A philanthropist and a social entrepreneur walk into … an annual convening.

What happened next was unscripted conversations between brilliant thinkers and change-makers in the venture philanthropy space. The discussions demonstrate the power of two people from different backgrounds sharing insights and ideas on forward-leaning solutions.

Unlikely Duos is Born

Earlier this year, the national venture philanthropy organization New Profit brought together pairs of donors and social entrepreneurs from their community for candid conversations on the future of social problem-solving. These "unlikely duos" were given thought-provoking questions to respond to and discuss on the spot (all while being filmed). Instead of focusing on the technical parts of change-making, the conversations provided a window into the benefits of understanding each other’s perspectives and learning together.

In the spirit of relationship-building, Giving Compass joined forces with New Profit to feature the series on the platform in the hopes that showcasing these kinds of conversations will show that it’s possible to break down silos and build relationships to unleash the power of social innovation.

One-on-One Insights

These brief interactions proved that there’s still so much to say about the multi-faceted relationship between philanthropy and social enterprise. Giving Compass caught up with the video participants after the conference to learn more about their experience in the social sector, their relationship with New Profit, and what they learned from their “unlikely” conversation.

The weekly series launched on Sept. 14, 2018. You can expect discussions on life experience, personal influences, and learned perspective in change-making.

Episode 1: “How Can Technology Innovation Play a Role in Social Problem-solving?” featuring Venkat Srinivasan, managing director of Innospark Ventures, and Marcus Bullock, CEO of Flikshop.

Episode 2: “How Can We Bring a Focus on Evidence and Outcomes to Social Entrepreneurship?” featuring Steve Arnold, co-founder and partner emeritus at Polaris Venture Partners and Phyllis Lockett, founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations.

Episode 3: “How Do We Support Entrepreneurs from Diverse Communities?” featuring Roch Hillenbrand, founder of Stony Brook Investments and Aaron Walker, founder and CEO of Camelback Ventures.

Episode 4: "How to Transform the Education System Through Innovative Leadership and Community Engagement" featuring Henry McCance, chairman emeritus at Greylock Partners and Layla Avila, CEO of Education Leaders of Color.

Episode 5: Rebecca Onie, co-founder and CEO Emerita at Health Leads and social entrepreneur Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder of Code2040.

Episode 6: Greg Shell, managing director at Bain Capital, and John Rice, CEO and founder of Management Leadership for Tomorrow.