Impact State of Mind was a free, virtual program created to support the NY Metro Area’s impact innovation ecosystem during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond; share breaking information as it affects the startup ecosystem; help businesses pivot to digital models, grasp new technologies, and ignite innovation towards impact; deliberate solutions to social challenges as they pertain to business, innovation, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; build and connect a robust community of entrepreneurs, local businesses, investors, and the broader ecosystem.

The program was composed of virtual sessions representing a mix of succinct webinars, workshops, panel discussions, and online activities. There are tracks of content highlighting areas of interest related to the urgent needs of the current paradigm, including: informational sessions with experts and stakeholders in the field, conversations around locally relevant social topics, sessions highlighting outstanding local innovators, investors, and champions, sessions focused on health topics and innovations, opportunity to learn about innovation markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, workshops for entrepreneurs, networking, wellness sessions.

The Impact State of Mind series was designed to help attendees get more visibility for their work, gain first-hand insights from local and regional experts, understand how to take businesses digital, navigate the evolving landscape while running a business, and network virtually.

Impact State of Mind Event Sessions

Meet the Innovator: Danielle Barnes

Danielle Barnes, CEO of @womentalkdesign, discussed the power and importance of elevating our voices and positions as leaders especially women. In Danielle’s words: “The microphone is power. When we have the mic, people listen.”

Danielle works with hundreds of speakers and event organizers to get a more diverse group of speakers on stage.

Meet the Innovator: Preeti Rajendran

Preeti Rajendran, Founder and Director at @innustame_stories spent her early childhood on a ship, learning to understand the world of accessible education, borders, and passport discourses. She studied and worked in India and the United States, travelled for work through parts of Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East and is currently working on a PhD in Sociology and Higher Education Migration in the Czech Republic while spearheading “Innustame” – Guiding Education Around the World.

This discussion was moderated by product innovator and strategist @mitaligupta.

Meet the Innovator: Madeleine Livingston

As a social impact investor and entrepreneur, Madeleine Livingston led a lively discussion on impact investing focused on health and wellness.

Meet the Innovator: Hannah Rudin

Hannah Rudin, a Seattle-based human-centered design strategist, researcher, and experience designer, led a powerful discussion to educate, empower, and inspire thoughtful civic design among cities and communities.

Hosted by innovator & strategist @MitaliGupta.

Meet the Innovators: Blueprint Fellows

In celebration of Asia Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we hosted to our Impact Fellows, @kir8024, Founder of Constituent & Nandini Singh Program and Development Manager of @HomeworksTrenton to discuss how innovators are creating unique impact in their communities.

Meet the Innovator: Zoia Kozakov

Zoia Kozakov is both a Product Manager at Citi and the Global Marketing Lead at WIN: Women in Innovation. She is dedicated to democratizing knowledge and access to innovation, with the hopes of ensuring equal participation for all. She joined us to discuss the future of diversifying innovation and how important it is to create equal opportunities for everyone to participate in the innovation ecosystem.

Meet the Innovators: Empowering Community Through Entrepreneurship

In collaboration with Princeton University’s Keller Center, we were honored to host a Meet the Innovator session featuring our inaugural cohort of Blueprint Fellows to discuss how their initiatives are empowering the Metropolitan Area community. Together, we busted myths on what it really means to be an entrepreneur.

Investing to Create 1B Sustainable Livelihoods by 2030

It was a true honor to host an in-person lunch & learn session  with Prof Durreen Shahnaz, Founder of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and IIX Foundation. Prof Shahnaz is a global leader in social impact and impact investment and is soon launching the fourth Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB), part of a bond series that is unlocking US$100m of private sector capital to impact over 3 million women across Asia-Pacific and Africa.

The lunch & learn highlighted the inspiring story of how Prof Shahnaz got IIX off the ground, IIX’s impact across communities in the global south as well as IIX’s plans to scale its impact globally. IIX is a pioneer in impact investing and the global leader in sustainability. It has transformed the financial system so that women, the environment, and underserved communities are finally given a value and a voice in the global market.

To date, IIX’s work has spanned 53 countries, unlocked US$215 million of private-sector capital, and positively impacted over 87 million direct and household lives, and avoided over 1.2 million tons of carbon. The foundation of IIX’s work is IIX Values, the world’s first impact verification solution for every organization, which effectively measures the social and environmental impact of an investment and gives value to the voices of the underserved.

Meet the Innovator: Liz Grossman

Liz Grossman is Co-Founder & CEO of Baobab Consulting. She is an entrepreneur who works with world leaders, nonprofits, companies and academic institutions to create inclusive programs, develop successful brands, build community and facilitate meaningful connections to scale their impact. Liz has spent the past twelve years studying, working and living in Sub-Saharan Africa, with experience in over 15 countries. She is a sought after speaker on topics such as entrepreneurship, education, the future of work, intercultural communications and women’s leadership in Africa, who challenges audiences to consider the importance of intercultural collaboration and to accelerate equitable business and development projects.

