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Summit inspires responsible leaders

As Shirley Wang, Com’17, prepares to attend the Social Impact Summit for the third straight year, she remembers fondly last year’s keynote address by Johann Olav Koss. The former Olympic speed skater from Norway shared his experience as the founder of Right to Play, an international organization dedicated to helping children overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease through playing sports and games.

[social impact summit reception]
The Social Impact Summit offers delegates a variety of learning and networking activities.

“I have followed his career and the organization for many years, so listening to him was a dream come true,” Ms. Wang says. “I was able to connect with him on LinkedIn afterwards and have since reached out for advice. The level of exposure to the speakers has had a profound impact in shaping my goals and aspirations as a business student.”

For the past 11 years, the Social Impact Summit has helped delegates make those important life-long connections. Ms. Wang says it’s one of the major reasons she is once again attending the summit as a delegate and volunteer.

“The summit has exposed me to the breadth of careers that are booming in the social impact space. Since I have been keeping in touch with some people I have met at the summit, I intend to reach out to them as I am looking to start my career after fourth year,” she says.

Johann Olav Koss (right), founder of Right to Play, spoke at last year's Social Impact Summit. He is joined here by David Saunders, Dean, Smith School of Business, and Tina Dacin, Director, Centre for Social Impact.

The two-day summit, hosted by the Centre for Social Impact at Smith School of Business, features a mix of keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops aimed at inspiring delegates to become impactful and responsible leaders in both their careers and their local communities.

“We are dedicated to amplifying business as a force for good,” says Tina Dacin, Director, Centre for Social Impact, Smith School of Business. “Every year, the Social Impact Summit attracts exciting and dynamic speakers whose insightful thoughts, lessons and stories get students excited about becoming effective and responsible leaders.”

Harry Kraemer, an author of two bestselling leadership books and executive partner of a private equity firm, will deliver the keynote address on the topic of becoming a values-based leader. Other noteworthy speakers include Canadian social entrepreneur, Al Etmanski, Assaf Weisz from Purpose Capital, Vicki Saunders, founder of SheEO, Jerry Koh from MaRS Discovery District and Jessica Bolduc from 4Rs Youth Movement.

More than 165 delegates are expected to attend the summit that takes place Oct. 16-17. The delegates include Queen’s commerce, MBA and Master of International Business students, many of whom are enrolled in the Certificate in Responsible Leadership Program.

Visit the Centre for Social Impact for the complete agenda.

The Centre for Social Impact at Smith School of Business was established in 2004 with a mission to educate students and foster outreach, research and advocacy on issues impacting our local and global communities. Every year, the centre presents and supports a wide range of programming for students, staff, faculty and members of the Queen’s community to learn more about the processes and practices that drive social impact – including the business practice of responsible leadership and, more recently, social innovation, which refers to an innovative product, process or program that profoundly and positively changes a social system and is widely recognized a key driver of solutions to such complex issues. For more information please contact the centre at csi@queensu.ca.