Joy Anderson is a prominent national leader at the intersection of business and social change. She began as a high school teacher in New York City Public Schools. She went to New York to understand how power works in big systems and stayed for eight years because she fell in love with the students. Joy played leadership roles in the teachers union and managed federally funded programs for the school and the district. After leaving New York, Joy transitioned from a school teacher to an entrepreneur, founding Criterion Ventures in 2002, co-founding Good Capital with Tim Freundlich and Kevin Jones in 2006 and leading the development of Rockefeller-funded Healthcare_Uncovered from 2006 until 2009.
Literally hundreds of ventures have been shaped by Joy’s insights and experience. As faculty on the leading social innovation award programs, including Unreasonable Institute and Echoing Green, she advises the next generation of leaders. As chair of the board of directors of Village Capital and through involvement in Investor’s Circle, she is actively involved in shaping early stage social investments. And through her role in developing and leading Structure Lab© workshops she has helped over 300 organizations think through their legal and financial structures.
A serial entrepreneur and consummate networker, Joy’s leadership and expertise have been at the forefront of the development of the social capital markets over the last 10 years. Her interest in the role of finance in changing the world was sparked during her eight year consulting relationship with the General Board of Pensions of the United Methodist Church. She was instrumental in her board position at Lutheran Community Foundation in their recent $10 million allocation to social investment. As a recognition of her business leadership, in 2011, Joy was ranked 51st in Fast Company’s annual of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. Currently, she leads Criterion Institute which serves as a think tank around shaping markets to create social and environmental good.
Joy’s intellectual interests draw on her research for her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. Her dissertation examined prison reform in the 1830’s and how individuals and organizations in democracies claim expertise in order to shape public institutions. Joy lives with her husband and daughter in a Connecticut apple orchard, and can be found in the fall pressing cider and boiling apple syrup.