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GREATER BOSTON’S SOCIAL INNOVATIONS, ENTERPRISES, & PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERS...

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Boston Social Innovations Partners

GREATER BOSTON’S SOCIAL INNOVATIONS, ENTERPRISES, & PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

December 5, 2017: 1:45 – 5:00

BOSTON HARBOR HOTEL: 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110



1:45 PM REGISTRATION

2:00 PM WELCOME/OVERVIEW/LIVE POLL

Nicholas Torres & Tine Hansen-Turton, SIJ Co-Founder/Publisher

2:10 PM MEET THE AUTHORS AND THEIR INNOVATIONS - ARTICLE SUMMARIES BELOW

2:30 PM CURRENT STATE OF GREATER BOSTON’S SOCIAL SECTOR ECOSYSTEM

MODERATOR: Tiziana Dearing, Co-Director, Center for Social Innovation, Boston College

PANELISTS:

Susan Musinsky, Executive Director, Social Innovation Forum

Matt Segneri, HARVARD | BUSINESS | SCHOOL, Social Enterprise Initiative

Justin Kang, Executive Director of City Awake of the Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Atiya Martin, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Boston

Lucas Owens, Fund Manager, Boston Ujima Project

Mark Watson, Boston Impact Initiative (Invited)

Elizabeth Dobrska, Executive Director TUGG (Invited)

3:20 PM CRITICAL THINKING DISCUSSION

How Boston’s higher education, government, not-for-profits, social investors and private companies can come together, from collaborations to mergers, differently to build a stronger Social Innovation Ecosytem? What collective objectives/goals are possible for Boston’s Social Innovation Ecosystem?

4:00 PM DESIGNING AN 2018 AGENDA FOR BOSTON’S SOCIAL INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM

MODERATOR: Andrea McGrath, AMPLIFIED IMPACT

PANELISTS

Sarah Beaulieu, Senior Advisor Greenlight Fund

Darcy Brownell, Executive Director, Social Venture Partners Boston

Kimberly Lucas, Civic Research Director, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics

Kiki Mills Johnston, Managing Director, Mass Challenge

4:55 PM CLOSING REMARKS/NEXT STEPS


Closing the Gender Wage Gap Through Data Analysis & Innovation By: Madeline Hren

The Boston Women's Workforce Council (BWWC) is a collaboration between the City of Boston under Mayor Martin J. Walsh's administration and Boston University. Through a data-driven approach, the BWWC works to collect accurate and unimpeachable data to provide evidence of the gender wage gap and encourage membership in the 100% Talent Compact. The Compact is a partnership in which businesses pledge to take concrete, measurable steps to eliminate the wage gap in their companies. Through these initiatives, as well as salary negotiation workshops and legislation, the City of Boston provides a unique model of methods and best practices to eliminate the gender wage gap, beginning at the local level.

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Driving Entrepreneurship Across the University Arts and Ideas in Action: Art+Business+Social Impact By: Wendy Swart Grossman, Lecturer, Cultural Entrepreneurship, Boston University; Jeannette Guillemin, Director ad interim, School of Visual Arts, Boston University

Creative Placemaking, the intentional action of cross-sector partners fueled by arts and culture, is gaining ground as an effective way to build and sustain communities. Regional and national reports by the New England Foundation for the Arts and Americans for the Arts further quantify the billions of dollars generated by the creative economy, and university art programs can play an important role as an engine for change. To further explore this rich intersection of arts, commerce, and social impact, Boston University's College of Fine Arts (CFA), the Questrom School of Business and the BU Arts Initiative came together to launch the symposium: Arts and Ideas in Action: Art + Business + Social Impact. Held on November 11, 2016, this innovative event has become a data point for the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and was featured at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurial Centers 2017 Conference in Nova Scotia. The symposium invited university faculty, students, and staff as well as nonprofit and for-profit professionals to engage in a cross-disciplinary conversation reflecting on the question, “How do we create stable economic opportunities while building vibrant communities and addressing societal needs?”

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Building the Network: The Impact of Sparking Civic Engagement in Low-Income Communities By: Eric Leslie, founder and lead organizer of Union Capital Boston

We know social capital and civic engagement are powerful drivers of opportunity and upward mobility. So how can we build these networks in low-income communities using tools in our world today?

