Social Innovation Initiatives

In addition to offering state-of-the-art global leadership tracks for students and working professionals, the Global Leadership Advancement Center (GLAC) is deeply involved with organizing and promoting social innovation programs that bring together community-minded leaders from industry, government, non-profit, and education.

Leadership Forum on Social Innovation Logo

Leadership Forum on Social Innovation (LFSI)

GLAC and its community partners founded the LFSI in 2012. The Forum’s purpose is to convene cross-sector leaders to address local social and economic challenges, formulating and collaborating on innovative solutions. Attendees coalesced into The Silicon Valley Innovation Leadership Network (SVSILN), an alliance of 200+ public, private, and non-profit community leaders focused on developing breakthrough solutions that address the community’s most pressing social needs.

Learn more about the Silicon Valley Innovation Leadership Network

Learn Connect Collaborate

“Learn, Connect, Collaborate!”

In the spirit of this catch-phrase, each forum provides a lively and engaging experience. We hold both large forums on the general topic of social innovation as well as our smaller, shorter Solution Discovery Series that targets specific issues. We welcome you to join us and become part of the solution!

Past Events

Education is the great equalizer and shouldn't be limited to the wealthiest few.

Fall 2018

“Is Education the Great Equalizer in Silicon Valley?” featured presentations by distinguished educators, Dr. Jeffrey Ashe of Columbia University and Manny Barbara of Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Using design-thinking, we explored new applications of “Savings Circles,” a common practice in some cultures.

Speaker from Amazon

Spring 2018

"Big Data and Social Innovation" featured industry and social innovation experts Srinivas Margasahayam (Amazon), Anh Bui (Benetech), Julia Rhodes Davis (Datakind), and Mark Huberty (Google).

Spring 2017

“Design Thinking for Social Innovation: The Case of Affordable Tuition” was led by Prof. Leslie Speer, Industrial Design, SJSU. Attendees learned design-thinking principles by using the example of affordable tuition and discussed how to apply design thinking within their organizations.

View of city

Fall 2015

“Priced Out! Addressing the Need for Affordable Housing in Silicon Valley” featured Brad Maihack who shared a tool for mapping the social innovation ecosystem. Brian Greenberg, V.P. InnVision Shelter Network, and Leslye Corsiglia, Executive Director SV@Home also presented and shared best practices.

Spring 2014

This LFSI featured Jennifer Loving, Executive Director, Destination: Home, Ky Le, Director of Homelessness Systems, County of Santa Clara, and Gregory Kepferle, CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and a Community Innovation Challenge event that tackled homelessness and accessibility of educational technology in Silicon Valley.

Spring 2013

This LFSI featured a panel discussion with Gregory Kepferle, CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Mohammad Qayoumi, former President of San Jose State University, Jeffrey Smith, County Executive, Santa Clara County, and Mike Yutrzenka, Executive Director, Cisco Foundation, moderated by Almaz Negash, Managing Director, Step Up Silicon Valley.

Mexican Heritage Plaza


This was the inauguration of the LFSI idea hatched by Brad Maihack, which resulted in the Silicon Valley Social Innovation Leadership Network (SVSILN) and secured commitment from businesses and agencies as program sponsors. 

Four covers of  SHiFT Magazine

SHiFT Magazine

SHiFT Magazine: Innovating for the Common Good was a student-run publication that ran from 2009 to 2016 as a part of SJSU’s Social Innovation Initiatives program, in partnership with SJSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Its goal: being a catalyst for social change and social innovations in the Silicon Valley. All seven published issues can be viewed/downloaded digitally for free or purchased in print form through Blurb, Inc.’s MagCloud. Each one focuses on key social issues facing our world, such as sustainable food chains, the circle of poverty, immigration, and much more.

View SHiFT Magazine on MagCloud

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Board Members

Derene Allen
Bradley Maihack
John Swan
David Wilde
Joyce Osland
Almaz Negash
Dan Moshavi

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GLAC Partners