When Good Is Not Good Enough: Scaling Social Impact

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

How do you help social entrepreneurs spread their ideas? Bridgespan Group co-founder and managing partner Jeff Bradach and Bambara Kitchen & Bar executive chef David Bazirgan join host Billy Shore to talk about impact investing and helping non-profits scale to create transformative change. “So much of scaling is about how you create that feeling that has people acting on their own in ways that are aligned and consistent with the vision [that] makes a difference in the world,” explains Bradach. Bazirgan practices a similar philosophy in his kitchen. “I’ve always tried to create a good culture of teamwork, respect and keeping an open dialogue. Lead by example, [practice] good communication, and get buy-in,” he advises.

Bradach cautions that creating large-scale change isn’t as simple as just replicating good ideas. “There’s other virtues of scale, but I do think there’s an underappreciation of that unique, radically local experience that is deeply embedded in community,” he observes. Bazirgan is a big advocate for community nonprofits, and is preparing to ride in his first ChefsCycle for No Kid Hungry event. “I’ve always been one to just say ‘yes’ to everything. We have such an opportunity to give back and provide and support,” he says.

Join us for this conversation that explores the dynamics of social change and the true potential of nonprofits to make transformative change.

Resources and Mentions:

Jeff Bradach

The managing partner and co-founder of The Bridgespan Group, a global nonprofit organization that collaborates with mission-driven leaders, organizations, philanthropists and investors to break cycles of poverty and strengthen core civil and human rights. Bradach’s work focuses on consulting to leading nonprofits and philanthropists in the US and India. He writes and speaks extensively on nonprofit strategy, transformative scale, social sector leadership and philanthropy. He serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations including as Chair of Independent Sector. Prior to the launch of Bridgespan, Bradach taught at Harvard Business School, where he was a member of the Organizational Behavior and the Social Enterprise Initiative faculty. He is a graduate of Stanford University, elected Phi Beta Kappa, and completed his master’s in sociology and PhD in organizational behavior at Harvard University.

David Bazirgan

Executive chef at Bambara Kitchen & Bar in Kimpton Hotels’ Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bazirgan is known for his work on the west coast, helming both Fifth Floor and Dirty Habit restaurants in San Francisco. Bazirgan studied French technique at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Boston. After graduating, Bazirgan worked through a number of renowned Boston area restaurants, including Stan Frankenthaler’s Salamander and Todd English’s Olives. Bazirgan was chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park prior to moving to San Francisco in 2003. Before leading the kitchen at Fifth Floor, which earned three and a half stars from The San Francisco Chronicle, Bazirgan was executive chef at Chez Papa Resto at Mint Plaza, and at Jocelyn Bulow’s Baraka in Potrero Hill, where he earned a 2005 StarChefs San Francisco Rising Star Award.

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Bridgespan

Works to build a better world by strengthening the ability of mission-driven organizations and philanthropists to achieve breakthrough results in addressing society’s most important challenges and opportunities. It is a global nonprofit organization that collaborates with mission-driven leaders, organizations, philanthropists, and investors to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need. They are passionate about helping to find solutions to ensure equal opportunity and core human and civil rights. To achieve these objectives, they concentrate on four broad fields: education; children, youth, and families; public health; and global development. Their services include consulting to nonprofits and philanthropists, leadership development support, and developing and sharing insights—all with the goal of scaling social impact. What they learn from collaborating closely with social sector leaders, complimented by rigorous research, they share broadly to advance social change. The “bridge” in Bridgespan symbolizes their ability to connect and learn from the social and business sectors, donors and grantees, and ideas and practice.

Bambara Kitchen & Bar

Opened its doors in East Cambridge, MA, more than 15 years ago. It’s nestled on the Charles River Canal close to MIT, Tech Square, the Museum of Science, and adjacent to Hotel Marlowe. Chef David Bazirgan’s menu finds inspiration from his experiences and exploration of different cuisines and flavor profiles, focusing on hyperlocal and seasonal ingredients. Guests encounter tastes from around the globe, while enjoying Bambara’s carefully curated beverage program, signature hospitality and vibrant atmosphere

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