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The Teen Empowerment Model: Youth Building Peaceful Communities Together By: Stanley Pollack is the founder and executive director of The Center for Teen Empowerment

Simmering beneath White House tweetstorms and federal budget cuts, tensions between youth and police can boil over at any time in cities around the nation. In attempting to forestall deadly incidents, many officials have chosen to apply a law-and-order, stop-and-frisk approach. Leaders in these cities need to see that such policies only serve to inflame racial animosity, erode trust, and rip apart the fabric of community that is essential to establishing peace on the streets. Over the last 25 years, the Center for Teen Empowerment (TE) has developed a model that employs and trains youth to lead movements among their peers toward reconciliation between youth, police, and community. TE engages hundreds of police officers working in Boston and Somerville, MA and Rochester, NY in youth-led dialogue that enriches their understanding of young people, challenges their stereotypes, and creates productive relationships that enhance their ability to enforce the law and prevent crimes. TE presents a better way to address crime and violence: to recognize the assets that the youth in the community possess, to nurture their youthful hope for a better life, and to invest the time, effort, and money needed to develop their leadership potential to help solve the problems they face.

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What IF We Could End Family Homelessness? The IF Challenge By: Professor Tiziana C. Dearing, Professor for Macro Practice and Co-Director of the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College School of Social Work; Michael Durkin, President, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimac Valley; Dr. Stephanie Cosner Berzin, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Social Innovation at the Boston College School of Social Work; and Brigid Boyd, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimac Valley

What if we could end family homelessness in Boston? What if passionate organizations with talented teams knew there were better solutions out there, but were so busy managing the daily cycle of delivering services and raising funds that it was hard to take that innovative next step back to innovate? What if a funder and an academic institution could help do something about it? In 2016, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (UW) and the Boston College School of Social Work’s (BCSSW) Center for Social Innovation (CSI) launched the $100,000 IF Challenge to try to answer these questions. The result was a relatively small-money investment to three organizations -- HomeStart, Metro Housing|Boston, and Children’s HealthWatch -- that demonstrated existing organizations can innovate based on their wisdom to make changes in how we address our most pressing problems.

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Intent versus Impact By: Yolanda Coentro, President and CEO, Institute for Nonprofit Practice, and Shaheer Mustafa, President and CEO of HopeWell

Our sector has a problem with race. According to the Building Movements Project recent Race to Lead report, the number of Executive Directors/CEO’s of nonprofits who identify as white has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade despite a pointed focus to improve representative diversity at the highest levels of the sector. As our nation confronts race and inherent bias, we need diversity and equitable representation in the leaders of our civil society to help us achieve equality. In today’s complex world, we need innovations that can only be found by convening diverse groups of problem solvers. Whether your organization is addressing community violence, hunger, or degradation of the environment, traditional technical solutions are not moving the needle at the scale required. One strategy to deliver on the business imperative is targeting financial investments in leadership and talent development

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The Family Self-Sufficiency Program: Leveraging Housing Assistance as a Platform for Economic Mobility Through the Federal Government’s Largest, and Least Well Known, Asset Building Program for Low-Income Families By: Sherry Riva, Founder and Executive Director, Compass Working Capital

Poverty is not just an income problem. It is also a wealth problem. All people need opportunities to invest in themselves and in their children in order to move their families forward. Yet anti-poverty programs in the U.S. have, traditionally, done very little to promote wealth-building among the families they serve. The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which serves residents of federally subsidized housing, is one particularly powerful opportunity to change that trend. For the past seven years, Compass Working Capital (“Compass”) -- a national nonprofit financial services organization headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts -- has implemented and expanded an innovative, evidence-based model for the program that is helping to show what this program can really do.

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Pursuing Cultural Equity in the Arts By: Marian Taylor Brown, Founder, Arts Connect International -- Doctoral Student, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, UMass Boston

The Arts in America suffer from a “cultural equity gap” -- institutional and systemic racism within arts leadership, and access to the arts. This article examines the cultural equity gap in relationship to the work that Arts Connect International (ACI) propels in Boston, across the nation, and internationally. Showcasing ACI’s work provides one innovative lens -- an equity incubator -- to examine action, while also stating a call to action for all stakeholders to come together in addressing this systemic, ubiquitous issue.

