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The International Social Impact Institute

About The International Social Impact InstituteTM (ISII)

These are exceptionally difficult times for the social sector. The COVID-19 Pandemic has devastated entire economies, and funding for social welfare organizations has become scarce just as the need has grown for the services that they provide.  But while the sector, and the communities that it serves, face tremendous challenges, the events of recent months have also created an environment ripe for innovation. The current challenges highlight the need for nimble, focused, creative and well-networked change makers to help guide the sector and the larger society forward.

The newly launched International Social Impact InstituteTM (ISII) at Hunter College  seeks to facilitate interactions among such change makers and to assist in training more of them. It further seeks to enhance the access of nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to the kinds of resources, knowledge and networks that will enable them to rebound from the setbacks they have recently experienced. The Institute also aims to inspire, connect, activate and transform students and professionals who are interested in social sector careers in New York City and beyond.

In support of our goals, ISII will offer courses, forums, training, and consulting services designed to: 

1.       Support the development of a pipeline of future leaders for the social sector;

2.       Foster the development of social sector employees; and

3.       Promote connections among nonprofits, social enterprises, foundations, corporate social responsibility offices, impact investors, and academic and sector-based experts

The Institute’s three inaugural courses (August 2020) are geared toward pre-college and college students seeking an introduction to the kinds of career opportunities that can be found in the social sector. Shortly thereafter, in the fall of 2020, the Institute will hold a day-long International Social Impact conference addressing topics such as Equity and Inclusion, New Revenue Models / Collaborations, and how to leverage Digital Innovation to advance the social sector post-Pandemic.

ISII Speakers

About The International Social Impact InstituteTM (ISII) Founder and Executive Director,
Elizabeth Ngonzi

                                                                           Elizabeth Ngonzi Speaks About Social Impact

Elizabeth Ngonzi, MMH is a New York City-based international social sector leader, educator, speaker, and executive coach who enables social impact leaders and organizations to increase their impact by more effectively telling their brand stories and engaging stakeholders across digital and traditional channels. ​During her 20+ year career, she has been the turnaround CEO of an international nonprofit organization (one of only four Nelson Mandela-endorsed organizations in the world); been an invited member of the U.S. Speaker Program at the U.S. Department of State; founded and directed her own international social impact-driven boutique consulting firm; taught and guest lectured at top academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad; and delivered training that has transformed lives and organizations worldwide. 

The Institute draws on her skills as an educator, coach, and social sector leader; on her gift for fostering connections among individuals and organizations; and on her passion for helping individuals and organizations to thrive by, among other things, telling their stories in compelling ways. She believes the social sector can best position itself for success by focusing on new revenue sources and by employing digital platforms to fund and deliver their services and reach new audiences. She believes, moreover, that social sector organizations must be more receptive to ideas from unfamiliar sources and distant places - looking beyond the barriers (including national borders) that artificially constrain organizational thinking and planning.  Finally, she is convinced that the best results can be achieved only when the relationship between funder and recipient is a genuinely collaborative one, in which dialogue produces a set of shared and aligned goals. 

An international public speaker and trainer, she covers a wide range of topics, including digital innovations that facilitate social impact; entrepreneurship; leadership; personal branding; philanthropy, and storytelling. She has addressed audiences at, among other venues, the Bank of New York Mellon; Candid; entrepreneurship@cornell; Harvard Africa Business Conference; International Fundraising Congress; McCann Worldgroup; McGraw-Hill Financial Women's Initiative for Networking and Success; SXSW; TEDxCornellU; UNICEF; Vital Voices Global Partnerships; WeWork; and the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Ms. Ngonzi teaches women entrepreneurs and nonprofit founders on their venture creation journey through the Bank of America Institute for Women's Entrepreneurship Online Certificate Program at Cornell.  At The Center for Global Affairs at New York University, she teaches nonprofit leaders how to use digital storytelling and platforms to raise funds more effectively and engage stakeholders. Previously as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Cornell University, she helped budding entrepreneurs to identify and then demonstrate their unique value propositions to prospective funders.

Between 2014 and 2018, Ms. Ngonzi served as the turnaround CEO of Afrika Tikkun USA - one of only four Nelson Mandela-endorsed nonprofits worldwide - which she developed into an in-demand organization by drawing on her entrepreneurial approach to social impact, leveraging digital storytelling, diversifying fundraising, professionalizing operations and creating cross-sector partnerships.

Before that, she founded and spent 12 years leading an international boutique consulting firm that facilitated cross-sector partnerships, conceptualized and re-branded fundraising events, and developed digital marketing campaigns. Her firm's clients included academic institutions, human rights bodies, youth development organizations, and multilateral agencies.

Ms. Ngonzi has also served as Communications Chair of the invitation-only President's Council of Cornell Women; as a member of the Advisory Board to the Dean of Syracuse University's iSchool; and as a founding member of the United Nations International School Alumni Council.

She is a 2019 cohort member of the "Most Influential People of African Descent" (MIPAD 100); was a 2017 recipient of the African Diaspora Awards "Advocate of the Year" Award; was featured in 2016 by WeWork's Creator Magazine as one of its "40 Over 40" leaders, and was recognized by BRANDfog as one of the "25 Smartest Women on Twitter 2015."

She has been quoted in or featured by Black Enterprise Magazine, CCTV America, CNBC, Crain's N.Y. Business, Forbes Woman, MarketWatch, NPR, South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) News, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The NonProfit Times, and The Washington Post.

Ms. Ngonzi earned a Master of Management in Hospitality degree (Services Marketing concentration) from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration; a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Syracuse University's iSchool; and a High School Diploma from the United Nations International School, which she attended for primary and secondary school.


ISII Programs

Distinguished Guest Speakers

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