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Our First Year

This is just the beginning.

Building the foundation for a community-powered approach to social good

summit impact logo

Letter from our Executive Director

To our dear Summit Impact community,

Thank you for being part of this foundational year with us.

Just over a year ago, we took a big leap and launched Summit Impact, a new platform dedicated to social good within the Summit ecosystem.

At Summit Impact, we believe in a future that is equitable, compassionate, and regenerative. And that this bright future relies on the work of remarkable social change leaders. People like Rahul Gayam, who is building sustainable, compact electric mobility vehicles, and Pete White, who is creating Ecohoods, a sustainable, affordable housing solution from the heart of Skid Row.

However, these social change leaders cannot succeed alone.

By activating the ingenuity, resources, and collaborative capacity of the Summit Impact community, we can power the work of these impact leaders and create a better future for all.

We’ve just completed our first calendar year of working on this mission, our first full year of operation at Summit Impact. In 2021 we launched new program pilots, gathered our community for virtual and in-person connection, and built a foundation to scale our work. We completed the 2-year program for our 81-Fellow cohort and launched our Criminal Justice Lab. We piloted new sessions on mental health, gender equity, ethical leadership, and indigenous activism. We refined our Impact Labs model and hosted a series of community design sessions to co-create the future with all of you.

Every step of the way, we have become more aware of the necessity for community activation to power the work of social change leaders and more humbled by the opportunity before us. Building an organization from the ground up is never easy; however building hand in hand with the Summit community, with the support of forward-thinking funding partners, and under the guidance of a talented Fellows steering committee and the strategic leadership of an esteemed board of directors is a gift that we don’t take lightly.

We have big plans for the year ahead, thanks to all of you. We are focusing on two core programs– our Summit Impact Labs[2] and our soon to launch Summit Impact Community Program[3].

As we dive into 2022 and begin scaling our team, our labs, and our impact, we invite you to join us in pausing for just a moment, to take it all in.

Years from now, we may look back on these times - the challenges of this pandemic period, the way our community is coming together to launch new impact initiatives. Perhaps we’ll be able to recall the promise of this young organization, full of possibility. And if we’re lucky, we might even remember the uncertainty and excitement of pilot programs, how it felt to be testing new ways of collaborating for the very first time, and the connections early on that made all the difference.

Our work stands on the shoulders of over a decade of work within the Summit family, and of many, many decades of passionate, caring, committed work completed by many others who came before us. And I think we owe it to them, to both honor the wisdom and work that brought us here, and cherish the opportunity we have at hand to create a better future.

We hope you enjoy reading through our 2021 Annual Report. We thank you for the part you have played to help us make it to this point, and invite you to reflect, celebrate, and co-create with us in the year ahead.

With love and gratitude,

A special thank you to Sherisse Hawkins, Valeria Catan, and Emma Cappiello for the effort to create this beautiful and dynamic report.


Two-year programs that bring together social change leaders and Summit’s broader interdisciplinary community to collaborate in cause areas such as Criminal Justice or Regeneration.


Year-round programming to cultivate Summit Impact’s generative community.

Summit Impact

Launching a platform for social good

Over the last 13 years, Summit has built an exceptional community. At Summit Impact, we harness the awareness, capabilities, and compassion of our community for action.

In August of 2020, we took the leap to launch Summit Impact, a new platform for social good within the Summit ecosystem. Summit Impact is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity focused on activating the power of community in support of impact-driven leaders. In collaboration with partner Summit entities, we engage the Summit community, a shared network of over 18,000+ individuals, in collective learning and collaborative action.

See our deck below for an overview of Summit Impact.

Click on the arrow to the right of the flamingo to get started >

About Summit Impact

Our Leadership

At Summit Impact we are honored to have an esteemed board of directors, including:

How We Activate the Power of Our Community

At Summit Impact we build ecosystems of innovation and support around change-makers.

By activating the Summit network, we can radically reshape how social impact leaders succeed at scale.

The Summit Impact network is uniquely positioned as a community-powered accelerator, abundant in leadership expertise, creative approaches, and generous connections.

The Power of the Individual

We begin by identifying and selecting Summit Fellows: bright innovators creating bold solutions. Through our programs, we support Fellows’ leadership development and individual growth.

The Power of Curated Connections

We know that one connection can make all the difference. Through strategic introductions, we pair exceptional entrepreneurs with connections that help to scale their impact.

