ThinkFest Preview: Farah Jimenez on Rethinking How We Solve Social Problems

The SRC member says it's past time for a new approach.

Farah Jimenez listens during a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, in Philadelphia. Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday he will authorize $265 million in advance payments to the Philadelphia school district to allow schools to open "on day one" and help avoid layoffs. He said the money represents early disbursement of funds that the schools would normally receive through the academic year. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Farah Jimenez. | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Farah Jimenez doesn’t shy away from massive, intimidating, systemic problems. Last year, the Republican was tapped to tackle Philadelphia’s educational woes as a member of the School Reform Commission. Before that, she battled homelessness as president of the People’s Emergency Center in West Philadelphia from 2010 to 2014. Between 1997 and 2010, she worked as executive director of Mt. Airy USA, helping to bolster the community development corporation and overhaul the area’s commercial corridor.

At ThinkFest, Jimenez will give a presentation titled, “Shaking Up the System: Rethinking How We Solve Social Problems.” We expect it will draw from her long history of taking on huge city issues.

“If we know how to get a man on the moon, why can’t we find a solution to that which ails our society?” asks Jimenez. “Whether it be gun violence, homelessness, hunger, or the fill-in-the-blank social cause that moves you, we react with passion and energy — cries for changes in the law, advocacy for more money — and yet nothing seems to change. Why is that? If we really want to solve the social issues that plague us, maybe it’s time to rethink our approach to these issues.”

Join us on November 6th at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business for a day of the city’s smartest people sharing their biggest ideas. Read all of our ThinkFest 2015 previews here, and get your tickets today.