Panel BREAKOUT SESSION ONE: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

When Good for Business and Good for the World Collide

In today’s interconnected and informed marketplace, consumers are demanding more than good products at fair prices; increasingly, the public is choosing to support companies who align with, and act upon, their personal values. A growing number of companies are referencing social causes in their marketing, whether by featuring a formal corporate giving portfolio or highlighting progressive causes in advertising. Despite this trend, many in the philanthropic community are skeptical of these corporate programs—often with good reason.

Can CSR programs be more than just a thinly-veiled marketing program? If these programs do create positive change, does the motivation underneath matter? What happens when responsibility metrics and corporate profits find themselves in opposition? In this session, we’ll explore best practices in corporate social responsibility—and examine the extent to which philanthropic and nonprofit organizations can better understand the intentions and values of corporate partners in order to better generate impact.


Rob Michalak: Global Director of Social Impact, Ben & Jerry’s

Shari Rosenfeld: Senior Vice President of International Social Impact, Sesame Workshop 


Nina Montgomery: Systems Design Researcher, IDEO

Panelist Bios:

Rob Michalak is the Global Director of Social Impact for Ben & Jerry’s. From 2006 to 2017, Rob led a process of reinvigorating Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission, following the acquisition of Ben & Jerry’s by Unilever in April of 2000. The goal of the process was to ensure that Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission thrives in balance with the Company’s Product & Economic Missions. His current focus is on identifying how Ben & Jerry’s can achieve better outcomes from the Social Mission initiatives the Company is investing in and prioritizing. Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission works to create innovative ways that the business can apply its many resources to achieve positive social, economic and environmental change in the world and make progress on the company’s sustainable corporate concept of ‘Linked Prosperity’, which is the ambition that as the company prospers, its stakeholders prosper too.

Shari Rosenfeld is Senior Vice President of International Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, overseeing the development and execution of high impact transmedia educational initiatives that help young children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Rosenfeld manages Sesame Workshop’s international offices and expansion efforts in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, harnessing the power of media and Muppets to deliver impact on areas such as early education, gender equity, resilience and WASH. Over her 25 years at Sesame, Rosenfeld has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking programs in Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Kosovo and Northern Ireland that promote mutual respect and understanding.  She launched Sesame’s first international subsidiary office in India, and has since established offices in Bangladesh and South Africa. Currently, she is overseeing Sesame Workshop’s partnership with the IRC to launch an early childhood development intervention in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, to address the needs of children affected by the Syrian conflict. Rosenfeld holds a BA in Political Science from Tufts University and an MBA from Yale University.  She currently resides in New York with her husband, four children and dog.


Nina Montgomery is an archaeologist-turned-strategist who has advised a global portfolio of clients - including Nike, Google, Diageo, and Unilever - on initiatives to build more purpose-led brands and businesses. She currently works at IDEO and is a fellow at TRIPTK. In addition to her professional work, Nina is a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford where she studies anthropology and business. Drawing on this work, Nina has edited two books published by Routledge, the world's leading publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences, in February 2018. These books bring together leading cross-sectoral voices to discuss how we must adapt our organizations to meet the demands of the twenty-first century. The first book, Perspectives on Impact, focuses on the recalibration of social sector organizations to tackle wicked problems; the second, Perspectives on Purpose, looks at the shifting role of the corporation in society through the lens of purpose. Nina received a BA in Classics from Dartmouth College and is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where she received a masters in Classical Archaeology as a Reynolds Scholar.