GHIC 2015: Global Health & Innovation Conference
March 28-29, 2015
Yale University, New Haven, CT

Social Impact Pitch

The social impact pitch is an early-stage or start-up phase idea, program, project, or organization. The 2016 Global Health & Innovation Conference will include special sessions ("Social Impact Labs") where selected participants will present their new idea, program, or organization in the format of a 5-minute social impact pitch. Following the pitch, there is a 15-minute period for discussion with two expert conference speakers, questions and answers, and feedback from the audience. This will provide participants with an opportunity to formulate and present their program, collaborate with others interested in their idea, and receive feedback, ideas, and mentoring from expert speakers and from other conference participants. Professionals and students are eligible to submit a social impact pitch.

Social Impact Pitch Categories

The social impact pitch should be program-focused and can be targeted for any country or countries worldwide.

Instructions For Submitting Social Impact Pitch Abstracts

What is a Social Impact Pitch?

The social impact pitch sessions ("Social Impact Labs") at the Global Health & Innovation Conference are a unique opportunity for the innovators and entrepreneurs to present their new ideas in the format of a 5-minute pitch. All of the presentations are ideas that are being developed, meaning that the ideas are in the brainstorming, early development, or early implementation stage.  Following each presenter’s 5-minute pitch, there is a 20-minute period for discussion and coaching with two expert speakers, questions, answers, and feedback from the audience.  This format offers presenters with an opportunity to formulate their idea, collaborate with others interested in their idea, and receive feedback and ideas. The goal is a dynamic session in which participants and speakers will network and collaborate about the innovative ideas.

"In pitching Clean Life Corps at the Global Health & Innovation Conference, I felt as though it was the first time I had a room full of people who were truly listening to what we have to say… and to the novice ‘phil-entrepreneur’, that support and grounded feedback mean everything."--Trevor Thunell, Engineer, 2013 Pitch Presenter

What is considered an early-stage or start-up idea, program, or organization?

An early-stage or start-up program means that the idea or organization is not yet proven effective. Ideas, programs, and organizations are considered based on the stage of the idea, and not based on the age of the program or organization. If the program or organization already has data and outcomes that proves its success and impact, then the program would instead qualify for the Oral and Poster Presentation Abstract category. The Social Impact Lab is appropriate for any idea, program, or organization which has not yet collected and quantified data to prove its effectiveness. As detailed in the selection criteria, applicants to the Social Impact Lab must highlight the evidence basis for the program, as well as include a specific plan to collect data and measure outcomes to prove effectiveness.

Social Impact Lab Expert Panelists:

Each Social Impact Lab session will include three social impact pitch presenters and two expert panelists. The expert panelists will offer guidance, advice, and mentoring to the pitch presenters.

How to Apply

First, submit an abstract: Submit an abstract on the Conference Registration Page at the time that you register to attend the conference. When you submit your registration form and payment to attend the conference, your social impact pitch abstract will be automatically submitted to Unite For Sight for review. You must submit your abstract at the same time that you submit your conference registration payment. If your registration and payment do not transmit properly, please review the page to be sure that you have filled in all of the required fields on the form.

Second, submit a 5-minute video: The highest quality abstracts will be invited to submit a 5-minute video of their proposed pitch. The 2016 conference's social impact pitch presenters will be selected based on the quality of the video application submissions.

Submission Topics

We welcome submissions pertaining to all fields relevant to global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.

You may see the 2015 social impact pitches at, the 2014 social impact pitches at, the 2013 social impact pitches at, and you may see the 2012 social impact pitches at

Conference Registration is Required

Submitting an abstract represents a commitment to attend the 2016 Global Health & Innovation Conference, irrespective of acceptance of an abstract. The opportunity to submit an abstract for consideration is available only to those who plan to attend the conference for educational and networking purposes, and not to those who wish to attend exclusively for the opportunity to present. Therefore, all persons submitting an abstract must register and submit payment to attend the conference at the time that they submit the abstract.

