We Believe In Opportunity Zones. Here’s Why You Should Too.

There are, and will always be, those who approach OZs with less than altruistic motives. For these actors, the court of public opinion and final tranche of OZ related Treasury regulations awaits. However, for the rest of us, maintaining an unwavering commitment to the spirit of OZs for the equitable revitalization of distressed communities will be critical to their long term success.

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Innovation Unleashed: A Pay for Success Retrospective

Since the first few Pay for Success projects (also known as Social Impact Bonds) were launched in the US and UK between 2010 and 2013, interest in these complex funding tools has exploded, with dozens launched or put in development in the US alone. And momentum hasn’t stopped: in February 2018, Congress solidified the movement by passing the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA), designed to facilitate the launch of new PFS projects and provide federal funding for successful outcomes. Yet even as Pay for Success evolves and grows, its structure remains complicated and ill-defined.

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Announcing Top-25 Finalists for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability

Today, the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability announced the nation-wide innovation challenge's Top-25 finalists. Ideas include the three focus areas of construction and design, finance, and, public policy and regulatory reform.

"Our Top-25 represent companies, ideas, and initiatives that are making an immediate impact on housing affordability. Some are further than others, but many show great promise," said Clark Ivory, CEO, Ivory Homes and chairman of the Ivory Foundation. "I am more optimistic about the future of housing affordability in this country after reviewing 126 promising nominees. We are a country built on entrepreneurship and problem solving, and I am very impressed by the outstanding individuals committed to finding new approaches to this complex issue.

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Ellesse Balli
The Role of Faith in Social Impact

For thousands of years, religious leaders have taught their followers to oppose engaging in business enterprises seen as morally irresponsible, such as alcohol, tobacco, or the slave trade. With the Torah, the five books of Moses from the Old Testament, serving as a source for the Jewish faith and the Qur’an guiding the Islamic faith, religious texts support the idea that you could engage in business and trade as long as your spirituality, morals, and relationship with God were the guiding forces behind your decision making. Many Christian religions held these values too. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist faith, once said, “Gain all you can, without hurting either yourself or your neighbor.”

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Gabe Moreno
Healthy & Whole: Tiana Rogers' Life Mission

Sorenson Impact is happy to welcome Dr. Tiana Rogers to the team. Dr. Rogers joins the Center as Program Manager for Policy Innovation, a role to which she brings a wealth of professional experience and an incredible educational background. She grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota before earning her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She then went on to earn two master's degrees, one in criminal justice and the other in human service leadership, both from Concordia University in St. Paul. She then earned a Ph.D. in human services with a social and community services specialization from Capella University in Minneapolis.

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Gabe Moreno
The More Unknown, the Better: A profile on Impact Fellow Mitchell Wulfman

A common theme runs through the staff and students at Sorenson Impact: curiosity. People hail from all walks of life, with a wide array of educational backgrounds, professional experience, family dynamics, cultures, interests, hobbies and more. An innovative social impact center like Sorenson has seemed to attract people who want to do, learn, and experience a little bit of everything. Mitchell Wulfman, one of our phenomenal impact investing students, is no exception.

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Gabe Moreno
$200K For Ideas Improving Housing Affordability

Ivory Innovations has announced a $200,000 Ivory Prize in Housing Affordability to honor innovations in design, financing and policy that seek to increase access in housing affordability.

This new prize is supported by the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation and the Sorenson Impact Center at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. It seeks to recognize the most ambitious, adoptable and innovative solutions to address housing affordability and generate awareness and new ideas to address this national issue.

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Gabe Moreno
Where in the World is William Powers?

Trying to keep up with Billy Powers is a difficult task. He’s lived all over the United States, rarely for more than a couple of years at a time. He worked with Sorenson Impact for about three years, though he only lived in Utah for six months, and in August he left the Beehive State and headed to the Big Apple. For most people, this kind of lifestyle would suggest a lack of commitment, but for Billy it means the exact opposite. The fluidity of Billy’s history is the perfect illustration of who he is and why he does what he does; he is a passionate person on a quest to help children in less-than-ideal circumstances. Getting to know him and learning to understand him is as interesting, and ever-changing, as following his location on a map.

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Gabe Moreno
Lessons from the Millennial Impact Report from Sorenson Impact students

When Calvin Pape interned at the Sorenson Impact Center in Salt Lake City in May 2018, his capitalist mindset was hard-earned. Between having to work part time jobs from when he was 14 and being raised by divorced parents busy with their own lives, “It wasn’t all flowers and unicorns growing up,” he says. It taught the 20-year-old David Eccles School of Business student that, “Monetary incentive is the only way to get people to do anything.”

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Gabe Moreno
Onwards & Upwards - Farewell To Kaitie Jowers

If you know Kaitie Jowers, then you know how bittersweet it is that her time at Sorenson Impact recently came to an end. Kaitie officially left the Center in July of 2018 to attend law school at Georgetown University. Although everyone will miss her greatly, we’re excited for her to pursue her dreams. We’re also very appreciative of everything she did for the Center. Here’s a glimpse at some of the incredible things she did in her time at Sorenson Impact, and a chance to get to know Kaitie a little bit better.

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Jake Harper
From Colombia to Utah; High Aspirations for Helping the World

Within the first 30 seconds of talking to Gabe Moreno, one thing will undoubtedly stand out to you: he’s a really good person. Gabe is exceptionally charismatic yet admirably humble, and extremely intelligent though he’d never admit any of those things. With a small ego and large aspirations, it’s clear that Gabe is headed places with a very bright future ahead of him.

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Jake Harper
Investing in Hearing Solutions For Children in Economically Disadvantaged Communities

In 2018, earAccess tapped the Sorenson Impact Foundation for funding, and the student fellows at the Sorenson Impact Center jumped on the project. Students conducted impact research, financial modeling, market analysis and more to form an educated opinion on the success of earAccess's business model. Learn about earAccess and their impact.

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Kindergarten Readiness in Coastal Oregon

In 2017, the Northwest Oregon Kinder Ready Collaborative asked the Sorenson Impact Center to examine eight school districts' education data to inform their journey of developing a preschool program, aiming to increase Kindergarten readiness. Data scientist Gwendolyn Reynolds traveled to Oregon with her team, gathered mounds of data from hundreds of spreadsheets, and created a visualization to help explain the relationships found among different factors that influence early childhood learning.

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