Summer 2020 Newsletter

Anti-Racism and Racial Justice

Business+Impact stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the Ross School of Business BBSA. With Business+Impact we aim to build a better world through powerful ideas and solutions to address the global challenges of our time. We are committed to the work of dismantling the structures of systemic racism, advancing racial justice in America, and building an equitable and sustainable future. We recognize that we must examine how we live our values each day, and seek to continually educate ourselves and others in the fight for justice and equity. Below are some featured items and a link to a resource page.


+Impact Studio News

Impact Design Lab 
The Impact Design Lab provides interdisciplinary coaching and support for early-stage impact prototypes developed through the course and other impact projects. The Lab offers guidance on design thinking, social impact, and innovation, and helps connect projects into the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem at UM.  

Impact Design Summer Fellowship
This summer, a team of Impact Design Fellows with business, digital design, and technical skills are collaborating with Studio faculty and staff to bring the work of the studio from prototype to launch. The Fellows– Lucy Jiang (MSI), Justin Woods (MBA/MSW), and Elizabeth Sofranek (MBA) will bring their interdisciplinary skills to a project prototype designed to advance equity.

They are joined in the Impact Design Fellowship by student Fellows working on course prototypes at external organizations or impact projects/ventures, including: Alyshia Dyer (MPP), Justin Woods (MBA/MSW), Zichen Wang (MS, Design Science), Ruchita Lodha (MSI), Bennett Hilkert (BBA), Stephanie Shoo (BBA/BSE), and Rodney Sherwin Shibu (BSE).

You can read insights from Impact Design Fellow Justin Woods in the article, 5 Ineffective Ways Organizations Respond to Racial Trauma and participate in a series of three webinars on racial justice next week. Stayed tuned for more news from the Impact Design Lab this summer! 

+Impact Studio for Local Business
This summer B+I is working with partners at Michigan Ross and the Ford School of Public Policy to help small businesses in Detroit adapt and innovate in the wake of COVID-19 through a program called Impact Studio for Local Business. Business and Public Policy students in the program support the Southeast Michigan community and help build a more resilient local ecosystem.



Announcing the 2020 Impact Interns

Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy.  MBA funding comes from the Give-A-Day Fund, a Ross MBA pay-it-forward fund, which recently won a CASE award.

This year, although interns will be asked to work from home, these students are still making an impact around the world. Below, see the list of nearly 30 recipients and who they will be working with this summer.

Claire Haase, Waterworks, Detroit, MI
Ryan Kellett, Positive Business Rapid Assessment Tool, Birmingham, MI
Yousef Kobeissi, US House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
Reena Mathews, Sierra Club, Lansing, MI
Neha Paragi, Troy Digital Consulting Initiative, Troy, MI
Sara Sotirov, Total Impact Capital, Bethesda, MD

Claire Babilonia, Ashoka, Arlington, VA
Sara Bemporad, Blavity Inc., San Francisco, CA
Kelsey Casey, The Global Good Fund Columbia, MD
Robert Chen, Bcurrent Impact Investment, Taiwan
Suman Gidwani,, