Jenna Nicholas is the CEO of Impact Experience which is focused on addressing the very critical (and timely) issues of structural racism and incorporates a variety of powerful tools to tackle prejudice by confronting and engaging with the historical and ongoing realities of inequality and racial bias. They apply insights from and combine elements of the disciplines of systems transformation and organizational development, design thinking, and somatic psychology and experiential learning curricula that builds bridges not only between organizations but between people. In doing so, they increase awareness about the persistent nature of structural racism and the imperative to overcome it. Impact Experience tackles society’s most pressing issues including post-hurricane rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, Houston and Puerto Rico, workforce training programs in former coal economy-driven communities in West Virginia, building capital in people of color and women-run businesses, equitable and inclusive investment processes in Opportunity Zones, and supporting sustainable agriculture practices in rural Georgia.
Jenna is also the Vice President of One Planet VC where she invests in early stage businesses in transformative industries, such as education technology, marketplaces, media and the future of mobility. There is a focus on investing into companies that are contributing towards the betterment of the world and at least 60% of the portfolio is run by women and people of color. Jenna is also Head of Corporate Development at One Planet Group where she helps to lead the merger acquisition work. Jenna formerly founded Phoenix Global Impact, a firm that specializes in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Through her firm, she project managed Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a coalition of foundations, divesting from investments in fossil fuels and reinvesting in new economy solutions. Jenna spoke at TedX Portland about the Divest-Invest work.
Jenna has also worked with the World Bank Treasury on green bonds and other sustainability projects and with Toniic helping to support an impact investing community. She has worked closely with the Calvert Special Equities team and is an advisor to the Nexus Global Youth Summit and Ethic, an online impact investing platform. Jenna graduated from Stanford University with an International Relations Honors Degree during which time she also read International Development at Oxford University. Jenna is a Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA graduate, is a PD Soros Fellow for New Americans, recipient of the Stanford Social Innovation Fellowship, an Echoing Green Fellow, Forbes 30 under 30 for Social Entrepreneurship and a Summit fellow. Jenna has special links with China and co-taught a course at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management on Business Ethics, Sustainability and Impact Investing. Jenna also co-chairs the Emerging Leaders Council of LISC, a community development finance institution. Jenna is the Vice President of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs. She is an active member of the Bahá’í Faith.