Beck Visiting Social Innovator Program

The Marla and Barry Beck Visiting Social Innovator program hosts accomplished practitioners from around the world to advance positive social impact within and beyond the Harvard University community.

Collectively, the cohort of Beck Visiting Social Innovators represents a diverse set of pathways and experiences that illuminate what it means to be a social innovator and agent of change. These practitioners operate beyond traditional boundaries, bringing a multi-sector, global, systems perspective to their work. Through elements of their vision for change, approach, and lived example, they reflect SICI’s values, vision, and key priorities.

Beck Visiting Social Innovators are selected for their deep expertise, thoughtfully cultivated networks, creative energy, and track record of social impact accomplishment. Additionally, they have a strong desire to contribute meaningfully to the development of individual students, impact in the communities they represent, and the social innovation ecosystem more broadly.

This program was established in 2018 through a generous gift from the Marla and Barry Beck Foundation.

The Experience

Beck Visiting Social Innovators engage in short, richly programmed visits to the Harvard campus during the academic year to build connections with and across communities to advance meaningful learning and catalyze action. Through these visits, Beck Visiting Social Innovators:

  • Spark important dialogue on pressing topics through public-facing events and opportunities
  • Influence the trajectory of student social innovators through coaching, advising, and skill development
  • Activate real-world impact through collaborative work with SICI and the Harvard community

“SICI fundamentally understands power and innovation beyond enterprise. It’s exciting to have a center at Harvard that recognizes the nuance between market-based solutions and social innovation more broadly, while combining a deep and fundamental desire to disrupt how power operates in all sectors. As a social movement leader, this is exactly my approach. It’s been absolutely refreshing and inspiring to come home to HKS and collaborate with SICI to develop the theory and practice of this new way of thinking and tackling the largest social dilemmas of our day.” — Palak Shah, National Domestic Workers Alliance

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Meet the Beck Visiting Social Innovators


Zubaida Bai, Founder and CEO of ayzh, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation

Celina de Sola, Co-Founder and President of Glasswing International

Rey Faustino, Founder and CEO of One Degree

Lily Lapenna, Founder of MyBnk and CEO of GLEOW

Michelle Miller, Co-Founder of


Carol Caruso, Bloom Impact

Asha Curran, GivingTuesday

T. Morgan Dixon, GirlTrek

Cheryl Dorsey, Family Van and Echoing Green

Nick Ehrmann, Blue Engine

Vanessa Garrison, GirlTrek

Kwame Griffith, Executive Coach & Strategy and Management Consultant

Claude Grunitzky, TRACE Magazine, TRUE Africa

Lisha McCormick, Last Mile Health

Rajesh Panjabi, Last Mile Health

Jean Rogers, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE)

Palak Shah, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Bright Simons, mPedigree

Katrina Spade, Recompose

Jeff Nelson, OneGoal

Anoop Jain, Sanitation and Health Rights in India