Center for Social Entrepreneurship

at Middlebury


There are many conferences in the field of social change and innovation. Below are just a few of those opportunities our students have taken advantage of previously. If you are a Middlebury student and something else comes your way for which you need support, please come see us!

Social Enterprise Conference

presented by the students of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government

The Social Enterprise Conference hosts speakers and panelists with a wealth of knowledge and experience in innovative, cross-sectoral approaches to addressing social issues. Throughout the Conference, participants have opportunities to learn from experts, network with others in the field, and explore a wide variety of career opportunities. The conference will feature:

  • 1,500 conference participants including practitioners and students
  • More than 125 panelists and speakers
  • Approximately 40 panels and workshops on the latest topics in social enterprise
  • Expanded practitioner-focused Saturday program to include more workshops, small-group brunches, and networking reception
  • Networking opportunities to meet with leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit fields
  • Social Enterprise Career Fair
  • Pitch for Change Business Plan Competition

Clinton Global Initiative University

The Clinton Global Initiative University Conference brings together students and youth organizations to develop Commitments to Action across five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

Middlebury has established a relationship with Clinton Global Initiative to become a CGIU Campus. Many Middlebury students have attended the CGI conference in past years. Students that submit a CGIU “commitment to action” are eligible to use this application as a grant application to the MCSE Summer Grants challenge that will take place during second semester. Summer Grants run from $3000-5000. (Note: Applications are closed for this year.)

The Duke Symposium on Scaling Innovations in Global Health


The Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) team organized their inaugural 2013 symposium on Scaling Innovations in Global Health this past April.

The symposium meant to gather interdisciplinary partners through a coordinated effort across Duke University and leverage institutional relationships and networks to create an integrated global health social entrepreneurship hub for diverse stakeholders across the globe. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), SEAD is a joint initiative aiming to provide social entrepreneurs in global health with the knowledge, systems, and networks needed to succeed. Through this program, SEAD strives to capture lessons learned and policy implications to ensure that their work impacts both entrepreneurs on the ground and the broader development community.

Dartmouth Ventures – A Conference on Entrepreneurship

 “Success and Social Values?”


Dartmouth Ventures is an annual conference on entrepreneurship established in 2002 to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in students, faculty, researchers, alumni and staff at Dartmouth College. Held at the Tuck School of Business, the conference, which is open to the public, brings nationally recognized entrepreneurial leaders, many of them Dartmouth alumni, to the institution to discuss issues pertinent to entrepreneurial initiatives.

The 2013 conference explored the basic question at the point of departure of any entrepreneurial venture, indeed for any career: what’s the point? What defines a successful venture? Can financial success and social values go together? Should they? The 2013 Dartmouth Ventures Conference looked at these questions in a wide variety of entrepreneurial contexts and through the eyes of a diverse group of entrepreneurs and investors. With Dartmouth’s long tradition of teaching entrepreneurial skills and educating successive generations of leaders, this conference would definitely be of interest to all aspiring Middlebury students.

East Coast Start-up Summit


The East Coast Start-up Summit is an annual conference that brings students from dozens of universities across the country to build a stronger student startup ecosystem and unite over today’s wave of entrepreneurial expansion that is hitting the east coast. This year’s speakers included the founders and directors of a range of successful initiatives including Warby Parker, TechStars NYC, FirstMark Capital, Highland Capital, Richmond Global and Codecademy.

All current college students are eligible to apply. Housing and food is provided at the University to all attendees.

Babson College Global Leadership Development Experience

The Babson College Global Leadership Development Experience (GLDE) is an intense immersion program where students partner with innovative student entrepreneurs, corporate and nonprofit executives, and world-class faculty while working to create innovative, real-world solutions to social, economic, and environmental issues in a collaborative and challenging environment. For more information, visit their website.

reRoute – Building Youth and Student Power for a New Economy


Organized by the New Economics Institute, this three-day conference brings together students and organization leaders to discuss the most pressing issues of our time. As they say: “Our generation is in the process of inheriting a world in unprecedented systemic crisis. Inequality, poverty, climate change, corporate control of our democracy, political gridlock—these are symptoms of interconnected economic, ecological, and system failures that show few signs of correcting themselves”. However, “in communities and on campuses young people are getting organized, innovating and finding new ways to understand our situation, meet our collective needs, express our creativity and uphold our values”.

This conference therefore explores the myriad of forms that this innovation takes. Discussion topics include building co-operative enterprises, decentralizing and democratizing finance through credit unions, building infrastructure that enables sharing and reuse, exploring pluralistic and heterodox approaches to economic thinking, leveraging the purchasing and investment power of colleges and universities toward social needs and so much more.

All interested are eligible to apply. Housing and travel scholarships are offered and the full cost of admission can also be paid according to a sliding scale.

The Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia Business School


This year’s Social Enterprise Conference at Colombia’s Business School will look at how customers and clients can become more engaged in social change through appropriate business strategies.  While mainly geared towards a business savvy audience, the topics covered could interest Middlebury students who would like to get deeper into the practical considerations of social enterprise management.

As the organizers say: “Social entrepreneurs may have great visions for transforming the world, but little can be accomplished without energizing and motivating those on the receiving end of change efforts: the clients and customers of social enterprises. Organizations ranging from multinational corporations to social venture startups need to grapple with questions such as:

• How best to compel customers to consider the social footprints of their purchases, and leverage the power of the consumer for social good?

• How to engage at the grassroots level to translate individual ideas and feedback into action and movements?

• How best to create demand for – and deliver – socially useful products and services that benefit underserved communities and the environment?”

By uniting industry experts, thought leaders and practitioners, the 2013 Social Enterprise Conference will delve deeper into the ways leaders and managers can use strategy as a tool to maximize social change.

Student tickets range between $70, $80 and $105 depending on the date of registration.

Global Engagement Summit

Every April, approximately 80 student delegates from universities across the globe come to Northwestern University, each with their own community development project or social entrepreneurship venture that they hope to bring to the next level. http://theges.org/history/

The 2014 Global Ashoka U Exchange Conference


The Global Ashoka U Exchange Conference is one of the largest international gatherings for college and university professionals to learn and share leading practices for embedding social innovation in higher education. Throughout the gathering, participants come together to share how they equip aspiring changemakers – through their classrooms, co-curricular programs, departments, institutions, communities and beyond – to catalyze long-term, meaningful change and social impact.

Middlebury is proud to be one of the 22 institutions with the “Ashoka U Changemaker Campus” designation, which recognizes its vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change. Members of the Ashoka U community strive to create campus environments where faculty and students work together to solve real-world problems in new and creative ways.  The Global Exchange is therefore organized in the same spirit and offers an overwhelming number of opportunities for participants to explore new, viable ideas for social change.

Registration for the 2018 conference at Babson College in Boston, Massachussetts is open!

A Better World By Design


The annual conference is completely student-organized and attracts thousands from all corners of the world. They have developed a collaborative platform to encourage the free sharing of ideas across disciplines and professional levels. Engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics, and students form lasting connections that lead to real-world change.

Global Health and Innovation Conference 


The Global Health & Innovation Conference is the world’s largest global health conference and social entrepreneurship conference.  This must-attend, thought-leading conference annually convenes 2,200 leaders, changemakers, students, and professionals from all fields of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.  Register during September to secure the lowest registration rate.

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