Experts in community outreach and philanthropy, including DonorsChoose.org Chairman Peter Bloom, discuss how social innovation surpasses good, and becomes great.
Akhtar is senior director of Microsoft Community Affairs, where he administers the companyâ€™s global community investment and employee programs. Among his responsibilities, Akhtar manages Unlimited Potential, a global initiative to promote digital inclusion and increased access to technology skills training in underserved communities.
Akhtar also oversees programs aimed at helping nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through increased technology capacity. This includes Microsoftâ€™s signature relationships with organizations such as NPower and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Prior to joining Microsoft, Akhtar was the CEO and president of Digital Partners Foundation, a Seattle-area nonprofit organization whose mission is to utilize the digital economy to benefit the poor. At Digital Partners, he established the organizationâ€™s core programs in India, Africa and Latin America. His work included development of the Digital Partners Social Venture Fund, designed to support the expansion of IT-based anti-poverty efforts around the world, and the Digital Partners Social Enterprise Laboratory (SEL), an initiative that provides mentorship and seed money to entrepreneurs whose vision and business models use ICT to empower the poor and their underserved communities. Akhtar serves on the Advisory Board for the Development Gateway Project of the World Bank, World Links India, World Corp., Teachers without Borders and Datamation Foundation India. He has co-edited â€œConnected for Developmentâ€”Information Kiosks for Sustainability,â€ and authored â€œOur Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainabilityâ€ and several articles in international journals on ICT4D, megacities and sustainability, urban and community development, and housing.
Akhtar is a doctoral graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the former president of the Lambda Alpha International New Jersey Chapter, an honorary land economic society. He is very active in the Seattle area community and serves on various local committees.
Peter Bloom is an Advisory Director at General Atlantic, where he worked since 1996. Peter was responsible for technology due diligence on prospective investments, assistance to the CEO and senior management teams of portfolio companies on technology strategy and guidance on emerging technology trends. Prior to joining General Atlantic, Peter spent thirteen years at Salomon Brothers in a variety of roles in both technology and fixed income sales and trading. Peter received the Carnegie Mellon/AMS Achievement Award in Managing Information Technology for his work managing the technology implementation of a new distributed computing architecture that supported the company's global business operations. Peter graduated from Northwestern University in 1978 with a B.A. in Computer Studies and Economics. He is a member of Business Executives for National Security, an Associate Founder of Singularity University, and a frequent speaker to private, educational and public sector organizations on technology related issues. Peter has served on several public, private and non-profit boards. He is currently the Chairman of DonorsChoose (www.donorschoose.org), which was named the most innovative charity in America by Stanford Business School and Amazon. Peter is also the co-founder and Chairman of Peak Rescue Institute (www.peakrescue.org) which teaches advanced rescue skills to first responders in law enforcement, public health and the military. He is a board member of The Food Bank for New York City (www.foodbanknyc.org) and the Cancer Research Institute (www.cancerresearch.org).
Gerald Chertavian is an Armenian-American social entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Year Up, an intensive one-year education and training program that serves low-income young adults ages 18-24.
One of Britain’s most distinguished journalists, Charles Moore is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and of the Spectator magazine. Moore is also the authorized biographer of the Right Honorable Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, better known as Margaret Thatcher.
Robert Wolcott is the Executive Director of the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) and a Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He teaches corporate innovation and entrepreneurship for Kellogg in Evanston, Miami and Hong Kong (with HKUST). Formerly a Visiting Professor at the Keio Business School (Tokyo, Japan). Advisor to NORDEN, the Nordic Innovation Center, Nordic Council of Ministers, Oslo, Norway, and a member of the Global Technology Council of Kraft Foods, Inc.
His new book, with Dr. Michael Lippitz, Grow From Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation (McGraw-Hill) launched in October, 2009. Wolcott’s work has appeared in MIT Sloan Management Review, The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times (UK/European Edition) and The New York Times. He is a frequent speaker at events worldwide.
In 2003, Wolcott began leading the Kellogg Innovation Network, created as a key program within Professor Mohan Sawhney’s Center for Research in Technology and Innovation. The KIN’s annual summit, KIN Global, takes place in late Spring and includes leaders from around the world from business, government, academia, non-profits and the arts who collaborate around issues of significance for their organizations and for humanity. www.kinglobal.org
Wolcott also co-founded and serves as Managing Partner of Clareo Partners LLC, a corporate strategy and innovation management consultancy specializing in new business creation and growth (www.clareopartners.com). Subsidiary Clareo Capital owns equity in companies in social enterprise and luxury markets. Clareo’s headquarters, Clareo Studio, created in partnership with Herman Miller, Inc., serves as a collaboration space for special events, corporate off-sites and performances dedicated to innovation, entrepreneurship, social awareness and general inspiration.
Wolcott received a BA, European and Chinese History; and an MS and Ph.D., Industrial Engineering & Management Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He and his wife, Ada Yung, have a young daughter, Jolie, and reside in Chicago, Illinois.