Social Enterprise Fest Provides True 'Food for Thought'

What do you get when you have cookies, mini chocolates, coconut water, and are provided a list of local restaurant vendors in Linda Vista, City Heights and Barrio Logan who will happily bring tasty, genuine Mexican, Filipino, Salvadorian, Brazilian, or Vegan food, coffee and pastries to your on-campus student organization meetings or events?

Combine that with a social entrepreneurial spirit — such as two college graduates who bake healthy cookies made partly from recycling unused quinoa and brown rice and turning it into flour, or a company that “breaks the cycles of food waste, poverty, and hunger through innovative programs” — and what you may have seen passing through the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice’s Garden of the Sky area was, indeed, food for thought.

The inaugural Social Enterprise Food Fest, supported by USD’s Center for Peace and Commerce (CPC), USD Changemaker Hub and the Karen and Tom Mulvaney Center for Community Awareness and Social Action, had tables devoted to both food innovation, succulent plants to “plant the seeds of change,” a chance for students to express their goals and intentions, and learn more about the Kroc School of Peace Studies’ Master of Arts in Social Innovation degree program.

The event served as a kickoff of sorts for the CPC, the organization that hosts the annual Global Social Innovation Challenge. A series of fall semester events will be held to help prospective USD and San Diego-area entrepreneurs study an issue, formulate and idea, either solo or as part of a student group and then begin the work to bring about a solution and present it before judges in the spring.

Social Food Fest

Thursday’s fest is to be followed up by an Oct. 6 event called “Negotiate to Win-Win,” from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in Olin Hall 229; an Oct. 20 event, “The Lemonade Game,” which is an entrepreneurial venture, from 9 a.m. to noon in Olin Hall 229; Oct. 25 Impact Career Fair, from 12:15-2 p.m. in the Hahn University Center’s UC Forums; Oct. 27, a Design Thinking Crash Course, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Loma Hall Ideation Space; and Nov. 8, a chance to study social challenges by asking, “What’s Your Problem?” from 12:15-2 p.m. in the Student Life Pavilion’s Room 324.

This was the beginning of the CPC’s commitment to social entrepreneurship for the academic year. All events listed above are free to attend. For more information about any events or about the Global Social Innovation Challenge, please visit or email or drop by the CPC, which is located in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, room 133A.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Video by Allyson Meyer '16


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