+Impact Studio Workshop and Speaker Series

Create a better world by design.

Design+Impact Workshops and Events

Join our community of people passionate about design and impact! You can develop and practice skills for social innovation in interactive, interdisciplinary workshops, and gain valuable perspective as an impact designer in our fireside chat series featuring impactful innovators from across sectors and disciplines. We invite you to join us and learn about events through our newsletter sign-up.

Faculty Research for Impact Design Workshop Series

Would you like to gain exposure to design thinking or advance your journey in becoming an impact designer? Are you interested in engaging with faculty in a whole new way? Come learn about how Ross faculty are advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) through business research in this design workshop series that brings together students from across campus with Ross faculty members. In each SDG-focused workshop, faculty share their research and students practice design tools and mindsets to develop real-world applications of the research that can make a positive impact.

Highlighted Events:

Why do some things catch on and others don’t? How do ideas get adopted and become a part of culture? On March 11, B+I hosted an interactive conversation with Marcus Collins, whose research focuses on how brands propagate and become ingrained within cultures. Read more

On Feb. 11, Impact Studio faculty director Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks was on hand to engage Adrienne Harris in a lively discussion about her work in governmental and corporate strategy around financial inclusion and fintech availability to the underserved. Ms. Harris is a U-M Ford School Professor and Gates Foundation Senior Research Fellow, and also advises fintech companies, incumbent financial institutions, and large venture capital firms.  Sanchez-Burks and Harris were joined by student Gabrielle Alves, VP of Diversity and Inclusition for the Ross MBA Finance Club.

Read more

During the month of February, we addressed Goal 13: Climate Action.  Several award-winning Ross faculty members (Ekaterina Astashkina, Andrew Hoffman, and Dana Muir) shared their research in an informal setting, and students had the opportunity to brainstorm possible next steps for how the research can be applied to real-world applications that make a positive impact.

During the month of January, we addressed Goal 3: Good Health & Well-Being.  Several award-winning Ross faculty members shared their research in an informal setting, and students had the opportunity to brainstorm possible next steps for how the research can be applied to real-world applications that make a positive impact.

The following faculty presented on key research insights:

  • Ravi Anupindi
  • Sarah Miller
  • John Siberholz

Read more

How are Ross faculty members advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through business research? In this interactive design micro-charette themed around Goal 1: Poverty Alleviation, three award-winning Ross faculty members (Bill Lovejoy, Ted London and Aneel Karnani) shared their research in an informal setting and students had the opportunity to brainstorm possible next steps for how the research can be applied to real-world applications that make a positive impact. This highly successful event was the first in a series of similar events which will take place in the new +Impact Studio.

In October, the Center for Social Engaged Design, the Problem Solving Initiative, the School of Information and Business+Impact partnered to present an invitation-only design jam on the subject of payday lending.  Key professionals and alums with a knowledge of the challenges involved collaborated with students and brainstormed concepts and ideas in a high-energy setting with prizes and food.

See a photo album

The B+I +Impact Studio and Design+Business Club invited Juan-Carlos Morales to Michigan Ross to speak about design thinking applications to the world of business, in particular business that does good for society. He was interviewed by Michigan Ross’ faculty director of the +Impact Studio, Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks as part of Innovation Week. In the past 20 years Mr. Morales has taken his varied experiences and used  them to help organizations create better experiences for people. His current goals are the same goals he had  when painting graffiti as a teenager. Make things that people will talk about: work that he can be proud of, and work for a place that has purpose greater than just making money.

See photos from the event

March 18, 2019

The +Impact Studio at Ross 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 about her work in the design and impact space, the design-based skills needed for disruptive change, and the skills companies and organizations are increasingly seeking in the workforce.