BA670: +Impact Studio Course

+Impact Studio Course

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+Impact Studio Course: BA670

Develop a toolkit for social innovation that is also desired by top employers across industries. In the interdisciplinary Impact Studio course, BA670, you’ll gain a mindset, a process, and a set of tools and experiences for developing impactful solutions to societal challenges. The course combines the management principles and acumen of business with design thinking, design tools, and interdisciplinary expertise and scholarly insights.

We know the pandemic is imposing new demands and constraints and creating new norms and needs for our community. So we asked ourselves – how can we use the knowledge and resources of the University of Michigan and its students to build back better – to reimagine business and the social sector to be more rewarding, just, and democratic? And how might we design for this new reality with resilience and equity in mind? 

This academic year, students in BA670 will engage local businesses and nonprofits to design solutions for tackling challenges and increasing resiliency through the pandemic. They will build on the work of Ross and Ford school students who were part of the summer program +Impact Studio for Local Business, launched in summer 2020. You can view the open source resources and guides they created. We are prioritizing organizations facing inequities in the wake of the pandemic including women and minority-owned businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

This course is taught by Dr. Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, Behavioral Scientist and Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business, whose research and teaching focus on the social process of designing and implementing desired futures.

Winter 2020 Course Prototypes

The BA 670 class of Winter 2020 presented the following proposals in Financial Resilience for college graduates and Clean Water, in April 2020:

COFUND

This student-created solution is an emergent-need funding platform to support nonprofits in providing financial assistance to the unbanked and credit-invisible people in their communities.

mypath

This idea is a phone-based app designed to help high schoolers and their counselors make personalized, informed decisions about post-secondary pathways and then develop awareness around requirements and resources.

Opportunity Equity pledge

The Opportunity Equity Pledge was created to raise awareness of inequality in social capital access. Upon graduation, students pledge 12 hours of service a year to improving social capital for future students who may not have had the same opportunities.

waterwise

WaterWise is a web-based solution that accumulates water quality data and resources into one, easy-to-use platform. Within the site, users can learn about the quality of water in their homes, learn about the health risks of contaminated water, compare options for addressing poor water quality, and connect with local government and community representatives who can help.

Diversity in teams leads to innovation. In the +Impact Studio course, I had the unique opportunity to work with other grad students on campus. We were able to bring our own perspectives and bridge broader ideas together to design solutions for communities affected by COVID-19."

— Katarina Chan (MBA ‘21)