Welcome to the Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute sched.org webpage.  Here you can learn more about the schedule and presenters.  You can also buy tickets directly from this site.  Scroll down to view the entire schedule and click on the "Tickets" tab when you are ready to register. 

Keep reading for an overview of the event, what comes with your ticket, where to stay if you are visiting Ithaca, and other useful information.

We are very excited about this year’s line-up! Take a look and create an individualized schedule. We color-coded the sessions to help in your decision-making. Track I sessions are for people just starting out on their social entrepreneurship journey. Track II is for folks with a bit more experience. The Systems Thinking sessions focus on practices that support our efforts to transform the economy so that it works for everyone. And, of course, we have set aside time to get out of our heads and back into our bodies; check out the yoga and improv exercises under the "movement" heading. 

Our keynote speaker on Friday evening is Matthew Stinchcomb, VP at Etsy.com (one of a very small number of publicly traded b-corps) and Founder/Executive Director of the Good Work Institute in the Hudson Valley.  His talk is entitled "Less Bad Isn’t Good Enough: Doing the Good Work to Build a Regenerative Future" and will take place November 10, 5:30pm in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. It is free and open to the public.

Esteban Kelly, the Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives will be giving a plenary presentation on Saturday morning at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) entitled "Creating Economies that Work for Everyone," as well as a workshop on the Worker Cooperative model.  On Saturday afternoon, Megan Odenthal, a practitioner in community based systems thinking from the Social Systems Design Lab is offering a plenary as well as a workshop on how to use systems tools to unlock community transformation. In the evening, we will be joined by a group of youth entrepreneurs who will be sharing what inspires them as well as key lessons and challenges. 

In addition, the schedule includes workshops on skills vital to for-profit and nonprofit social entrepreneurship. Register now by clicking on "Tickets" below!  Early Bird registration ends October 15.

  • Full Registration Fee: $200
  • 10% Early Bird Discount if you register before midnight on October 15. The promotional code is : EarlyBird
  • Student Registration Fee: $100. The promotional code for students is : Student
  • Registration closes midnight of November 3th.


  • Full and partial scholarships are available by application. Click here to apply.

Included in the price of the Institute are:

Friday’s opening plenary and reception, all the workshops and yoga breaks on Saturday with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and one-on-one coaching, a half-day workshop or a field trip on Sunday with breakfast and lunch.


Your ticket does not include accomodations. We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn in Ithaca at a reduced rate of $169 a night. When you make your reservation, mention "FSLEI 2017" to get this group rate. This block rate ends October 10.  You can learn about other lodging options, places to eat, and the beautiful sites of this area at www.visitithaca.com. Ithaca truly is gorges!

Featured Models and Tools:

  • Worker-Owned Cooperatives: Worker cooperatives are business entities that are owned and controlled by their members, the people who work in them. All cooperatives operate in accordance with the Cooperative Principles and Values. The two central characteristics of worker cooperatives are: (1) worker-members invest in and own the business together, and it distributes surplus to them and (2) decision-making is democratic, adhering to the general principle of one member-one vote.

  • Community Based Systems Dynamics: Community based system dynamics can help people frame problems, visualize the system, identify potential leverage points, develop skills for communicating system insights, analyze policies, and ultimately design more effective and sustainable solutions. ​​

  • Theory of Change: The theory of change model focuses on the social change you intend to achieve. This model maps out the activities that will help you reach your impact goals, the ways to measure success, and how to strengthen what is working and reconsider what isn’t.

The Institute includes panels and workshops where you will:

  • Apply and evaluate leading models pivotal to the success of social ventures.

  • Know and incorporate elements of creating a collaborative, inclusive economy into their social ventures or areas of work.

  • Integrate the insights and know-how of experienced social entrepreneurs, peers and consultants.

  • Develop relationships that continue beyond the Institute with a diverse group of social entrepreneurs and people in key supporting sectors such as education, business, finance, policy, and community organizing.

