Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Sara Olsen

Adjunct Professor

What is it that you are most passionate about?

I’m passionate about making impact management standard business practice: when the world sees your impact, it pays to do good.

What do you enjoy most about teaching and/or what excites you about being a professor at MIIS?

Teaching at MIIS has a quality of intimacy and human-ness that many other programs lack. It’s a special place.

Sara Olsen is the founder of SVT Group, an impact management firm that provides investors, companies and social enterprises support to measure, manage and communicate their social and environmental impact (e.g. theory of change, impact metrics, impact IT systems onboarding and support, retrospective impact analyses and more). A pioneer in the social capital markets, Sara and SVT’s team of subject-matter experts have measured the social and environmental value of approximately $9.08 Bn in private equity, debt and grants in dozens of countries and issue areas. Recent clients include Yo Yo Ma, Restore the Earth Foundation, Fair Trade USA, Global Fund for Women, Beneficial State Bank, and CalPERS’ Environmental Investment Advisor.

Sara has been recognized twice as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek for her work defining the impact management discipline. She is a founding board member of Social Value United States, and an adjunct faculty member at Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Hult International Business School. There and in collaboration with SVT clients, she has educated over 5,000 people in-person and tens of thousands virtually on impact management. Sara is also the co-founder of the Global Social Venture Competition which recently celebrated its 18th year.

Expertise

Impact management, integrated reporting, impact investing, social entrepreneurship, CSR

Education:

MBA, UC Berkeley

MASW, University of Chicago

BA with thesis honors, Dartmouth College

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Celebrated my company’s 15th anniversary
  • Educated over 5,000 people on impact management in person and tens of thousands more offline
  • Recognized (for second time) as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek

Publications:

The Pulse of Impact Management, CSIL and SVT Group, 2017

The Next Frontier in Impact Measurement Isn’t Measurement At All, Stanford Social Innovation Review 2015

A Blueprint for Impact Measurement for Venture Philanthropists and Social Investors in Asia, AVPN 2013

Catalog of Approaches to Impact Measurement for Private Equity Investors, The Rockefeller Foundation 2008

Social Return on Investment: Standard Guidelines, California Management Review 2003