Opening Plenary

What If: Igniting the Social Imagination

Like many college students today, the speakers on this panel didn’t begin their work with enormous budgets, front page newspaper coverage, or global networks of supporters. They started out with creative ideas of their own. Whether they wanted to build a 200 miles-per-gallon hybrid vehicle or launch a microfinance project in the Middle East, they often began their work with little more than a mission statement and a social imagination. This panel of innovative leaders from government, academia, and the non-profit sector will share their experiences and describe how they got started, how they achieved scale, and what hurdles they faced along the path from idea to action.