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U-M Ross Business + Impact
U-M Ross Business + Impact
Map Your U-M Journey


Summer 2024 Newsletter

Board Fellowship Nonprofit Recruiting

Applications Due
Sun, June 30

We invite nonprofits serving Southeast Michigan to apply for our Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program. Eligible nonprofits must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3), have an operating history of at least 2 years, a minimum of 5 board members, and a minimum of 2 board meetings between October 2024 and April 2025. Please email with any questions.

Learn More & Apply


2024 Summer Impact Interns

This year, Business+Impact is supporting 21 students through its Summer Fund, and 36 U-M students overall in a variety of summer internship experiences. Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer impact internships to MBAs and BBAs in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy. Additionally, B+I’s Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) hosts several undergraduate students in its Impact Studio for Local Business (ISLB).  This year, DNEP ISLB is hosting 12 students.

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Podcast: ESG — At Home in Europe and Soon, the World

In this episode of Social Impact Design for Business, Jerry Davis of Michigan Ross’ +Impact Studio interviews Kim Dabbs, Global VP of ESG and Social Innovation at Steelcase and best-selling author of “You Belong Here.” In this episode, Kim discusses her path from nonprofit work into her current job at Steelcase, and why she moved to Munich for it.

Listen Here


Revitalizing Roots: A Detroit Native’s Experience From Family Legacy to Community Impact

The Impact Studio is a proud partner of Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) Impact Studio for Local Business. This summer, undergraduate students are implementing technology and new marketing strategies for Detroit businesses, and the program has been meeting in the Impact Studio. In this post, Ross BBA Sam Ibri talks about his roots in Detroit and reports on what he’s learned so far about entrepreneurs’ insights, class concepts, and working comfortably with ambiguity.

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Gabriela Alvarez (MBA ’23)

It’s only been a year since Gabriela Alvarez (MBA ’23) graduated from Michigan Ross, but already she is making social impact waves as a Senior Strategy Consultant at Accenture in Chicago. While at Ross, she not only got a certificate in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and took social impact courses, but also took part in our Nonprofit Board Fellows Program. We caught up with her soon after she joined the Board of Directors of Grupo Guayacán, a nonprofit dedicated to education and entrepreneurship activities in Puerto Rico, and a pivotal player in her career and life story.

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Future Now 017 Podcast — Reimagining Food with Mark Bittman

B+I’s faculty director Jerry Davis joins IFTF executive director Marina Gorbis in a conversation with award-winning food journalist Mark Bittman about The Bittman Project, which seeks to create community kitchens serving affordable, sustainable food. Also in the discussion are Kenneth Bailey of the Design Studio for Social Intervention; Douglas Rushkoff, writer and media theorist; and IFTF’s Rebecca Shamash, a sociologist studying equitable enterprises. Together, they discuss the challenges of operating outside profit-driven systems, the importance of education around food, and the need for economic and political support to transform inequitable food and economic systems, and insights into building more equitable enterprises and food practices.

Listen Here

Map Your U-M Journey: A Platform for Impact Across Campus

The Business+Impact Map Your U-M Journey ( provides you with a single location for all things impact at Ross and across campus. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people, and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world.

Start Here


Impact News and Notes

VIDEO: Charging the Future – U-M Researchers Spark Innovation in Electric Vehicle Batteries

Design, construction approved for UM Center for Innovation in Detroit – featuring Laurie McCauley

Minimum Wage Study Debunks Business Claim – featuring Nirupama Rao

Yellen Faces Diplomatic Test in Urging China to Curb Green Energy Exports – featuring Mary Gallagher

PODCAST: The state of the environment as Earth Day 2024 approaches – featuring Rosina Bierbaum

Many Older Americans Get Care Outside of Doctor’s Office, Poll Finds – featuring Jeffrey Kullgren

Students turn fallen campus trees into public tables

A lawmaker proposed a bill that would ban DEI in medical schools – featuring Versa Pleasant

Academic ‘Elders’ Wanted: Inquire Within – featuring Andy Hoffman

Report: Detroit home values increased nearly $4B since bankruptcy – featuring Jeffrey Morenoff

SEAS alumna Laura Rubin: Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes

Digital Transformation Consulting program through B+T and DNEP launches

PODCAST: George Chatas says Campus Becomes “Living Lab” for Environmental Stewardship

Google’s Gaza conflict: Why more bosses are cracking down on Israel-Hamas war protesters – featuring Jerry Davis

