Social Entrepreneurship students attending SEEED conference

By Lauren Lisitano ’14

Students enrolled in the Social Entrepreneurship class will attend the second annual SEEED (Social Enterprise Ecosystem for Economic Development) Summit at Brown University April 26-27. Each student is also serving as a campus ambassador for the conference, promoting the event and inviting other members of the Salve Regina community to attend.

Sponsored by Brown and Social Venture Partners Rhode Island, SEEED serves as a forum for the social enterprise community to come together and discuss their latest findings, economic development practices and ventures. SEEED is the first national conference that focuses on building an effective social enterprise ecosystem to drive economic development.

SEEED encourages student involvement by embracing the fact that students are the future. College students throughout the nation apply to be campus ambassadors for their school, which makes them part of SEEED’s marketing team. All of the students in the Social Entrepreneurship class applied and were accepted as campus ambassadors for Salve Regina.

Keynote speakers at the conference include:

  • Michael Brady, president/CEO, Greyston Bakery
  • David Brancaccio, host/senior editor, NOW on PBS
  • David Cicilline, Rhode Island state representative
  • Leslie Crutchfield, senior advisor, FSG
  • Carla Javits, president, Roberts Enterprise Development Fund
  • Kevin Jones, partner, Good Capital
  • Paul Light, professor of public service, New York University
  • Dan MacCombie, co-founder/co-CEO, Runa Tea
  • Ira C. Magaziner, CEO, Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Angel Taveras, mayor of Providence
  • Diana Wells, president, Ashoka
  • Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. senator for Rhode Island

This semester marks the first time the Department of Sociology and Anthropology has offered a course specifically on social entrepreneurship, and course instructor Mea Simanski is enthusiastic about having Salve Regina students involved in this economic driver.

“The state of Rhode Island wants to be the Silicon Valley of the East Coast, with innovative start-ups that have a triple bottom line – for a cause, for the community and for the business creator,” Simanski said. “When compassion connects with collaboration, individuals create innovative products and services that focus on solving our most stubborn societal issues. Salve’s Mercy mission is particularly in alignment with the efforts of the social enterprise concept. It is a service to our community to promote the upcoming SEEED conference, where creativity and new paradigms are welcomed.”

For more information about attending the conference with other Salve Regina students, contact Simanski at

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