April 2019 Newsletter

At Ross:

Board Fellowship Program Update

Nonprofit Partners Info Sessions

Tues, Apr. 16 @ 5:30 pm, Ross School of Business, B2560
Thurs, May 2 @ Noon, U-M Detroit Center

Nonprofits in southeast Michigan are invited to attend one of the above information sessions to learn about the Board Fellowship Program. The program places graduate students on the boards of nonprofits for an academic year. Students complete key projects for the board while gaining real-world insight into the working of a nonprofit board. These sessions provide an overview to prospective organizations interested in participating during the 2019-20 academic year. Food will be provided at both sessions listed above.

2018-19 Board Fellows Experiences

The 2018-19 Board Fellowship Program was our biggest and most competitive program in years. Students from RossFord SchoolSchool of Social WorkPublic Health, and other programs developed project management and executive skills as board members of nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan. We interviewed Kevin Finnegan (MPP), Jenna Fiore (MSW), Grace Kendra (MM), and Vishnu Suresh (MBA) to learn a bit more about their personal experiences with the program this year.



Experience Last Month’s B+I Social Innovation Series Events

Cynthia Koenig: Designing for Impact

On March 18, the +Impact Studio hosted a discussion on leveraging design for impact with social innovator and MBA/MS ‘11 alum Cynthia Koenig. Cynthia is a Product Management Principal at Amazon, focused on designing impactful new digital products, and is the Founder of Wello, an award-winning social venture that designs disruptive and affordable innovations to provide better, more reliable access to safe water. Studio faculty Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks and Jerry Davis engaged Cynthia in a lively discussion.

Defining, Measuring, and Encouraging Impact

Effective Altruism at Michigan and Business+Impact organized a workshop for the purpose of discussing social impact through the lens of effective altruism. EA is a philosophy that tries to discover how we can use our time and careers to do the most good possible.

Work / Force Event

U-M’s Poverty Solutions partnered with Ford School of Public PolicyYouth Policy LabSchool of Education, and Ross School of Business’s Business + Impact to present a conference on workforce development. The event featured Greg Foran, President and CEO of Walmart US and Julie Gehrki, Vice President of Philanthropy at Walmart as speakers, and panelists like Shamar Herron, Deputy Director of MichiganWorks! Southeast, Sharon Miller, CCMP & Michigan Talent Architect for Consumers Energy HR, and Jeff Donofrio, Executive Director of Workforce Development, City of Detroit.


Ross Event Highlights:

WDI: Healthcare Delivery in Emerging Markets
Mon, Apr. 22 @ 5-6 pm
Ross, R1240

Ross: Birthright Citizens: Race & Rights in Antebellum America
Tues, May 7 @ 6-9 pm
Ross, Robertson Aud.

Ross: Ross Talks Detroit
Tues, May 7 @ 11:30 – 1
Westin Book Cadillac
Detroit, MI

Ross: Positive Business Conference
Thurs-Fri, May 9-10
Ross School of Business

For a complete list of impact events in the coming month, visit the Business+Impact Impact Gateway at RossImpact.com


Congratulations all 2019 graduates!

Ross Commencement – May 3

We at Business+Impact have come to know many students at Ross and across campus through our programs and partnerships. We will miss all of you graduating students, but we’re excited to see the impact you make in your careers, and we wish you all the best. Keep in touch with B+I by joining our LinkedIn group, and we hope to partner with you sometime in the future.

CTAC Community Showcase


The Community Technical Assistance Collaborative (CTAC) showcase will bring together community partners and student project teams to share the work that is happening in the community, and how current students are actively engaged in community capacity building.

Info and Registration

Who Won the Ross Portion of Aspen Case Competition?

This spring, Business+Impact at Ross has partnered with the Aspen Institute to bring the 2019 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition to the University of Michigan. The Ross portion of the competition took place from Mar.29-Apr.1. B+I is proud to announce that the Ross campus winner was Team Stubborn Optimists (Vanessa Lynskey – MBA ’19, Cristobal Cevallos – MBA ’19, and Joseph Tulloch – MBA ’19). If their proposal passes the next round, they have a chance to be flown to New York City and participate in the finals.

