Sixth Annual Business+Impact Showcase Highlights UM Impact Organizations

Ann Arbor, September 7, 2023 – Part of Business+Impact’s mission is to make students aware of all the impact opportunities across the University of Michigan campus, so B+I welcomed incoming and returning students to its sixth annual Business+Impact Showcase on Thurs, Sept. 7 from 11 am – 1 pm at Michigan Ross’ Tauber Colloquium. New and returning students from across campus had the opportunity to meet with 34 exhibiting organizations from U-M in areas of interest like social justice, diversity,  sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Students visited booths for student clubs, Ross centers, and U-M-wide initiatives. A complete list of exhibitors appears at the end of this article. Ross’ new dean Sharon Matusik attended the event, and B+I Faculty Director, Jerry Davis was on hand as emcee for a series of “Impact Trivia” giveaways.

The event also promoted the Impact Gateway (http://rossimpact.com), basically the online version of this event, available 24-7 throughout the school year.  This gateway lists clubs, colleagues, current events, courses,  and more for all student changemakers across the University of Michigan.

At the event, attendees enjoyed brunch and lunch finger foods and mocktails, and made mission-focused buttons, among other things.

The Business+Impact initiative hosts this event annually in order to provide new students with a roadmap for work in sustainability, social issues, poverty, economic development, human rights, and other important causes. Michigan Ross, as the home of the Erb Institute, the Center for Positive Organizations and the William Davidson Institute,  among others, opens it’s doors to students across campus and shows that business can be a force for good in the world. Business+Impact institutionalizes this goal with research, practicum and partnerships.

Exhibitor List (click tiles for more info)

The +Impact Studio at the Ross School of Business is a campus hub for impact creators and innovators. Launched within the Business+Impact Initiative in 2019, our mission is to bring impactful ideas to life using business knowledge, design tools, and research expertise. The +Impact Studio encompasses a collaboration space, an interdisciplinary graduate course, a design lab for impact-focused ventures and projects, and workshops and events. Our model activates the vast expertise and research insights from across campus to support the development and launch of powerful, impactful concepts.

180 Degrees Consulting is the world’s largest consultancy focusing on social enterprises, nonprofits, and international focused Fortune 500 companies. We provide organizations around the world with high quality and affordable consulting services. 180DC works with organizations to develop innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions for the challenges they face.

At the 180DC Michigan branch, we are driven by a passion to help these organizations solve unique challenges so they can make the greatest social impact in their respective communities. Our members share a common goal of taking part in consulting work that is not only challenging, but meaningful and rewarding. Finally, more than a student organization, we are a family that spends time together through a variety of social events throughout the year.

We accept applicants at the beginning of both Fall and Winter semesters. To learn more about joining, please visit our website!

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 an integral part of the DNA of our business school. 

Ross already has a strong reputation for impact, with centers and institutes focused on worldwide challenges, and one fifth of incoming students expressing an interest in impact careers. But as we go forward, in addition to our existing programs and Impact Gateway, we will pursue the creation of a new +Impact Studio for coworking, a social innovation series to disseminate impact research, and deeper engagement with Detroit.

Business+Tech is building a stronger and more connected tech community at U-M and beyond. We generate innovative context to expand tech literacy and curate action-based learning opportunities to advance tech competency. Open to students from all schools/colleges, our programs incorporate competitions, panels, speakers, and networking events that support those looking to pivot into tech or start a career at a tech company. Interested in learning more? Email Emilee Studley, Business+Tech Program Manager at studleem@umich.edu.

The Center for Positive Organizations is the leading global center for the science of designing and sustaining thriving organizations. Located in the Ross School of Business, we are the launchpad for those looking to build thriving organizations and careers. We offer world-class curriculum, learning experiences, and programs that lead to work filled with meaning and positive contributions. Our students gain the knowledge, tools, and resources to change the business world for the better. We are a Center of visionaries and revolutionaries.

 To learn more about our student programs, visit the Students section on our website by selecting “Students” from the “Learn” dropdown menu.

