Social Innovation Conference
Reimagining the Status Quo


March 28-29, 2016
Baltimore, MD

Light City U’s Social Innovation Conference will bring together leaders in social enterprise, education, social justice, philanthropy, and policy to explore real-world solutions to problems faced by societies throughout the world. For two days, Baltimore’s Columbus Center will be the hub for intense discussions about how, together, we can build a more equitable and responsible society.

Download the PDF Schedule


Social Innovation Conference Day One

Monday, March 28 | The Columbus Center

7:30 – 9:00 AM

Registration, Coffee/Tea Service

9:00 AM

Welcome Address by Jamie McDonald, Founder of Generosity Inc.

9:05 – 9:45 AM

The Purpose Economy: Changing the Way We Think About Work, Success & Education

Featuring Aaron Hurst, Founder of Taproot, CEO Imperative, Writer of Purpose Economy

9:50 – 10:10 AM

Non-profits & The New American Economy: The Role of Non-Profits in Creating Jobs & Hiring the Unemployed

Creating Jobs & Hiring The Unemployed

Featuring Robert Egger, Founder of LA/DC Central Kitchen

10:10 – 10:25 AM

BREAK & Musical Performance by Shelby Blondell

10:25 – 11:00 AM

We Got Next: A Panel Discussion

Featuring Jeff Cherry, Co-Founder Conscious Captialism Chapter of NY ,  Shayla Adams, Founder, Remix Education, Dayvon Love, Director of Research and Public Policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Rich May, Founder and Chairamn of Innovation Village Kyle O’Conner, Founder, The Startup Nest


11:00 – 11:20 AM

Black girls STEM: Motivating girls of color to rock STEM careers

Featuring Talithia Williams, PhD, UMBC

11:25 – 12:00 PM

Collaboration + Unexpected Outcomes: A Panel Discussion

Featuring Michelle Geiss, Impact Hub, B. Cole, Echoing Green Fellow; Founder, Dovecote Café, CEO Brioxy, Rodney Foxworth, Founder, Invested Impact, Laurin Hodge, Founder, Mission: Launch

12:00 – 1:00 PM


1:05 – 2:00 PM

Balancing the Scales: Safety and Civility

Featuring Kevin Davis, Baltimore Police Commissioner and Joe Jones, CEO, Center for Urban Families

2:05 – 2:50 PM

Millennials remaking the urban landscape

Featuring John Cammack, Managing Partner of Cammack Associates, Fagan Harris, CEO of Baltimore Corps, and Andrew Yang, Founder and CEO of Venture For America

3:00 – 3:50 PM

EdTech companies redefining the future of learning

Featuring John Cammack, Managing Partner of Cammack Associates, Andrew Cary, VP of  Business Development, Cite Lighter, Wes Moore, CEO and Founder of BridgeEdu, Burck Smith, CEO of StraighterLine, and Lida Zlatic, CEO of Class Tracks

3:50 – 4:00 PM

Light City Re-Charge Break

Featuring Nick Rodricks of the November Project

4:00 – 4:30 PM

Building from the Inside-Out and the most powerful thing in the world

Featuring Thibault Manekin, Partner, Seawall Development

4:30 – 5:00 PM

Social Networking Break

5:00 – 8:00 PM

Startup Soiree Social and Cocktail Reception: Turning Innovation Into Execution 

Featuring Mike McDevitt, CEO & Founder, Terra’s Kitchen

Social Innovation Conference Day Two

Tuesday, March 29 | The Columbus Center

8:00 – 9:00 AM

Coffee, Tea and Juice Service

9:00 AM

Welcome Address by Jamie McDonald, Founder of Generosity Inc.

