This year, we will be highlighting the work of social enterprise related student clubs at HBS. In this blog, hear from 2022-23 Social Enterprise Conference (SECON) co-chairs: Shivika Bhasin HBS ’23, Marc Alain Boucicault HKS ’23, Nora Jendoubi HKS ’23, Lia Parker-Belfer, HKS ’23.
What are the mission and activities of your club?
The Social Enterprise Conference (SECON), presented by students at Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), brings together top leaders, practitioners and students to Harvard to engage in dialogues, debates, and workshops around social enterprises and social entrepreneurship. The mission of SECON is to educate participants about the potential of social enterprises in solving the world’s most pressing problems and to inspire meaningful discussion around the key challenges within the field. This year, SECON will be fully in person and will occur on March 4 - 5, 2023. The theme for SECON 2023 is to empower narratives and foster collaboration for lasting impact.
What are your backgrounds, and why did you decide to take leadership roles?
Shivika Bhasin: Growing up in Mumbai, India, home to Asia’s richest man and its largest slum, meant that inequality was omnipresent. An early realization that I’d won the birth lottery drew me to explore comprehensive business solutions to pressing global issues and creating a positive impact on all stakeholders. I’m especially passionate about upward social mobility through education.
I am currently a second year student at HBS and completed my Master’s in International and Development Economics from Yale University. I worked in management consulting at Bain, governance consulting and large-scale project management in education for an Indian state government, and international relations advisory at Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
Marc Alain Boucicault: I am a Haitian tech ecosystem builder and founder of Banj, Haiti’s largest coworking space and tech startup accelerator helping to connect innovators in the Caribbean. I am currently a Mason Fellow Mid-Career/MPA at HKS. Before Harvard, I worked for a decade in international development at the World Bank, and with the Inter-American Development Bank, and then became a social entrepreneur supporting changemakers globally. With over 15 years of parallel experience creating, leading, and collaborating with organizations focused on youth empowerment, I am passionate about leveraging the power of education, tech, and communication to reshape socioeconomic dynamics. I am a Fulbright scholar, a One Young World ambassador, and a Podcast host.
Nora Jendoubi: I was born and raised in a multicultural household, which shaped my narrative moving forward. Growing up, I saw the contrast between affluence and poverty as the daughter of a Tunisian father and a French-born Italian mother. My background provided the basis for my understanding of inequality and the impact zip codes have on socioeconomic mobility and educational opportunities. As a way to disrupt systemic inequity, I channeled my efforts towards schools and their surrounding ecosystems. I studied International Relations and Economics at Stanford University, with a focus on the intersection between economic development, design and innovation. I am a Bay Area Teach for America alumna and Coro Fellow and am currently pursuing my dual MPA/MBA degree with HKS and the Wharton School of Business.
Lia Parker-Belfer: I was adopted from Changsha, China and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. My passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) stems from my lived experience. I am particularly focused on creating community and fostering cultures of belonging. This led me to start a podcast called If You Knew Me in the fall of 2020. I studied Government and Chinese at Hamilton College and worked in management consulting at Deloitte after graduation. As I look to the future, I aspire to combine my interests in DEI, technology, and education to help solve social inequities. I am currently pursuing my dual MPA/MBA degree with HKS and Tuck and was named a Poets&Quants Best & Brightest Business MBA of 2022.
How do you hope this club will add to the HBS experience and to the broader community?
We hope SECON 2023 will give attendees from across the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors an opportunity to learn and connect on the topic of social entrepreneurship through a variety of thoughtful programming including panels and workshops. Throughout its history, SECON has been highly recognized and was ranked by Forbes Magazine, alongside international events like the World Economic Forum at Davos and the Clinton Global Initiative, as one of the Top 12 Executive Gatherings in the World.
To find out more: