Programs and Partnerships

Work With CAUSE

CAUSE's mission can only be fulfilled by working with the community. We have partnered with groups serving veterans, the homeless and people with disabilities, on topics such as food insecurity, education and health.


Veterans in Economic Transition Conference (VETCON)

The inaugural VETCON was held in 2016, co-organized with the Watervliet Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership, the New York State Division of Service-Disabled Veteran Business Development, and Tully Rinckey law firm.

  • The conference is dedicated to learning and connecting with fellow veterans, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders from every level of American business, offering an unprecedented lineup of speakers and sponsors offering powerful new connections, ideas, and motivation.
  • The efforts resulted in the 2016 Stakeholders Community Impact Business-to-Nonprofit Partnership Award.
  • Subsequent VETCONs were held in November 2017: recipient of the Everyday Hero Award in November 2017; November 2018; and November 2019.
  • Also the recipient of ReserveAid $500,000 scholarship endowment for veterans
  • Partnered with headstrong, an organization that provides free mental health services to veterans funded by large corporations and foundations.

The Assistive Living Technologies (ALT.1)

The ALT.1 conference brought together Capital Region and national thought leaders for an in-depth discussion on new technologies, products and services to bolster ease and quality of living for individuals with disabilities.

CAUSE forum on Social and Economic Development

CAUSE officially kicked off in 2015 with the first of three forums on “Social and Economic Development” with the School of Social Welfare, leading to K. Briar-Lawson, P. Miesing, & B. Ramos, Social Entrepreneurship and Enterprises in Economic and Social Development (Oxford University Press, 2020)

  • The first forum engaged social work leaders from transition economies, including Cuba and Russia, as well as entrepreneurs and business consultants with experience in these countries. They addressed social and economic development and the rise of social work and social welfare systems along with the rise of entrepreneurship and microenterprises, including the ways “welfare states” and emerging economies might be more inclusive of entrepreneurs – social and otherwise.
  • The second forum offered a “Panel on Social and Economic Development: Cross-National Comparisons and Analyses” and a workshop of the volume’s authors. The forum was sponsored by the UAlbany School of Social Welfare and School of Business and co-sponsored by SUNY Central, School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook and Schools of Social Work at Buffalo and Binghamton.
  • The third forum focused on Cuba and featured a special guest speaker from the University of Havana joining the “Panel on Social and Economic Development: Cross-National Comparisons and Analyses” workshops organized the book volume.
Speaker Series

Michael Roy of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health (Glasgow Caledonian University) presented Social Enterprise, Health Inequalities, and the Social Determinants of Health, (2016).

Michael Zakkour (author of China’s Super Consumers) presented “GLOBALIZATION 2.0: How Alibaba, Amazon and Chinese Consumers have Remade the World” co-sponsored by UAlbany Confucius Institute (CI) and the SUNY Confucius Institute for Business (CIB), (2016).


"Food Security/Deserts” assembled major participants in the Capital Region including public policy officials, community representatives, industry members, and academia to share information about the magnitude of the problem, probable causes, and discussion of solutions. Resulted in P. Miesing & J.M. Jurkowski (2019). “Special Issue on Food Deserts/Security,” Journal of Public Affairs 19 (3). 


“Social Enterprise & Earned Revenues,” part of Emerging Issues Series co-hosted by Rockefeller College’s Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development, (2017).

“Pedagogy Development Workshop on Educating Social Entrepreneurs” was an opportunity to develop experiential exercises and short cases and complementary readings specifically for social entrepreneurship. Involved was the UAlbany Institute for Teaching, Learning and Academic Leadership (ITLAL). Business Expert Press has published items in a workbook as part of the United Nations PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Book Collection. The best papers (exercise, case, commentary) were published in the Journal of Strategic Management Education, (2015).

Academic Presentations

“Why is business best suited to solve today’s ‘Grand Challenges’?” at Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile and Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Santiago, Chile (2019).

“Is ‘ESG’ a Competitive Advantage?” at Kedge Business School, Marseilles (2018).

“What is ‘ESG’ and Why Should Businesses Care?” Union College, Schenectady, NY (2018).

"What is Social Entrepreneurship?" with Bill Wales at the School of Public Health at University at Albany, Albany, NY.