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Elevating Parents’ Voices to Tackle the Challenge of Retention By: Susan Covitz MSW and Jill Brevik MS

As a long-standing parenting education organization, Families First is always looking to innovate in order to improve its service delivery. Thus, it recently transformed its program model to provide three times more hours of support for each participating parent. While necessary to accomplish the intended outcomes of stronger parent-child relationships and increased parental access to social supports, this shift to longer-term programming requires a greater commitment from parents facing poverty and related stressors. This creates additional pressures on parent recruitment and retention strategies. In collaboration with Social Venture Partners Boston’s expert consultants, Families First’s staff has addressed the undeniable challenge of retention head-on by incorporating the unique voices and leadership of parent participants. The comprehensive five-tiered strategy described in this article is already showing promising recruitment and retention results as we assess parental needs and experiences throughout the program.

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Exceptional Lives: A free online resource to guide parents and professionals By: Ricki Meyer, Esq., Director of Policy and Legal Operations, Exceptional Lives

Exceptional Lives (ELI) provides free, easy-to-understand resources for parents and caregivers of children with disabilities, as well as professionals who work with this population. Their “How To” Guides and Resource Directory utilize health literacy principles and are written in plain language. ELI’s unique software provides users individualized information and offers action steps to help their exceptional children thrive.

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Beacon: The Boston Panel Study. By Trent D. Buskirk, PhD, Philip S. Brenner, PhD, Russell K. Schutt, PhD University of Massachusetts Boston

Like other urban areas in the US, Boston is changing in many ways, including shifts in its primary industries, a diversifying population, and neighborhood revitalization. Each of these changes generates multiple policy challenges which cannot effectively be addressed without collection and analysis of residents’ perceptions, experiences, and attitudes. Beacon: The Boston Panel Study is a tool designed to do just that -- to measure and quantify our changing city. The innovation of Beacon is its integration of a modern probability-based sampling design, at the neighborhood level, for an ongoing internet-based survey panel that is merged with “big data” sources and new passive and social media-based data collection. By combining these cutting-edge technologies, Beacon will allow measurement of important social phenomena critical to understanding the challenges of the present and creating policies to shape Boston’s future.

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Interdisciplinary Student-led Design for Social Impact By: Sabrina Kantor, Labs Director at Scout Studio

Scout Labs is a multidisciplinary team of students who partner with local organizations as design consultants for social good. Through the Center for Community Service at Northeastern University, Scout Labs is connected with a local organization that tackles social issues in the Boston area. Throughout the course of the project, Scout labs works closely with their community partner to develop a solution, using a creative approach called Human Centered Design. In addition to creating positive impact in the Boston area, this partnership also provides the team with an educational experience that aims to create a more civically engaged design community at Northeastern University.

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Irish International Immigrant Center By: Helaine Goudreau, Manager of Foundations and Communications, Irish International Immigrant Center; Janey Tallarida, Deputy Director, Irish International Immigrant Center

Immigrants account for 28 percent of the population in Boston, and 16 percent of the population in Massachusetts. Immigrant and refugee families face many challenges integrating into society, especially in the current political environment and broken immigration system. Families struggle with adjusting to social and language barriers, navigating the complex legal system, and finding meaningful employment. The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) is Boston’s only holistic immigrant welcome center, which provides a range of expert legal, wellness, education, and cross-cultural services for both newcomers and for immigrants who have lived here for many years. The IIIC service model includes a fully integrated approach to serving immigrant families, with attorneys, social workers, and educators working collaboratively to fully support families. The IIIC is the primary destination for families to reach stability and security, and assists over 3,100 individuals from more than 120 different countries each year. As a safe and accessible space, the IIIC is able to thoroughly engage with families, building relationships, trust, and community. The impact of this multiservice “welcome center” model enables us to work with immigrant families as partners on a journey towards stability, fulfillment, and empowerment.

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Moving from Social Services to Social Enterprise By: Jodi Rosenbaum Tillinger, Ed.M, Founder and CEO, More Than Words

As society attempts to prepare our most vulnerable system-involved young adults for their critical transition to adulthood, we must move from traditional social service models toward more empowering, effective and cost-effective social enterprise solutions.

