December 5, 2023
PROVIDENCE, RI – Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) today announced the formal launch of a strategic partnership with Ascend Impact Advisors – a new consulting firm that brings expertise and resources in AI, with a particular focus on how AI can be harnessed to support the social sector. The partnership recognizes the explosive impact that artificial intelligence has played as a disruptor in the way we think, work, and play and demonstrates SEG’s commitment to providing the most innovative support services to the ecosystem they serve.
“To harness the power of AI for social good, it is imperative that the social sector – as a collective – understand, leverage, and guide these new tools to maximize their potential for reducing inequity and prioritizing the well-being of people and our planet,” said Julie Owens, CEO, SEG. “I’m proud to lead with a team that has the foresight and enthusiasm to get out in front of revolutionary technology like AI to best empower our community as it rapidly develops in use and impact before our eyes.”
“AI burst into the national conversation and captured imaginations over the last year because of the unprecedented growth of tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT,” said Sam Azar, Founder & CEO, Ascend Impact Advisors. “AI isn’t new but the developments are now occurring so rapidly and are potentially so transformational that we can’t afford to let impact-driven organizations just get in line to test out AI applications, we need to help them cut in line.”
Ascend Impact Advisors works closely with organizations like SEG to advance social impact by bringing a human-centered design perspective to strategy, data, and artificial intelligence.
Specifically, with SEG, the partnership will seek to help social sector organizations and the small business community harness these new tools while understanding and navigating the risks.
“This partnership will connect SEG’s diverse community of entrepreneurs and social ventures with Ascend Impact Advisors’ expertise in AI and social impact to ensure that RI’s social sector and small business community are in a position to benefit from AI, not be left behind by it,” said Owens. “Further, it will enable us to leverage Ascend’s ChatGPT training and other resources to understand and utilize these emerging tools.”
“I’m excited that this partnership will help social sector organizations become proactive early adopters of AI. It enables them to harness the transformational potential of AI, promote responsible AI, and unlock new models to drive social impact,” said Azar.
Establishing this partnership with Ascend is the first step in strategically integrating AI capabilities, expertise, and advising in their programming. The two teams are also exploring the possibilities around positioning the partnership as a regional social impact AI thought leader. SEG plans to soon turn to working alongside other critical partners across the state to elevate the opportunities and risks of the new technology in ways that inform communities, influence systems, and shape our politics for a more just, equitable, and resilient economy.
About Social Enterprise Greenhouse:
Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) accelerates impact by providing inclusive support and networks for entrepreneurs and businesses committed to positive societal and economic change. SEG fosters an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable, and resilient economy. SEG is based in Rhode Island and operates statewide virtually and from sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Its network of 2,000+ enterprises and 200+ business and community leaders contributes time, expertise, and funding to grow Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.
About Ascend Impact Advisors
Ascend Impact Advisors, led by founder and CEO Sam Azar, drives social impact through human-centered strategy, advanced impact data analysis, and cutting-edge applications of artificial intelligence. Building on Sam’s extensive experience at a top-tier strategy consulting firm and his transformative work at nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity International and United Way Worldwide, Ascend Impact Advisors is a minority-led consulting firm that delivers advisory services to refine strategy, increase program impact, and improve data-driven decision-making. Based in Rhode Island and serving clients across the US, the firm is committed to working with its clients to reshape systems and programs to better support the people and communities they serve. To learn more, visit www.ascendimpactadvisors.com.