Social Venture Network

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Social Venture Network
FocusSustainable Business
  • San Francisco, California
Key people
Joshua Mailman & Wayne Silby, Co-Founders
Deb Nelson, Executive Director

Social Venture Network (SVN) is a nonprofit membership organization composed of a multitude of various business leaders who strive to create a more just and sustainable world. Founded in 1987 by Joshua Mailman, Thomas H. Stoner Jr., and Wayne Silby, SVN encompasses around 500 national and international leaders of both for-profit and non-profit sustainable enterprises.[1][non-primary source needed] Those in the for-profit space are also recognized as companies dedicated to a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.


Social Venture Network hosts two annual conferences, one on the West Coast in Spring and one on the East Coast in Fall, in addition to nationwide local gatherings held throughout the year.

Notable members[edit]

Some notable past and current members of Social Venture Network include:

Thomas H. Stoner Jr. - Entelligent[citation needed]
Ben Cohen - Ben and Jerry's[citation needed]
Amy Domini - Domini Social Investments[citation needed]
Eileen Fisher - Eileen Fisher, Inc.[citation needed]
Paul Hawken - Smith & Hawken<[citation needed]br /> Gary Hirshberg - Stonyfield Farm[citation needed]
Jeffrey Hollender - Seventh Generation Inc.[citation needed]
Adam Lowry - Method[citation needed]
Anita Roddick - The Body Shop[citation needed]

Innovation Awards[edit]

SVN's Innovation Awards began in 2007 as a way to provide scholarships through its Bridge Project to emerging social entrepreneurs to help scale and expand their impact. Honorees have included TerraCycle, Back to the Roots, Revolution Foods, World of Good, Root Capital, and Green for All, among others. Several of the Innovation Awards winners have also been honored as Echoing Green Fellows, Hitachi Foundation Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs, White House Champions of Change,[2] and have been listed on the Forbes Impact 30.[3]

Sister organizations[edit]

SVN has been identified as inspiration and catalyst for several other successful organizations in the business ethics and corporate social responsibility spheres, including B Lab,[4] Investors' Circle,[5] Net Impact, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA),[6] Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)[7] and Bainbridge Graduate Institute.[8]


Book Series[edit]

In 2004, SVN began a partnership with publishers Berrett-Koehler to create the SVN Book Series. The books are written by SVN members as practical guides to starting and growing a socially responsible business.[9][non-primary source needed]

Social Venture Institutes[edit]

Founded in 1996 by Gary Hirshberg, President and CEO of Stonyfield Farm, Social Venture Institutes are offered twice each year as a forum in which business and nonprofit leaders may receive expert advice and mentoring to overcome pressing challenges and to explore ways to succeed.


The Esalen Institute was founded in 1962 as an alternative educational center devoted to the exploration of what Aldous Huxley called the "human potential." In 2011, Social Venture Network began its partnership with Esalen to offer a series of workshops on conscious business practices, designed to help business professionals lead with passion, insight and authenticity.


The Social Venture Network office is located in the Presidio of San Francisco, California in the Thoreau Center for Sustainability and is a Certified Green Business. SVN publishes tools and best practices for including B Corp Certification,[10] as well as a Sustainable Shopping Guide.[11]


  1. "Meet Our Members - Sustainable Products and Services Directory - Social Venture Network". 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  2. "From Senioritis to Sustainable Solutions". – via National Archives.
  3. "Forbes' List of the Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs".
  4. "". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  5. "". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  6. "". 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  7. "". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  8. Hollender, Jeffrey and Stephen Fenichell, What Matters Most: How a Small Group of Pioneers is Teaching Social Responsibility to Big Business, and Why Big Business is Listening, Basic Books, 2004
  9. "Home Page". SVN Books. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  10. [1] Archived November 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Meet Our Members - Sustainable Products and Services Directory - Social Venture Network". 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-09-01.

External links[edit]

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