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09/19/2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets: $5 Student/Senior, $10 Regular; Available here. Tickets can also be purchased in the Action Center during normal business hours: Monday through Friday, 11 – 5 p.m. All tickets purchased in person do not include additional fees.

Ross Baird, author and President of the Village Capital Group says this about break-through solutions: “Our innovation economy is broken. But there’s good news: The ideas that will solve our problems are hiding in plain sight.” Hear him discuss the importance of lifting up people, places, and industries that are often overlooked in a panel with Mercy Corps Regional Program Director – North, West and Central Africa, Adrienne Karecki, and moderated by Mercy Corps Senior Director of Social Ventures Michael MacHarg.

Baird’s new book The Innovation Blind Spot will be available for purchase after the presentation, and there will be an opportunity to have it signed by the author.

About the Speakers

Ross Baird developed the Village Capital concept in 2009, and has led the development of programs worldwide. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Prior to First Light, Ross worked on the development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India, the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.

Adrienne Karecki has more than 20 years of experience embracing public and private sector best practices to develop, manage and implement social marketing, behavior change and social entrepreneurial initiatives. Currently she is living in Morocco working as the Regional Program Director at Mercy Corps for West, Central and North Africa. Previously, Karecki worked in Washington, DC, at the Academy for Educational Development (AED). She was the Director of Business Enterprises at Central City Concern where she developed and managed social enterprises that employed those impacted by homelessness, poverty and addictions. In addition, Karecki worked with the Nike Foundation focusing on the Girl Effect Global Strategy and initiatives in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda.

Michael MacHarg brings 20 years of experience applying entrepreneurial approaches to addressing global social challenges. As Senior Director of the Social Ventures team at Mercy Corps, MacHarg leverages his experience launching early stage enterprises to help Mercy Corps identify, invest in, and accelerate impact-oriented, for-profit businesses. Prior to Mercy Corps, Michael was Co-Founder of Simpa Networks, a venture-backed energy services company with a bold mission: to make modern energy simple, affordable, and accessible for everyone. Michael was on the founding team of the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company, the Institute for OneWorld Health, whose goal is clinical development and distribution of affordable new medicines for diseases of poverty in the developing world. Michael spent his early career with the Social Development Department of the World Bank.


Mercy Corps Action Center
28 SW 1st Ave
Portland, OR 97204 United States
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