Social Entrepreneur Retreat Coming to Hudson Valley Campus

Do you believe that socially responsible, triple-bottom-line businesses and innovative nonprofits will lead our communities to a place of vibrancy? 

Then this retreat may be for you. Check it out.. 

The second annual Social Venture Institute / Hudson Valley aims to connect experienced and emerging social entrepreneurs — the dreamers and doers and visionary world-changers — and providing a forum to share challenges and get expert advice. The weekend retreat will be held at Omega Institute near Rhinebeck, NY, May 15-17, 2015.

"We're bringing world-class entrepreneurial talent to our backyard," says co-producer Ajax Greene of On Belay Business Advisors and board member of Re>Think Local. "The people and organizations behind SVI Hudson Valley are some of the leading thinkers and doers of the social enterprise movement."
The headline-worthy local and national presenters include:

  • Flip Brown, Business Culture Consultants — expert in the intersection of business, psychology, service, and spirit; author Balanced Effectiveness at Work: How to Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor without Driving Yourself Nuts
  • Decora — Hudson Valley-based emcee and poet; founding member of world-renowned spoken word group The ReadNex Poetry Squad
  • Melissa Gibson, New in Town — leader in business development, grassroots visioning, idea innovation, strategic marketing and collaboration
  • Mara Manus, Manus+Co — innovator in the field of nonprofit leadership and organizational development
  • Mac McCabe — broad-based, hands-on adviser to early-stage entrepreneurs from coast to coast
  • Sharon Rowe, Eco-Bags Products — description below
  • Amy Soucy — yoga and meditation instructor and singer-songwriter
  • Matt Stinchcomb, Etsy — description below
  • Peter Strugatz, Strugatz Ventures — advisor to impact investors and social entrepreneurs
  • Scott Tillitt, Antidote Collective / BEAHIVE / Re>Think Local — strategist, publicist, marketer, social entrepreneur, and nonprofit leader

The retreat is presented by Antidote Collective, On Belay Business Advisors and Re>Think Local in partnership with Omega Institute and Social Venture Network.
SVI Hudson Valley is no ordinary experience: a weekend of profound problem solving, visioning and connecting, at one of the world's premier educational retreat centers.
"Think of it as an ad hoc advisory board, with depth," says co-producer Scott Tillitt, founder of Antidote Collective and BEAHIVE and a co-founder and the board chair of Re>Think Local. "It’s not just about learning a new tactic or discovering a new resource. It’s about harnessing collective intelligence in an inspired setting to actually work through creative solutions to vexing challenges. It’s about injecting new life into your business (or organization)… and yourself."

True Confessions
A signature SVI feature is True Confessions, whereby leading entrepreneurs share their tribulations and triumphs in creating their socially responsible businesses.
Etsy's former VP of Values & Impact Matt Stinchcomb will kick us off Friday night. Matt is now executive director of, a new nonprofit empowering under-represented entrepreneurial populations to build businesses that regenerate the planet, the community, and the self. He had been at Etsy since its earliest days.
Sharon Rowe, CEO & Founder of Eco-Bags Products, will pick up Saturday morning. Sharon has been featured as an environmental pioneer in TIME Magazine, Glamour, and in the award-winning documentary BagIt and quoted in numerous media outlets. ECOBAGS products were featured on Oprah’s first dedicated Earth Day show in 2007.

Case Studies
The core of the SVI model, where some say the greatest learning happens, are the Case Study sessions, where a presenter poses a specific, strategic business challenge to a panel of seasoned socially responsible entrepreneurs. Panelists and retreat participants alike offer advice based on their experience and expertise. "It's a bit like 'Shark Tank,' without the snark — and with audience participation," says Tillitt.
Applications for Case Study presentations are open until April 26. More details at
The agenda also includes a mix of group business problem-solving workshops, mindfulness-based practices, community-building, action plan exercises, and strategic visioning exercises.

Attendance to the weekend-long retreat is curated. Those interested may apply to attend at
Early Bird discount pricing ends April 30. Group and partner discounts are also available. Host partner Omega Institute is offering a 25% discount on accommodations packages. Costs will depend on when one registers, options added, and choice of accommodations. A portion of the program fee supports Re>Think Local in its continuing work to “co-create a better Hudson Valley.”

More details on the web. Also on Facebook ( and Twitter (

SVI Hudson Valley is an independently organized program of Social Venture Network (SVN), a community of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs working together to create transformational innovation, growth and impact. Since 1996, SVIs across North America have provided more than 1,500 entrepreneurs the opportunity to strengthen their business skills, network, and rejuvenate their vision.