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impACT New York City Pop-Up

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Open Society Foundations

224 West 57th Street

New York, NY 10019

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#impACTnyc will launch its first event on Wednesday, June 19 at the Open Society Foundations in New York City, partnering with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy - New York and the Living Room Exchange. Join us at this free event for an evening of Power Talks by high-profile and engaging speakers, a panel focusing on immigrant entrepreneurs in New York, and a workshop for participants to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Those who attend will come away with better knowledge, resources, and networks to create change and work for social justice. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view Open Society's Moving Walls exhibit, Another Way Home, which seeks to reclaim and redefine narratives of refugee and immigrant experiences by focusing on themes of identity, community, and resilience.

Born in Afghanistan, impACT invites social entrepreneurs and established actors worldwide to gain insights, extend networks and get inspired through events that connect the local start-up ecosystem. We're excited to bring this movement—after events in Kabul, Beirut, Baghdad, Islamabad, Berlin, and Delhi—for the first time to the Western Hemisphere and to the United States.

Confirmed Speakers and Panelists

Keynote Speaker: Aissata M.B. Camara, Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Strategic Partnerships in the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs

Aissata M.B. Camara is Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Strategic Partnerships in the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. In this capacity she helps to identify opportunities for engagement between City agencies and the international community, including the United Nations, and develop and guide substantive partnerships. Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, Aissata served as the Strategic Relationships Manager and Program Director for NYC Junior Ambassadors. Before joining the Mayor's Office, she co-founded There Is No Limit Foundation and worked as the organization's Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, developing and managing programs focused on empowering poor and ultra-poor people through entrepreneurship, education, water, sanitation, hygiene, and the eradication of gender-based violence. Aissata previously worked at The Rockefeller Foundation and Grameen America. She graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) with a B.A. in International Relations and Social Policy and went on to earn an MPA in International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is originally from the Republic of Guinea and grew up in Queens, New York. A proud New Yorker, Aissata currently resides in Manhattan and enjoys volunteering and discovering new sites across the City.

PowerTalk Speaker on Networks: Allie Mahler, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Sharehold

Allie Mahler is the Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Sharehold, a multidisciplinary innovation agency that believes in an expanded definition of what it means to be a "shareholder." Using human-centered design, Sharehold builds systems, programs, services, communities, and products for, with, and by the people who use them. With over a decade of experience as an innovation strategist and community designer, Allie has worked to solve systemic challenges and build communities with the City of New York, the American Medical Association, the United Nations, Harvard University, The Skoll Foundation and many more mission-driven organizations. She was previously at IDEO, Purpose, and the Centre for Social Innovation. Allie teaches design thinking and strategy at Parsons School of Design and NYU.

PowerTalk Speaker on Resources: Diana Won, Program Manager at Pershing Square Foundation

Diana Won is the Program Manager for the Pershing Square Foundation, where she manages the foundation’s portfolio of grants and impact investment, builds new partnerships, and offers strategic support to partner organizations and companies. Diana has experience across the public and private sectors in community-economic development and entrepreneurship. Diana joined the Foundation from Seoul, South Korea where she was a Consultant at MYSC. There she invested in entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, lectured at universities on design thinking, and helped adapt frameworks to measure social impact. Diana has a background in community-economic development and entrepreneurship. While receiving her graduate degree, Diana worked at the State Department in Lima, Peru and developed a case study on public-private partnerships at the William Davidson Institute. Diana was a Fulbright Scholar in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She is a Term Trustee of the Asia Foundation and is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Diana graduated from Rutgers University’s Bloustein School with a BA in Urban Planning and Public Policy and holds an MPP from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School.

PowerTalk Speaker on Knowledge: Frank Fredericks, Founder and Executive Director of World Faith

Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, a global movement to end religious violence, and Mean Communications, a digital agency for social good. After working in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga, Frank founded World Faith in 2008. He has been recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, and is a Fellow Alumnus of Leading for Impact at Oxford Skoll Centre, AMENDS at Stanford, IFYC, Soliya, Ariane de Rothschild, and YouthActionNet. He did his BM at NYU and his MBA at Oxford Said as a Global Shaper Scholar from the World Economic Forum.