We are the UM student chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. CCL is a nonprofit, grassroots-focused international organization. Its mission is to create the political will to pass climate policies, such as the Carbon Fee and Dividend, which we see as the best first-step to solving climate change. (Read more about the national organization and its policy proposals here.)

The goal of our student chapter is to create the political will on campus for climate change solutions. We accomplish this through grassroots outreach, education, partnerships, media, and lobbying. Our approach to advocacy centers around nonpartisanship, respect, and pragmatism. 

Ultimately, we use these advocacy efforts to build positive relationships with our elected officials so that we can move the needle on climate action at all governmental levels.

As a member of this student group, you can be part of the solution to climate change while gaining experience as a politically active citizen. 

Find more resources and sign up for our mailing list here.

The Community Case Competition (formerly known as the Community Consulting Club) is one of the Ross School of Business’s most unique and popular student clubs. 

Each year, CCC oversees 5 to 10 consulting projects involving UM students to utilize their business acumen to help local social enterprises and non-profit organizations address challenges such as strategic planning, marketing, operations, financial management, and human resources.

Teams of- 4-6 students from different backgrounds will work through a 10-week engagement for their nonprofit partner. Students will gain invaluable experience working together to understand the client’s problem, define the scope of the project, conduct research and analysis, and generate valuable recommendations while local non-profits receive expert business advice that they otherwise would be unable to afford.

The CCC provides a unique combination of training and education, practical consulting experience, and the opportunity to make an impact on the local community.

Club Benefits:

  • Participants have gone on to secure internships at McKinsey, Deloitte, Strategy&, and other consulting firms
  • Mentors from Deloitte and Strategy&
  • Team Leadership opportunities
  • Develop critical consulting skills in a safe environment ahead of consulting interviews
  • Celebratory Gala in early December 

Contact information: 

Slack channel: #ccc-2023

Email: communitycc@umich.edu

The Design + Business (D+B) Club is a Ross student organization focused on education, practical application, and career development in design thinking fields.  The mission of D+B is to provide a multidisciplinary community for graduate students interested in using design methodologies to lead organizations and facilitate innovation.

Launched by Ross School of Business MBA students in 2010, the Detroit Initiative at Ross connects University of Michigan students with Detroit’s vibrant and evolving business landscape. Through on- and off-campus events, an annual Impact Conference, student-run consulting projects, and a mentoring program, DIR promotes the city’s assets and encourages University of Michigan students to experience, engage with, and commit to the revitalization of the Motor City.

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project is a university-wide program that connects neighborhood-based Detroit businesses with University of Michigan faculty-supervised student teams from 7 U-M schools to help students learn critical consulting skills while providing minority-owned businesses with free legal, financial, marketing, operational, design, and technology services. Through semester-long courses, an internship program, and year-round programs, we give students a chance to apply and grow their skills while supporting business owners’ visions for their communities. 

The Energy Club at Ross (ECR) is a group of University of Michigan students who share an interest in energy. ECR promotes career development by providing a forum for education about all aspects of business in the energy sector. ECR offers opportunities for students to discuss and learn about subjects such as Solar, Wind, Utilities, Energy Finance, Energy Consulting, Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Cleantech, Energy Storage, EV Charging Infrastructure, and Transmission within both traditional and renewable energy sectors. Members receive counseling on career paths, access to career treks, opportunities to participate in consulting projects and VC fellowships, access to energy talks and panels, and additional opportunities to meet with a variety of energy companies seeking to recruit top MBA, BBA, and other University of Michigan graduate students. Click here to join.

The Erb Institute is a partnership between the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. The institute’s mission is to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world through the power of business. We do that through research, teaching and business engagement—all focused on preparing and supporting bold business leaders who can adeptly transform companies, industries and entire economies for systemic sustainability.

 

The institute was founded 25 years ago as a dual-degree program in which graduate students receive their MBA from Ross and their MS from SEAS. In 2020, the institute expanded its educational programming to undergraduate students with the creation of the Erb Undergraduate Fellows program. Today, the institute has grown to include scholarly and applied research on business sustainability, as well as direct business engagement to turn ideas into action through on-the-ground projects with companies, social enterprises and nonprofits committed to business sustainability.