Abstract Submission Format

Abstract: 250 word maximum (longer abstracts will not be reviewed and will be automatically rejected)
The abstract must be formatted to include problem, solution, innovation, based in evidence, expected impact, management and financing, stage of idea, and your "ask". Please include the headers (i.e. problem, solution, innovation, based in evidence, expected impact, management and financing, stage of idea, your "ask"). The headers do not count towards the word count.

Abstract Selection Criteria

Students and professionals are eligible to submit an abstract for presentation. The social impact pitch should include the details described below. The pitch abstract will be evaluated based on the level of innovation, the expected impact and description of metrics, and the details that indicate that it is evidence-based and will be effective.

Before submitting a pitch abstract, please first review the pitch abstract instructions and examples.

The abstract will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

Video Submission Format (Part 2 of Application Process)

The video submission opportunity is available only to those who are invited, based on the quality of their abstract, so submit the video presentation for consideration. The video submission must be no longer than 5 minutes, and all of the content required in the abstract must be included in the video presentation. The video will also be evaluated based on the quality of the presentation and by the presenter's ability to effectively and clearly communicate the pitch. If selected for presentation at the conference, the presenter would convey the content of the 5-minute video in their 5-minute pitch presentation on April 16-17, 2016. Video submissions that are longer than 5 minutes, omit any of the required content, or read from a script, will be automatically disqualified. In order to be accepted for presentation, the video must demonstrate and confirm that the pitch describes a locally-developed and locally-responsible program or organization.  

The video will be evaluated exclusively based on the quality of the presentation, and not based on the quality of the videotaping. Simply videotaping on a mobile device (iphone, ipad, etc.), for example, will be suitable. Videos that are any longer than 5 minutes will be automatically disqualified. Those who are invited to submit the video (step 2 of the application process) will receive instructions for submission.

Co-authors and Co-founders

The conference participant who will be in attendance and presenting the pitch must submit the abstract under their name. If both authors will be in attendance, then either of you may submit the pitch, but the pitch must be submitted only once for consideration. The author submitting the pitch must be the presenter at the conference, and this author will also receive all communication from Unite For Sight. Other authors are encouraged to attend the conference, but the other authors may not present the pitch at the conference.

Abstract Review and Selection

Social enterprise pitches are accepted on a rolling application deadline. The first qualified submissions will be invited for video submission, and the highest quality video submitters will be selected for presentation at the conference. We encourage you to submit your social impact pitch abstract as soon as you decide that you would like to present. Submitters will be notified about the decision on their abstract within approximately one week from submission, and they will be notified about the final decision on their video submission within an additional 1-2 weeks from submission.

Abstract Acceptance, Next Steps, and Presentations

If my social impact pitch is accepted for oral presentation, what are the next steps?

What should be included in the social impact pitch presentation at the conference?

If you are accepted to present at the conference, you should include all of the important items in your abstract: problem, solution, innovation, evidence-base, impact, management and financing as well as the stage of your idea and your "ask". When you are creating and practicing your presentation, you should consider what you hope to learn from the experience. What type of ideas/plans and obstacles are you currently working through?  What type of people do you hope to connect with at the conference and during your session? The answers to these questions may help you to highlight certain aspect of your pitch and de-emphasize others.

The most effective presentations will explain your innovation in a way that is immediately understood by the audience.  By the end of the presentation, the audience should understand why the idea is needed, how the idea will be implemented, and how the impact will occur.  In general, it is best to avoid using jargon or abstract ideas.  Instead, the pitch should provide concrete examples and real-life stories to illustrate the plan.  While you will have 5 minutes for your presentation, the more succinctly you are able to communicate your idea, the better.  Therefore, you should practice your social impact pitch in advance to ensure that it is no more than 5 minutes.  A bell will ring to conclude your presentation at 5 minutes. 


If you have any questions, please email Tiffany Aquino at