SMALL TALKS 2019
June 27th – West Edge, Chelsea
On June 27, Small Talks NYC gathers around 100 extraordinary entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, executives, and public officials, who share a common mission of solving some of the most pressing challenges on earth. The world’s biggest challenges are too urgent just to talk. So this exclusive, intimate gathering will bet the most practical and solution-based event we’ve created in 10 years of convening events reaching 45,000 people.
The event is two-fold: we’ll begin with a 1.5-hour stage program and continue with a networking session with the help of Slush Matchmaking Tool (accessible after registering).
June 27, 2019, 6 PM – 10 PM
West Edge, 88 10th Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York
How do we make some of the world’s biggest challenges economically profitable?
How can we actually leverage technology for this?
How can we find a unified way to measure impact and its financial returns?
What do governmental bodies need to do differently to support entrepreneurs in solving the world’s biggest problems?
Registration is now closed.
Taking the stage:
Sarah Cone is the founder and Managing Partner of Social Impact Capital.
Prior to founding Social Impact Capital, Sarah was a consultant to i(x) investments, an impact investing firm founded by Howard Buffett. Earlier in her career, Sarah was an Associate at Illuminate Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund with top decile performance investing in B2B SaaS. She got her start in venture capital working for the “emerging technologies” venture capital group at Omidyar Network.
Sarah has also worked in the legal department of Google, at the technology law firm Fenwick & West, Amazon.com, and at the technology policy non-profit Public Knowledge.
Penny Abeywardena is New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs. As head of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, she leads the City’s global platform for promoting its goals for a more just and accessible society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers and sharing policies and best practices with cities and states around the world.
Since her appointment in September 2014, the International Affairs team has launched a series of initiatives focused on connecting New Yorkers and City agencies to the diplomatic community, as well as more effectively serving NYC’s diplomatic corps, which is the largest in the world. Prior to joining Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, Penny was the Director of Girls and Women Integration at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan organization that convened global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Penny joined CGI in 2009 and led the program’s evolution into one of CGI’s most successful efforts. While at CGI, Penny was responsible for the portfolio of CGI commitments focused on empowering girls and women worldwide, developing year-round programming and integrating the gender lens throughout the CGI platform. During her tenure, she advised multinational corporations, philanthropists, NGOs and multilateral institutions to increase investments in gender-focused development initiatives while expanding the community of CGI members who incorporated the gender lens in their work. Before joining CGI, Penny worked in both development and programmatic areas for Human Rights Watch, the Funding Exchange and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.
She serves on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation, the International Advisory Council of the International Peace Institute (IPI), the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization and is a Core Member of the United Nation’s SDG Strategy and Action Hub. In her personal time, Penny serves on 92Y’s Innovation Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board of the Helm.
Andras Forgacs is a serial entrepreneur in deep tech and life sciences. He is founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, a pioneer in biofabrication working to transform the world of materials by unlocking the power of nature to offer new design possibilities. Modern Meadow’s first brand of materials is inspired by leather and built from the same natural building block, collagen protein. Named as a 2018 Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Modern Meadow enables new design and performance possibilities and partners with some of the world’s thought-leading brands to transform the material world and design for a healthier planet.
Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. She recently created shift7, a company driving tech-forward innovation for faster, scaled impact. Smith served as the third U.S. Chief Technology Officer from 2014-2017 helping the President and his teams harness the power of data, innovation and technology on behalf of the nation. Smith recruited top tech talent to serve across government collaborating on pressing issues, from data science, AI and open source, to inclusive economic growth and criminal justice reform. Her teams focused on broad capacity building by co-creating all-hands-on-deck initiatives, including the public-private program TechHire, the Computer Science for All initiative, and the Image of STEM campaigns.
Smith was vice president at Google for eleven years leading new business development where she managed early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations and technology licensing across the global engineering and product teams; she led acquisitions of Google Earth, Maps, and Picasa; and later was a VP at Google[x] where she co-created SolveForX and Women Techmakers. Earlier, Smith served as CEO of PlanetOut, worked on early smartphone technologies at General Magic and at Apple Japan. Smith is an advisor to the MIT Media Lab, Vital Voices, Thinkof-Us, the Malala Fund, which she co-founded and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Academy of Engineering. She was selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she serves on the board as a life member. She completed her master’s thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.
Christina Sass is the Co-founder and President of Andela. She is a tenacious advocate and supporter of women worldwide, and she has held Andela to an incredibly high standard when it comes to recruiting female software engineers. While tech companies in the U.S. with 100 or more software engineers struggle to employ 10 percen oft women in technical positions, Andela currently reports early 30 percent female engineers in its program. In an effort to further combat this challenge, Christina has launched multiple female-only recruitment cycles and bootcamps in both Lagos and Nairobi, as well as spearheaded the “She Loves Code” initiative, through which women in the program mentor young women in their communities.
