SILF 2014 - A Huge Success! 

In partnership with HP, Step Up Silicon Valley, Cisco Systems, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance, the City of San Jose Housing Department, CommUniverCity, and the SJSU Center for Community Learning & Leadership, GLAC hosted the 3rd annual Social Innovation Leadership Forum (SILF) on April 25, 2014 at San Jose’s City Hall.   

This year’s SILF reflected several leaps forward with an increased number of partners (from 11 last year to 27 this year) and the growing realization of SILF’s potential. There were 278 participants in attendance from various sectors, a 12% increase over last year. With the help of the Terry Vahey, CIO of SJSU IT, and Cisco teams, we were able to increase our virtual impact by providing WebEx and Telepresence support for key sessions. The University of Notre Dame virtually presented their experiments to measure social impact, and the afternoon community innovation challenge on educational technology was led by a Cisco Sr. VP from Washington D.C. using telepresence. This year more universities took part --University of Notre Dame, Marquette University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, University of San Francisco, and Mills College -- as did seven SJSU colleges and CIES.  

The morning agenda panels and interactive sessions laid the groundwork for the afternoon Community Challenge in which participants brainstormed innovative solutions in two problem tracks: 1) homelessness and 2) using educational technology to make learning more accessible and engaging.  Some groups are continuing to meet and attendees are invited to join the accompanying network, SVSILN. 

Bobbi Makani led the event as the Director of GLAC’s Silicon Valley Social Innovation Initiative and did the heavy lifting for this event, together with the core planning committee: Brad Maihack, AlmazNegash, Leslie Speer, John Swan, Dave Wilde, Derene Allen, Lindsay Sierra, and Nick Judge. John Swan of Green Global Village was especially helpful in recruiting facilitators and speakers. AlmazNegash of Step Up Silicon Valley and Catholic Charities played a large role in outreach and promotion.  The planning committee members also made significant contributions: Ray Bramson, Maria Haase, Michael Fallon, Dayana Salazar, and Antonio Aguilera.  Thanks to Dean David Steele for his support and to all who attended as speakers and participants. Year by year and college by college, SJSU is becoming known for its role in advancing social innovation.  

People are already looking forward to next year’s Fourth Annual SILF. We will share the date and location when they are confirmed. 


Website: | Email:   |  Partners: SILF Partners