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Social Enterprises Offer Multiple Chances for Proven-Risk Young Adults By: Gregg Croteau, MSW, Executive Director at UTEC; Dawn Grenier, Director of Grants & Communications at UTEC

UTEC is a nonprofit organization that serves proven-risk young adults, defined as those with histories of incarceration or serious criminal and/or gang activity. UTEC works in Lowell and Lawrence, MA, both characterized by income inequality and significant gang activity. UTEC helps proven-risk adults transition from criminal activity to sustainable employment, including attainment of their high school equivalency and other credentials. As part of its strategy to ensure that our young adults have multiple chances over multiple years, UTEC has developed social enterprises in food services, woodworking, and mattress recycling. We believe that the business side of each social enterprise must work around the programming side in order to achieve our triple bottom line of Youth Outcomes, Financial Value, and Community Impact.

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Effects of Social Innovation Financed “Housing First” Programs on Retention, Utilization of Services, and Cost-Savings: The Case of the Pay for Success Program. By: Singumbe Muyeba, PhD. Research and Evaluation Specialist, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance; Joe Finn, JD., President and Executive Director, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance; Thomas Brigham, Managing Director, Massachusetts Alliance for Supportive Housing

This article presents an evaluation of the impact of the Commonwealth’s and MHSA’s first homeless social innovation Pay for Success (PFS) initiative on housing retention, utilization of emergency services, and cost-savings. The analysis methods used include: survival analysis to compute housing retention; Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test to find out the significance of differences between the before and after housing utilization of inpatient hospitalizations, outpatient hospital visits, emergency department (ED) visits, ambulance rides, and days incarcerated; and a cost-benefit analysis to translate usage into dollar amounts. We find that after 365 days of PFS, the retention rate is 92.2 percent. In both the six-month and twelve-month analyses, we find significant reductions in utilization of emergency medical services but not incarceration. Cost savings on emergency medical services amount to $2.2 million. Overall, PFS is successful in housing and retaining the homeless high utilizers while reducing costs to the public.

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Fighting a Contagious Disease in Boston. By: Peter Pollard MPA Visiting Fellow OVC

An innovative program at the Boston Medical Center (BMC) has been a leader in a national movement to re-think strategies used to prevent community violence, and to heal individuals and communities most susceptible to the potentially-debilitating impacts of that violence.

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Crafting an Inclusive, Renewable Energy System for America. By: Forrest Watkins, Development & Grant Writer, Solstice

Community solar, which allows households to subscribe to a solar farm in their area, is already making solar energy accessible for many communities that were previously left out of the market. Nevertheless, important barriers remain to Solstice’s goal of bringing solar to every American. One of these is the use of FICO credit scores, which are standard in the industry and which exclude many bill-paying households. To accelerate the reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and expand solar access to low- and middle-income (LMI) communities, Solstice has developed a qualifying metric which is expected to outperform FICO in its inclusion of LMI communities and its ability to predict customers’ bill payment behavior.

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The Power of Cross-Sector Collaboration: Using IOT for Good to Create Smart, Connected, Inclusive Cities By: Jennifer Bailey PhD, Luiza Aguiar, David Block-Schachter, Greg Raiz

Solving the world's toughest social challenges requires everyone to be at the table. In this article, we present a case study from the city of Boston in which three partners, from the non-profit sector, the private sector and the public sector, collaborated to design a smart city solution for helping the visually impaired to find and navigate bus stops within the public transportation system. The solution is an accessible smart phone micro-navigation application based on crowdsourced bus stop navigation clues and an IoT-enabled bus stop location and positioning system. The cross-sector partners included in the project are the Perkins School for the Blind, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Raizlabs. The article outlines the critical success factors which were important for the success of this cross-sector collaboration.

