Staying inspired after Net Impact

by Shannon Houde

At the 24th Net Impact Conference 2016 we saw 2,400 committed change leaders brought together to discuss how to drive positive impact around the world. And just as I felt a few days before at the BSR conference in Manhattan, I left the conference inspired to continue facilitating the career growth of these impact- driven professionals and Masters students.

In the wake of the presidential election, I’ve been thinking a lot about each of us needs to protect and foster our personal commitment to positive change, a commitment that was so prevalent at Net Impact earlier this month. Every one of the speeches and sessions explored tangible ways that our work can have a positive impact on the world and on our communities, including my own joint sessions on Impact Investing and the Sustainability Job Market.

Many of us have been looking for reasons to stay positive and motivated during the Trump transition over last couple of weeks. Here are a few highlights from the conference to keep you inspired.


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Net Impact 2016 opened with a keynote address from Meika Hollander, Co-Founder of Sustain Natural, a company dedicated to using their products to create a sexual wellness revolution. This is a company that truly walks the talk. Women own 50% of the company and they donate 10% of all profits to women’s reproductive health organizations in the U.S. To hear directly Meika about her business and their practices, check out her keynote address here.

We also heard about how businesses and organizations can help push for change from Alicia Garza (Founder of Black Lives Matter), Jay Coen Gilbert (Founder of B-Lab), Doug McMillon (President and CEO of Wal-Mart) and many more…If you missed the conference, you can watch all of the keynote addresses on Net Impact’s website.

My own sessions also explored ways to create tangible change. In my first session, I discussed how to Map Your Path to an Impact Investing Career with Danielle Salah and Jennifer Savoie. Randel Kempner, Executive Director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs recently said, “Impact investing is currently growing

linearly. In order for it to grow exponentially, we need to find a way to incorporate mainstream investors into the mix.” During our session, we talked about this very idea. We have reached a pivotal moment in impact investing, and it is perfect time to make a career move towards this sector. We laid out tips on how to define your dream position, how to break into the space and how to focus to get real results.

I then went on to speak with John Davies about the Sustainability Job Market and presented my top tips on how to successfully land a job in sustainability. We engaged the audience with questions like, “What is the one thing you want to change?” or “What two sectors do you want to target?” Each answer left me feeling inspired and ready to create my own change in the world – I hope the same was true for all of the attendees.

As you think about ways to stay invested and inspired post conference and post election, check out this recent Net Impact blog for tips on how you can continue make a difference in your community.

To continue the conversation about how to create change in your own career, get in touch or sign up for my One2One personal coaching today.



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