“We look to the past with pride and forward with great hope in continuing to advance solutions to the world’s greatest problems.”
— Jim Sorenson
We are thrilled to share that we have received the prestigious advancement to the Sorenson Impact Institute based on our work and contributions to global impact. This new status allows us to expand the breadth of our work in impact and empowers us to uplevel our commitment to training future impact leaders. “Experiential learning opportunities are a hallmark of the education we provide at David Eccles School of Business, and the Sorenson Impact Institute has been at the forefront of this critical part of the student experience,” said Rachel Hayes, Dean of the David Eccles School of Business.
For over two decades, the Sorenson Impact Center has partnered with people and organizations who share our vision for a better world. We come to work every day to help solve the most significant challenges of our lifetime. As the University of Utah’s newest institute on campus, we look forward to advancing this work. Our plans for the future include:
- Impact & Prosperity Epicenter: In the fall of 2024, we will open the doors to the Impact & Prosperity Epicenter. The newest immersive living environment at the University of Utah, the Impact & Prosperity Epicenter, will open as the physical epicenter of impact on campus, community, and the world. The Epicenter will house our Institute offices and our friends at the Center for Business, Health, and Prosperity. Most excitingly, the Epicenter will house, inspire, and train nearly 800 students. Together, we will build an ecosystem of impact, helping solve the most pressing challenges of our time.
- Academic Programming: We will expand our student programming, offering new and exciting educational and professional opportunities as we focus on engaging and training the next generation of changemakers.
- Connecting Capital to Impact: Capital is the most essential global lever for change at scale. We will continue to catalyze that impact through our world-class work in impact finance and strategy, measurement and management, and human-centered storytelling. Together with our clients worldwide, we will work to build the market for impact and move capital where it is most needed.
Below, hear from Sorenson Impact Group Founder Jim Sorenson and CEO Geoff Davis as they reflect on how far we’ve come and what’s in store in this next chapter.
Letter from Jim Sorenson, Founder, Sorenson Impact Group
“Do good. Do well.” It’s a north star of ours here at the Sorenson Impact Group and for thousands of like-minded impact investors and entrepreneurs around the world. This guiding principle was central to the decision I made nearly a dozen years ago when I endowed the University Venture Fund (UVF) at the University of Utah. UVF was the nation’s first and largest student-run venture fund, of which Warren Buffet once said, “If this were around while I was in school, I’d still be in school!”
UVF was ahead of its time and remains an innovative, one-of-a-kind program that now trains and equips some of the best and brightest students who, as it turns out, become the leaders of tomorrow for impact investing in the private sector.
With the incredible vision, leadership, and partnership of then Dean Taylor Randall, the Sorenson Impact Center was born from UVF to expand the opportunities for students, innovate in the impact space, and lead a very nascent industry.
Through our university venture fund and work with our partners, we’ve directly invested and helped place nearly $70 million into more than 120 impact entrepreneurs around the world. The Center has partnered with over 300 hundred of the largest and most influential public and private sector organizations around the globe to help them direct and measure their efforts more effectively toward positive impact. We’ve amplified impact by telling thousands of stories and convening tens of thousands of people across the world. Importantly, we’ve trained nearly a thousand students to become future leaders in impact investing in all walks of life and careers. And we’ve proudly cheered on our colleagues as our Center has propelled the careers of some of the leading voices and practitioners in the global field of impact.
Still young but now mainstream, impact investing is a more than $1.2 trillion global market and growing. In contrast, the market was less than $9 billion when the Center was endowed in 2013. With an explicit mission to advance and grow the space, the Center has been at the forefront of building the market. We look to the past with pride and forward with great hope in continuing to advance solutions to the world’s greatest problems.
Today, I am excited to announce the next stage in the life of the Sorenson Impact Center. The Center has received the prestigious advancement as the University of Utah’s newest institute on campus. The institute designation provides more opportunities for the dedicated work of impact investing to expand its breadth and depth. In addition, we will launch a new headquarters dedicated to inspiring students coming in 2024.
The future is far from certain, but it is clear that there is hope, and the Sorenson Impact Institute is one such quantifiable data point. It is here that young people are inspired and empowered to not only find success in their own lives and careers but to do so while improving the world around them. It is here that some of the best and brightest minds in multiple professional disciplines work together every day to help solve the world’s greatest challenges on a global scale. And it is here that we all continue to find inspiration and hope in a shared vision and mission for the betterment of people and the planet.
To the hundreds of people who have helped build, lead, and grow the Sorenson Impact Institute, well done, and congratulations on this monumental achievement!