Center for Social Entrepreneurship

at Middlebury

Spring 2015 Friday Speaker Series Archive

Friday March 6, 2015: Ekow Edzie ’10, Education First (EF) – “Service Learning in the Dominican Republic: A Model for Transformational Partnership”

Education First (EF) is the largest private education company in the world. For 50 years, they have enabled people, particularly young people, from around the world to travel and discover the world. One of their staple programs are student trips. George Stewart wanted to expand EF’s programming to include service-learning trips. Ekow knew that the interest and opportunity were there in the DR, but he didn’t know about the scalability and profitability. He reached out to other organizations, and found several more who were interested in partnering with EF. In May 2013, he was hired as EF’s Program Manager in the DR.




Friday April 03, 2015: Carly Fink, Rainforest Alliance – Promoting Sustainability from the Ground Up

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. They envision a world where people and planet prosper together.

At the heart of the Rainforest Alliance’s approach is the understanding that the health of the land is inextricably connected to the wellbeing of those who depend on it for their livelihoods. Our approach includes training and certification to promote healthy ecosystems and communities in some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems. They work with forward-thinking farmers, foresters and tourism entrepreneurs to conserve natural resources and ensure the long-term economic health of forest communities. In order for a farm or forestry enterprise to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification, or for a tourism business to be verified, it must meet rigorous standards designed to protect ecosystems, safeguard the well-being of local communities and improve productivity. The Rainforest Alliance then links these farmers, foresters and tourism businesses to the growing global community of conscientious consumers through the green frog seal. The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal is an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social and economic sustainability that helps both businesses and consumers do their part to ensure a brighter future for us all.


Friday April 17, 2015: Chris Howell, Vermont Farm Tours – “If this Farm Could Talk”
Vermont Farm Tours offers an on-farm cheesemaking workshop as well as private guided half-day and full-day driving tours to local vineyards and artisan cheesemakers. They can accommodate groups as small as two people or as large as 50+ people, and are happy to customize a tour to fit visitors interests and budget.

 Friday April 24, 2015: Robin Pandoley, Thinking Beyond Borders – “Bending the Moral Arch”
Thinking Beyond Borders is an educational institution offering programs to develop the essential skills and capacities students need to lead exceptional social impact careers. As committed educators, we create rigorous learning environments that engage with the world, examine its challenges, and place students alongside leaders who are committed to finding solutions. While all TBB programs feature extensive and meaningful cultural immersion, the learning goes far beyond where other programs end. With a variety of programs designed for high school, gap year, college, and graduate levels, TBB is for students who are determined to impact our world. Meaningful change starts here. Our high school summer abroad, gap year programs, and college study abroad programs represent the cutting edge of social impact learning programs.


Friday, May 1, 2015: Eric Archambeau P. ’16, Wellington Partners – “Case Studies in Impact Investing”

Before getting into social entrepreneurship, Eric Archambeau spent over 20 years working in technology. After finishing his studies in Engineering and Computer Science, Eric got his start by working on product design and manufacturing, a move that he recommends to anyone starting out in any field. He later launched numerous ventures, before moving into investing in 2000. Eric is currently a General Partner at Wellington Partners, a pan-European venture capital firm with around 800 million Euros under management.

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