Collaborative + Classy Awards 2016

Benefiting: Classy
Hosted by:Classy
Cruiseport Boston map Black Falcon Avenue Boston, MA 02210

Event Details

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The largest social innovation event is coming to Boston this June 14-16.

The Collaborative convenes 1000 of the brightest minds in social innovation to share their stories and ideas. The Classy Awards will recognize the most innovative nonprofits, social enterprises, and for-profits that exist today in a surprise celebration. This year, the Collaborative + Classy Awards will take place June 14-16 at Cruiseport Boston, once a historic World War I era warehouse, is now a premier 21st century event venue.


Join us for two-days of keynote addresses & panel discussions, product showcases & demos, curated debates, breakout sessions, private brunches, and ample networking time. Top it off with a fantastic celebration of social innovation at the Classy Awards.

Got a question? See all event details and FAQ here.

Speakers and Attendees

Full line up here

Among others, participants include:

  • Erica Kochi, Senior Advisor to UNICEF Executive Director on Innovation & Co-Founder, UNICEF Innovation, UNICEF
  • Gargee Ghosh, Director, Development Policy & Finance, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dr. Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green
  • Kate Brandt, Lead for Sustainability, Google
  • Amy Cosper, VP, Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Christoph Gorder, President, charity: water
  • Esther Ndichu. Humanitarian Supply Chain Director, UPS
  • Morgan Clendaniel, Editor, Fast Company
  • Jacob Harold, CEO, Guidestar
  • Erica Williams Simon, Editor, Upworthy
  • Jim Bildner, CEO & Managing Partner, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
  • April Crow, Global Director, Environment & Sustainability, Coca Cola
  • Mary Snapp, President, Microsoft Philanthropies
  • Jay Ferro, CIO, American Cancer Society
  • Lesley Bourns, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, UNOCHA
  • Scot Chisholm, CEO,

Full line up here

Session Topics and Themes

Sessions will be both tactical and exploratory, uniquely crafted to all types of conference-goers:

  • Mobilizing and empowering communities to solve problems
  • How to build a social innovation ecosystem
  • The next generation of CSR
  • Social entrepreneurship in emerging economies
  • The role of media in the social sector
  • The evolving landscape of global problems
  • The future of funding
  • Building resilient systems for disaster response and preparedness 
  • Design thinking for social innovation

Experience Innovation at the Collaborative

Left to right: A phototherapy device to treat jaundice by Design That Matters, and an adjustable shoe that protects children from soil-transmitted disease by Because International


Left to right: A 3-D printer to produce humanitarian supplies by Field Ready, and an all-terrain wheelchair by GRIT


Left to right: High-quality, digital hearing aids by World Wide Hearing, and a mobile app that crowd funds the fight against global hunger by the World Food Programme 


Left to right: A personal backpack for waterscarce communities by Partners for Care, and an online, interactive that provides geo-referenced maps for Indigenous Peoples and communities by Landmark 

See more.

Who should attend the Collaborative + Classy Awards?

Top NGOs, international agencies, institutional investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and academics, as well as the Classy Award Finalists, the Leadership Council, Fellows, the Host Committee, Partners, Sponsors, Speakers and Classy staff. The Collaborative is designed for any individual interested in and/or working in the social sector, regardless of their title or role, or the organization’s specific cause focus. Attendees have spanned from entry level employees to c-level executives. Collaborative sessions offer valuable tactical information and game-changing exploratory/thought leadership discussion points. All sessions are designed to encourage collaboration, inspire new ideas, and showcase innovative thinking that can lead to progress towards solving important, and complex, social problems. Here's a fun infographic that explains more.

Schedule and Event Details

Address: 1 Black Falcon Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Tuesday and Wednesday 8 am - 5:30 pm at the Cruiseport

  • Keynotes and panel discussions
  • Innovation showcases and product demos
  • Breakout and collaborative sessions
  • News desk interviews
  • Post event networking and happy hours 

Parking: Parking is available close to the event for $15. There are also six T stops close to the venue.

Attire: Casual. Think jeans, a comfortable shirt and cover-up, and walking shoes.

Thursday Evening only at the Cruiseport

  • Private networking and events in the morning and afternoon
  • The Classy Awards Ceremony and after-party in the evening

Classy Awards Ceremony details—

  • 7-8pm: Cocktail Reception - drinks, h'ordeuvres, and pictures on the red carpet
  • 8-9:30pm: Classy Awards Ceremony, followed by celebration
  • 9:30-11pm: Classy Awards Celebration (same venue)

Parking: Parking is available close to the event for $15. There are also six T stops close to the venue.

Attire: Cocktail (dark suit or slacks, tie, and a sport coat for men, a cocktail dress or nice blouse and skirt for women).


For your convenience, we’ve partnered with the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. This is less than a mile from the Cruiseport in Boston and in the heart of the Seaport Innovation District. Within walking distance of the venue and all happy hours. Please take advantage of our room block before May 23 to save $250.

Click here to book your stay with discounted rates.

Address: Renaissance Boston Waterfront, 606 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210, US 

Got a question? See all event details and FAQ here.

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Collaborative + Classy Awards

The Collaborative is a biennial, three-day experience that convenes top leadership from across the social sector and showcases the most innovative solutions to today's global problems. The event culminates with the Classy Awards, a ceremony celebration that recognizes excellence in social innovation. Sign up to get all the important updates delivered straight to your inbox.