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U-M Ross Business + Impact
U-M Ross Business + Impact
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November 2023 Newsletter


Design Equitable Enterprises in the Winter +Impact Studio Course

Professors: Cat Johnson, Jerry Davis |  Credits: 3
Winter 2024

The +Impact Studio graduate course (BA670) prepares students to be architects of an equitable, just, and sustainable future. In Winter ’24, this award-winning course will focus on the green energy transition.  We will be engaging with neighborhood partners in Detroit to design equitable and feasible business models for innovative green energy models that support communities. The course is 3 credits and will be offered to all graduate students on Wednesday mornings during the Winter semester.  This course received an Aspen Business & Society Ideas Worth Teaching Award in recognition of its expansive purpose, innovative thinking, and integrated, multi-disciplinary approach.

Read a new Medium Post about the Winter ’24 +Impact Studio course.


Working in the ESG Space – A Panel Discussion

Mon, Nov. 27 @ 5-6 pm ET

Join us for a panel discussion about working in ESG. Ross alums and leaders in the ESG space will share their experiences, insights, and recommendations around working in ESG and tips for recruiting.


We are proud to announce our 2023-24 B+I Student Ambassadors — graduate and undergraduate students from the Ross School of Business and other peer schools who represent the student voice for the B+I initiative. Many of these students have participated in our programs or received funding or scholarships from us, and have been actively involved in the numerous impact activities at U-M.




B+I’s New Executive-in-Residence

Business+Impact  is proud to announce our newly-recognized Executive-in-Residence, Dr. Neil C. Hawkins! Neil Hawkins has spent a career collaborating to define a positive and impactful role for business in global sustainable development and public policy. For 31 years, he was a key leader at Dow, ultimately serving as Chief Sustainability Officer and CVP for Environment, Health, and Safety. He has also served as President of the Erb Family Foundation currently is interim CEO and President of the World Environment Center. B+I staff and students are excited to engage with and learn from the wealth of experience Dr. Hawkins brings to this position.



Sea Spider

Almost half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating island of trash twice the size of Texas, is made up of discarded fishing gear. This gear, called ghost fishing nets, strangle marine life and block sun from contributing to the underwater ecosystem. Sea-Spider uses artificial intelligence, in conjunction with existing technology, to predict when and where nets can be found and ultimately removed.

Read more

Ross Events:

CPO: Where Does DEI Go from Here?
Thurs, Nov. 16 @ 1-2 pm
Virtual Event

Alumni: Impact Day at Forgotten Harvest
Sat, Nov. 18 @ 9 am – Noon

ZLI: Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track
Fri, Dec. 1 @ Ross School of Business

CPO: Generosity Accelerator
Tues, Dec. 5 @ 4-5:30
Ross School of Business

Impact News and Notes

Campus research directors named for Inclusive History Project

‘We are the centerpiece for freedom and resistance’

New memoir tells tales of family, identity and growing up in Detroit’s Cass Corridor

A Detroiter’s guide to the air we breathe

University of Michigan regents approve construction for $250M Detroit innovation center

Detroit early education programs serve as excellent models for PreK for All

Detroiters rally against company’s request to pollute in city’s most toxic area

Climate change threatens fish in Michigan’s Great Lakes. Watch video – featuring Karen Alofs

Grant for consortium led by U-M boosts energy, battery work

Why Clean Air is a Luxury that Many Can’t Afford – featuring Caroline Hausman

Guarding the Great Lakes: A lake-by-lake look at the impact of climate change – featuring Richard Rood

Keeping an eye on Michigan’s current environmental legislation – featuring Liesl Clark

Neubacher recipient advocates for voices to be heard, valued

At the University:


Diversity Alliance: Pathways to Public Policy

Tues, Nov. 14 @ 8-9 pm ET
Virtual Event

Topics of discussion with our alumni will include Unique pathways into careers in public policy; diversity, equity, and inclusion in the public policy work place; policy implications of current events; and mentorship and impact opportunities.

