Advisory Board

Our founding Advisory Board members included leaders from academia, corporate, government, and social enterprise industries. Thank you for your advice, guidance and stewardship for our first 2 years. 

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Daniel Madhavan


Daniel Madhavan is a Board Member of Impact Investing Australia, where he was Chief Executive Officer for over two years until March 2017. He holds non-Executive Director roles with Impact Capital Australia, Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation and Y Generation Against Poverty (YGAP). 

He is also Chair of the Impact Investment Ready Grants Committee and sits on the Advisory Board of the Melbourne Accelerator Program. Prior to joining Impact Investing Australia as inaugural CEO, Daniel spent 12 years in various roles at JBWere, including Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO.

Daniel is passionate about the social enterprise sector and is interested in how capital can support individuals and organisations to convert entrepreneurial energy into positive impact.


Amanda Coote

Amanda Coote is Co-Founder and former Managing Director of Melbourne fashion retail brand Forever New. In less than 7 years, Amanda took the business from a startup to a successful multi-national brand with 2,500 employees and over 300 stores.

In 2014, Amanda established a scholarship program with RMIT University to support emerging creative talent in Victoria.

During 2014, Amanda undertook a Master of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne and became a Mentor for the Melbourne Accelerator Program. In 2015, she accepted a founding member position on the Advisory Board of Compass: MAP’s Impact Entrepreneurship Program.

A passionate supporter of social enterprise and impact investment, Amanda is the benefactor of the 2017 Impact Entrepreneurship Scholarship at the Wade Institute. The scholarship will be awarded to a student with a focus on social enterprise, undertaking the Master of Entrepreneurship degree at Melbourne University.


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Dr Nicholas Gruen

Dr Nicholas Gruen is a policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator on our economy, society and innovation. He advised two cabinet ministers in the 1980s and 90s, taught at ANU and sat on the Productivity Commission (then Industry Commission) from 1993 to 1997. He directed the New Directions project at the Business Council from 1997 to 2000.

He is CEO of Lateral Economics and Chair of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and The Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia)

He chaired the Federal Government’s Innovation Australia till 2014 and in 2009 chaired the Government 2.0 Taskforce.

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Jan Owen AM

A pioneer of the youth sector in Australia, Jan has dedicated most of her working life to social change and encouraging young people to give back and invest their talents in their communities and things they are passionate about.

In March 2014 Jan received the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of Sydney, in recognition of her significant contribution to young people and policy in Australia.  In 2012, Jan was named the inaugural Australian Financial Review & Westpac Group ‘Woman of Influence’ and in 2000 she was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for services to children and young people. Jan is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).

Jan has contributed to the establishment of many social change organisations in Australia and served on a wide range of Boards. Jan is Patron of Vanish and Children’s Ground.

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Dr Ben Neville

Academic Director & Co-Founder

Dr Ben Neville believes the world should and could be a better, fairer and more sustainable place. He has traditionally been focused on encouraging business students and large corporations not to do harm through the lens of corporate social responsibility. But he now sees the potential of social entrepreneurship to provide a different, better business model, a more fulfilling career path and contribution to the world.

Showing people the opportunities and rewards for doing good can be more persuasive than telling them not to do harm. The time is right for a new way of doing things. And the current generation is perfectly suited to doing this, having grown up exposed to others showing that you can make a difference in the world, from Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson, to the more socially oriented like Elon Musk and Muhammad Yunus.