Conveners.org recognizes the transformative power that convening, when done right, has to positively change the world. We are building a community of mission-driven conveners, accelerators, and mappers to convene and learn from each other, build the larger capacity of the field, and construct pathways to more efficiently realize change.

We build transformative platforms for organizations to meaningfully connect with each other.

Join Our Community

ABOUT US

With 600+ impact-focused conferences occurring each year and the rapid launch of a new accelerator on a seemingly daily basis, the impact ecosystem is getting crowded. Opportunity costs are high, as organizations operate in silos. Information is fragmented and resources are spread thin.

Conveners.org was created to foster coordination, collaboration, and learning among impact-focused conveners, accelerators, and mappers. We are a nonprofit organization that develops programs, tools, and resources to support these communities in advancing systems-level change.

We Connect Networks

- Building communities of practice for impact-focused conveners and accelerators to engage with each other
- Facilitating strategic introductions between organizations with common missions to cultivate relationships rooted in trust
- Creating tools and opportunities to facilitate and strengthen network connections through initiatives such as stand-up calls, the Cross-Promotion Bulletin, Collective Impact Projects, and affinity groups
- Organizing co-hosted sessions for peer leaders to engage transparently with each other on convening specific topics

We Share Knowledge

- Working with industry leaders to identify existing information gaps and proactively targeting efforts to address those areas
- Building online resources for practitioners to easily access industry information and navigate the growing field
- Conducting original research and disseminating through the “State of the Ecosystem” Report
- Curating and distributing relevant industry content and sharing thought leadership via our blog, monthly newsletters, and social media channels

We Build Capacity

- Offering in-person and virtual opportunities for practitioners to develop industry specific skills
- Providing customized advisory services to organizations seeking to strengthen their internal capacity to convene, as well as design convenings that are focused on the priorities and objectives of the participants

OUR ORIGIN

Conveners.org emerged from conversations among impact convening organizers who wanted to embrace a more coordinated and collaborative approach to their work. Topher Wilkins, SaraJoy Pond, and Avary Kent launched “Convening the Conveners” in October 2013 with the idea that a common platform would allow organizations to more easily connect with each other. In 2014, Conveners.org launched a membership program for this community. It also formalized “Accelerating the Accelerators,” a peer learning network open to impact accelerators around the world. This year, we formally launched “Mapping the Mappers,” a network of impact mappers that raises awareness of global impact mapping efforts.

"There's something incredibly special going on with this organization. They're inspired champions for the profound power of mission-driven networks."

Steve HavillMembership Chair, Conscious CapitalismFounder & CEO, Conscia Ventures

TEAM

Avary Kent

Executive Director

Avary combines training as a genetic engineer and geobotanical field ecologist with an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise to lead impact focused startups from idea to reality. She has worked on Impact Metrics with HIP Investor, the IFC, and other corporate clients. She is the co-founder of Impactalpha an Impact Media Enterprise. She was the CFO and CEO of The Happiness Institute (a community video production studio in San Francisco) and VP of Operations for Puzzlebox. She has reincorporated her love of ecosystems through her role as Executive Director of Conveners.org a registered non-profit serving impact focused conveners and accelerators.

She has 4 years of soft-systems and complexity facilitation training with Bruce McKenzie of the Systemic Development Institute in Australia, and has organized over 40 events in her role as President of the Dominican University of California Net Impact Chapter and Air-Traffic-Controller (aka. President) of the Net Impact San Francisco Professional Chapter when we won Chapter of the Year. Finally she has served on the leadership team of the Greenermind Summit for the last 6 years organizing a 100 person sustainability unconference in the Mendocino woodlands. She is an expert in experience design combining elements of neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and human centered design to craft participatory conference experiences in the impact sector.

Sujatha Sebastian

Managing Director, Advisory Services

Sujatha thrives on connecting people, organizations, and communities to convene and collaborate around shared initiatives for social good. One of her biggest joys is to support diverse actors in thinking creatively about how to design effective, efficient partnerships that produce deep social impact. In this vein, Sujatha’s role at Conveners.org focuses on recruiting and welcoming new members to the Conveners.org community, as well as supporting existing members with advancing their work through Conveners.org’s diverse initiatives and services.