Prior to Andela, Christina built education and employment programs in China, Gaza and the West Bank, Kenya, and in her home state of Georgia. Christina worked closely with President Clinton and team when she served as Director of the Program Department of the Clinton Global Initiative and then as advisor to the President and CEO of The Mastercard Foundation, a $9B global foundation working to advance youth learning and financial inclusion for African youth. Christina serves on the Advisory Council of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights and on the board of the non-profit Global Give Back Circle. Christina’s work has been mentioned by Forbes, CNN, The New Yorker, NBC, and WIRED. She was named as a 2014 New York Business Journal “Women of Influence”, a 2015 Business Insider “23 most innovative and inspiring women in New York City Tech.”Christina has a BA in Ancient Philosophy from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs) and a MA in International Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School from Tufts University.
Fabrizio Hochschild of Chile served most recently as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). He previously served as Deputy to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. From 2013 to 2016, he was the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Colombia. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the Director of the Field Personnel Division in the United Nations Department of Field Support, New York; and from 2005 to 2009, as Chief of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva.
Mr. Hochschild began his United Nations career in 1988 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan. He served in subsequent postings with UNHCR, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and in peacekeeping. He was posted in Jerusalem (1990-1991), in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991-1992), in Geneva (1993-1996), in New York (1998-1999), in Timor-Leste (2000), in Serbia (2001-2003) and in the United Republic of Tanzania (2003-2005), and undertook shorter missions in Afghanistan, Albania, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti and South Sudan.
A graduate of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, he has published studies and articles on leadership, on the protection of civilians, on transitional justice and reconciliation among other topics.
Lisa Witter is the Co-Founder of Apolitical: the global peer-to-peer learning platform for government. The technology start-up’s mission is to accelerate the transformation of government while taping both governments’ learning development budgets as well as the $8 trillion global procurement spend. Apolitical is used by public servants in 170+ countries. It was named one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies in the world in 2018.
Lisa is a regular public speaker on global stages and a media commentator. She is writer and the co-author of The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them. She was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and co-chairs on the Forum’s Global Future Council on Agile Governance. An award-winning executive and entrepreneur, she is an eternal optimist and an expert in the intersections of politics, policy and behavioral science. She has sat on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards, including for a public company, and has founded numerous ventures including political training institutes such as the Apolitical Academy. She resides between London and in Berlin, is a soccer mom of two young boys, an obsessive learner, outdoors junkie and will dance at nearly any occasion.
Michael Ketigian / inverse K
inverse K (Michael Ketigian) is a technologist and poet using rap as a vehicle for education and social commentary.
As an engineer, he’s intimately attuned to technology’s influence on society. As a creative storyteller, his work aims to inspire paths in our shared imagination toward optimal futures by cutting through the noise of clickbait, digital echo chambers, and fake news with peer-reviewed poetry and rap.
inverse K has performed at a broad spectrum of events over the last five years, from the United Nations and TEDx to conferences, festivals, and private events. His range of content and style allow unique performances to be curated for each event, including freestyle (improvised lyrics) when appropriate.
You can view his offering and examples of his work, and find him on various social channels, by visiting inverseK.com.
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social impact, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company and Forbes and has 25+ years experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications. She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Inspirefest/Dublin, Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Summit, DLD, TOA Berlin, and Techonomy. Susan is a regular guest on a variety of business and leadership podcasts and has appeared on NPR, CNN and CBC (Canada) as well as been quoted in major media outlets including USA Today, The New Yorker, New York Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
Currently, Susan invests in, and advises women-led technology start-ups, including iFundWomen, Inc., Messy.fm, The Riveter, News Deeply, Hint Water, Apolitical, Arlo Skye, GoldBean and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, Girl Rising, The PVBLIC Foundation, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and previously served on the board of Bpeace. Additionally, she is a member of the MIT Solve Women and Technology Leadership Group and serves as an adviser to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, Ocean Collective, She’s The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and has received numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company and Elle Magazine. She resides in Brooklyn with her rescue pup and is currently writing a book.
Antoine Heuty is the founder and CEO of Ulula (www.ulula.com)- a software and analytics platform to create more transparent and responsible supply chains. Ulula connects with workers and community members to create real-time analytics and direct communication to prevent risks and improve working conditions. He previously held senior positions at the international Natural Resource Governance Institute and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He is the co-author of various publications on transparency, mobile technology, social innovation and supply chains. He has graduate degrees from Sciences Po Paris, Oxford and Columbia University.
Heske is a game changing and awards winning business leader with a consistent record of
transforming new businesses for rapid expansion. He brings more than 25 years of investment management, Impact, and leadership experience to the industry and his individual accomplishments include building and leading several wealth management organizations in California.