The Ginsberg Center is a community and civic engagement center with a mission to cultivate and steward equitable partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance social change for the public good. Based upon this mission, our vision is for inclusive democracy; thriving, diverse communities; and equity and social justice.

Since 2006, the Graham Sustainability Institute has worked to mobilize the passion of scholars, partners, and decision-makers, bringing world-class research to real-world sustainability challenges. Today, with a focus on climate change and water resources, we continue to facilitate engaged research, develop sustainability leaders, and inform policy and practice. Our emphasis on interdisciplinary, cross-sector partnerships leads to well-informed solutions that are practical, measurable, and widely applicable.

Graham’s Dow Distinguished Awards Competition provides student research funding of up to $30,000 over one calendar year for interdisciplinary graduate student teams to pursue applied solutions to sustainability challenges at the local, national, or global level.

The Graham Sustainability Scholars Program is a competitive sustainability leadership development program open to U-M undergraduates. Graham Scholars learn to incorporate sustainability into the campus, their lifestyle, their discipline, and the broader community through rich co-curricular experiences that include managing an interdisciplinary sustainability project with a local organization, honing leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, and completing a sustainability-focused summer field experience.

Graham will be accepting applications for both programs soon! Please contact ahaddad@umich.edu for details.

Socially Engaged Design is human(ity) centered – not just user centered.   We consider broad contexts through an equity-centered lens that impact the practice of engineering, including social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors that can completely change the design of solutions.  Further, we push designers to analyze how their own identities and cultural context shape their approach. The Center for Socially Engaged Design provides students the necessary space and tools to think more critically about design. Whether you’re currently in a course, working solo, or on a co-curricular team — or you have an idea you’d like to explore, C-SED can help.

MESA strives to promote student development and empower the campus community around issues of diversity and social justice through the lens of race and ethnicity.

Fun: We hope to weave celebration, laughter, and joy into our environment.

Collective Community: We build relationships with and beyond our circles so that we can work collaboratively to positively impact our environment, wherever that may be.

Trust: We trust individual and collective narratives and experiences. Some narratives sit in complement and other in contrast. Each engagement is an opportunity to extend and preserve trust by actively listening and demonstrating empathy and compassion.

Integrity: We will be honest, authentic and transparent; our decisions, actions and words will match what and who we say we are.

Intersectionality: While race/ethnicity is our foundation, we recognize that identities coexist to create a multi-dimensional person.

Transformation: We believe social change starts with the individual. We are committed to creating experiences and spaces that grow knowledge and take us to our learning edge.

A club dedicated to ESG education, students have the ability to connect with professionals working in impact-related fields and those who use ESG metrics in their daily work. This club organizes a symposium which hosts these professionals at the Michigan campus to facilitate meaningful conversations regarding the role businesses can play in combating climate change and also progressing the use of ESG reporting.
Bio on maize pages: The Michigan Impact Investing Symposium provides Ross School of Business, School of Public Policy, Program in the Environment, and all other interested undergraduate students at the University of Michigan a space to learn about impact investing and the career opportunities that exist within it. For the past 2 years, we have put on a symposium featuring industry leaders to speak on panels, hold coffee chats, and provide other networking opportunities throughout the event. This year, in addition to the symposium, we aim to hold biweekly educational meetings to inform and empower our general members during the Fall 2023 semester.

Net Impact @ Ross is a professional club and community for Ross students committed to driving social change. We are part of a broader international network of business leaders committed to responsible business models, policies and practices. Net Impact members seek to integrate this commitment into the mission, values, strategy and operations of organizations in which they are involved.

Planet Blue represents U-M’s deep commitment to sustainability in education, research, and operations. Together, we are advancing a universitywide culture of sustainability.

optiMize is a student-led community that offers workshops, mentorship, and funding for students to work on projects that make a positive impact. optiMize is open to all U-M students, regardless of college or campus. Get involved at optimizemi.org!