Meet the Innovator: Cody Eckert

Cody Eckert is the Director of Global Operations for MUN Impact, a non-profit committed to engaging youth who participate in Model United Nations to take action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. MUN Impact accomplishes this through its online educational programming, youth leadership incubation, resource-sharing, and by providing a platform for disparate youth networks to meet, learn, and work together on shared objectives. Since March, MUN Impact’s initiatives have reached over 25,000 students in 120 countries. In his role, he oversees over one hundred youth volunteers who run the bulk of their activities, explores new opportunities for collaboration, and manages technical logistics for their online events and programs. Cody is a proud Californian who was educated at UC Berkeley and received a Master of Public Policy from the National University of Singapore. Additionally, he has worked in China, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Qatar.

Meet the Innovator: John-Paul Parmigiani

JP is passionate about supporting innovators who are working to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Witnessing the events of 911 as a teenager, JP began a journey abroad to learn about different cultures and global challenges. After completing graduate studies in International Affairs, Economics, and Public Policy, he Co-founded and led Impact Hub Accra as Founding CEO, believing that entrepreneurship can be a powerful vehicle for change. JP moved back to the US several years later, spearheading the work of Impact Hub where his journey began. JP is also a member of the New York Programming Board for StartOut, the world’s largest non profit supporting LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

Meet the Innovator: Shreyas Navare

Ladderworks is a NYC-based publishing startup of diverse picture books with the mission to empower at least a million kids to become social entrepreneurs.

Shreyas Navare is Co-Founder & CEO, Ladderworks and a cartoonist. HarperCollins has published two collections of his work as the editorial cartoonist of the Hindustan Times. He has held several international cartoon exhibitions and his original artworks are in the collection of the Library of Congress. Shreyas is a Harvard WCFIA Fellow on international affairs and holds an MBA from IIT Bombay. Currently, he also serves on the board of Arts Connect International.

Meet the Innovator: Archana Shah

Archana Shah, COO & Co-Founder, Impact Hub New York Metropolitan Area – After spending the first 18 years of her career in the financial services sector, first at J.P. Morgan and then at Morgan Stanley in various client facing and product development roles, Archana left Morgan Stanley in 2012 to pursue her passion for social innovation full-time. She joined Grameen America as a Director in Development, during which time she also chaired the New York chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) for several years. For the past six years, Archana was the Associate Director at the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University, managing the day to day operations of the center and running programs for the university community of students, staff and faculty while engaging with the lower Manhattan nonprofit ecosystem.

Meet the Innovator: Mohammed Faisal

Mohammed Faisal, Co-Founder and CEO at The Money Hub, Co-founder IH NY MA – Queens, New York. – Mohammed Faisal, a long time Queens native and current Astoria resident, is a zealous entrepreneur with a strong commitment to his neighborhood. In 2016, he was awarded the Colin Powell Community Engagement fellowship to start his passion project of teaching financial literacy to the youth, throughout disadvantaged neighborhoods. He inspires youth, encourages parents to be a stakeholder in their children’s dreams, and believes that everyone has the right to pursue their dream without money being the obstacle.

Meet the Innovator: Karen Brown-Stovell

Karen Brown Stovell, Executive Director at Forward Ever Sustainable Business Alliance, Co-Founder of Impact Hub New York Metropolitan Area – Karen Brown Stovell is a native Newarker who comes from a long line of community activists; her dad was the first Black postmaster in Newark, and her mom the first Black person to work in the office of Dupont corporation when they were located in Newark in the 70’s. This work is an integral part of her DNA, “I know I’ve been called to change the narrative in a way that is intergenerational and inclusive.”

Meet the Innovator: Kimberly Worsham

Kimberly Worsham is a water and sanitation consultant with over a decade of experience, and Founder of FLUSH. She discovered a passion for toilets early as a child, where her curiosity led her to inspect the facilities of every restaurant she entered. Years later, she was reminded of that love while consulting in India and continued to follow her passion by working in Australia, Kenya, Ghana, and Cambodia.

She Has also worked for international NGOs focused on providing safe drinking water. She was also a founding board member of a local water organization, NYC H2O. In different lives, she has worked in local government, corporate marketing, and even taught math in Rwanda. She received her MPA and BSc in business at NYU, and a Masters in Integrated Water Management from the University of Queensland as an International WaterCentre Scholar.

FLUSH provides two kinds of services: 1. edutainment events to help destigmatize the public perceptions about sanitation and hygiene, and 2.  advisory services to sanitation enterprises and organizations that help improve their internal management systems, capacities, and strategies, as well as help unlock finance.