Michigan Ross Professor Investigates the Impact of Local Climate Change Beliefs and Policy – featuring Tom Lyon

VIDEO: Equity’s Role in Sustainable Leadership – featuring Chris Rider

Grants awarded to student-centered sustainability projects

From flooding in Brazil and Houston to brutal heat in Asia, extreme weather seems nearly everywhere – featuring Jonathan Overpeck

Engage Detroit Workshop grants go to five new projects

Detroit Underwater: A Closer Look at Flooding in Metro Detroit

U-M wins competitions for waste and energy reduction

Michigan doctor who revealed Flint water crisis now takes on child poverty – featuring Luke Shaefer

At the University:


Juneteenth Symposium

Thurs-Fri, June 20-21
Michigan League

The Juneteenth Organizing Committee invites you to two dynamic and thought-provoking days of visual art, performances, conversation, and celebration as we present the fifth-annual Juneteenth Symposium. You’re encouraged to come in person and join the community for these events. However, events will be livestreamed at the link below.

More Information


In the Impact Community:

Centering Justice

Fri, June 19 @ 10 am

Centering Justice (CJ) is a virtual space to find and share inspiration for racial justice and liberation. Here, we celebrate people, stories, and ideas to spur community-centered action. We uplift BIPOC leaders who are already dreaming, healing, reflecting, and moving us forward. CJ is a space to hear, learn, practice, play. It’s a space to explore ourselves, our work in nonprofits and social change. And a place to rediscover the skills and wisdom we need to transform into the future we want, together.

More Info & Registration


Bamboo Start-up Pitch Night

Apply to Pitch on
June 25 @ Royal Oak
Sept 12 @ Detroit

Are you a founder or creator with a product, idea, or technology company? At each pitch night, we welcome 3-5 founders from the Michigan startup community to present for 5 minutes and take questions from the audience. Applications close 2 weeks before each pitch night date for review and selection. All Michigan-based companies are eligible to apply to any of the pitch nights– you don’t have to be located in the city of the event!

More Info


Growing the B Corp Movement: The Impacts of Business as a Force for Good

Thurs, June 27 @ 11 am – 1:30 pm
3929 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Featuring the esteemed Jorge Fontanez, CEO of B Lab U.S. & Canada, this exclusive luncheon will delve into the essence of B Corps, discussing their measurable impacts both nationally and globally in community with 200+ business and community leaders. Mr. Fontanez will explore how these values-driven businesses are crucial for sustainable business growth and why civic engagement and interdependence are vital for the prosperity of the Economy.

Info and Registration


D-Prize Startup Grant

Apply Now

Can you design a new business or NGO that delivers a proven poverty intervention at scale? Submit your design for a new organization that solves one of our Distribution Challenges below. We will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch their new organization wherever extreme poverty exists. Subject areas include Health, Water, Education, Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Public Services.

More Info


Detroit Concert of Colors

July 16-21
Detroit Institute of Arts

The Concert of Colors is metro Detroit’s free annual diversity-themed music festival. Global music at its finest at this colorful, festive, upbeat coveted summer event. Housed in Culture Source a coalition of 152 arts organizations in Southeast Michigan, the Concert of Colors has become the Midwest’s biggest diversity and arts festival. It is produced by tThe Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, University of Michigan – Detroit Center, and many more!

More Info and Registration


Responsible Investment Forum West 2024

Sept 4-5
Silicon Valley, CA

Join 200+ institutional investors, fund managers, expert advisors, and highly recognized thought leaders in the heart of Silicon Valley for unrivalled networking opportunities on 4-5 September. Discover how to leverage sustainable investment strategies that enhance returns. Gain a comprehensive overview of the current regulations and policies in place that are driving positive change and supporting the state of California’s commitment to a more sustainable future.

More Info


Ele’s Place Healing Hearts 5K

Sun, Sept 15 @ 11 am
6300 Interfirst Dr., Ann Arbor

Help raise awareness of and support for grieving children, teens, and their families who are grieving in Ann Arbor, and the surrounding southeast Michigan area. Ele’s Place Ann Arbor families and the community are invited to participate in this family-friendly event to honor, celebrate and remember a special person who has died. This event is an opportunity to put “one foot in front of the other” to help fund our peer grief support programs and ensure they remain FREE OF CHARGE to all who are in need of our services today, tomorrow and always. So, grab your walking/running shoes AND join us for the Ele’s Place Ann Arbor Healing Hearts Family 5K Walk/Run

More Info and Registration