Wheaton College event will focus on ideas for social change | Local News

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NORTON – Wheaton College is hosting a student-run program this week to inspire ideas for a better world.

Wheaton’s Social Impact Conference is scheduled to begin at noon Thursday and end at 3 p.m. Friday at the Diana Davis Spencer Discovery Center dedicated to free speech and innovation.

The first such event took place practically last year.

“We are excited to host this annual in-person event in 2022 and will feature a range of speakers, workshops and panel discussions focused on the world of social impact, social entrepreneurship and community engagement. said Associate Professor Imran Chowdhury. , who holds the Chair of Social Entrepreneurship.

“Changing the world for the better requires compelling new ideas and a plan to manifest them,” Chowdhury said. “Wheaton College students help provide these tools — and develop their own actionable insights — as key organizers and participants (of the event).”

Many speakers will address issues that students have identified as critically important, including diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The event is part of Wheaton’s efforts to infuse social entrepreneurship education and innovation into the liberal arts.

Students will have the opportunity to network with practitioners and scholars working on social impact issues while learning to use their own talents for social good.

The students will lead round tables.

“I hope attendees leave with a desire to seek out more social impact information and become motivated to make a difference,” said Gabe Fellows, a junior and one of the event organizers.

The students chose Ross Franklin, Class of 2002, as this year’s keynote speaker; he will kick off the event. Franklin is the founder and CEO of Pure Green Franchise, a juice and smoothie franchise based in the United States. Forbes recently recognized Franklin in their feature, “The Next 1000 2021: The Upstart Entrepreneurs Redefining the American Dream.”

Also in attendance will be Victoria “Tori” Hay Lindahl, Class of 2008, and global head of social impact at Snyk, a Boston-based cybersecurity startup. Lindahl will receive the 2022 Graduate Social Impact Award at a closing ceremony Friday at the Hindle Auditorium. The award honors her work in social responsibility and her efforts to advance the potential of women and girls and build diverse and inclusive communities.

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