Social Innovators in Residence

The Social Innovators in Residence are social innovators and entrepreneurs who come to spend a week at Nova SBE to share their experience and enthusiasm for social impact with our students, staff and faculty, partners and the general public.  

During their visit, they engage with various audiences through one-on-one meetings, small group events or workshops or larger discussions. Additionally, they are invited to be guest speakers on the Design Thinking Roundtable Podcast. 


Through this program, we aim to share knowledge, trigger meaningful interactions and conversations while sparking potential collaboration.

Social Innovator in residence #5

João Rafael Brites

April 15-19, 2024

João is an entrepreneur, breakdancer, and agroforester who has lived in Portugal, Mexico, United States, Brazil and Spain (his current home). Currently, João is Director of Growth & Innovation at HowGood, a SaaS platform that helps companies measure, improve, and communicate their social and environmental impact. Prior to HowGood, João worked as Global Director of Sustainable Development at AB InBev and co-founded initiatives like Movimento Transformers, the Amazon Summer School, and Carbono Biodiverso. João is the recipient of Nova’s Impactful Alumni Award, the Do Something Ambassador Award, and was at age 19 one of the world’s youngest participants at the WEF in Davos through the Global Changemakers Program. João holds a M.S. in Economics and a CEMS Masters in International Management from Nova SBE, Spring 2024 Social Innovator-in-Residence by the ERA Chair in Social Innovation and the DESIS Lab at Nova SBE.

Residency Activities open for registrations
April 15, 2024 – 2.30pm – 4pm
Entrepreneurship Workshop – Finding our Entrepreneurial Essence” (Exclusively for NovaSBE Students)

April 16, 2024 – 10am to 11.30am
Economics Workshop – Becoming Makers of a Regenerative Economy” (open to all)

April 18, 2024 – 6.30pm – 8pm
Energy of Will – Generating the Energy Field to Keep Going

Social Innovator in residence #4

Liz Gerber

September 11-15, 2023

Liz Gerber is a Professor at Northwestern University, and Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Computer Interaction + Design. Liz designs and implements new technologies to effectively collaborate. She is particularly interested in how new social technologies enable new ways to solve problems with diverse stakeholders; how the technologies change the roles stakeholders play, and the new organizations needed for this work. Her work cuts across management, design, and human-computer interaction, is generously supported by foundations and industry, and informed by her formal training in product design, management science, and studio art at Stanford University and Dartmouth College.

Residency Highlights
September 12, 2023
Workshop – “Towards A Desired Future of Work” (Exclusively for NovaSBE Students)
September 14, 2023
Public Talk – “Connection = Impact” at Casa do Impacto (open to all)

Social Innovator in residence #3

Isaac Jumba

April 17-21, 2023

Isaac Jumba is the founder of Mideva Labs – a research, design and innovation consultancy studio based in Nairobi Kenya, and a co-founder of Idea Studio Africa – a community-powered learning, skills development and apprenticeship studio helping young professionals build meaningful career pathways in innovation and entrepreneurship.
He also previously co-founded the Africa YES Program – a 6-month leadership and entrepreneurship accelerator program for young social entrepreneurs in Kenya, which has supported over 80 entrepreneurs to launch social ventures since 2019.

Isaac has over 8 years of experience working in the design, social innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem across Africa and supporting initiatives around the world, including working for openIDEO – IDEO’s open innovation platform that supported innovators across the globe to solve some of the biggest world’s challenges.

Residency Highlights
April 17, 2023
Guest Speaker at Design Thinking for Social Innovation class course
April 19, 2023
Workshop – “Business design for social innovators” (Exclusively for NovaSBE Students)

Social Innovator in residence #2

Karine Sarkissian

September 12-16, 2022

Karine Sarkissian is a founding partner at Tamar Capital (2016), a single-family office based between the Middle East, the UK, and the US. She oversees the FO’s Impact and Venture portfolio. Designer and Design Strategist by background, Karine has extensive experience in social innovation for urban and economic development initiatives within New York City and Internationally. Leveraging her expertise, she co-founded Le Studio as part of Tamar Capital to actively support portfolio companies and investors alike through design, impact measurement, and strategy development. Since inception 2 years ago, Le Studio has supported more than 50 aspiring entrepreneurs across 4 continents.

Karine also co-created and co-facilitated the Open IDEO NYC Chapter, served as a Design for America mentor to graduate students within New York University, as well as a Hult Prize accelerator mentor. She often freelances as a graphic designer and illustrator, and spends most of her time outside or in the ocean.

Social Innovator in residence #1

Lisbeth Shepherd

March 21-25, 2022

Lisbeth Shepherd is an Entrepreneur in Residence at MIT’s designX and Visiting Lecturer at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. Her work focuses on how “climate corps” in cities can promote environmental and economic justice. Shepherd co-founded Green City Force (GCF) in 2009 to address the dual imperatives of youth unemployment and climate change. She previously coordinated the Clean Energy Corps working group at Green for All, and co-founded Unis-Cité, the leading national youth service program in France. Lisbeth’s interests center on “climate corps” as organized efforts engaging young adults, those in frontline communities most affected by climate change and unemployment, that provide a platform for service, training and leadership for young people on a path to careers in the green economy.”

During her visit, on March 24th, Lisbeth participated in a fireside chat entitled “Climate corps for equity and resiliency in cities”. She was in conversation with Manuel Nina, co Founder of GoParity, about climate corps at Casa do Impacto.