bigBANG!, for 'maximum social impact'

Kicking off what is being billed as "A Day of Social Innovation," bigBANG! will shine the spotlight on a number of innovative local nonprofits that are benefitting our community. The day-long forum, hosted by Cleveland Social Venture Partners (CSVP) and taking place at the CSU Student Center, is the event's inaugural year.

"We want to showcase innovation in the social sector in our area and to show people that it's not something that just happens someplace else -- it's happening here," explains Linda Springer, CSVP's Executive Director.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, CSVP is a group of individual donors who seek to strengthen the community by strengthening the nonprofits serve it. Each year the organization selects one local nonprofit for a multi-year sponsorship that includes funding and intimate consultation services.

CSVP will select this year's nonprofit with the help of bigBANG attendees. The event will kickoff with a fast-pitch seminar, a chance for the seven participating nonprofits to showcase their efforts and win over the crowd. The audience will vote for the most compelling presentation. Among them are MedWish, Near West Theatre, Open Doors Academy and Bad Girl Ventures.

While the organizations appear diverse, all address the cycle of poverty in some fashion or another.

Keynote speaker Peter Senge, a senior lecturer at MIT and author of "The Fifth Discipline," will speak about organizational development.

Also on tap is a social media lounge, The Civic Commons mobile engagement studio, and a food truck caravan to feed the masses come lunchtime.

"Innovation is not some mystical thing; it's something we all can do. We just have to be open to it," says Springer. "What makes it social innovation is that the benefit derived goes primarily to society rather than the business owner or shareholders."

- Image 2: Keynote speaker Peter Senge, a senior lecturer at MIT and author of "The Fifth Discipline"
- Image 4: Bad Girl Ventures
- Image 5: Near West Theater

Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner

About the Author: Douglas Trattner

Douglas Trattner is a fulltime freelance writer, editor and author. In addition to acting as Managing Editor of Fresh Water, he is the Dining Editor of Cleveland Scene, author of “Moon Handbooks: Cleveland,” and co-author with Michael Symon on two New York Times best-selling cookbooks. His work has appeared in Food Network magazine, Miami Herald, Globe and Mail, Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Magazine and others. He lives in Cleveland Hts. with his wife, two dogs, five chickens and 20,000 honeybees.