Summit Information

The Winter Innovation Summit is the premier cross-industry event in social impact, innovation, and investing. The 2019 Summit will bring together over 700 policymakers, funders, nonprofits, academics, students, and social entrepreneurs to explore the future of social innovation across the globe.

The Sorenson Impact Center and the Office of the President at the University of Utah are thrilled to welcome student leaders to the first-ever Student Coalition for Social Impact at the 2019 Winter Innovation Summit. This unique program, open to universities with exceptional programming in social innovation, brings together like-minded students for the opportunity to learn and collaborate on critical social issues.

As your students connect and work alongside other top-tier students, we welcome you, university leaders from across the country, to immerse yourself in the Summit experience! Join us for an incredible three days: two days of social impact content, including evenings of independent films and networking receptions, and one snow day, where novices and experts alike can ski, snowboard, and network on “the greatest snow on Earth.” Please see below for content suggested for university leaders.



+ December 4: Final selection of Student Delegates

+ December 18: Pre-Summit packets sent to Student Delegates

+ January 15: Student Delegate research due

+ February 5-8: Student Coalition for Social Impact at the 2019 WIS



+ 2/6: Keynote Address: Mayor Michael Tubbs; Deep Dive: “Impact Investing: Income Share Agreements”; Deep Dive: “Next Generation Leadership Caucus: Does Your Perspective Have the Potential to Influence?”

+ 2/7: Keynote Address: Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; Deep Dive: “Impact Capital and the Changing Higher Education Landscape”; Deep Dive: “Disruptive Philanthropy: Funding Public Universities to Address Local Social Issues”



Make sure to fully utilize our official Summit app, “2019 Winter Innovation Summit”, hosted by Attendify. Download the app and make a profile to connect with other Summiteers via direct messaging, see the detailed schedule, download session documents, and more!

Meet The Team


Courtney H. McBeth, Ed.D

Special Assistant to the President

Dr. Courtney H. McBeth, Ed.D. is Special Assistant to University of Utah President Ruth Watkins and Project Director for the American Dream Ideas Challenge, a statewide initiative funded by Schmidt Futures that seeks to strengthen Utah’s middle class. Dr. McBeth also leads campus initiatives in innovative financing and student success. She is an experienced higher education leader with a demonstrated history of building programs, curriculum, and community. She has worked across disciplines and sectors in domestic and international settings in previous roles at the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Sorenson Impact Center. She is an adjunct professor in the Eccles School of Business and teaches social entrepreneurship. Dr. McBeth received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in higher education management with dual distinction and her research is focused on social innovation in higher education.

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Cassie Slattery

Project Facilitator

Cassie Slattery is the Project Facilitator for the American Dream Ideas Challenge at the University of Utah, an initiative funded by Schmidt Futures that seeks to strengthen Utah’s middle class. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Cassie worked for several years in the nonprofit sector, focusing on fundraising and project management. She led numerous fundraising efforts for both large and small nonprofits as well as organized high six-figure fundraising events. Cassie has given numerous training seminars on fundraising, worked as a mentor for early career professionals, and was asked to be a guest lecturer at the University of Utah. Cassie has led initiatives in public affairs, including advocacy and lobbying efforts in several states and on the federal level for such diverse causes as early childhood literacy, public art, and the craft beer industry. Cassie serves on several boards, including the Salt Lake Arts Council and the Madeleine Choir School Board, and acts as a consultant for fundraising and development in her community. A native of Minnesota, Cassie received her Bachelor of Arts with a dual concentration in political science and history at the University of Michigan where she was inducted into the Mortar Board Society.

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Merissa Frandsen

Senior Associate

Missie is a Senior Associate of Strategic Partnerships and Communications at Sorenson Impact, where she directs special events and conferences, primarily the annual Winter Innovation Summit, and works on the executive education program. She first joined the Center as an Impact Policy and Innovation Fellow, during which time she managed the 2018 Winter Innovation Summit University Social Impact Track and volunteer program, assisted the University of Utah’s President’s office on an income share agreement program and conducted cross-sector research. She is currently undergoing financial analyst training with our Impact Investing Team.

Outside of the Center, Missie is an LGBTQ policy consultant for Amnesty International USA, and Chair of Amnesty’s LGBTQ Coordination Group, which develops strategic action and emergency response on national and international LGBTQ human rights issues

Missie graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in International Studies: Foreign Relations and Security Studies, and a minor in creative writing.


 Join us to discuss the latest breakthroughs in social impact, innovation, and investing; ski the greatest snow on Earth; and experience exclusive film premieres.

See the full schedule here.


Contact Cassie Slattery