University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Here are web lectures by experts and entrepreneurs on topics ranging from food security to social impact investing.


‘Assessing Social Investments’ by Brian Trelstad.

Brian Trelstad is the Chief Investment Officer of Acumen Fund, a $40m social investment fund investing in innovative social enterprises in South Asia and East Africa delivering critical health, water, housing and energy services to the base of the pyramid. He also drives Acumen’s work measuring social and financial return and is a founding executive committee member of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).

‘Agro services for small and marginal farmers’ by Jeyabala Murugan

Jeyabala Murugan is the CEO, Adharam Energy. Adharam is affiliated with Covenant Centre for Development (CCD), a Madurai based NGO, which has been active since 1988 in the drought prone areas of South Tamil Nadu in India. CCD aims at utilizing the local resources and traditional skills of the community by promoting community-based organizations to develop community potential and resources for change. Adharam does contract farming with rice for small scale farmers.

Food Insecurity and suggested efforts for eradication‘ by Ishteyaque Amjad

Ishteyaque Amjad is the Director of Corporate Affairs with Cargill India. Ishteyaque Amjad is the external face for Cargill in India and is responsible for Cargill’s relationships with the federal and the provincial governments, industry forums, media and communities. His charter includes policy advisory, public advocacy, corporate responsibility and the brand reputation of Cargill in India.

‘Micro Finance and Micro Insurance’ by Pam Moret

Pamela Moret is the Senior Vice President, Strategic Development at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.Pam Moret has primary responsibility for new business development, including the ideation, testing, launch and expansion of new businesses. Moret joined Thrivent Financial as senior vice president of marketing and products in 2002.

‘The Other Inconvenient Truth’ by Jon Foley

Dr.Jonathan Foley is the director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of the Minnesota, where he is a professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. He also leads the IonE’s Global Landscapes Initiative. Foley’s work focuses on complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies.

‘Working with the Local Community’ by Sridhar Pabbishetty

Sridhar Pabbisetty leads the Social Enterprises practice at CHF International. He is closely involved with the funded companies to develop long term corporate strategy and build business models with focus on scalability and sustainability. He specializes in formalization of new sectors in the Indian Economy, Aggregation as a competitive advantage and the challenge of inclusive growth as India propels towards greater economic growth.

Acara is the impact entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.