Impact Hackathon Brings Together Global Leaders to Transform the Impact Economy

On July 12-13, Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, worked with partners at Global Silicon Valley and the Stamps School of Art & Design to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, academics, corporate executives, policymakers, and others to discuss transformational ideas in impact. Using an architecture model known as a charrette, John Marshall of U-M’s Stamps School led subgroups in drafting solutions to the central question: “How can the impact economy create value beyond shareholder returns?” Subgroups then convened in a large group to hash out areas of common ground and disagreement.

Using a “hackathon” model over the course of a day, collaborative discussions addressed four focal questions:

  • How might we meet the social and sustainability challenges that are not being met by the current system?
  • How might we redirect efforts of initiatives that are falling short in the current economy and retool them for the impact economy?
  • How might we take advantage of new opportunities in the impact economy?
  • How might we accelerate existing initiatives in the impact economy?

Teams considered pathways for innovation within organization design, financing, impact business models, and through new dimensions. Participants were challenged to move beyond conventional approaches to solving problems or addressing needs.

The event was the beginning of a new Impact Task Force, founded by Michigan Ross and Global Silicon Valley (GSV). The ultimate goal of the group is to illuminate a path forward that enables new forms of enterprise and new models of funding to accelerate the pace of impact in the world. This and other annual events are designed to develop an ecosystem that will be at the forefront of sea change in the global economic system.

This July event was sponsored by Michigan Ross, Global Silicon Valley and Stamps School of Art & Design.