Greg Van Kirk | Host
Greg is a social entrepreneur, consultant and educator. Over the course of 20 years he’s worked with with a diverse variety of organizations, leaders and communities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Suriname, Brazil, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Egypt, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, South Africa, India and Thailand.
Greg has designed social entrepreneurial experiences, taught courses and led workshops for thousands of students and professionals. He is the founder of SocialEntrepreneurU, is a former Ashoka Leadership Group Member, is a two-time Ashoka Globalizer Fellow and World Economic Forum "Social Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 (Latin America)". Greg is the principal designer of the award-winning MicroConsignment Model, now being applied globally.
Greg has served as a consultant for organizations such as Levi Strauss Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, USAID, Chemonics, VisionSpring, Soros Foundation, Church World Service, Inter American Development Bank, Water For People and Fundacion Paraguaya in the US, Latin America, Asia and Africa. He also contributes time as “Social Entrepreneur in Residence” at universities and has taught social entrepreneurship at Columbia University, NYU and Miami University. He is a senior advisor for the Miami University Institute for Entrepreneurship.
Greg began working in rural small business development as a Guatemala Peace Corps volunteer in 2001. He worked in investment banking for five years before arriving in Guatemala. Two deals he led at UBS during this time won "Deal of the Year" honors from Structured Finance International magazine. He currently lives with his family in New York City.
“Greg approaches his work with professionalism, broad-spectrum skill sets and a tenacious work ethic. His deep grassroots expertise coupled with his business experience and willingness ‘to get his hands dirty’ is unique and hard to come by.” - Neil Blumenthal, Co Founder + Co CEO - Warby Parker
"Few folks who preach the gospel of innovation have the ability to cross languages, cultures and sectors like Greg and his team does. They have truly galvanized and made an invaluable contribution to our space -- and movement...!" - Daniel Lee, Executive Director - Levi Strauss Foundation
"Greg's combined expertise in business and years of experience in social entrepreneurship around the globe give him a unique understanding about the drivers of social innovation. He has a remarkable ability to distill key strategic insights that explain success and communicate them in ways that are both accessible and inspiring." - David Bornstein, Co Founder- SJN, Author “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas”, NY Times “Fixes” Co Creator and columnist
Sarah Connel | Production & Social Media
Sarah is managing It's About the How's social media and production and assisting Greg Van Kirk in the development of new projects. She joined Social EntrepreneurU after graduating from Miami University, where she developed and launched the nation's first undergraduate-led social impact fund at Miami University. She established the founding team, partnered with world renowned social impact organizations, developed the impact investing curriculum, and created processes for the fund's deal flow and due diligence. In addition, Sarah elevated the interest and awareness of the region's social entrepreneurial ecosystem as a Communications Intern for Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub.
Sarah studied Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a focus in Social Entrepreneurship while at Miami University. She received Miami University's Social Impact Entrepreneur Award as well as Miami University's Senior Service Leadership Award. Upon graduation, Sarah has received a certificate in Consulting for Social Entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School Venture for All.