The Social Innovation and Change Initiative (SICI) is honored to announce the Marla and Barry Beck Visiting Social Innovators for the 2021-2022 academic year. Each year, SICI is privileged to host a small group of accomplished practitioners from around the world who operate beyond traditional boundaries, bringing a multi-sector, global, systems perspective to their social innovation work.
This year’s Beck VSIs demonstrate the power of movement building and innovation required to dismantle the status quo. These innovators are using that power to advance educational equity, safeguard human health, and inspire generosity. This moment is about more than individual leaders and organizations — it’s about transformative movements that can translate inspiring vision into lived reality through the exchange of knowledge, networks, and resources. We are delighted to welcome this year’s Beck Visiting Social Innovators: an accomplished group of change-makers doing just that.
Meet the 2021-22 Beck Visiting Social Innovators
Asha Curran is CEO of GivingTuesday, an organization working to inspire generosity in communities around the world through its distributed leadership network. Launched in 2012, GivingTuesday now has a community of millions of givers, with activity in every country on every continent. Asha was named to the Nonprofit Times’ Top Fifty Power and Influence list in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Kwame Griffith, Executive Coach & Strategy and Management Consultant
Kwame Griffith is an Executive Coach & Strategy and Management Consultant focused on the U.S. education sector. Previously, Kwame served as President of OneGoal, an organization working to create a world where all students can earn a college degree and define their future. Before OneGoal, Kwame spent 14 years in executive positions at Teach For America, including as Executive Director of the Atlanta region where he doubled the size of the teaching corps and tripled annual fundraising revenue. Currently, he is the Founder & Principal of Knowledge Action Growth Coaching and Consulting (KAGCC).
Anoop Jain is the founding director of Sanitation and Health Rights in India (SHRI), an organization that fights to eliminate open defecation throughout India. Anoop started this organization with his colleagues, Chandan Kumar and Prabin Ghimire, in 2012 as a response to India’s sanitation crisis. To date, SHRI operates eight community sanitation facilities in Bihar and Jharkhand, serving over 6,000 daily toilet users. Anoop is returning for his second year in the VSI program.
Jeff Nelson is the Co-Founder and National Board Chair of OneGoal, an organization working to create a world where all students can earn a college degree and define their future. During Jeff’s 12 years as CEO, OneGoal grew from a startup serving 30 students with a $200K budget to a national leader in the postsecondary field serving over 13,000 students with a $25M budget. To date, 88% of OneGoal Fellows have enrolled in college and 79% have persisted a year later. Jeff is returning for his second year in the VSI program.
Bright Simons is the Founder and President of mPedigree, a social enterprise working to safeguard human health and food security using technology. Partnering with more than two-dozen telecom operators, Fortune 500 technology companies, and regulatory agencies in several countries, mPedigree has helped launch a movement. Bright is a Skoll Awardee, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, TED Fellow, Aspen Braddock Fellow, 2017 class of Tällberg Global Leaders, winner of the Eliasson Global Leadership Prize of the Tällberg Foundation, and the 2016 CNBC African Innovative Business Leader of the Year.
Katrina Spade (she/her) is an entrepreneur, designer, and Founder and CEO of Recompose, a public benefit corporation working to change the current death care paradigm. Recompose has led successful legalization efforts for natural organic reduction in three states and in 2020 opened the first facility in the world to offer this ecological death care option to the public. Katrina has been featured in the Guardian, NPR, Wired, Fast Company, PEOPLE Magazine, and the NYTimes. She is an Echoing Green Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow.
Join us in welcoming the Marla and Barry Beck Visiting Social Innovators by tagging us @SICIHarvard and using the hashtag #BeckVSIs!