Sujatha brings a rich background in entrepreneurship, economic development, microfinance, and impact investing to her position. She has worked in the field of community development in New York City and several countries in Central and South America. In addition, Sujatha has extensive experience in strategic planning, capacity building, and nonprofit program design and management. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Bryn Mawr College and completed her graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Nayelli Gonzalez

Nayelli Gonzalez

Managing Director, Marketing & Partnerships

Nayelli is a purpose-driven storyteller and strategist with an eye for innovation and a heart grounded in shared learning and collaboration. She has led global teams and advised startups, nonprofits, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies on stakeholder engagement initiatives and sustainable brand strategies that drive social and environmental impact.
Combining a background in journalism, education, and sustainable management, Nayelli has developed curricula, designed workshops, and facilitated sessions for everyone from high school and graduate-level students to corporate teams. She’s a systems thinker who loves to learn, share knowledge and help others connect the dots—and is inspired by the power of convening as a tool for positive social impact.

A trained journalist with an MBA, Nayelli also writes about social enterprise and sustainable business trends for a variety of publications, including Conscious Company Magazine, Triple Pundit, and Sustainable Brands.

She holds a certificate in big data analytics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School. She received undergraduate degrees in history and journalism from Boston University, as well as graduate degrees in history and education from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, respectively.

BOARD

Topher Wilkins

Board Member

Topher has been convening and connecting people for the purposes of social change for over a decade, starting with co-founding the Highland City Club, a membership community of 300 change-makers in Boulder, Colorado, to managing Dunton Hot Springs, one of North America’s top all-inclusive resorts and retreat centers, to leading the Opportunity Collaboration, a global network of 1200 nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors, corporates and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty, and finally with creating Conveners.org, a group of over 150 fellow conveners and accelerators in the impact space.

His purpose is to convene and connect nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors and all other agents of positive change, thereby building the ecosystem for the social sector and creating greater opportunities for international social and economic justice.

Pamela Roussos

Board Member

Pamela is currently the Senior Director of the Global Social Benefit Institute at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. She has worked with and for early stage software companies as a business and marketing strategy leader, helping founders create, refine, and execute their business strategy and go-to-market plans. She has over 20 years of experience growing teams and delivering products for both large and start-up software companies, working in various managerial capacities as business unit manager, vice president of marketing, COO and CEO.

Some of the companies Pamela has worked with include: Amdahl, Pure Software, Rational Software, 555-1212.com, Consera, Zend, and AppFirst. Pamela has been a mentor for the GSBI for 5 years. She also serves on the board of Conveners.org, as well as Pact, an international NGO that benefits communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, decent livelihoods, and sustainable natural resources. Pamela also serves as board chair for Livelyhoods, an organization that creates jobs for youth in slums.

Mark Newberg

Board Member

Mark is Director of Impact Strategies for Womble Carlyle, where he is helping launch an Impact Economy practice and develop an integrated Impact Team that is dedicated to supporting the growth of businesses and entrepreneurs in the Impact Economy.

Mark is also Managing Director of Impact Strategies for 5 Stone Green Capital, an emerging green real estate firm. At 5 Stone, Mark leads the firm’s “layered impact” strategy, incorporating impact principles into each project, in ways that support bottom-line financial returns while producing tangible external benefits. He also served as Chair of the Design Committee for the Inaugural Global Innovation Summit, a gathering of global thought leaders organized by T2 Venture Capital. Mark was previously a Senior Policy Advisor at the US Small Business Administration, where he helped lead impact investing policy efforts and the Startup America: Reducing Barriers series as part of his high-growth entrepreneurship and innovation portfolio.

Prior to his time at SBA, Mark was a post-Katrina Advisor to the New Orleans City Council, focusing on big picture policy issues in the recovery. Currently based in Washington, DC, he has written occasional opinion pieces for various outlets, including the recent Spectrum of Impact in America, and advises several high-growth, high-impact startups. Mark holds a BA from Tulane University, a JD from Tulane Law School, and was a Visiting Student at Harvard Law School.

