SVI Women Bay Area 2020

SVI Women is proudly produced by a collective of entrepreneurs and business leaders who are committed to convening circles of women, building access and opportunities for women business leaders, and dismantling oppression everywhere.

Top 5 Reasons To Attend

  1. Learn from the Experts:  Our True Confession speakers have experienced the ups and downs of building multi-million dollar enterprises. The stories of their journeys will inspire and educate.
  2. Learn from Your Peers: SVI Women is intentionally designed specifically to leverage the wisdom in the room. From Case Studies to Business Problem Solving Sessions and One-on-One Experts, we champion the knowledge of every woman who attends.
  3. Make Powerful Connections:  You know that some of the most highly valued takeaways from any gathering include the people you meet and the bonds you form. SVI Women connects you in powerful ways that will help to shift your business to new heights. Spend three days with 100 fellow entrepreneurial sheroes. Imagine the possibilities!
  4. Proven Track Record:  The SVI model has provided thousands of entrepreneurs the opportunity to strengthen their business skills, network with other social enterprise leaders, and rejuvenate their passion and vision.
  5. Your Business Deserves This and So Do You. SVI Women offers proactive, action-oriented dialogue among peers.  We facilitate peer-to-peer relationship building and create a community where you can enhance your leadership, improve your businesses, and expand your impact.  Apply Now.

Creating Change Conference

The National LGBTQ Task Force sponsors and organizes the Creating Change. 2017 marks the 29th gathering of this unique national conference and learning community. The Creating Change Conference is the pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ social justice movement. Since 1988, Creating Change has created opportunities for many thousands of committed people to develop and hone their skills, celebrate victories, build community, and to be inspired by visionaries of our LGBTQ movement and allied movements for justice and equality.

What’s the goal of the Conference?
The primary goal of the Creating Change Conference is to build our movement’s political power from the ground up to secure our overarching goal of full freedom, justice, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in the United States.

At the 29th Creating Change, we will celebrate decades of building the grassroots political power of our people and families. Over 50,000 people have attended Creating Change to learn, grow and expand their skills and confidence to create change in their communities, their states, and this country. For each Creating Change attendee, our annual skills-building and training event is a life-changing experience.

What happens during the Conference?
Over the five days of the Creating Change Conference, our program presents over 22 Day Long Institutes; two dozen sophisticated trainings in the Leadership Academy; a special programming segment called Practice Spirit, Do Justice for faith leaders and organizers; approximately 250 workshops and caucus sessions; four keynote plenary sessions; worshipful gatherings; film screenings; meetings; receptions and social events, and a multitude of opportunities for attendees to meet and learn from each other.

Change, Justice, Equity: The Optimism of Echoing Green's Solutions Week


Photo courtesy of The Green Space.

Echoing Green, a Founding Member, kicked off its 30th year with a series of timely conversations in partnership with WNYC and The Greene Space. Change, Justice, Equity Solutions Week brought twelve Echoing Green Fellows to a series of conversations with WNYC Radio’s Jami Floyd, host of All Things Considered. Over the course of four nights, these Fellows shared their visions–and their optimism–for addressing the ways that racial inequality limits opportunity and the collective imagination in the United States.

These timely dialogues explored the intersections of racial in equality and tech, big questions for justice reform, how race affects access to healthcare, and thinking critically about accessing power and employment. Each night, Fellows shared how they’re tackling the challenges and in conversation with the audience, they also offered some hope by way of tangible solutions individuals could apply to help move the needle on these systemic issues.

How can we change the culture of tech?

Tech is a driver of the way we communicate and learn in addition to being a core element of sectors beyond the tech industry itself. Laura Weidman Powers ’13 (Code2040), Kalimah Priforce ’13 (Qeyno Labs), and Kathryn Finney ’16 (digitalundivided) are thinking about what it means when the builders of tech don’t reflect the communities engaging with the products and the long term economic and exclusionary effects this has.

“Having a diversity of things we want to impact is critical. The key is that you’re stepping out beyond yourself on a daily basis…Think about how you can show and be visible for a cause you care about physically or digitally.” - Laura Weidman Powers

Watch Race and Changing the Culture of Tech featuring Kathryn, Kalimah, and Laura.

How can we return justice to the criminal justice system?

The effects prison industrial complex and mass incarceration in the United States are hard to ignore: more than 2.3 million people are incarcerated, with more than 11 million people jailed annually (most remaining un-convicted). Glenn Martin ’14 (JustLeadership USA), Gina Clayton ’14 (Essie Justice Group), and Deanna Van Buren ’16 (Designing Justice + Designing Spaces) are tackling the issue by urging us to rethink the role of justice as we conceive it.

Glenn urged the audience to not shy away from holding people accountable to their commitments but also to ensure that we listen to people directly impacted by the problem. “Take direction from people affected by the system…Be bold and audacious so that solutions match the scope of the problem.”

Watch Race and Justice Within Criminal Justice featuring Gina, Glenn, and Deanna.

