MARIE LISA M. DACANAY, PhD
Lisa is the founding President of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA), a leading knowledge resource and platform-building institution set up by practitioners and scholars in 2008. She is a mentor of social entrepreneurs, a pioneer in research and education on social entrepreneurship in Asia and an advocate for developing collaborative partnerships between social enterprises, civil society organizations, businesses and governments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also Convener of the Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Coalition which is spearheading lobby efforts for the PRESENT Bill in the Philippine Congress.
Dr. Dacanay was recognized by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and World Economic Forum as Outstanding Social Innovation Thought Leader of the Year 2019. Among the pioneering initiatives she has led was a multi-country research that resulted to a set of Benchmarks for Transformational Partnerships and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains (AVCs). Given the impacts of COVID19, these benchmarks have inspired a Platform on Women’s Empowerment, Livelihood and Food (WE LIVE FOOD) that is engaging social enterprises, agribusinesses and governments in ASEAN and beyond, to orient agricultural value chain recovery and development efforts towards building resilient, food secure, empowered and sustainable small producer communities. She is leading ISEA’s initiative to develop this and four other platforms towards inclusive recovery and building back fairer, including a Rural Revitalization, Youth and Social Entrepreneurship Platform in partnership with Sources for Action in China and the PRRM.
Dr. Dacanay has over 30 years of experience in development management and consulting, social entrepreneurship and international development cooperation in Asia. She started her career in development management in 1988 with PRRM. She rose from the ranks and became Vice President for Field Operations from 1997 to 1999. She served as Special Assistant for Countryside Development to the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform and was Project Manager of the Asian Development Bank-funded Agrarian Reform Communities Project from 1998 to 2000.
Dr. Dacanay was Associate Professor and Program Director for Social and Development Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management (Philippines) from 2000 to 2008. Since 2008, she has been teaching social entrepreneurship courses in masters and executive programs of the Ateneo de Manila University. Dr. Dacanay has authored books and articles on social entrepreneurship including Social Enterprises as Game Changers in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (2020); Social Enterprises in the Philippines: Social Enterprises with the Poor as Primary Stakeholders (2019); Social Enterprises and Agricultural Value Chains in Southeast Asia (2019); Social Enterprises and the Poor: Transforming Wealth (2013) and Measuring Social Enterprise: A Resource Book on Social Enterprise Performance Measurement (2009).
Dr. Dacanay has a degree in Bachelor of Science in Statistics (1984) from the University of the Philippines; a Master in Development Management (With Distinction) from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines (1996); and a PhD from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark (2012).