Panelist: Arielle Kandel, Founder & CEO of New Women New Yorkers

Arielle Kandel’s long-time involvement in the nonprofit sector began during her law studies, when she interned as a legal assistant at an association of help for victims of crime. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, she volunteered at a local nonprofit in northern India, teaching English and basic computer skills to Tibetan refugees. In Israel, she worked as a legal assistant at the African Refugee Development Center, a grassroots nonprofit offering support and advocacy to African refugees and other migrants. She also served four years as a Fellow at a Jerusalem-based think tank, conducting research and analysis and developing action strategies for decision makers on foreign policy and issues related to diaspora and transnationalism. Arielle founded New Women New Yorkers in 2014 as the first nonprofit in NYC dedicated to empowering immigrant women, through workforce development and networking programs, community building, and storytelling. As a daughter and granddaughter of immigrants and refugees, Arielle believes in the vast potential that every immigrant woman has to contribute to our city, regardless of her national origin, cultural background, or educational level. Arielle holds a Master’s Degree in Law with a specialization in Humanitarian Action and International Law from the University of Aix-Marseille III, in France.

Panelist: Francesca Kennedy, Founder and CEO of Ix Style

Francesca Kennedy was working as a Wealth Management Professional at a Goldman Sachs when she found her true calling. Born in the U.S. to Guatemalan parents, Francesca tapped into her cultural heritage and launched a sandal company Ix Style (pronounced “eye ex”) in March 2013. She was inspired to start the company when she discovered the once beautiful Lake Atitlan of Guatemala where Francesca’s grandparents lived overrun with blue green algae in 2010 and a new generation of children collecting the contaminated water. Francesca turned what NASA deemed one of the worst natural disasters to occur on the planet into action. Ix is the Mayan word for water. For every pair purchased, Ix Style donates to provide clean drinking water to children in Guatemala where Francesca's family is originally from. The sandals are handmade by artisans from the lake region that inspired her. Based in New York City, her designs have appeared in numerous publications including Forbes, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Financial Times, LA Times and more. Francesca was a contestant and winner on Project Runway: Fashion Startup. People En Espanol named her "25 Most Powerful Latinas" in 2018. Inc. Magazine named her "Top 27 Women Changing The World." in 2017.

Featured Art

Another Way Home

Another Way Home is the 25th iteration of the Open Society Documentary Photography Project’s ongoing Moving Walls exhibition series, which also marks the 20th anniversary since its inception in 1998. The exhibition brings together eight projects led by thirteen visionary artists, journalists, and creative technologists dedicated to re-envisioning the topic of migration through documentary practice. These individuals seek to reclaim and redefine narratives of refugee and immigrant experiences by focusing on themes of identity, community, and resilience. At a time when depictions of migrants across the globe can often be reduced to stereotypes, Open Society is proud to stand with these creative innovators whose mission is to infuse visual culture and civil society with visceral imaginations that center the lived experiences of migrants, immigrants, and refugees within narratives of self-determination.

Event Partners

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) is building the leaders the world needs. It engages, equips and amplifies an international community of young, dynamic, diverse leaders from all sectors to accelerate their impact on critical global challenges. Founded in 2004 in Washington, DC as a small discussion group of friends, YPFP’s membership now spans 80 countries and a network of over 20,000 emerging professionals in international affairs. Its New York branch was established in 2007 and counts among its members young professionals from financial institutions, international organizations, consulting firms, media, and nonprofits.

The Living Room Exchange

What started as a gathering of friends sharing ideas over wine and cheese in their living rooms, has become an intimate and informal quarterly salon for early stage professionals interested in making quality connections, exchanging meaningful ideas and providing fresh energy to a community dedicated to social impact. Notable guest speakers provide a blueprint on how they navigated career decisions and advice on pursuing a range of professional paths. The non-hierarchical setting encourages a free flow of questions and ideas. The salons are supplemented with monthly emails that include action-oriented campaigns, events and opportunities, primarily in the New York City area.

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Open Society Foundations

224 West 57th Street

New York, NY 10019

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