Poverty SolutionsUniversity of Michigan Poverty Solutions logo. Image is of the University of Michigan big block letter M in yellow and the words Poverty Solutions below. is a university-wide presidential initiative at the University of Michigan that partners with communities and policymakers to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty through action-based research. In confronting the challenges of poverty, we know scholars don’t have all the answers. Yet we have an important role to play. We can bring data, evidence, and analysis to identify critical issues and evidence-based solutions. Working in partnership, we can inform concrete action that empowers families to live healthy and productive lives.

The Law School launched the Problem Solving Initiative (PSI) in Winter 2017.

What Kinds of Class Challenges do Students Work on?

  • PSI classes allow students to learn about topics like Sustainable Food Systems, Connected and Automated Vehicles, Human Trafficking, “Fake News,” Firearm Violence, New Music Business Models, and more 
  • PSI classes allow students to learn about and apply tools, such as problem reframing, practicing empathy, and prototyping, which they will continue to apply in other classes, collaborative efforts, and the workplace

Students in PSI classes:

  • Develop creative problem solving tools
  • Lend their expertise and skills to a multidisciplinary team
  • Learn human-centered design thinking skills
  • Conduct research on, and engage in, advancing solutions to real-world challenges
  • Collaborate with a range of U-M graduate and professional students and faculty experts

PSI classes:

  • Are open to all U-M graduate and professional students, fostering cross-campus collaboration
  • Combine substantive learning and hands-on skill development
  • Change every term, offering new challenges and teaching teams
  • Have been taught by Law School faculty and faculty partners from units that include Architecture and Urban Planning, Business, Economics, Engineering, History of Art, Information, Kinesiology, Nursing, the Medical School, Music, and Sociology

What is the format of PSI Classes? 

  • PSI classes are taught by two faculty members (one from Law; a second from another U-M unit)
  • Students participate in guiding their own experience, while collaborating alongside 1) students from other units, 2) faculty experts, 3) stakeholders, 4) guest speakers 
  • During class sessions:
    • students collaborate with team members 
    • faculty members lecture about the class challenge
    • guest speakers present information and address student questions
    • students report out about their findings
    • students apply problem-solving techniques and work on their capstone project

Who Should Take a PSI Class?

Students should consider taking a PSI class if they:

  • are interested in developing problem-solving skills
  • want to work with people from different disciplines
  • are motivated to tackle a pressing challenge facing the world 
  • want to learn about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to a challenge from a variety of perspectives
  • want to acquire skills that they can apply in the real world

The Program in the Environment (PitE) offers both a broad liberal arts education in environmental topics and the opportunity for students to pursue various lines of individual interest in considerable depth.  Broadly speaking, PitE’s curriculum focuses on the complex interactions of human beings and their environment.  To understand these interactions and learn how to create more rational and equitable forms of human habitation on this planet, PitE students develop a multidisciplinary perspective integrating the methods and approaches of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

School for Environment and SustainabilitySituated within the nation’s top public research university, the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) has been a pioneer in environmental education, research, and activism for more than a century.

SEAS offers the nation’s most integrated and comprehensive environmental education for graduate students.  Equity and justice are at the core of all that we teach, and all that we do, at SEAS. We recognize that mainstream environmentalism has its roots in racist ideologies and practices, which have caused irrevocable harm to Black, marginalized, Indigenous, and underrepresented peoples.  Taking a holistic approach, we foster partnerships, initiatives, and projects that tap into the vanguard expertise of faculty across campus. 

Project RISHI (Rural India Social & Health Improvement) is a nonprofit organization aiming to
promote the sustainable development and growth of rural Indian communities. We work with
Indian communities to identify and address pertinent issues impacting quality of life. Through
extensive field research (on the ground in India) and on-campus initiatives, we are able to
support our community partners. If you are interested in joining Project RISHI at the University
of Michigan, please find more information about our specific projects and application process on
our website. We’re excited to hear from you!

Propel’s mission is to educate students at the University of Michigan on the intersection between positive business and social impact; and to work alongside local organizations, developing initiatives to maximuze their impact.