Refund Policy

  • Requests for refunds made on or before October 15 will receive a full refund.
  • Requests for refunds made between October 16 and October 27 will receive a 50% refund.
  • Requests for refunds made after October 27 will not be given.



This event would not be possible without the generous support of our co-sponsors: Entrepreneurship at Cornell, the Engaged Leadership Program at Cornell’s Office of Engagement Initiatives and the Park Foundation.


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Sunday, November 12 • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Individualized Coaching and Mentorship

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This time is set aside for you to meet one-on-one with a coach to get advice on your project, your venture, or on how to engage in systems-level social change. 

Coaches are:

Michelle Berry: Michelle is a high-energy, humorous and engaging, collaborative speaker, hiking leader and trainer with a unique ability to help enable you to transform your teams today, rather than just providing the information you probably already know about stress and wellness. Michelle has taught meditation and other stress reduction techniques for leading Ivy-League universities and for companies such as Gannett Newspapers and IBM (of the Fortune 500) to global business leaders and famous athletes and leading non-profits,  such as the United Way, among others.

Kirby Edmonds: Kirby Edmonds is a long time resident of Ithaca and a principle in the local human relations training and consulting firm Training For Change Associates, specializing in diversity, cultural competency, conflict management and team building. Kirby has been working to put equity at the center of local economic development and public and institutional policy throughout the community.

Eldred Harris: Eldred is the founding Director of eLab, the Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Business Development Lab which provides intensive, high-touch, business coaching to entrepreneurs whose ideas build more robust, diverse, and resilient local economies.
With a focus on engaging as many underrepresented, non-traditional, and young entrepreneurs as possible, eLab assists clients with idea visioning; identifying productive partners and resources; and - as critically – adjusting to the risks/rewards associated with entrepreneurship.

Erica Marx: Erica Marx (M.S.) is a leadership coach and communication skills trainer who works with people and organizations on a mission to make a difference in the world. She is a certified professional coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), a NYS certified conflict mediator, and a certified applied improv facilitator through the International Applied Improvisation Network.  Erica has over 15 years experience as a mediator, workshop leader and instructor with businesses, organizations, and university students. 

Xanthe Matychak: Xanthe Matychak is a designer, educator, and business and technology mentor. She is the Assistant Director of the Hardware Accelerator at Rev Ithaca where she helps inventors develop prototypes and viable business models. She is an inventor herself having worked with local companies to acquire funding for their work, including a phase one SBIR. Xanthe has taught in the Communications and the MBA programs at Ithaca College, the Center for Entrepreneurship at Wells College, and the Innovation Center, Business School, and School of Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). At present, she runs the Make Better Stuff Lab in Ithaca College’s Department of Environmental Studies. Xanthe has shared her work at SxSW Interactive, World Makerfaire, The White House OSTP, MIT Fab Foundation, and the SABIC Innovation Program in Riyadh. She holds an MFA in Industrial Design from RIT.

Michael Mazza: Michael's business experience ranges from California start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, providing a healthy perspective of companies big and small. He is the co-founder of a youth entrepreneurship program, YEM, designed to help local youth discover their power to create. He is also the co-founder of the Ithaca Reggae Fest, dedicated to the protection of Cayuga Lake. Michael’s passion for life and people and his business experience give him the insight to contribute powerfully in the world of digital marketing. He specializes in marketing strategy, content creation, and social media. Michael enjoys helping businesses discover how to upgrade the conversation.

Jan Rhodes Norman: Jan describes herself as a "serial entrepreneur", after starting and/or co-owning 14 businesses in Ithaca, in the last 37 years . Having co-founded Local First Ithaca, she is a tireless supporter of local, independently owned businesses. In 2014, she was awarded the Alternatives Federal Credit Union Jeff Furman Award for Social Responsibility in Business and The Best of Ithaca Award for Advocate for Local Business.

Beverly Wallenstein: Bevi is the founder of Girls Mean Business, an organization where girls can learn about business in a fun environment; hear from successful female entrepreneurs and connect with other like-minded young women.

Sunday November 12, 2017 1:15pm - 2:30pm

Attendees (24)