Jacobson Family Sustainable Impact Lecture Series

Jacobson Family Sustainable Impact Lecture Series

Throughout the academic year, the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab hosts lectures featuring leaders in the social impact space. Students meet and learn from successful social entrepreneurs and social impact professionals tackling various issues, including homelessness, food insecurity, sustainability and more. These free events are open to the USC community and beyond. 

The 2022-2023 Jacobson Family Sustainable Impact Lecture Series addresses the theme “How Businesses are Centering Community in Social Impact” and will be moderated by Christina Fialho.  

Register here to join us!


How Social Enterprises Are Creating Community Impact in Healthcare

October 28, 2022 at 12pm PST (Virtual)

Engaging Communities as an ESG Pillar: A Look at Worldwide Trends

November 16, 2022 at 12pm PST (Virtual)

Community Economics: A Path Toward Decarceration

January 31, 2023 at 12pm PST (Virtual)

How Businesses Are Making A Social Impact in Hollywood

February 7, 2023 at 12pm PST (at USC)

Best Practices for Designing Products for Communities Impacted by Social Challenges

March 29, 2023 at 12pm PST (Virtual)

Is Systemic Change Part of the Business Approach?

April 26, 2023 at 12pm PST (at USC)

Check Out Highlights from Past Years!

Can Technology Make Us Saner?

Sept. 5, 2018

In 2018, the Brittingham Lab kicked off the Jacobson Family Sustainable Impact Lecture Series with a conversation about mental health, society, and how radically affordable technologies can make mental health treatment more scalable and successful. Rich Pierson (CEO and co-founder, Headspace), Cristina Poindexter (co-founder, Maslo), Ramsay Brown (CEO and co-founder, Boundless Mind) and Executive Director Abby Fifer Mandell answer the question: If technology is making things worse, can it also make us better?


The Future of Food

Nov. 27, 2018

How should we think about hunger, justice and environmental sustainability in a changing business world? Jamie Sullivan (head of sustainability & corporate affairs, Soylent), Liz Camacho (director of sales, Chirps) and Rachel Sumekh (CEO and founder, Swipe Out Hunger) join Executive Director Abby Fifer Mandell to weigh in on the future of food.


Designing Impact

Feb. 21, 2019

Can great design promote gender equality? Audrey Anderson, chief operating officer at Be Girl,  joins us to share how product design can give women access to opportunities, health and financial freedom.

From left: Be Girl COO Audrey Anderson and BSEL Executive Director Abby Fifer Mandell pose with Be Girl products.



Media, Impact & Inclusion

March 26, 2019

What role can media play in social impact? Paul Polizzotto (CEO of of Givewith), Kimberly Bryant (CEO of Black Girls CODE), and Lesley Slaton Brown (chief diversity officer at HP) join executive director Abby Fifer Mandell to discuss how we can create opportunities for underrepresented minorities to participate in digital innovation. 

From left: Abby Fifer Mandell, Paul Polizzotto, Lesley Slaton Brown, Kimberly Bryant


Why is Toilet Paper More Compelling Than Democracy?

Sept. 26, 2019

How can we apply the same ideas used to sell products to sell ideas? Is it possible for Hollywood to both entertain and educate the public on important social issues? What does it take for a company to be political without being partisan?  The Lab hosts a provocative conversation about strategy, branding, media and social impact with three of today’s most innovative leaders in cause-related marketing: Sophie Ragir (vice president, OMG WTF); Anjelica Triola (director of marketing, Wethos); Lindsay Scola (director of strategic communications and social impact, Friends at Work).

From left: Abby Fifer Mandell, Lindsay Scola, Libby Jacobson, Sophie Ragir, Anjelica Triola, Adlai Wertman


Capitalism, Credit and Race

Nov. 6, 2019

What role does generational wealth play in maintaining the status quo? What is an equitable financial system? In a segregated economy, can systems that initially created the racial wealth gap now be trusted to close it? Why do experts advocate for solutions like postal banking? Mehrsa Baradaran, professor of law at UCI and author of "The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap," and David Jette, co-founder and legislative director of Public Bank LA, join us to discuss the economic structural failures that severely underserve communities of color and the fundamental reforms needed to achieve economic equality.

Sustainable Apparel

Feb. 25, 2020

The average American throws away 80 pounds of clothing every year, and 85% of donations end up in a landfill. What does it really mean to be eco-friendly? Can a fashion brand truly be zero-waste? Kristy Caylor, co-founder and CEO of For Days, discusses how to build a clothing line that matches her values and the future of sustainable apparel.