The Career Development Office (CDO) at Michigan Ross is charged with delivering world-best career services to its students. CDO partners with recruiters, academic programs, alumni, and clubs to help Ross students prepare for recruiting, develop connections, and leverage the power of the Michigan alumni network. Dedicated CDO Career Coaches are available to support students explore careers with impact and help them navigate and strategize for the internship and job search.

The mission of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Michigan Ross is to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Ross community. We work to fulfill this mission through direct engagement with Ross faculty, staff and students and partnerships across the University of Michigan and beyond.

Launched in September 2009 by a group of MBA students, the SVF invests in and supports innovative companies that place social impact at the heart of their business model. SVF fosters the growth of enterprises responding to societal needs that traditional markets have insufficiently addressed. As the first student-run social venture fund in the country, SVF provides an unparalleled action-based learning experience, which places equal importance on maximizing financial returns and socially/environmentally-driven venture investing and entrepreneurship. The fund is housed within the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business.

SVF invests in early-stage (Seed, Bridge, or Series A), for-profit enterprises within four circles: Climate, Community Development, Education, Health.

The Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) promotes a sustainable campus culture at the University of Michigan by bringing people together to achieve social and environmental change. SSC is not a club or member organization—rather, we are a small group of students who work closely with the Graham Sustainability Institute, the Office of Campus Sustainability, Student Life, and the many student organizations across campus to advance sustainability. We are here to build connections, foster new partnerships, and amplify initiatives.

The Detroit Partnership seeks to connect the students at the University of Michigan with Detroit-based community partners by facilitating service-learning opportunities and on-campus events.  Beginning in 2018, The Detroit Partnership is now a student organization sponsored by the Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan. Additionally, The Detroit Partnership is a government registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Our organization has two main service parts, our weekly programs and our major events. For weekly programs, we organize transportation for students to travel to Detroit once per week. Programs can range from tutoring children to teaching squash to helping adults get identification to apply to jobs! We have a program for everyone’s interests and aim to foster sustainable, educational relationships with our community partners. Our fall programs are now open!

For major events, we organize the largest single day of service at the University of Michigan. Detroit Partnership Day, also known as “DP Day,” occurs in late March or early April in second semester and brings hundreds of students and their respective clubs to Detroit to volunteer for a day. Additionally, we help put on “One Stop Shop” where we hold fundraisers to purchase toys and winter clothing for families in Detroit. While a member of the community shops, we help hold bags and guide them through the many sections of the store created inside of a Brightmoor church. Our internal planning team also participates in RCDC Day where we work on community revitalization projects such as weeding and gardening for one day.

The University of Michigan Detroit Center (UMDC) provides a visible symbol of our 200-year relationship with the City of Detroit. Conveniently located in the heart of the city’s cultural center on Woodward Avenue, the Center is a gateway for University and urban communities to mutually enrich each other through service, education, research, and cultural exchange.

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is an entirely student-run organization that designs, builds, and races solar electric vehicles. Since its establishment in 1989, the team has built 17 vehicles, won the American Solar Challenge nine times, placed in the top three in the World Solar Challenge seven times, and won one international competition. The team is recognized as the most successful team in North America, and one of the most successful teams in the world. We accept all years and majors with no experience required, and have three non-engineering divisions where members can make an impact. The Business Division is responsible for fundraising, budgeting, and sourcing. They also work to develop and maintain sponsor relations with corporations around the world, large and small. The Operations Division works to ensure the team has the materials and resources required to build a cutting-edge electric vehicle. The Communications Division handles marketing, public relations, and produces media dedicated to generating interest in our team, solar racing, and renewable energy technologies.

At the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, unlocking the power of business to provide lasting economic and social prosperity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is in our DNA. We gather the data, develop new models, test concepts and collaborate with partners to find real solutions that lead to new opportunities. This is what we mean by Solving for Business—our calling since the Institute was first founded as an independent nonprofit educational organization in 1992. We believe societies that empower individuals with the tools and skills to excel in business, in turn generate both economic growth and social freedom—or the agency necessary for people to thrive.

The Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Michigan Ross advances the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation through academics, competitions, symposium, and global community outreach. The Zell Lurie Institute is the foremost resource for students as they pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and private equity careers.   

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