More Info


Start-up and Intern Applications

Startup Applicaton Due
Intern Application Due
Tues, Nov. 14

Join the Desai Community! We look for early-stage companies founded by upcoming or recent University of Michigan – Ann Arbor graduates. We prefer companies with demonstrated product-building capability, market validation, and an exceptional team dynamic with the ability to execute quickly.

Start-up Application    |    Intern Application


Social Work Events

Drawing on an interdisciplinary faculty within a public university seated in a region of enormous need and promise, School of Social Work events share education, research, and service that fosters progressive change for students, faculty and staff.

ENGAGE Community Engagement Showcase – Wed, Nov. 15

Unity in Diversity Dinner – Thurs, Nov. 16

A Microaffirmation Approach Toward Understanding Mental Health and Well-Being Among Black Male College Students – Thurs, Nov. 30

Community and Social Change Info Session – Wed, Dec. 6

Exploring a Social Justice Career Path – Thurs, Dec. 7

Promoting Action for Intersectional Social Justice – Mon, Dec. 11


Sustainability Honors Cords

Orders Due
Fri, Nov. 17

The Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord program is designed to recognize students who went above and beyond to advance their knowledge, skills, and practice of sustainability ethics while studying at the University of Michigan. The acceptance to the Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord program will allow students to receive an Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord for graduation, join an exclusive alumni LinkedIn network, and be part of a sustainability spotlight series.

Learn More


Global Scholars Applications

Fall & Winter 2024 Deadline
Sun, Dec. 3

GSP is an interdisciplinary living-learning community that brings students together from around the world to engage in social justice education on a global level. We invite applications from students of all backgrounds and levels of intercultural experience and from any college or school at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

More Info


James A. Kelly Learning Lever Prize

Propose Now

The James A. Kelly Learning Lever Prize is a competition designed to challenge University of Michigan students to invent digital tools with the potential to significantly improve student learning. This prize encourages a culture of innovation in education, and rewards the creative, interdisciplinary work of University of Michigan students.

More Info


Community Engagement Grants

Apply By Fri, Dec. 8

The Ginsberg Center provides multiple forms of financial resources for student groups and organizations to engage in positive change through social justice education, leadership development, and meaningful service experiences with the community. The Community Engagement Grant program allows us to deepen our partnerships with student organizations and support community-based initiatives. Community Engagement Grants are offered on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

Apply Now

In the Impact Community:


Nov. 15-17
Dallas, TX

Upswell Summit 2023, powered by Independent Sector, will advance our singular mission by offering thought leadership that wrestles with issues plaguing our nation, workshops and panels that will strengthen your institutional, personal, and professional development, as well as time to invest and care for the most important person in the work – you.

Registration Information

John R. Lewis Case Competition

Application Due
Fri, Nov. 17 at 11:59 pm ET

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply as teams for the free John Lewis Case Competition this month. The preliminary round consists of an industry-generic PowerPoint statement on intention. Semifinalists will be assigned to a corporate sponsor on December 11th and given a specific case prompt based on that sponsor’s racial justice/equality goals. The overall winning team will receive $20,000, with $7,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place.

More info

Volunteer for VITA and Help Others with Tax Returns

Training in November

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Join a community of over 80 volunteers in working to complete federal and state tax returns for low to moderate income families in Washtenaw County. Volunteer to help clients save on costly tax preparation fees, and put over $1.4 million of refunds into the hands of those that need it most. No experience? No problem! United Way’s comprehensive training process will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare basic tax returns.

More Info

MBark 2 Boulder

Jan. 3-6
Boulder, CO

Academic institutions are only now beginning to provide instruction in relevant disciplines such as authentic leadership and sustainability.  Meanwhile, natural foods companies have seldom recruited MBA students, so many of the best management practices, analytical tools, growth strategies, and latest research on organizational development are simply not present in the ranks of their leadership. MBArk was created to bridge that gap, bringing the “hearts” of natural foods together with the “smarts” of business education.

Apply Now