Inspiring Capital Summer Showcase 2016

By Arlinda Berdynaj (Gabelli School of Business , 2018), FSIC Blogger, Social Enterprise Consulting Program.



Delicious Doe Fund catering and tasty Greyston Bakery brownies, coupled with networking and invaluable presentations, all helped to create a spectacular and memorable night at Inspiring Capital’s Social Impact Summer Showcase this past August.


The event was a grand success, with over 80 social impact influencers in attendance to give ear to the illustrious panel known as, The Future of Work.  Featured guest speakers included employees from Per Scholas, Goodwill, Greyston, and our very own, Inspiring Capital’s CEO, Nell Derick Debevoise. They discussed the ways in which their innovative models address workforce development, leaving a positive impression on every member of the audience. One question in particular that stood out the most came from Nell Derick. She asked, “If resources were not a constraint, what is one change that you would love to see on talent and why would that matter?” The responses from the panel were not only genuine and noteworthy, but also reflective of what their respective companies are seeking to accomplish on a large scale.


Greyston Bakery, for example, wants everyone to be aware of open hiring, which gives anyone the chance to work no questions asked. The next position that becomes available is given to the next person on the waitlist. Greyston believes that open hiring is the future of HR. Per Scholas wants to increase the diversify their IT workforce from 3-6% to double digits by persistently hiring through their Diverse by Design plan. Goodwill wants to focus on building a sense of dignity in the workplace by using wages, college education, mutual respect amongst employees and more as an incentive.


Nell highlighted the fact that $250-$500 billion are lost annually to disengaged workers through costs of turnover, recruitment, and training. While 80% of the American workforce is disengaged, Nell wants to see this number flip to represent an inspired and motivated workforce. We see that this is not a resource scarcity problem because diverse companies perform better and save money simultaneously. The focus of the future should be to look at these problems and have those hard conversations in a pragmatic way.


We then had a hackathon where we separated into the company we worked for this summer. Attendees could choose the company they were interested in and go to the small group to learn more about the consulting project that was scoped by Inspiring Capital. A fellow MBA and I consulted for Spend Consciously, a startup tech company. It was interesting to hear and respond to different opinions on the objectives of our strategy project.


As a Fordham University Gabelli School of Business student I took a very different route this summer than most of my peers. Participating in IC’s summer program, which is geared towards the social sector, all while pursuing a finance degree is unheard of. A few weeks have passed since my last day at work and I can confidently say my overall experience at Inspiring Capital is one that I will never forget.



Learn more about Inspiring Capital: