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Social Innovation Leadership Forum




Social Innovation Institute








 Shift Magazine


 Engineer working on model

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. 


The 3rd Annual Silicon Valley Social Innovation 

Leadership Forum
Learn. Collaborate. Lead!

Friday, April 25th, 2014 (8:00am-4:30pm)
San Jose City Hall

A forum designed to network, share best practices, generate innovative ideas and build leadership skills and capacity to advance community initiatives.

In Spring, 2013, 250 innovators and leaders from diverse backgrounds and sectors met to discuss a common goal: positive social change to address social problems in our community. The 2nd annual SILF embraced an "Un-conference” format that encourages participants propose topics   to self-organize,  interact and collaborate. Partnerships and projects were created on topics such as alleviating poverty in under-served neighborhoods.

SILF 2014 will build on this success, and will encourage leadership and collaboration towards innovative solutions to important local problems. Although Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most innovative high-tech companies, many social and economic issues coexist alongside this prosperity: social inequity, access to healthcare, unemployment, and high poverty levels. These issues become critical because of the estimated 214,000 people living in poverty in Santa Clara County. Two common threads that run across these social issues are education and housing. Education, because it is a fundamental building block of individual economic growth, and housing, because the housing cost to income ratio in Silicon Valley is considered as one of the highest in the nation.

Our objective is to bring together social entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and change agents from non-profits, business, government, education, and the community – to plan and develop innovative and scalable cross-sector strategies and  solutions to these issues, and to develop initial plans to pilot these solutions.

We hope you will join SILF 2014 to share your ideas, to learn from others, as we work together to address these important issues! Take this opportunity to meet fascinating people,  like-minded individuals, and prepare to both inspire others and to be inspired by innovative leadership and collaborative ideas that will make a lasting contribution to Silicon Valley.

Upcoming Social Innovation Leadership Forum April 5TH, 2013


The Silicon Valley
2nd Annual Social Innovation Leadership Forum 2013 (SILF 2013)
April 5th, 2013 (Friday)
8:30 AM to 1:30 PM
San Jose City Hall


The SILF 2013 is a follow on to this year's successful event where we had more than 100 participants representing several sectors: government, private companies, education, non-profits, social entrepreneurs, startups, etc. For this forum, we are embracing the “Unconference” theme, where YOU, the participant, will drive the selection of the topics and speakers you want to hear!

Unconferences have been extremely successful in bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to self-organize topics of the greatest interest to the group, with an emphasis on interaction, discussion and collaboration.

More information about the forum and the "Unconference" format will be sent out in January 2013. Please watch out for the email and participate. We need you to help us create an event that focuses on your needs and interest!


Social Innovation Leadership Forum 2012

On March 20, 2012 we co-sponsored an all-day Social Innovation Leadership Forum at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose. The purpose of this event was to bring together social entrepreneurs, thinkers and leaders from non-profits, business, government and the community to share innovation leadership lessons and help create a social innovation network.

There is a growing need for innovators to address the many social problems and economic challenges in our own backyard.  
Please visit the SI Leadership Forum 2012 home page to learn more about this event.

Social Innovation Institute (SI2)

This initiative leverages the symbiotic relationship among San José State University, social entrepreneurs, the city of San José, foundations, and other innovation organizations to encourage and train people to apply technology and innovation for the good of the local community. The Social Innovation team members are Bradley Maihack ( Hewlett-Packard), Richard Okumoto (Social Entrepreneur), Joyce Osland (Professor-SJSU), Malu Roldan (Professor-SJSU), Richard Sessions ( Altis Solutions) and Dave Wilde (Global Leader-In-Residence).

SHIFT Magazine

SHiFT is a unique, student-run magazine focused on innovation for the common good. Its goal as a catalyst for social change in the Silicon Valley goes beyond merely reporting facts to spurring its readers to action. SHiFT is published four times a year by students from San José State University. These highly talented students are advised by industry veterans: Richard Okumoto - publisher-magazine, Thomas Ulrich - editor-in-chief and journalism professor, Richard Sessions - publisher-web. The Social Innovation Institute team are board members.

Social Innovation at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

All SJSU students and alumni can submit their social innovation ideas in the Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship's annual Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge, held late Fall. There is a special award given to the best social innovation submission.