Joseph Mouzon

Board Member

Joseph is currently the Director of Philanthropy and Strategic Investments at the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Computing. Serving as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making funding decisions affecting the Anita Borg Institute, his role includes focusing on all philanthropic, individual giving and strategic investments.
Most recently, Joseph was a philanthropic and business consultant. He consulted with the Tides Network CEO to improve the Business Development, Client Services and Information Technology divisions within the organization. He also provides professional leadership to African-American business owners in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As the President and CEO of GivingSphere – an eCommerce fundraising platform for charities, his accomplishments included preparing the go-to-market strategy and the product roadmap, launching the web site and developing strategic partners (e.g., Participant Media, Quincy Jones Foundation, The Renaissance Project). In Q4 2014, GivingSphere was sold to a private investment group.
As Executive Director of Nonprofit Services for Network for Good powered by Groundspring, Joseph was responsible for the overall leadership of the West coast division. He directed all sales, service and business development, operations, strategic planning, and financial management activities. He also initiated and completed the merger of Network for Good and Groundspring to form the largest nonprofit Technology Service Provider (TSP) in the U.S. – helping over 100,000 nonprofit organizations generate over $1 billion in online donations since the merger.
Joseph’s board and advisory board experience includes: The Advocacy Fund; Conveners.org; California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF); The Council on Foundations Technology Task Force; Ashoka Youth Venture; the Unified School District of San Francisco -School to Career; Craigslist Foundation; Jewish Vocational Services.
In 2008, Joseph was the recipient of the GQ Gentlemen’s Fund Pillar Award for Education for his work with youth, music and technology.
In 2006, Joseph was recognized as a Salesforce Hero for launching the Donor Management Suite – an integration of Network for Good’s online donation and Salesforce’s CRM functionality.
Joseph holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of San Francisco.

SaraJoy Pond

Board Member

SaraJoy’s investment in this space is largely selfish. Winning Brigham Young University’s Social Venture Competition in 2009 formally introduced her to the impact ecosystem and she has navigated (with varying degrees of success) the often baffling array of impact convenings and accelerators as a social entrepreneur for the past 5 years. She has facilitated evaluations, delivered training and developed curriculum (both academic and professional) on three continents, built one of the first impact-focused crowdfunding platforms with an active online community of 5,000+ donors, and is completing a dissertation on novice/expert differences in problem anticipation among social entrepreneurs aimed at uncovering key opportunities for education, training and support (ie acceleration) of those entrepreneurs.

Conveners.org is an opportunity to leverage her experience (from international needs assessment for an addiction recovery program to user experience at a data visualization startup) to help nurture the diversity, transparency, innovation and, well, impact of the impact ecosystem.

Keno Sadler

Board Member

Keno Sadler is a social entrepreneur, conference speaker, facilitator, and educator. While leading programs designed to shape the lives of young African American men through close guidance from older males, Keno began his 20 year relationship with the Echoing Green Foundation as a 1997 Fellow and Founder of the Breakthrough Atlanta program which graduated over 90% of its students into college and introduced hundreds of college students to careers in education. He is now the Vice President of Programs at the Echoing Green Foundation which provides seed-funding and support through its Fellowship program to over 750 social entrepreneurs working in more than 60 countries around the world.

Jessica Loman

Board Member

Jessica joins the Board with a decade of experience in community organizing and social entrepreneurship. Currently she facilitates convenings for Toniic, the global action community for impact investors. With a background in building social impact initiatives and fostering cultural awareness, she is inspired to help other business leaders redefine business success beyond profit. Since 2010, Jessica has been actively supporting social entrepreneurs through organizing events, fundraising, recruiting mentors, and facilitating workshops. Alongside these activities, she directed the operations of The Future Leaders Institute and the establishment of SoBiz: Beyond Profit.

She received her MBA from Hult International Business School, and BA from University of Richmond with studies in Rhetoric & Communication, Music and Arts Management. She has lived in various parts of the UK, Mexico and Indonesia, and currently resides in Oakland, California where she also enjoys salsa dancing, training capoeira and gathering together movers for peace from around the world.

"Conveners.org is like having your own personal cavalry. Sure, they are super strategic in shaping the role of convening in social change. That’s assumed. The really cool bonus is that they also empathically have your back."

Joy AndersonPresident & Founder, Criterion Institute