Social Entrepreneurship Success

Zach Leverenz

Zach Leverenz ’01, the founder and CEO of EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit that provides low-cost Internet service, computers and free digital-literacy courses to unconnected Americans, discussed social entrepreneurship and how to design strategies for success during a lecture at Dickinson Feb. 3 in the Allison Great Hall.

His lecture, “Business as Unusual: Shared Strategies for Accelerating Change,” was the kickoff event for Dickinson’s new certificate in social innovation and entrepreneurship (SINE) program, which will create pathways for student-led change in the world. Dickinson was founded on the premise of educating leaders for America's new democracy when the country was in its infancy, and it continues this important mission of educating leaders for the future. The SINE certificate was developed to focus this effort by highlighting the critical-thinking skills, creative mindset and organizational-development capabilities associated with positive change in society and on behalf of our natural environment.

Leverenz applied a practitioner’s lens to examine how social entrepreneurs can design shared-value strategies and build cross-sector partnerships that accelerate social impact with immediate scale and sustained success. Through the work of EveryoneOn, Leverenz is recognized as an expert for delivering practical solutions to the digital divide. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

He has been a speaker at technology leadership forums, including SXSW EDU, the Consumer Electronics Show, The Washington Post Live and Discovery Education. EveryoneOn has also been selected as the national nonprofit lead on ConnectED and ConnectHome, two White House initiatives focused on closing the digital divide for low-income Americans and students. Previously, Leverenz served as the CEO of Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET), an MIT-based technology and social-justice organization, and led the PeacePlayers International organization in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Cyprus and New Orleans.

After his time at Dickinson, Leverenz graduated from Harvard University, where he was selected as a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship by Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. In addition, he was selected as a delegate to the Academy of Achievement and the 2015 United Nations Media for Social Impact Summit.

This event was sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, SINE certificate program and the Office of the Provost. It was also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series. For more information, visit

Learn More

Published February 4, 2016