SICI is thrilled to announce the 2023-2024 Beck Visiting Social Innovators! This community is an essential part of our efforts to nurture an ecosystem of social innovation at Harvard. With decades of experience, VSIs interface between Harvard and the broader world to support our next generation of social changemakers.
VSIs spend a year at SICI supporting the next generation of changemakers and furthering their own social change efforts. Through in-person and virtual visits, they mentor students in their development as leaders and help them navigate obstacles to creating social impact.
This year’s VSIs not only emphasize the breadth of the social challenges we face, but also the many possible pathways to social change. We’re delighted that Zubaida Bai, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation, is returning for her second year as a VSI. We are also welcoming four incoming VSI’s, Celina de Sola (MPH ’06), Rey Faustino (MPP ‘12), Lily Lapenna, and Michelle Miller. Together, they bring expertise in achieving change through movement building spanning industries, tech-enabled interventions, and partnerships between the nonprofit, private, and public sectors.
We’re excited to welcome these VSIs into our community! Stay up-to-date on upcoming VSI events by signing up for the SICI newsletter.
Meet the 2023-24 Beck Visiting Social Innovators
Zubaida Bai, Founder and CEO of ayzh, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation
Zubaida Bai is the Founder of ayzh (pronounced eyes), and current President and CEO of Grameen Foundation. Launched in 2009, ayzh is a women’s reproductive health product and services business that has improved the lives of over one million women and girls and evolved into a global enterprise. At Grameen Foundation, Zubaida advances the organization’s mission to create a world without poverty and hunger. Zubaida’s recognitions include being named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Maternal Health Champion by Ashoka, and a Sustainable Development Goals Pioneer (United Nations Global Compact).
Celina de Sola, Co-Founder and President of Glasswing International
Celina de Sola is the Co-Founder and President of Glasswing International. Glasswing addresses poverty and violence in 12 countries through education, mental health, and youth empowerment initiatives. She is a Fellow of the Obama Foundation, Ashoka, and LEGO ReImagine Learning, as well as being an Awardee of Skoll, The Audacious Project, Tällberg Global Leader, and Schwab Social Entrepreneur.
Rey Faustino, Founder and CEO of One Degree
Rey Faustino is the Founder and CEO of One Degree. One Degree is a technology-driven nonprofit organization that enables families to easily navigate nonprofit and social services in cities across the US. Rey is an alumnus of Y Combinator, a New America CA Fellow, an Echoing Green Fellow, and an Education Pioneers Fellow. He received Harvardʼs Emerging Global Leader Award and was nominated for the San Francisco Chronicleʼs inaugural Visionary of the Year Award.
Lily Lapenna, Founder of MyBnk and CEO of GLEOW
Lily Lapenna is the Founder of MyBnk, and CEO of GLEOW. MyBnk created high impact financial programs to increase financial literacy for young people in schools, prisons, youth groups, homeless communities and supported housing environments. At GLEOW Group, Lily provides leadership advisory and executive coaching for government, multinationals, and start-ups. Her recognitions include an honor from Queen Elizabeth II, appointment as a Young Global Leader from the World Economic Forum, and fellowships from Ashoka and Aspen.
Michelle Miller, Co-Founder of Coworker.org
Michelle Miller is the Co-Founder and former Co-Executive Director of Coworker.org. Coworker.org is an organization that supports worker-led organizing across multiple industries, and provided a critical organizing hub for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Michelle has fellowships from Echoing Green, Ashoka, the JM Kaplan Fund, the Institute for the Future and Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. In 2015, Michelle was honored to co-host the first ever White House Town Hall on Worker Voice with President Barack Obama.