Decolonizing Social Innovation

May 17, 2017 | 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. | Impact Hub Berkeley | 2150 Allston Way #400, Berkeley, CA 94704

Social innovation can provide solutions to our most pressing problems. And yet, the field of social innovation can also act as a colonizing movement — having negative impacts on communities, disrupting existing support structures, pushing people out of housing, and exacerbating tensions across racial, class, and gender divides.

What does it mean to “de-colonize”? How does this idea apply to social innovation and entrepreneurship? What is the current dominant social entrepreneurship narrative? How might our understanding of solutions grounded in community and spirituality bring marginalized narratives around social innovation forward?  How might changing this narrative help provide solutions to issues like gentrification, immigration, education and more? 

 Join Impact Hub and the Ignite Institute for a panel and discussion about decolonizing social innovation on May 17, at Impact Hub Berkeley. Register here.

Christin Menzel Black, Service Designer at FJORD and Co-founder at Dark Horse Innovation

Christin is a Senior Service Designer at FJORD with a background in Psychology and Public Policy. In 2011, she co-founded together with thirty amazing friends whom she met studying at the, Dark Horse, an award-winning innovation consultancy based in Berlin (Germany) and San Francisco (US) that till today is collaboratively led without hierarchies.

Dark Horse’s books ‘Thank God It’s Monday’ (2014) and ‘The Digital Innovation Playbook’ (2016) have made their innovative approaches to organizational change and service design popular among a wide audience.

Blyth Barnow, community organizer, writer, founder of Femminary.

Blyth is a queer white femme who was raised working class in Ohio. She now lives in Oakland and is a writer, community organizer, and seminarian. Her work focuses on the reclamation of dignity and finding the Divine in the profane. More of her work can be found at

Dr. Filipe Maia, Assistant Professor of United Methodist Studies and Leadership, at Pacific School of Religion

Filipe’s research and teaching focus on liberation theologies, theology and economics, and Wesleyan theology. His scholarship pays special attention to the ways in which imagination about the future shapes politics, economics, cultural patterns, and religious practices. Employing sources ranging from Latin American liberation theology, Marxist philosophy, and contemporary writings on finance, Filipe’s scholarship builds a theological critique of the temporality of financial capitalism and proposes alternative ways of imagining the future.


Rajelin Escondo is past Pacific School of Religion Changemaker Fellow and a staff member at the UC Berkeley Public Service Center. In her work, she focuses on developing meaningful partnerships with from a racial justice lens. She routinely facilitates workshops in communicating over difference to understand their individual role in social change. Rajelin is a Chicago-land native and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. She earned a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA and joined the Public Service Center to continue to support students as they work towards more socially just world.