaker
    Founder and CEO, Benetech
    Jim Fruchterman is the founder and CEO of Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit technology company that develops software applications to address unmet needs of users in the social sector. He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his work as a pioneering social entrepreneur, including the MacArthur Fellowship, Caltech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Migel Medal—the highest honor in the blindness field—from the American Foundation for the Blind. Benetech’s work has grown to touch thousands of organizations and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Benetech’s suite of tools and services has transformed the ways in which people with disabilities such as dyslexia and vision impairment access printed information, at-risk human rights defenders safely document abuse, and environmental practitioners protect species and ecosystems. Today, through Benetech Labs, its innovation arm, Benetech explores new software-for-good ideas that have the potential to make life better for millions. JJim has also been active in public policy and thought leadership. He has served on three federal advisory committees on technology policy, as well as repeatedly testifying before Congress on innovation and technology subjects. He speaks and writes extensively on social entrepreneurship, disability and technology topics, and lectures regularly at universities around the United States and the world. He was on the original drafting team for the Treaty of Marrakesh, the first pro-consumer intellectual property treaty passed by the United Nations, which went into international legal effect in 2016. Through his work with Benetech and as a trailblazer in the field of social entrepreneurship, Jim continues to advance his vision of a world in which the benefits of technology reach all of humanity, not just the wealthiest and most able five percent.
  • Peace Ambassador, Search for Common Ground
    Susan Collin Marks, Search for Common Ground’s Peace Ambassador, is an internationally renowned peacemaker and peacebuilder. For nearly three decades, she has worked in some of the most conflictual places on the planet, including mediating in the heart of her native South Africa’s transition from apartheid, facilitating ongoing dialogue in the Middle East, supporting peace initiatives in the former Soviet Union and Asia, and establishing national peacebuilding programs throughout Africa. In recent years, she has focused on mentoring and coaching high level political, institutional and civil society leaders worldwide, encouraging them to be leaders for the whole, not just their party, faction or group. In September 2014, she stepped aside after 20 years as senior vice president of Search for Common Ground (www.sfcg.org), and moved from Washington DC to Europe. Her book, Watching the Wind: conflict resolution during South Africa’s transition to democracy, USIP 2000, captures the compelling story of how peace can be built even in the most intractable conflict. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town. Honors include an Honorary Doctorate from the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica; Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship at the United States Institute for Peace; Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship; President Jimmy Carter’s Waging Peace Award; Marvin Johnson Diversity Award, Association for Conflict Resolution; Exemplary Leadership Award from the University of Pittsburgh; and the Institute for Noetic Science’s Creative Altruism Award. She continues to speak, teach, coach, mentor, write, facilitate, and support peace processes and conflict resolution programs internationally. She holds a vision of a world of peace and dignity for all. She believes that our common humanity binds us together more than our differences divide us. She works to make it so.