The 2016 Net Impact Conference - Three Days of Inspiration and Impact

By: Net Impact staff | November 14, 2016

Each fall Net Impact hosts a national conference to activate a movement for those who want to change the world. The 2017 Net Impact Conference will take place October 26-28 in Atlanta, GA! See a recap of last year's main event to get you excited for all that is waiting for you this year in Atlanta, register now

Here is a summary of the 2016 Net Impact Conference in case you missed it, need a refresher, or are looking for inspiration to continue to make the world a better place. 

The 2016 Net Impact Conference

The 2016 Net Impact Conference provided opportunities to learn about the latest trends and inspiring stories in social change, network with impact leaders, and gain the skills and experiences for a lifetime of impact.

Inspiring your actions

We had over 250 speakers from our breakout sessions activating the community to make a lasting social and environmental impact, with our keynote speakers inspiring hundreds of individuals from our main stage. Our four keynote sessions each had a special theme- take a closer look:

Our opening keynote focused on making history through reinventing industries and featured speakers who are reimagining industries from sexual wellness to e-commerce. 

Keynote speakers:

  • Liz Maw, CEO- Net Impact
  • Jamie Bonini, Vice President, Toyota Production System Support Center- Toyota Motor North America Inc.
  • Meika Hollender, Co-Founder and Marketing Director - Sustain Natural
  • Chad Dickerson, CEO- Etsy

The power of movements was the theme for keynote two and examined how unity drives action. "Social change is a team sport,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B Lab. 

Keynote speakers:

  • Alicia Garza, Co-Founder - BlackLivesMatter
  • Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder - B Lab

Our third keynote focused on the private sector stepping up to address social and environmental issues from the world’s biggest retailer to everyone’s favorite soup company.

Keynote speakers:

  • Doug McMillon, President and CEO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
  • Mark Alexander, President - Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell Soup Company

Finally, we looked to the future of impact with our closing keynote where we received advice from inspiring impact leaders on how to make impact that starts now and lasts a lifetime. This included Michael Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, My Brother's Keeper, The White House, who told us to “"Be fearless. Be collaborative. Bet on the winners.”

Keynote speakers:

  • Vance Crowe, Director of Millennial Engagement, Monsanto
  • Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder, Hult Prize
  • Michael Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, My Brother's Keeper, The White House
  • Kiah Williams, co-founder, SIRUM

Building your network 

The conference provided many opportunities to network with current and future change agents:

Attendees networking with Sustain Natural Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Meika Hollender after her keynote speech.


Our Career Expo provided students the opportunity to network with professionals and recruiters from international corporations, social enterprises, and nonprofits. 

Off-site visits, happy hours, receptions, and other engaging after hours events, including this quiz night at a local bar, provided fun opportunities to network beyond the conference walls. 

Accelerating your future

Regardless of your job title, education, or experience the 2016 Net Impact Conference provided opportunities to help you learn how to advance your impact: 

During this skill-building session particpants learned how virtual reality can be a key tool to reduce time, cost, and effort in the process of solution building for different issues, and build empathy throughout the process.

Through hands-on activities and tailored training materials our Up to Us students focused on the importance of the national debt and generating solutions.


Our Impact Accelerator gave professionals the tools, mindset, and community to make an even greater impact through their careers.

Overall the 2016 Net Impact Conference equipped our future impact leaders (you!) with the inspiration, network, skills, and experiences needed to make history. Now, more than ever, we need to collectively work towards creating a better world for us all. Let the 2016 Net Impact Conference be your launching pad to keep driving social and enviornmental impact forward. 

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