MENU menu

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Dismantling Invisible Barriers to Capital

Back to schedule

Session Description

Research shows that when talented individuals lack “invisible capital”—the right pedigree, the right passport, the right skin color, the right gender—the attention and investment needed to truly effect change can remain elusive. In this session, we’ll hear from leaders in finance, philanthropy, and venture capital and learn how they work to dismantle inequity in access to capital to enable the breakthroughs that hide in plain sight.

When | Where

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Thursday, April 12 Pyramid Room (TBEC)


Panel Discussion

Session leaders

  • Change Catalyst, Sisters Capital
    Halla is a Change Catalyst on a quest to inspire and empower leaders to release the value of principle-based and gender balanced leadership. She has passionately pursued this purpose as a business leader in Corporate America with M&M and Pepsi Cola, as the first female CEO of Iceland’s Chamber of commerce and as an executive and non-executive director for diverse businesses. An entrepreneur at heart, she joined the founding team of Reykjavik University where she founded the Executive Education department and led a successful initiative focused on empowering women and girls as entrepreneurs, leaders and investors. In 2007 she co-founded an investment firm with the vision to incorporate feminine values into finance. The company made international headlines when it successfully survived Iceland’s infamous economic meltdown. In 2016, Halla ran for President in Iceland. She was an independent candidate with no prior political experience and surprised everyone as she emerged from an initial 1% in the polls to becoming the runner-up with 28% of the vote. Halla holds an international MBA from Thunderbird and has lived and worked in the US, the UK and across the Nordics. Her work led her to the TED stage twice and she has delivered keynotes and participated in dialogues about leadership and gender for companies and conferences around the world. In 2011, Newsweek named her to a list of 150 women who shake the world and after following Iceland’s Presidential Elections in 2016, the New Yorker called her A Living Emoji of Sincerity.
  • Marco Davis Speaker
    Partner, New Profit
    Marco A. Davis is a Partner at New Profit, a pioneering nonprofit national venture philanthropy fund. In this role, he serves as Organizational Lead on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and he manages the Proximity accelerator, engaging innovative social entrepreneurs of color. Before joining New Profit, Mr. Davis served under President Barack Obama as Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, which included leading engagement with the Hispanic community on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative. He also served as Director of Public Engagement for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Previously, he was Director of Global Fellowship and Regional Manager for Latin America at Ashoka’s Youth Venture. Earlier in his career, he was Director of Leadership Development at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza). Mr. Davis is a frequent speaker on the Latino community and education in the United States. He serves on the board of directors at Educators for Excellence and Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC). He has been awarded the Hispanics in Philanthropy NGen Fellowship and the Presidio Institute Cross Sector Leadership Fellowship. In spring 2017, he was named a Pahara-Aspen Fellow. Mr. Davis received a B.A. in History and Latin American Studies from Yale University, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Originally from the New York City area, he lives in the District of Columbia with his wife and daughter.
  • Cheryl Dorsey Speaker
    President, Echoing Green Foundation
    Cheryl Dorsey is the president of Echoing Green, a global organization unleashing next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. A social entrepreneur herself, Cheryl received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1992 to help launch The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit in Boston. Cheryl has served in two presidential administrations and serves on several boards including the SEED Foundation, The Bridgespan Group and, previously, the Harvard Board of Overseers. She has received numerous awards, including the Pfizer Roerig History of Medicine Award, the Robert Kennedy Distinguished Public Service Award, and the Manual C. Carballo Memorial Prize. Cheryl was been named one of "America's Best Leaders" by US News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and one of The Nonprofit Times' "Power and Influence Top 50." She has a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her Master's in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Author, Social Startup Success, Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford
    Kathleen Kelly Janus is a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University. As an expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement and scaling early stage organizations, her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Tech Crunch and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is the co-founder of Spark, the largest network of millennial donors in the world. Based in the heart of the Silicon Valley, her new book, Social Startup Success, features best practices for early stage nonprofit organizations based on a five-year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social entrepreneurs.
  • Managing Director, India,
    Vedika Bhandarkar serves as's senior leader in India, overseeing the organization's strategy, growth and water and sanitation program expansion in the country. She and her team continue to scale WaterCredit in in the country through direct partnerships with financial and non-financial organizations, collaboration with enabling partners and engagement with the Government's Swachh Bharat Mission. has been working in India for more than 10 years with offices in Chennai and Delhi. Working with the implementing partners, has helped reach more than 5.8 million people in the country with access to water and/or sanitation. Vedika brings more than 25 years of experience building teams and businesses with Indian and international financial institutions. Prior to joining in January 2016, Vedika served as Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Credit Suisse Securities (India) Private Limited from 2010-2015. Previously, she served as the Managing Director & Head of Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan, where she worked from 1998-2010. She began her career at ICICI Bank. Since early 2015, Vedika has dedicated her time to corporate boards and social enterprise, serving as independent director on several corporate boards, and as a volunteer, fundraiser and board member of the Jai Vakeel Foundation, an institution focused on children and adults with intellectual disability. She is based in Mumbai with her family.