ThinkImpact Announces New CEO: Steven Fox

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ThinkImpact welcomes Steven Fox as new CEO effective September 9, 2015.

Steven Fox at an endangered tree nursery in Malawi.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to join ThinkImpact. I’ve got great aspirations for building off what is already a robust set of institutes with more resources for our entrepreneurs, faculty and scholars alike.

ThinkImpact launched as a social entrepreneurship immersion company in 2011 with the idea that young people can make a difference in the global community through collaboration with rural communities in the developing world. Since its inception, hundreds of college and graduate students have lived and worked in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Panama through deep immersion programs that are centered on a proprietary innovation process, designed to create economic opportunities through equal partnership.

ThinkImpact set out to build a program that was mutually beneficial, inviting students and local community members to work together in a three-stage process to understand assets and resources that existed within a village, to build teams and brainstorm possibilities and to develop social innovations that were revenue generating. ThinkImpact borrowed from Asset-Based Community Development theory, Human Centered Design methodology and finally, cutting edge thinking on social entrepreneurship and innovation.

Today ThinkImpact works with universities across the United States to deliver faculty-led and group immersion programs called Institutes for Innovation. Institutes are based on an award-winning toolkit ThinkImpact developed called the Innovator, which captures the innovation process in an accessible format while working in a village across the globe.

With Steven Fox, ThinkImpact is entering the next phase of the organization’s life, which will include additional group and faculty programs and geographies, with a new emphasis on building microenterprises within the village to scale.

Taking businesses from idea stage to growth stage is a particularly timely challenge for developing countries and one that ThinkImpact is ready to engage in directly. To lead ThinkImpact into this new phase of the lifecycle is an energetic leader who has exactly the experience the company was seeking. Saul Garlick said the Board was seeking “a combination of leadership of student organizations, academic accomplishment and investment experience in the developing world. Steven Fox embodies these qualities.”

Fox comes, most recently, from an international investment background as Founder/Managing Director of Sunizorro Investments in sub-Saharan Africa. At Sunizorro, he directed a portfolio of venture capital companies in renewable energy, mobile tech and agriculture working in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. Much like ThinkImpact, Fox’s work at Sunizorro encouraged local stewardship of private enterprise bolstered by niche international expertise.

On the opportunity to lead ThinkImpact at this time, Steven said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join ThinkImpact. I’ve got great aspirations for building off what is already a robust set of institutes with more resources for our entrepreneurs, faculty and scholars alike."

Fox is passionate about the growth of sustainable private sectors in developing countries and the importance of cross-cultural collaboration and communication. Previously he worked at the Millennium Campus Network, as Director of Communications, helping students grow their development-based campus organizations. He has an MSc in Political Economy from the University of London School for Oriental and African Studies and a BA in International Economics from the University of Richmond. He has worked on two publications including “Privatization in Developing State Conflicts” and “Opacity: A Socioeconomic Study of Diamond Mining in South-Eastern Cameroon.”

Saul Garlick, founder of ThinkImpact, will assume the role of Chairman of the Board and will continue to support the organization in its mission and vision.

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Saul Garlick
since: 09/2015
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