By Cari Hanson
Note: Lindsay Smalling has transitioned out of her role as SOCAP’s CEO and we are grateful for her years of service and leadership. Lindsay Smalling’s farewell address to the SOCAP community can be read here. We are delighted to announce that Cari Hanson has assumed the leadership position. In this welcome letter, Cari introduces herself and lays out her vision for the future of SOCAP.
Dear SOCAP Community,
I write to you from my home office near the San Francisco Bay, where we are in a statewide COVID-19 lockdown. Like so many of you, I am striving to keep up with daily changes brought by the coronavirus while maintaining a balance among work, homeschooling a 2nd grader, and connecting with family and friends. We are in uncharted territory, but I can honestly say that I have never been more energized, hopeful, and driven. I am excited and honored to be the steward of the SOCAP vision and community.
I have been a part of the SOCAP community since 2013. At the time, I was working with Future of Fish and worked to design the Ocean Track at SOCAP13. Right away, I saw the transformative power of SOCAP and its community. Over the years I have seen members of this community work together across silos to create innovative, market-based solutions that drive positive impact. I have also seen you generously share your expertise and skills to advance the field and bring impact investing and social entrepreneurship to a much larger audience.
After my first SOCAP, I continued to delve into the impact space–exploring, listening, and designing content for SOCAP and other conveners, including Mission Investors Exchange. For the past three years I have worked alongside Lindsay learning the ins-and-outs of SOCAP events–from strategy to relationships to curating and producing sessions in multiple tracks and formats. In 2019, I had the honor of leading the team that produced the first ever SPECTRUM gathering in Atlanta.
If you’ve been part of a session I’ve produced, you’ve likely heard me on a prep call asking questions like:
- What is the conversation we need to be having right now that no one else is starting?
- How do we get below the surface and really start to explore this topic in-depth?
- What real world changes do we hope to drive through this conversation?
These are the same questions I am asking the SOCAP team right now. On my first day in this role we launched our COVID-19 crisis management plan and began developing ideas for how to best serve the SOCAP community in this time of unprecedented challenges.
As someone steeped in human-centered design, I know that design constraints can drive innovation and push us towards new possibilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has created massive design constraints that will bring a host of new solutions, not only for challenges related to this crisis, but for many of the other urgent needs of our time. Within this new paradigm, the SOCAP team is reimaging how to harness the power of this community to drive the development and scale of critically needed entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges new and old. We are now designing a suite of virtual convenings to bring the community together. We will provide platforms to connect people from across sectors and the globe to start conversations that lead to positive impact. More details about these events coming very soon.
The impact investing field and the SOCAP community were built for this moment. Whether you are seeking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, creating companies with mission-driven solutions or placing capital in companies that are solving for positive impact, as leaders we have the opportunity and the responsibility to rise to this moment. We will only meet this moment with RADICAL COLLABORATION. We must come together as a field in new ways. We will continue to build a bigger tent and bring more and different voices, perspectives, ideas, solutions and capital to the conversation.
Bring your radical collaboration!
To facilitate this shift, SOCAP will launch a virtual Global Impact Festival in 2020. We are now gathering partners to co-create this new convening. We will bring the same leading-edge, inspirational, curated content with leaders and innovators in the field, plus whole new experiences only made possible through a virtual platform. We will release further details in the coming weeks. Please send your ideas or join one of our virtual conversations in the Radical Collaborations series, SPECTRUM, SOCAP 365, Total Impact or another of our offerings.
I am grateful to the founders of SOCAP and Lindsay Smalling for her leadership, dedication, and care in building the foundation of this great community and movement. I have learned so much from her. From all of you. I also need to thank all of the amazingly talented and dedicated team members from Intentional, SOCAP, SPECTRUM, Conscious Company Media and Total Impact who work diligently to make this community and our live and digital offerings happen without them none of this is possible.
Lastly, to everyone on the front lines battling COVID-19 and providing essential services THANK YOU for your courageous, relentless work and contributions to fighting this pandemic and saving lives.
Wishing you health and safety,