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Past events, discussions, and research papers.


Reimagine Coop Model For Our Future Workplace

A “cooperative” is an organization or business owned and operated for the benefit of its members. Unlike corporations, the earnings and profits are distributed among its members, users, or owners. Cooperative economics has been practiced for centuries and is the most prominent form of an economic organization today. From the People Cooperative Bank in Jamaica (1906), to collectively managed sugar cane production in the United States Virgin Islands (1950), and collective farms in rural China (1955), humans faced our common needs, challenges, limited resources, disenfranchisement, by shifting to cooperation as a natural way for diffusing risks and optimizing farm outcomes.

Are “co-ops” dead, or still viable? Are there viable ways to create worker-owned companies? How do co-ops fundraise and why do investors invest in a co-op?

In this panel discussion, we are going to hear their reflection on the co-op they each created and the cutting-edge models they developed that provide you a new perspective of looking at our future workspaces.

Social Enterprise Corporate Relations: Navigating Market Demand for Social Good Products and Services

In our last survey with the community, we found that more than 50% of the social entrepreneurs included "corporate partnership" as a challenge to business growth. Increasingly, there are more startups and social enterprises who struggle to understand the response to the market demand from the corporates. While they struggle to find new income sources, corporates have their own pain points as they enter partnerships with social enterprises.

In this session, we will learn from the speakers and discuss: 

- How do we frame and understand corporate CSR/CSV?
- How do corporates curate their social impact partners/ procure their products?

- Challenges of cross-sector collaboration from corporates' perspectives

- Opportunities for the mission-driven organizations in pursuing a partnership with corporations during and after the pandemic?

Urban Resilience and Social Innovation in the San Francisco and China's Bay Areas

San Francisco and China’s Bay Areas share many commonalities: both are innovation hubs with rich offerings in financial resources and talents. Both hubs also similarly enjoy a high level of urbanization and community diversity. However, the two areas have limited knowledge exchange in pandemic coping strategies, which could be leveraged to replicate or scale-up solutions for building urban resilience.

In this webinar, we will explore how social entrepreneurs and innovators have responded to the crisis and helped their communities to become more resilient under the CRF. Our speakers will answer some key questions including:

  • What does social innovation entail in the context of COVID-19?

  • What are some innovative examples of building city resiliency given the CRF?

  • How can social innovators & civil society synergize with NGOs, businesses, and policy-makers?

  • What are the outstanding gaps, and how can the different players fill these gaps?


Social Innovation during COVID: New Frontline in Private and Social Sectors

COVID-19 is attacking societies at their core and increase the need for social innovations to help those most vulnerable. In the SF Bay Area, low-income neighborhoods are disproportionately hit by coronavirus cases. The number of tents in the historic neighborhood has “exploded by 285% since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.“ In the United States, millions of low-income people may lack access to health care due to being uninsured or underinsured. Or, many of them lost their health insurance after losing their jobs.

In this session, we will learn from the speakers and discuss:

  • How did their organizations respond to the increasing demand for public services in the vulnerable communities (i.e. healthcare, shelter, access to personal protection equipment, employment opportunities)?

  • How do they strike a balance between business sustainability and their commitment to the beneficiary groups?

  • Is there any new collaboration among the private and civil sector players to address the above-mentioned social issues? How does each sector complement one another practically?





Gender & inclusion

"Would be great to see more gender diversity on the judging panel, tho. 10 out of 10 are men..."

"This is actually quite funny - what a culturally homogeneous group a first glance, not often that you see a panel like this these days."



Community-based research

Image by Krzysztof  Niewolny

Decentralized organizing

Image by Mohdammed Ali

​Social Innovation Frontier