This week marks the debut of a podcast from the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact called All the Difference, an allusion to the oft-quoted poem by Robert Frost, who attended Dartmouth in 1892.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.
While interpretations of the final line vary, DCSI Director Tracy Dustin-Eichler says making a positive difference is an ambition shared by many Dartmouth students.
“They crave role models,” she says. “They want to understand the possibilities, the paths to those possibilities, and the pitfalls of a life of changemaking. This podcast will allow us to shine a light on the long history of alumni who have leveraged their Dartmouth education to make a more just and equitable world, and in turn provide current students with a map, or many maps, of what that journey could entail.”
Dustin-Eichler says the interviews will also celebrate all the ways in which Dartmouth alumni have made an impact. “Some of the guests have shared their stories in other public venues, but many have worked for decades with little fanfare, quietly changing the world,” she says.
All the Difference grew from the center’s annual Breaking the Mold conference, which brings alumni impact leaders from around the world to Hanover to share wisdom.
Several were interviewed for the podcast while on campus for the two-day event this fall, where, during a dinner with students, they participated in a panel discussion about turning points in their careers.
Ben Aronson ’24, who majors in quantitative social science, said he was reassured by what he heard from the panelists. “I have some uncertainty about my career coming out of Dartmouth, and it sounds like these alumni didn’t know exactly what they were going to do coming out of college. They were at a crossroads, as I am, and they figured it out. And I think I can reach out to them sometime, if I need guidance.”
Dustin-Eichler says the podcast is designed to help forge such connections while extending the conference to a broader audience and profiling more alumni. The series is hosted by DCSI Assistant Director Henry Do Rosario.
“Henry is a rock star,” says Dustin-Eichler. “He enables students to learn and explore diverse expressions of lives of impact through leadership programming, social sector internships, and connections to alumni.”
The first conversation features Rose Mutiso ’08, Thayer ’08, winner of the 2023 McGuire Family Prize for Societal Impact, and a member of the advisory board for the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society. As research director for the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Energy for Growth Hub and the co-founder and former CEO of the Nairobi-based Mawazo Institute, Mutiso, who was born in Kenya, speaks candidly about her “meandering path,” beginning at Dartmouth, leading to her current focus on energy poverty among Africans who cannot afford or do not have access to reliable sources of heat or light for their homes and businesses.
Next up: Alex Bernadotte ’92, founder and CEO of Beyond 12, a tech-enabled nonprofit that helps institutions provide their students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to succeed in higher education. Born in Haiti and the first in her family to attend college, Bernadotte recalls how a network of relatives, friends and teachers enabled her to scale obstacles during her first year at Dartmouth, which sparked her decision to create an organization that would help others like her succeed and find meaningful post-graduate employment. She serves on the board of advisors for the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth.
The third episode explores how investors can do good by doing well, financing or purchasing companies where employees are treated fairly and are encouraged to thrive and grow. The guest, Warren Valdmanis ’95, is a partner at Two Sigma Impact, a private equity business focused on creating value at companies by investing in people and creating good jobs.
“Spending an hour talking to someone who in some way shape or form is putting skin in the game to improve our society might be the most energizing and inspiring thing I’ve done in my career so far,” says Do Rosario. “These individuals are incredible, for all the right reasons. They’ve accomplished amazing feats and are so thoughtful and intentional in sharing the lessons they’ve learned. In these conversations, I’m reminded that there is so much human ingenuity and energy meeting the challenges we face, and that’s a great source of hope.”
Future guests include:
- Sue AnderBois ’05, director of climate and government relations for the Rhode Island chapter of The Nature Conservancy and a member of the Providence City Council;
- Marc Sépama ’17, philanthropic investing manager for global health ventures at Emerson Collective
- Oliver Edelson ’18, legislative director for U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H.;
- Sean Garren ’07, chief program officer for Vote Solar, a nonprofit advocacy group working across the country to use solar as a tool for climate progress and energy, environmental and economic justice; and
- John Lawrence ’76, MED ’79, former president and board member, Doctors Without Borders.
After this week’s launch, All the Difference will post a new episode every month.