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A Collaborative Approach to Social Impact By: Carolyn Shaughnessy, Senior Manager, Social Innovation Forum

Since 2011, more than 10,000 refugees have come to Massachusetts to escape danger in their homelands, carrying with them both assets and challenges related to resettlement. The immigrant population plays a critical role in the Boston economy as consumers, business owners, employees, and taxpayers. Despite being such a substantial part of our society’s fabric, immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers often do not have access to adequate support for successful integration and advancement. Without guidance, navigating these issues can be challenging. Together, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) and Greater Boston’s local funding community created a collective response to this issue via the creation of a Social Issue Track focused on organizations or programs that promote successful integration and advancement for immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. Social Issue Tracks leverage funding, capacity building, and learning opportunities to engage philanthropists in supporting the focus area. The resulting collaborative and innovative marketplace allows funders to leverage their philanthropic investment and their community impact while learning from one another in the process.

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Scaling Impact: Equity, access and opportunity in Boston’s regional food economy By: Jen Faigel is CommonWealth Kitchen's Executive Director. Joseph V. Sinfield, Sc.D. is Associate Professor and Director of the College of Engineering Innovation and Leadership Studies Program at Purdue University

CommonWealth Kitchen, which operates Greater Boston's food business incubator and food manufacturing social enterprise is building an innovative social enterprise focused on building an equitable, inclusive regional food economy. Their model offers great lessons and enormous potential for scaling and replication.

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What They Need, When They Need It, For As Long As They Need It: How Silver Lining Mentoring Supports Youth in Foster Care to Ensure They Reach Their Full Potential. By: Colby Swettberg, Ed.M, LCSW; Chief Executive Officer, Silver Lining Mentoring

Boston has more than 1,500 youth in foster care whose lives of constant disruptions keep them from forming the consistent, positive relationships they need to thrive in adulthood. Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) youth are twice as likely to be employed; three times as likely to graduate high school; and seven times as likely to enroll in college as their peers. SLM’s average match length is more than six times the national average. What’s the difference? SLM is the only mentoring organization in the state working exclusively with youth in foster care. It provides clinical, trauma-informed support through an integrated service model: youth can access any SLM service at any time. Services are adapted to meet each youth’s evolving needs, a stark contrast to the fragmented, time-limited services youth often encounter. Youth may age out of foster care at 18, but they never age out of SLM’s services. This successful, innovative approach is changing how Silver Lining Mentoring meets the needs of youth in foster care in Boston.

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Can Behavioral Traits Help Financial Institutions Assess Creditworthiness? By: Javier Frassetto, VP Modeling and Data Science, EFL

Access to credit plays a key role in development. Financial institutions regularly make lending decisions based on income statements or credit bureau information. But what happens to those who live in informal economies and do not have any of this traditional information? Are they excluded from formal financial access? At EFL, we use psychometrics and behavioral science to assess the creditworthiness of an applicant. We identify character traits of people with good credit behavior without discriminating by traditional filters like income statements or credit history. Applicants take a 15-minute assessment which allows us to capture more than 25 personality traits. The most relevant are locus of control, fluid intelligence, impulsiveness, confidence, delayed gratification and conscientiousness. In this article, we look more closely at two of these traits: impulsiveness and delayed gratification. By assessing these universally available traits, we could replace some of the traditional credit assessment that financial institutions use and open the door to financing for millions of people around the world.

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How Boston Can “B the Change” We Need By: Drew Bonfiglio, Co-founder, Emzingo & Co-chair of Boston Local B Corps Board

Over the last 10 years, thousands of companies have been using “Business as a Force for Good” and creating both a movement and a community under the B Corp umbrella. However, in Boston and around the globe not enough companies and individuals know about B Corps, why the movement is important to cities trying to be progressive and inclusive, and how B Corps are innovating to improve their communities, employees’ lives, and the environment.

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Boston Ujima Project’s Cooperative Economics Infrastructure: Economic Democracy in Action. By: Libbie Dina Cohn

Designed by community organizers in Boston’s working-class communities of color, a new cooperative economics infrastructure is attracting national attention for its novel approach to neighborhood economic development and local wealth building. Boston Ujima Project combines crowdfunding, large-scale democratic planning, and community investing in their ecosystem model. Their approach offers a solution to the challenge, faced by cities across the country, of how to support economic development without displacing residents. The article introduces the Boston Ujima Project and explores three of the innovations underlying its cooperative economics infrastructure.

