Ralph Nader, Innovation Leaders to Speak at FDU Rothman Instituteís Social Innovation Conference

MADISON, N.J. (August 27, 2009) ó Innovation leaders including consumer advocate Ralph Nader will make presentations at the 2009 Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference sponsored by Fairleigh Dickinson Universityís Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies. The Sept. 16 half-day intensive seminar will start with registration and breakfast at 7:15 a.m. at Hennessy Hall (The Mansion) at FDUís College at Florham.

The conference is designed to help executives from nonprofits, social enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses better understand important trends and key factors for success in a challenging economy. Sessions will address starting and expanding new social ventures; nurturing a culture of creativity and entrepreneurship; implementing and sustaining innovation; and leveraging technology for nonprofits.

Amir Dossal, executive director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will give the welcome address at 8 a.m.; the conference will close at 11:30 a.m. with networking. Conference speakers are:

Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate who was named one of the ď100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth CenturyĒ by Time magazine. The citizens groups he helped start include the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen and student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) that operate in more than 20 states. Most recently, he helped launch Single Payer Action, which promotes comprehensive health insurance for every American. Working with lawmakers, he was instrumental in creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Nader will also appear on campus the evening priorat 7 p.m., taking part in a panel on the topic of health insurance and health care in the Hot Topics series presented by FDUís Becton College of Arts and Sciences.

Dick Sweeney, co-founder of Keurig, maker of the leading single-cup brewing system in North America. After helping start the company in 1993, he joined it full time as vice president of engineering in 1996 and now is vice president of contract manufacturing and quality assurance. Sweeney, who has an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson, brought to Keurig more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing, product development and consulting for industrial and consumer appliances, including espresso machines.  

Darian Rodriguez Heyman, former executive director of the Craigslist Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening communities and fostering community engagement. At the foundation, he helped launch Nonprofit Boot Camp, a one-day conference that quickly grew into the largest nonprofit gathering in San Francisco Bay Area; Next Generation Leadership Forum; and Environmental Nonprofit Network.  Heyman currently sits on the board of Project Ahimsa, a global effort to help needy children through music.  Recently, he was appointed a high-level adviser to the U.N.ís Global Alliance for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and Development.

Cost of attending the conference is $145; to pre-register, call the Rothman Institute at 973-443-8842. FDUís College at Florham is at 285 Madison Ave., Madison, N.J. For more information, visit http://www.fdu.edu/innovation.

About the FDU Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies

The Rothman Institute teaches and supports entrepreneurship and innovation in the academic, business and nonprofit communities. Its academic program has been ranked among the top 20 nationwide, while its outreach programs help business people succeed in new or growing ventures as well as in corporations or organizations. For more information, visit http://www.fdu.edu/rothman.

For Immediate Release

Rothman Institute

Office of Public Relations
Metropolitan Campus
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Melissa Payton
201 692 7034

Office of Public Relations
College at Florham
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

W. Scott Giglio
Interim Director
973 443 8756

Lillian Lukac
973 443 8661