9:05 – 9:50 AM

Holding Fast to Dreams: Creating a Climate of Success for All Students

Featuring Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President, UMBC

9:50 – 10:20 AM

Wonder Women: Change Makers + Innovators

Featuring Asha Curran, Director, Center for Innovation and Social Impact at 92Y & Founder, #GivingTuesday, Brooke Hall, Founder of What Works Studio, Vanessa Garrison, Co-Founder and COO at GirlTrek, Jamie McDonald, Founder of Generosity, Inc. and Sonja Sohn, American Actress and Star of “The Wire”

10:20 – 10:30 AM

Musical Break by Khadijah Moon, Liberated Muse

10:35 – 11:20 AM

Leadership & Place: A Panel Discussion

Featuring Chris Jeffery, CEO Order Up, April Reign, Creator of the hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite, Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner , Chris Wilson, Social Entrepreneur & Founder of Barclay Investment Corporation

11:25 – 11:55 AM

Sharing skills to advance communities

Featuring D. Watkins, Author, The Beast Side; Professor, University of Baltimore and Lance Lucas, Founder of Digit All Systems

12:00 – 1:00 PM

Lunch provided by Whole Foods Market

1:00 – 1:20 PM

The Paradox of Peril and Promise in Black Male Achievement

Featuring Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

1:20 – 1:40 PM

Athletes as Influencers and Activists

Featuring Paul Rabil, a lacrosse player for the New York Lizards and Team USA, founder of Rabil Companies and architect of the Paul Rabil Foundation.

1:40 – 2:00 PM

Finding the Extraordinary in the Seemingly Simple

Featuring Thato Kgatlhanva, Red Bull’s Amaphiko Academy

2:00 – 2:20 PM

Light City Re-Charge Break 

Featuring Anne Truax of REV Cycle

2:20 – 3:00 PM

My Muse: Building Superpower to Maximize Human Potential

Featuring Vivienne Ming, Founder, Socos

3:05 – 4:00 PM

Arts & Society: A Panel Discussion

Featuring Marin Alsop, Director and Conductor, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Actor, Singer, Playwright, Creative Director, CenterStage Tom Hall, Host of WYPR Radio, Samuel Hoi, President MICA

4:00 – 4:45 PM

What’s Next? The Forces that Will Shape Our Lives at Work and Home Over the Next 10 Years. 

Featuring Alec Ross, NYT Bestselling Author of Industries of the Future, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

4:45 – 5:00 PM

Closing and Moving Forward by Jamie McDonald, Founder of Generosity, Inc. 


Marin Alsop

Music Director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Shayla Adams

Founder, Remix Education

John Cammack

Managing Partner, Cammack Associates

B. Cole

Founder, Brioxy

Asha Curran

Director, Innovation & Social Impact, 92nd Street Y

Kevin Davis

Commissioner, Baltimore Police Department

Shawn Dove

CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Robert Egger

President, L.A. Kitchen

Rodney Foxworth

Founder and CEO, Invested Impact

Vanessa Garrison

Co-Founder, GirlTrek

Michelle Geiss

Co-Founder and CEO, Impact Hub Baltimore

Brooke Hall

Founder and CEO, What Works Studio, Co-Founder, Light City Baltimore

Tom Hall

Host of WYPR Radio

Fagan Harris

President and CEO, Baltimore Corps

Laurin Hodge

Executive Director, Mission: Launch, Inc.

Sammy Hoi

President, MICA

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

President, UMBC

Aaron Hurst

CEO and Co-Founder, Imperative

Chris Jeffery

Co-founder and CEO, OrderUp

Joe Jones

CEO, Center for Urban Families

Thato Kgatlhanye

CEO, Rethaka

Kwame Kwei-Armah

Artistic Director, Center Stage

Dayvon Love

Director of Public Policy & Research, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

Lance Lucas

Founder of Digit All Systems

Thibault Manekin

Co-Founder, Seawall Development

Richard May

Chairman, Innovation Village

Jamie McDonald

Founder of Generosity, Inc.

Vivienne Ming

Founder, Socos

Khadijah Moon


Wes Moore

Founder and CEO, BridgeEDU

Kyle O'Connor

Founder, The Startup Nest

Paul Rabil

Founder, Rabil Companies

April Reign

Managing Editor,

Alec Ross

Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Sonja Sohn

American Actress and Star of “The Wire”

Burck Smith

Founder & CEO, Straighterline

D. Watkins


Dr. Leana Wen

Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department

Talithia Williams


Chris Wilson

CEO, Barclay Investment Corporation

Andrew Yang

Founder & CEO, Venture for America

Lida Zlatic

CEO of Class Tracks


Scholarships available: Light City is offering a number of free and discounted tickets to these conferences for individuals who cannot afford the regular ticket price. Click here to to apply. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2016.


Lead Founding Partner


Festival Producer


Founding Partners

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Government Partners


Leadership Partners

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