The Intersection Event was featured in The San Francisco Business Times. Click here or see below to read the full article.

New conference, venture fund seek social impact

San Francisco Business Times by Patrick Hoge, Reporter
Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 2:59pm PST – Last Modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 4:24pm PST
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Venture capitalist Randy Haykin celebrates the launch of The Giving Network by singing a Steve Jobs tribute with the a capella group Voices In Harmony.
Having achieved success as a venture capitalist, Randy Haykin says he’s at the point in life where he’s making “a shift personally toward giving something back to those in need.”

To accomplish that, Haykin has founded The Gratitude Network, a venture fund that will back both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises seeking to do social good.

Haykin unvelied his grand plan Saturday at a day-long happening called “The Intersection Event,” which was hosted at Pixar Animation Studios    in Emeryville by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar President Ed Catmull, who skipped the 49ers playoff game with the New Orleans Saints to attend, despite having tickets.

The event’s ambitious and extremely wide-ranging agenda promised an “unparalleled day-long experience, the most respected innovators in the world converge with leading social change agents to tackle some of the greatest issues of our time.

It included interviews onstage with Catmull, who talked about inspiring original thinking at Pixar; Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon, a well-known social activist; former President George H.W. Bush’s granddaughter Lauren Bush, who raises money for food programs through sales of fashion goods; and a performance by a guitar playing yogi named Guru Singh.

“We have a heart-centered job to do,” said Singh, a dramatic figure with his long, gray beard, turban and flowing white robes, who exhorted the some 250 participants to sing out their desire to “stand up” to global challenges that include an exploding human population, widespread poverty, ignorance and starvation.

“The task is upon us,” Singh said.

Another musical performance featured Haykin himself as part of the Voices In Harmony, a large a capella ensemble that did several numbers, including a tribute to Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs underneath huge projected images from his career.

“Now I know exactly who I am, and what I’m here for,” the group sang from Randy Newman’s classic song “I Will Go Sailing No More,” from the classic Pixar movie, “A Toy Story.”

Haykin said event was designed to spark innovative thinking by bringing experts from various fields together, and he hoped to inspire social activism.

“We want to get a mind-shift that people can make a difference,” he said.

The second annual Intersection event has already been scheduled for Jan. 19, 2013, to be hosted by Google  in Mountain View.