Student Coalition for Social Impact


The Winter Innovation Summit is the premier cross-industry event in social impact, innovation, and investing. The 2019 Summit will bring together policymakers, funders, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs to explore the future of social innovation across the globe.

During the intensive four-day convening, student leaders will have the singular opportunity to attend the Summit, engage with leading innovators, forge professional relationships with like-minded peers, and ultimately participate in a social impact hackathon.

The hackathon will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gained from the Summit and to create actionable solutions to the issues of college affordability and student debt. The students’ solution(s) will be published in the official 2019 Winter Innovation Summit Report, to be shared with university, community, and foundation stakeholders.

This portion of the event is sponsored by the American Dream Ideas Challenge at the University of Utah. For more information, check out the 2018 Winter Summit Report, the slide deck, and the 2019 Winter Innovation Summit Website.


Impact Hack:



Picture this: After two full days of learning from social impact leaders about all kinds of issues and innovations, you get the chance to put some of it into practice. You and your peers will be escorted into a special room--full of office supplies for brainstorming, cozy spots to relax, and all the snacks and caffeine you could ever need to keep you awake.

You will have all the facts about the situation of a student problem in Utah and what has been done to fix the problem. Precisely at midnight, after five hours "on lockdown", you will present your solutions to the university officials who can implement your ideas.

This is your moment to shine. If making changes that will improve the lives of future students sounds good to you, click here to register.


College Affordability & Student Loan Debt

College is expensive. Students who want the advantages of a degree have some combination of three options: friends and family can help the student pay, students can work while going to school, or students can take out a loan to cover the costs. Each of these options has drawbacks, and as tuition is rising each year, student enrollment is limited. This means that America on a whole will be less educated, which would be a detriment to the nation and ultimately the whole world.


Student Loan Debt

Outstanding student loan debt in 2018 is almost $1.5 trillion. To put that into perspective, if you counted from 1 to 1.5 trillion, it would take you about 47,600 years. Not only does the growing student loan debt make attending college less common and increasingly difficult for students, it also negatively affects the entire economy. In 2018, it was proven that a lack of small businesses and start-ups in addition to lower rates of home ownership are directly attributed to the rising amount of student debt in the United States.


College Affordability

Between 2008 and 2017, state funding for public colleges and universities dropped by $9 billion. These schools rely on funding to pay for quality professors, experiential learning programs, and activities which improve campus life. As a result, schools are cutting programs or raising tuition--or, most often, some combination of the two. Who loses most from these cuts? Students. It's a scary world out there, and students need programs and opportunities to stand out from hundreds of other candidates when they apply for jobs.


A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors

With generous support from the University of Utah’s Office of the President and the American Dream Ideas Challenge.


For general questions, please contact:

Cassie Slattery, Program Facilitator or Estefanie Aguilar Padilla, Coalition Student Co-Chair