February 10, 2015 — More and more socially minded companies are adopting the “buy one, give one” business model—and leading the way is TOMS, the pioneering One for One® company that put social entrepreneurship on the map. Founded in 2006, TOMS currently sells shoes, eyewear and coffee, and every product purchased helps a person in need. At this lecture Shira Shafir, the director of social innovation and impact at TOMS, outlined the evolution of social innovation at the company and discussed ways private for-profit businesses can impact global health. In addition, she will addressed the development of new programs and products—with special focus on the newest TOMS offering launching in the spring of 2015. This lecture was co-hosted by the USC Institute for Global Health and USC Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.
Director of Social Innovation and Impact, TOMS
Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Shira Shafir, Ph.D., MPH, is the director of social innovation and impact at TOMS, an industry leader in social business. The role is focused on innovation and external and cross-functional partnership efforts for TOMS’ global social innovation and impact team. Two core components of this role are leading the sight giving program and new giving development. She is also focused on guiding and building a body of evidence that illuminates and supports the positive and compelling role of all aspects of TOMS Giving Strategy (currently focused on footwear, sight and water giving interventions) in areas such as health, education, well-being of children and economic impact in the developing world and the United States.
She also oversees the TOMS Podoconiosis Initiative, a program in which TOMS serves as a catalyst to effectively eliminate this neglected tropical disease, which affects more than 4 million people.
Dr. Shafir is also an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and former assistant vice chancellor of research at UCLA. She holds an MPH in infectious diseases from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her postdoctoral training, in global health, was also completed at UCLA. Her field of research is infectious disease, particularly the neglected tropical diseases and the neglected infections of poverty. While on the faculty full-time at UCLA she developed and taught courses in responsible conduct of research in global health, foodborne disease epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, principles of control of infectious diseases, global health and tropical medicine, and introduction to epidemiology—some of which she continues to teach. The Public Health Students Association voted Dr. Shafir professor of the year for epidemiology for four consecutive years while she was at UCLA full-time.