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Leveraging Public Sector Contracting to Create Economic Opportunity for Minority, Women, Veteran, Disadvantaged, and Other Diverse Businesses By: Craig Bida, Chief Marketing Officer at VeraCloud Technologies, Inc.

Progressive government policies have been put in place over recent decades to address systemic discrimination in federal, state, and local public sector contracting markets nationwide. These policies have created measurable diversity targets for public sector contracting. Although designed to fight discrimination, and ensure that Minority, Women, Veteran, Disadvantaged, and other diverse business enterprises (MWBEs, VBEs, and DBEs), can better compete for public sector contracts, these diversity targets are frequently not met. MWBEs, VBEs, DBEs and other diverse businesses rarely get access to significant public sector contracting revenues. The results: Persistent inequality, discrimination, and billions of dollars in unrealized economic opportunity that could positively impact MWBEs, VBEs, DBEs and other diverse businesses, and their communities. VeraCloud, a Boston-based, for-profit, mission-driven social enterprise that’s part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts IT Small Business Incubator Pilot 1, is working to change this in Boston, and in cities and states across the U.S.-- leveraging technology to fuel the implementation of progressive government policies that promote diversity, access, and inclusion. VeraCloud’s easy-to-use, cloud-based, matchmaking platform democratizes access to public sector contracting by giving MWBEs, VBEs, DBEs and other diverse businesses free digital tools so they can better compete for their fair share of trillions of dollars in public-sector contracting opportunities. At the same time, VeraCloud partners with municipalities, government agencies and authorities, as well as large prime contractors (typically companies awarded public sector contracts who then subcontract work out to smaller diverse firms). VeraCloud provides these larger entities with tools so they more effectively and efficiently match qualified, certified, smaller diverse businesses with government procurement needs, and make real progress towards diversity targets.

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Move Over Computer: At Goodwill and Boston Career Link Face-to Face is Key By: Joanne Hilferty, President & CEO Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries Maddrey Goode, Director Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries

In this hyper-technological world, where smart phones and the internet have made job seeking largely impersonal, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries and Boston Career Link, the one-stop career center it operates, have found a way to bring employers and job seekers face-to-face.

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Environmental Impact Bonds – Catalyzing Private Capital to Finance Innovative Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions By: Dakota Gangi, MSc.

Communities throughout the United States are facing unprecedented infrastructure challenges including compromised energy, water, and transportation systems. Federal, state, and local governments face a $1.4 trillion public funding gap to address infrastructure challenges -- and by 2040, this funding gap will be over $5 trillion. Unlocking Private Capital to Finance Sustainable Infrastructure, a new report produced by Meister Consultants Group, Inc. for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), presents a first-of-its kind Investment Design Framework that will help state and local government catalyze private investment in sustainable infrastructure and fill these critical funding gaps. Environmental impact bonds (EIB) address the core components of the Investment Design Framework and have emerged as an innovative financing mechanism that can increase the flow of private capital to sustainable infrastructure projects. EIBs apply the pay-for-success (PFS) financing fundamentals inherent to social impact bonds (SIBs) to environmental issues. They represent one of the most innovative financing solutions for sustainable infrastructure because of their ability to attract diverse sources of capital and share risk appropriately between capital providers. Massachusetts has already paved the way for the use of social impact bonds that mobilize capital to drive social progress. It should seize the opportunity to use environmental impact bonds to do the same for environmental progress and drive private investment in sustainable infrastructure.

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Mintz Levin’s Approach to Supporting a Thriving Social Innovation Sector in Boston and Beyond By: Benjamin Stone

As attorneys at Mintz Levin, a mainstay of the Boston community for more than 80 years, we have had the honor to engage with a thriving regional ecosystem of public and private sector actors supporting companies making a positive impact. We also have learned -- through serving our clients and our own entrepreneurial experiences -- that starting and scaling, or successfully investing in, a profitable mission-driven business is a challenging endeavor. Social entrepreneurs and impact investors must navigate a gauntlet of business, legal and cultural hurdles while also attempting to simultaneously generate positive financial, social and environmental returns. In the context of this exciting, multifaceted sector, attorneys are uniquely positioned to serve as invaluable advocates, translators, protectors and connectors.

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