Can investors help people recover from natural disasters faster? Does being bolder in philanthropy lift up more people than playing it conservatively? Does a new age of populism help or harm cities?

These are just a few of the many social impact topics that the fourth annual Winter Innovation Summit will discuss from Jan. 24-26, when nearly 700 social impact professionals and leaders will descend upon the University of Utah campus.

This year’s summit will bring together policymakers, funders, nonprofits, social entrepreneurs and academics to explore the future of social innovation across the globe. The conference is hosted by the U’s Sorenson Impact Center in partnership with Salt Lake County, SOCAP and the Sundance Institute.

“The Winter Innovation Summit is something that has grown well beyond our initial vision four years ago,” said Jeramy Lund, interim CEO of Sorenson Impact. “Every year, we build on its loyal following, amazing speakers and the world-class content we provide.”

In addition to a continued presence from cross-sector professionals, this is the first year that the Sorenson Impact Center is taking advantage of the summit to convene 22 top-tier academic institutions from around the world that have social impact centers and initiatives.

“It’s a privilege to welcome the leaders of social impact, who strive every day to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, using their expertise from experience in running businesses, investment funds, nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises and implementing data-driven programs to make a difference,” said Fraser Nelson, managing director at Sorenson Impact.

The summit will include two full days of presentations on Jan. 24 and 25, followed by a day of skiing and networking at Solitude Mountain Resort. Sundance Film screenings and “Clips & Conversation,” a networking event, will take place the evenings of Jan. 24 and 25. Geralyn Dreyfous, founder and board chair of the Utah Film Center, will lead conversations after showing clips of 2018 notable documentary samplings.

Morning content will be held on the mainstage at Libby Gardner Hall on the University of Utah’s campus, and in the afternoons, thought partners will supplement mainstage content with separate “tracks,” some of which will be open to all registered guests, and some of which will be by invitation only. Thought partners for 2018 include Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, The Alberleen Group, Big Path Capital, Bridges Fund Management, the David Eccles School of Business, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Independent Sector, Results for America, Third Sector, Urban Institute, and the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance.

This year’s Winter Innovation Summit sponsors include the Sorenson Impact Foundation, Comenity Capital Bank, J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, Ally Bank, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, doTERRA, the Kahlert Foundation, Sepio Capital, and Visit Salt Lake.

To learn more about the fourth annual Winter Innovation Summit and purchase tickets, visit For press, please email Lisa Cox at to have your free passes available at check in.

Media Contacts

Lisa Coxmanager, Communications & Marketing, Sorenson Impact Center
Office: 801-585-1941

Brooke Adamssenior news writer, University Marketing & Communication
Office: 801-587-2130 Mobile: 801-673-0011

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