Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Force for Positive Change Agenda

11 a.m. – noon

Virtual Expo

Drop in and visit dozens of Wisconsin social enterprises and supporting organizations at “tables” for one-on-one and small group chats.


Noon – 1 p.m.


Stories That Expand Our Moral Imagination (Watch this talk)
David Bornstein, Solutions Journalism Network

The world is changing so quickly – in ways both hopeful and alarming. Yet our ability to comprehend reality, and act effectively to build a better world, is limited by the relentless focus on dysfunction and pathology in the news. There is a better way to tell the stories of our time — a movement called solutions journalism that is gaining ground — and which offers a clearer lens into the creative social innovation occurring today. This talk will explore this approach and share stories that illustrate possibilities for one another and for our world.


1 – 2 p.m.

Concurrent sessions Part I

Purposeful Impact: Companies Making Positive Social Change (Watch this talk)
In this session, we will discuss how for-profit business models can prove successful in making a positive impact in a sustainable way. We will provide an overview of various gener8tor programs, including gBETA Social Impact, what founders can expect from an accelerator experience and how to best position themselves for applications. Finally, we will share success stories of founders making measurable positive social change.



Defining Impact Metrics for Social Entrepreneurs (Watch this talk)
Getting started with impact data can be overwhelming without a thoughtful strategy. However, communicating impact with real evidence is becoming more necessary when pitching to impact investors or large donors. Jeff Jones, social impact practitioner and founder at Basil Data, discusses how to get started and avoid common hurdles that social entrepreneurs or small nonprofits face when attempting to measure the outcomes and impact of their product or service.



Realizing Margin & Impact Along with Your Nonprofit Mission (Watch this talk)
Business ventures do not and should not have the corner on the market of innovation and entrepreneurship, or on making money. Nonprofit organizations must become more adept at diversifying revenue streams and yielding earned revenues if they hope to have sufficient financial margin to sustain and grow their mission. Additionally, it’s vitally important for nonprofit leaders to become more adept at measuring and articulating their social impact in ways that resonate with varied audiences. In this session, meet members of the Mission Fuel team who run a business accelerator designed for nonprofit leaders seeking to become more agile, entrepreneurial and business savvy. Along with learning more about Mission Fuel, during this session you will also hear from both program instructors and participants about how their own social enterprise work and innovation mindsets have evolved and become integrated into their daily existence.



Designing a Career with Purpose (Watch this talk)
Be part of a transformative, interactive session that will give you the tools and inspiration to build a meaningful life. If you aren’t sure how your career can also include impact, now is the time to explore paths that can take you from college to the working world. Using a toolkit of design principles and an innovative mindset, we will being prototyping different careers with purpose. You will have the opportunity to see these frameworks in action and hear how other students designed their own career with purpose!
*This session is for current college students.



2 – 3 p.m.

Concurrent sessions Part II

Rural Prosperity, Sustainability and Innovation in Wisconsin (Watch this talk)
Experts and leaders discuss the successes, challenges and innovative opportunities available to leverage Wisconsin’s agricultural leadership and encourage rural prosperity in the state. This discussion will focus on rural prosperity in the context of diversity, equity, immigration, food sovereignty, agritourism and other topics.



From Toxic Donut to Truax Field, How Structural Racism Harms People & The Planet (Watch this talk)
People of color, Indigenous tribes and low income communities continue to be hit first and worst by climate change and other environmental hazards. This talk will interrogate the very construction of our U.S. systems and policies and explore how structural and systemic oppression contribute to the pervasive inequitable outcomes we are seeing across the country.



Operational Pivots: Creating a Sustainable Business Model During Crisis (Watch this talk)
The Wisconsin Small Business Development Network assists thousands of entrepreneurs annually. In 2020 over 4,000 entrepreneurs were helped with business concerns related to COVID disruption. Those businesses received over $28 million in local, state and federal aid. This session will discuss operational best practices for financial management, marketing and business planning that will help entrepreneurs create sustainable and flexible business models.



3 – 3:30 p.m.

Celebrating and Fostering Prosperity in Wisconsin

A conversation between John and Tashia Morgridge and WEDC Secretary Missy Hughes
(Watch this talk)


3:30 – 4 p.m.

Force for Positive Change Competition Winners

(Watch this talk (starting about 29:00))

Watch videos of the finalists