One of the newest clubs, Student Center for Social Innovation (SCSI), is recruiting members by sponsoring the event, “Possibilities for Our Time.”
The event, which took place on Friday Sept. 17, was open to the public and free for students and community members. It featured performers and speakers who are working on social ventures for sustainable development across the globe.
The five local leaders are changing the world through literacy, entrepreneurship, music, micro-finance and people-to-people diplomacy.
According to press release, “the new Student Center for Social Innovation will show students that they have the potential to make a difference.”
The event began with a five-man African drum performance. Following the performance were the five speakers.
Director of Kissidugu and Project Drum, Fara Tolno, spoke first about bringing West African music and dance to Boulder, and wanting to build a School of Music, Dance and Education in Guinea, West Africa.
Angela Carroll, coordinator of fundraiser events for Kissidugu, continued Tolno’s discussion. Carroll said their vision, of building the school, is for the next generation in Guinea to learn the music and dance of their ancestors.
“I am incredibly passionate about the healing music and dance can provide,” Carroll said. “Integrating music into schools leads to success in areas like math and science.”
Karen Larson, the Executive Director of Friendship Bridge’s Guatemalan and U.S. operations, spoke next. Larson talked to students and community members about the work Friendship Bridge is doing to alleviate poverty.
Larson said Friendship Bridge is not a non-profit that gives out handouts. Instead they strive to give women and their families the resources they need to help themselves up.
Linda Smith, the Founder and Director of Reading Village, spoke about working collaboratively with residents in impoverished Guatemalan villages.
Smith said Reading Village works with children by teaching them to read. Once they children learn, Smith and Reading Village hope they acquire tools through reading to devise their own solutions to their own problems.
Francoise Poinsatte, member of Boulder Jalapa Friendship City Projects, highlighted peace-building and people-to-people diplomacy between the people of Nicaragua and Colorado.
Poinsatte said that Jalapa builds understanding between the people of Nicaragua and Colorado by providing a framework for volunteers to work in Jalapa with the people by doing things as setting up a water system.
Volunteer programs in Jalapa, such as setting up water systems, are providing a framework for Coloradans and Nicaraguans to foster relationships, Poinsatte said.
Kyle Ambler a 20-year-old sophomore open-option major, said she thought highly of the speakers.
“The woman speakers were great,” Ambler said.
Ambler said that he was interested most in Daniel Epstein’s presentation and was hoping to hear more about the Unreasonable Institute.
Daniel Epstein, the Co-Founder and President of the Unreasonable Institute, was the last speaker of the evening. Epstein spoke about enabling young entrepreneurs to launch socially responsible and life-enhancing ventures.
Epstein said the Unreasonable Institute is a program that gives people the skills to succeed as entrepreneurs. The program focuses on entrepreneurs mostly outside America.
Katie Mata, a 19-year-old freshman accounting major, said she found the event to be remarkable and that she enjoyed Epstein’s talk the most.
“It was very interesting,” Mata said. “It gave me a different perspective to look on things, especially the last one because he was so informative.”
Sam Battan, a 22-year-old senior double majoring in entrepreneurship and business management, is the Co-Founder and President of SCSI. Battan said he wanted to put on the event to show students they can make a difference as well as demonstrate the power of social entrepreneurship through innovative people living in Boulder.
“The club was started because we just got named as Ashoka U’s Changemaker Campus,” Battan said. “We see the power of social entrepreneurship inspiring things across the world.”
Battan said he is confident that he recruited new students at the event.
“We’ll see,” Battan said. “It was a great event. [Although] it really depends on how many students we see next week.”
SCSI has its first meeting next Thursday, Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. in the ATLAS boardroom.
“Come join the movement,” Battan said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Wilcocks at Lindsay.email@example.com.