The NC State Institute for Nonprofits Social Entrepreneurship Initiative was very excited to welcome Aly Khalifa as the fall 2016 Dinners With Purpose speaker. Khalifa was also recently named the Institute for Nonprofit’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence for the next two years where he plans to help build out and execute a Social Innovation Fellows Program at NC State (more information on that can be found here). The event, which took place in Talley Student Center on November 15, had nearly 100 students, faculty, staff, and community members in attendance. The program was kicked off by Christine Howell, Academic and Engagement Programs Manager at the Institute for Nonprofits, who gave a brief introduction of Khalifa as well as some insight on the amount of diversity that was in the room.
Khalifa then took the floor and discussed a wide variety of his previous social ventures and social ventures of his colleagues, as well as his current project Lyf Shoes. Lyf Shoes are manufactured using 3D printing technology in order to create a product that is custom in both fit and design, sustainable, and made without mass production and the toxic glue that is found in most pairs of shoes that are currently on the market today. Khalifa stressed the importance of “boundary conditions” when starting a social venture- understanding exactly what social issues must be tackled and what conditions need to be met and continuing to build out the venture always keeping that in mind. A question and answer session followed the program where attendees had the chance to gain further knowledge and information from Khalifa.
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