The Power of Ecosystems

Thriving ecosystems foster innovation. Through year-round programming, we cultivate a constellation of sub-communities around topics such as regeneration, justice, and health, and foster interdisciplinary connections to create a broader impact ecosystem.

Read more about our approach by clicking on the two links below!

What makes us distinct?[4]

Essential questions that guide our work[5]

... the best way to describe what Summit is to me can be summarized in a short phrase: a serendipity accelerator.”

“Since I began my journey as a Summit Fellow, I’ve had many serendipitous occurrences that I’m truly thankful for. The people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made and the opportunities that have been offered to me have changed my life completely, and I can say with certainty that, thanks to all of that, I’m a completely different person. I don’t see this as a coincidence because I’m absolutely certain that being a part of the Summit community has actively made this possible. Having a connection with so many amazing, like-hearted people creates an environment of incredible energy where magic moments happen.

Thanks to your constant efforts, unquestionable dedication and ever-present human touch, you all have managed to actively overcome the random nature of serendipity and make it something that can (and does) happen more frequently and with much better outcomes to all the members of the community.

This is the reason why the best way to describe what Summit is to me can be summarized in a short phrase: a serendipity accelerator.”

Juanjo Ladines | Summit Fellow

Inka Moss


A year of building, exploring, and catalyzing collaboration for social good

In 2021, as we all continued to grapple with the pandemic, we worked to build a flexible in-person and virtual model to gather community and create a foundation of support for social change.

Milestones achieved in 2021

● Set up our new nonprofit organization!

● Completed the final year of programming for our 2019 cohort of 80+ Summit Fellows[6]

● Piloted our newImpact Labs model, [7]the evolution of the Fellows Program

● Activated our first Criminal Justice Lab[8] with four incredible fellows at the center

● Built an expansive network mapping project[9] to activate the Summit Impact community

● Hosted 80+ hrs of programming[10] to connect our community & support our fellows

● Led a Community Design Project[11] to co-create the foundations of our future programs

● Launched our Alumni Steering Committee[12]

● Brought on eight amazing Board Members[13]

Given our program outcomes from the 2018 & 2019 Fellows cohorts and the initial indicators from our new Impact Labs we believe we are only just scratching the surface of value that can be created by activating communities for social good, and creating programs based on ourTheory of Change.[14]


Summit Impact by the numbers

A Look At 2022

Building a platform for the future

As we reflect on everything we learned in 2021 and look toward 2022, we are focusing on two foundational programs for Summit Impact– Summit Impact Labs and Summit Impact Community Programs.

Summit Impact Labs

Gathering social change leaders and Summit’s broader interdisciplinary community to collaborate year-round across cause areas such as Future of Work or Criminal Justice.

Summit Impact Community Programs

Year-round programs that cultivate Summit Impact’s generative community, ranging from virtual masterclasses and “zummits” to local dinners and Summit event activations.

Read more and continue exploring our Annual Report by clicking on the button below!


Through our program pilots, and many shared conversations with the Summit community, we’ve clarified some of the elements that make our work unique.

At Summit Impact, we are defined by our:

  • Commitment to centering social change leaders.

  • Conviction in the deep power of community.

  • Passion for making funding and network resources visible in new ways across fields.

  • Belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that if we create conditions for effective, open-hearted collaboration, anything is possible.


Our day to day work is guided by questions such as, what might be possible when we are able to bring the best of ourselves to social impact work?

  • How might we fully activate the power of a community?

  • How can we measure the impact of serendipitous and strategic connections?

  • How might we combine the magic of Summit with a more structured platform to support social good?

  • What would the world look like if we could visualize each field of social impact, and if we combined network mapping with programmatic design, so that entrepreneurs and funders alike can take a more informed and strategic approach?

  • What will community activation look like if Fellows, social change leaders with years of lived experience, are truly guiding the objectives of the collective?

We expect these questions will continue to grow and guide us for years to come, that they will be the seeds of living conversations amongst this creative, emerging Summit Impact community.


Here are a few of the talented people who have joined us as Fellows:


A Theory of Change (ToC) explains an organization's intended path to impact by outlining causal linkages in an initiative (i.e., its shorter-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes).*

In a simplified version, Summit Impact's ToC is that social impact leaders can change the world. And that activating a creative, resourced community is one of the most effective ways to support the change-makers of tomorrow and scale their impact.

*Definition from https://www.sopact.com/theory-of-change