Purpose Presents at Social Innovation Summit West 2015

December 2, 2015


Purpose is proud to have been invited to present twice at November’s Social Innovation Summit West 2015 in beautiful Redwood City, CA.  The conference brought together leaders in technology, philanthropy, business and social change for a look at leading-edge ideas, initiatives and inventions aiming to address the world’s great challenges.

On the conference’s first day, Ben Chase (Senior Strategy Director & Co-Lead of Corporate Practice) and David Chernicoff (Senior Strategist, Foundations) facilitated “Brand Survival: How to Move Beyond Cause Marketing,” a workshop centered on the increasing need for businesses to deepen the impact and sophistication of their social change work.

The business world has taken great strides in recent years, moving from primarily passive charity to playing a more active role in creating change—but public attitudes are evolving even more quickly.  Millennials hold higher expectations for business in driving social impact, and within 20 years will be the dominant workforce and consumer class—so businesses must adapt or be left behind.  Workshop attendees worked through the first steps of responding to these rising expectations by drafting authentic, impact-driven social missions for their organizations and articulating clear theories of change for their campaigns.

On day two, Henry Donahue (Head of Partnerships) partnered with Diana Rhoten and Hailey Brewer of IDEO on a “Hunch Hour” workshop, “How Might We Design a New Safety Net for the Changing World of Work?”

Major trends in employment in the United States show a shift toward more part-time, gig-based work, with the number of “traditional” 9-5, long-term jobs decreasing over time.  In recent history, much of the social safety net in the U.S. has been coupled with the employer-employee relationship—so where will that social safety net come from for the new generation of workers?  Workshop participants brainstormed and evaluated their own initial hunches on how workers would access services as the economy continues to change.

Here are some highlights from both sessions: