Media Advisory: Social innovation event to feature best-selling author Seth Godin

Seth Godin.

Release Date: April 24, 2017 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Leaders from the business, nonprofit and academic worlds will come together for a day focused on social innovation and entrepreneurship, and learn from organizations that are changing the way business and goodness intersect.

Who: The University at Buffalo School of Management’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (CLOE) in collaboration with the UB School of Social Work and Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, present a conference featuring numerous mission-driven organizations and leaders, including: 

  • Buffalo native Seth Godin, author of 18 best-selling books, including Tribes, Purple Cow, Linchpin and Meatball Sundae
  • J.P. and Ulla Bak, co-founders of Buffalo-based tablet computer manufacturer, Bak USA
  • Paul Tesluk, dean, UB School of Management and Nancy Smyth, dean, UB School of Social Work
  • Rev. Dr. James Ashun, director, African Rights Initiative International
  • Benjamin Bissell, executive director, Westminster Economic Development Initiative Inc.
  • Jill Jedlicka, executive director, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
  • Sasha Yerkovich, executive director, Canopy of Neighbors
  • Tammy Owen, president and CEO, Olmsted Center for Sight
  • Warren E. Emblidge Jr., chairman, McCullagh Coffee Roasters
  • Howard K. Hitzel, president, Lake Shore Behavioral Health Inc.
  • Marlies A. Wesolowski, executive director, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY

The event is sponsored by the Buffalo Jewish Federation, Evans Bank, the John R. Oishei Foundation, The Martin Group and the UB School of Management Alumni Association, with special thanks to Next Generation United, an initiative of United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, and Partnership for the Public Good.

What: The daylong event, “Leading Innovation in the Social Sector,” will bring the business world and social sector together for lasting impact. Participants will develop skills to be a better leader, cultivate ideas to do well by doing good, make connections, learn best practices and meet nonprofits leading the way.

Why: The event brings together socially minded individuals and organizations to learn from experts — and each other — by using innovation methods to identify and focus on bringing about meaningful and sustainable change.

When: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 27 (detailed schedule below).

Where: Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St., Buffalo

Details and Photo Opportunities:

  • 8:55-9 a.m. - Welcome remarks
  • 9-10 a.m. - Setting the stage for social innovation (Tesluk and Smyth)
  • 10-10:45 a.m. - The Bak USA Story
  • 11 a.m. - noon - Morning breakout sessions
  • Noon - 1 p.m. - Lunch and social impact fair
  • 1-2 p.m. - Seth Godin keynote
  • 2:15-3:15 p.m. - Innovation sprints
  • 3:30-5 p.m. - Reciprocity ring exercise

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Kevin Manne
Associate Director of Communications
School of Management