What intersections need to be addressed to make healthcare equitable?

Access to healthcare is not just an insurance issue: race and language are significant barriers to receiving effective treatment and understanding your health. Anurag Gupta’16, Maria Vertkin ’13, and Vineet Singal ’13 think about this challenge at the individual, provider, and institutional levels to improve access to healthcare while also addressing how bias plays a significant role in locking people out of options.

Anurag is working to break bias at the institutional level, beginning with hospital networks where eliminating bias from the medical decision making process can improve treatment options and quality of care for all. His suggestion for tackling unconscious bias at the individual level? Engage in a long dialogue with someone with whom you disagree, and begin with story and humanity to establish common ground. Ask them “what breaks your heart? And what brings you alive?”

Watch Race and Equity in Healthcare featuring Anurag, Maria, and Vineet.

How can we create equitable access to power?

Jordyn Lexton ’15, Donnel Baird ’12, and Jessamyn Rodriguez ’08 see their work as fundamentally intersectional with other issues discussed throughout the week. As Donnel put it, their work is about converting waste–of potential, talent, and resources–into opportunity.  By listening and co-creating solutions with people often locked out of economic opportunity, they are working across sectors to address this issue with the urgency it requires.

When it comes to understanding – and then doing something about limited pathways to employment in the United States – Jessamyn urges optimism around the incremental progress made to sustain energy around the work in the longterm.

Watch Race and Pathways to Employment featuring Jordyn, Donnel, and Jessamyn.

Our Commitments

Thirty years of supporting leaders implementing dramatic and effective solutions for addressing the world’s most overwhelming issues has taught us that everyone has a role to play. The resourceful, solutions-oriented perspectives of this community make it clear that to truly bring change to the fore, it’s important to listen first and then be specific about how you want to show up. Taking a cue from our Fellows, we've thought about the concrete ways we can show up to continue the conversation. In the spirit of not only seeking to understand the problems but creating opportunities to be part of the solution, we’re sharing three commitments we can achieve within the next 10 days, 10 weeks, and 10 months at Echoing Green.

  • 10 Days: A conversation on racial equity. Within 10 days, Echoing Green is hosting UpStart with Melinda Weekes-Laidlow, Echoing Green's inaugural social entrepreneur in residence. Melinda is the founder of Beautiful Ventures, an investment fund for creative entrepreneurs of color, and will be in conversation with Andy Shallal to answer how we can address anti-blackness through the creative economy.
  • 10 Weeks: The Path to the Class of 2017. Within 10 weeks, we commit to finalizing the selection of our Finalist pool. Taking a tip from Anurag's work to break bias at the institutional level, we are continuing our effort to remove unnecessary barriers from our selection process.
  • 10 Months: The Stakeholders of Social Entrepreneurship. Within 10 months, this conversation will continue in the Bay Area as we contribute to the social innovation conversation at All Fellows Conference 2017.

This post originally appeared in the Echoing Green Blog and is republished here with permission.

15 Actions for a More Peaceful and Just 2017

As we embark on a new year, Member Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN) shares a list of 15 recommendations to help make the world more peaceful and just:

1) Examine How to Create More Peace in Your Personal Life: If we do not have some degree of peace in our own internal lives, there is the question of how effective we can be in helping to build peace in our organizations, communities, societies and the world. There is no recipe for building peace, but there are many options that people have explored such as mediation, yoga, exercise, writing, reflecting, building community and more. Some key resources here are: Peace, The Fetzer InstituteCharity Focus and The Daily Good.

2) Learn Something New: With the advent of tech for change, massive online open courses and apps for change, there is a wealth of opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge. To see some key resources in this area visit PCDN’s Resource Guides on Apps for Change and also for Emerging Trends in Massive Online Open Courses that have a wealth of opportunities. See also innovators, such as TechChange‘s wonderful online courses on topics ranging from 3D printing for social good to mobiles for international development. Or check out the wonderful offering from the United States Institute of Peace’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding and their online courses. Another great resource is learning a new language online, which can be done for free for example through Duolingo 

3) Get Additional Training/Education: There are many different paths to pursuing a career in international conflict and related fields. If you feel like you might benefit from additional training there are many academic options, professional training programs, summer institutes and more that can help provide additional training and skills. See the Guide to Training on the Network, the Guide to Academic Programs.

4) Connect with Like Minded and Inspiring Peers: There are countless formal and informal events to connect with and be inspired by like minded individuals in the diverse sectors represented on PCDN. Consider attending the amazing Opportunity Collaboration event which convenes 400 key though and social change leaders from around the world. See also PCDN’s Guide to key events/conferences in peacebuilding. Also look into the wonderful new world of co-working and shared spaces that is booming around the world, to help catalyze and inspire organizations working across diverse sectoral areas. See PCDN’s new Guide to Shared Spaces, Co-Working, and Local International Development Networks.

5) Advocate for a Change in Global Priorities: There is a desperate need to change global spending and priorities. The global community spends more than 1.6 trillion USD per year on security,  130+ billion USD on global development, less then 10 USD billion on UN Peacekeeping operations, and less then 4 billion USD on peacebuilding and conflict resolution activities. Until this mismatch of funding and need is changed, building sustainable peace will be remain difficult. In addition a challenge in conflict prevention is that often policymakers, NGO professionals, academics and others may have information about the potentially negative direction of conflicts. However, translating this information to effective policy changes often requires extensive advocacy campaigns by individuals, NGOs, religious groups and the larger civil society. Advocacy can mean anything from writing a legislature, talking with policymakers, taking direct action and more. For some useful examples of Advocacy Approaches see the International Crisis GroupWomen Thrive Worldwide and the Genocide Intervention Network. See also the wonderful work of the Institute for Peace & Economics on Quantifying the benefits of peace and the costs of conflict.

While it is clear the threat of terrorism is real and many lives are lost each year through political violence, it is also important to emphasize that many more lives are lost each year through through disease, hunger and other more easily treatable and actionable items. For example people are Americans are 19,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than a terrorist attack (see This is not to say spending on preventing terrorism is not important, but if more funding were put into public health, humanitarian assistance, education and infrastructure, millions more lives would be saved and improved each year.

6) Share Your Experiences and Hopes for Peace, As Well as Frustrations Around Conflict: This site is intended as an open resource where people can share both their success stories of helping to address conflicts around the world, and also ask questions/inquiry about ways to improve practice. If you have a particular success story, please share it with others. If you have questions/challenges that you would like input on please feel free to post it on this site in a forum discussion or blog and of course on other social networking sites. Please see our guide to Blogging for social change

7) Read Positive Peace Media News in the World: Despite the many hardships in the world, there are countless organizations that are reporting and supporting positive social change and reporting on innovative work taking place every day. Some key resources include Peace Direct, the Daily Good,  GoodGlobal Press Institute and Solutions Journalism Network. Also see the PCDN guide to key media resources in peace building.

8) Join an Existing Network: There are many academic and professional networking organizations that exist around the world that focus on conflict related issues. In the United States, the Association for Conflict Resolution is a network of practitioners, the Alliance for Peacebuilding is a network of organizations, the Peace and Justice Studies Association is a network of academics and activists, the International Conflict Management Association has an annual conference. Also see the Guide to Key Network Organizations.

9) Engage in Productive Dialogue with Others: One of the keys of addressing conflicts is building understanding and connections between people with diverse perspectives. There are many organizations working on facilitating and engaging communities in dialogue, conversation and discussion. Find an organization in your community, or start your own process. Some great resources in this area include  MasterpeaceSustained Campus Dialogue NetworkPublic Conversations Project , the Kettering Foundation, and the World Cafe.

10) Foster Sustainable Economic Development: One of the key ingredients in building peace in post-conflict societies is to help create sustainable economic opportunities for communities. This can be done through a variety of means, international development, social entreprenuershipsocially responsible investing, lobbying for changes to foreign assistance programs and more.

11) Think How You Spend and Invest Your Dollars: Many companies have long put the pursuit of profit over other concerns. Thankfully for an ever increasing segment of companies around the world, there is an increasing interest in going beyond the profit motive to look at the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. Some companies are also adding the fourth p of peace. Thus, consumers can exert tremendous pressure now on companies and try to purchase from entities that are considering the long-term environmental and human costs of their operations and products. Moreover, for individuals who are investing in stocks and bonds, an increasing number of investors are putting their resources into socially responsible investing. For example, according to the The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, ” more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the United States—$6.57 trillion or more—was invested according to SRI strategies.”

12) Build a Social Change and Purpose Driven Careers: Many individuals are seeking to build careers that do go good for others. There is increasing movement towards purpose driven, ethical and high impact careers. PCDN’s Career Resources offer tremendous support in this area, including the world’s best meta-list of career sites/lists in social change see Career Resource GuideOther key resources in this area include Echoing Green’s Work on PurposeBmeaningful, and the Omidyar Network.

13) Build Community in your Own Life/Volunteer: There are many ways to build community in your own personal and professional circles. If you don’t know your neighbors, invite them over for a party or gathering, start a new group to gather people around a common interest, look for exiting volunteer opportunities (see, contribute time and resources for helping others, etc.

14) Support Organizations Working to Effect Change in the World: There are thousands of dynamic organizations around the world working to address conflict, build community, foster economic development and more. There are many ways you can support organizations such as contributing financially, volunteering, and more. I do not want to endorse specific organizations, but some resources that can be helpful in identifying opportunities include the Alliance for PeacebuildingInteractionGuideStarGlobal Giving, among others.

15) Do Ethical Travel: Traveling to other regions can be one of the most inspiring and useful ways to learn, connect and be of service to others. Although it is essential to be aware of the many potential negative impacts of travel such as environmental damage, exploitation of locals, etc. For some key suggestions and resources see PCDN’s Guide to Peace and Tourism.

This post originally appeared on PCDNand is republished here with permission.