Read more


Impact News & Notes


About Business+Impact

Michigan Ross seeks to build a better world through business. Business+Impact is the central hub for these efforts, providing ideas and solutions to address the global challenges of our generation. We aim to embed impact deeply into every core activity of Ross, including teaching, research, and outreach. As such, impact is not a silo, but it is part of the DNA of our business school.


Cynthia Koenig (MS ’06/MBA ’11)

Cynthia Koenig is a Principal in Product Management at Amazon, and she is also the founder and Founder of Wello, which makes the Water Wheel, a 50-liter container that enables people to roll water from water sources rather than carry it on their heads. In this Spotlight, she speaks about design thinking large and small.


At the University:


Arts, Social Impact & Health Intern Workshop

Tues, Apr. 16 @ 5:45-6:45 pm
LSA Building – LSA 2001

All LSA students who are planning to do an internship with an arts, social impact, or healthcare organization in Summer 2019 should attend this orientation highlighting key issues related to these kinds of organizations.There will be interactive learning, work through strategies, and Q&A related to your summer internships. Dinner will be provided.

More Info


Dream City: Creation, Destruction, and Reinvention in Downtown Detroit

Fri, Apr. 19 @ 4:15
Rackham Building, East Conference Room

Join the Detroit School Series for a book talk with Conrad Kickert – Assistant Professor of Urban Design, University of Cincinnati – to explore how the history of downtown Detroit has differed from the familiar decline of the city’s neighborhoods: downtown grew faster, declined differently, and has been forced to reinvent itself time and again while battling the influential forces of the automobile and the suburbs.

More info


Muse Workshop – Sustainability and Big Data

Thurs, Apr. 25 @ 5 – 7 pm
Dana Building – 1006

The MUSE workshop brings together sustainability researchers from across the university to discuss ideas and promote interdisciplinary connections and collaborations. The workshops are informal gatherings with a facilitator who leads an often wide-ranging discussion. At this workshop, professor Tom Logan will discuss ethics and big data as applied to our climate change response.

More Info


Community Engagement and DEI: Applying Principles to Practice

Tues, May 7 @ 3 – 4:50 pm
North Quad – Language Resource Center
Mac Classroom, Room 1500

This session co-facilitated by experts from LSA’s Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL) and the Edward Ginsberg Center, will address key principles and promising practices to promote student learning *and* mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships when developing effective community-engaged courses. This session is designed for faculty, staff or graduate student instructors planning to teach or currently teaching a community-engaged course.

More info


Midwest Mobility from Poverty Network Convening

Wed, May 8 @ 8:30 am – 5 pm
Palmer Commons

The Midwest Mobility from Poverty Network’s steering committee invites all interested individuals or universities to join this first meeting that will explore how to use rapid response data and analysis in partnership with communities and governments to inform efforts on mobility and decreasing poverty. This event brings together researchers from various universities to discuss best practices and strategize how to expand their own work in this area.

More Info


UM3 Detroit

Thurs, May 9 @ 9 am – 6 pm
Gem Theatre, Detroit

Explore U-M’s engagement with Detroit and how U-M’s work with the city, CBO’s and residents is making a difference in the quality of life and opportunities for Detroiters. Learn, share ideas, and make connections with people from all three U-M campuses.

More info

In the Impact Community:

D Prize

Early Submission Date:
Sun, May 12 @ Midnight PT

The world has already invented ways to end poverty, yet the best interventions are not being distributed at mass-scale. Can you design a business or NGO that addresses subject from girls’ education to global health? If selected, you’ll be awarded up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists.

Info and Application

Picture of dandelion with spores blowing and the word "D-Prize"

Sustainable Brands Conference

June 3-6
Cobo Center, Detroit

Sponsored in part by Ross’ Erb Institute, Sustainable Brands hosts this yearly conference that attracts thought leaders with fast-track insights into the latest trends and business drivers for innovative environmental and social benefit. Participants will take part in interactive subject matter explorations, engage with the Sustainable Brands community, and experience Detroit through curated activities.

Register here

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