Prior to joining Newday as CEO, he ran the Private Client business for Stone & Youngberg, LLC a leading responsible public finance organization which was acquired by Stifel Nicolaus & Company in 2010. Doug was previously President and CEO of Nollenberger Capital Partners, Inc. (NCPI), a San Francisco-based broker/dealer and registered investment advisor. He was instrumental in developing NCPI’s wealth management business and orchestrated the firm’s sale to Sterne Agee in 2011. Prior to NCPI, he was the California Regional Director of Piper Jaffray, and a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. During his thirteen years with Piper Jaffray, he launched the firm’s wealth management business in San Francisco, led significant growth for the business across California, and created the firms impact and responsible investment platform.
He has served on the Executive Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets
Association’s (SIFMA) Western District since 1996 and was acting chairman from 2002—2004. He is currently a member of SIFMA’s Regional Wealth Management Round Table and has served on FINRA’s District 1 Committee. In addition, he is a past board president of The Edgewood Center for Children and Families, where he was a board member for eight years. currently, he serves as a Director for Safe and Sound, and a board trustee for the Oakland Museum of California.
Laura Ala is head of marketing and XR sales at Zoan, the leading XR studio in Finland and creator of Virtual Helsinki.
She has worked with Zoan for three years with a significant role in widening Zoan’s business from real-estate 3D to marketing and entertainment XR. Her background is in B2B marketing and business development in companies such as EY and OpusCapita. She also works as a journalist and writer. Laura has a Master’s Degree in business and passion for exploring new places, both in real life and virtually.
Loren Nadres is the Director of Economic Development in the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. In this capacity, she fosters relationships between businesses, trade missions and City agencies, particularly the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC). She also connects NYC and overseas businesses to opportunities, resources, and support for successful expansion.
Loren Nadres has over twelve years of international and entrepreneurship development experience, of which 10 years are at leading global institutions such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and United Nations. She has also worked at a startup healthcare media company and an international development consulting firm. Previously, she served as Director for Inclusive Growth and Strategic Partnerships at Emerging360, an international development consulting firm. Prior, she was an Advisor and Senior Consultant at the World Bank Group on innovation, entrepreneurship and gender inclusiveness. One of the programs she focused on was bolstering the growth of women-owned businesses through the infoDev World Bank Group’s $15 million entrepreneurship global program, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. She recently co-authored a World Bank report titled “Women Wavemakers: Practical Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women in Coding Bootcamps” which is focused on increasing inclusiveness in the tech industry and beyond. In her previous roles, she also served as a leadership member providing strategic guidance on a $20 million World Bank entrepreneurship program in Latin America and the Caribbean. Within the same program, she led a $3 million project providing business acceleration and startup support for women entrepreneurs across 14 countries in the region. Furthermore, she has had stints in Thailand and Trinidad & Tobago working on United Nations projects focused on gender, global health and youth empowerment.
Loren completed a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education for Emerging Leaders. She holds a Master of Arts from Georgetown University and Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University. She participated in Georgetown’s Graduate Business Summer Exchange Program in International Management at Oxford University. In addition, she was a Fellow in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program at the East West Center based in Hawai’i and included field studies in Thailand and Laos. She tries to lead an active lifestyle and has survived triathlons, a marathon, and climbed Mt. Everest Base Camp. She immigrated from the Philippines and speaks Tagalog. Loren has traveled to nearly 80 countries for project work and global learning. She is proud to call New York City home and resides in Manhattan with her husband and children.
6:00 PM Doors open
Snacks and drinks
6:30 PM Opening
Michael Ketigian / inverse K
Andreas Saari, CEO of Slush
Penny Aberwaydena, Commissioner for International Affairs, City of New York
Pia Pakarinen, Deputy Mayor for Education, City of Helsinki
6:40 PM Opening Keynote
Fabrizio Hochschild, Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, UN
6:45 PM Keynote
What is the status of impact investing and where is it going?
Sarah Cone, Founder & Managing Partner Social Impact Capital
7:00 PM Panel
How do we make solving world’s most pressing problems profitable?
Moderated by Susan McPherson, CEO & Founder of McPherson Strategies
Sarah Cone, Founder & Managing Partner of Social Impact Capital
Christina Sass, Co-founder & President of Andela
Andras Forgacs, Founder & CEO of Modern Meadow
7:25 PM Startups showcasing
7:45 PM Fireside chat
Governments, entrepreneurs, and social impact
Moderated by Lisa Witter, Co-founder of Apolitical
Megan Smith, Founder & CEO, Shift7
Loren Nadres, Director of Economic Development, NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs
8:05 PM Closing words
PART 2 (8 PM – 10 PM)
Drinks, Music, and Mingle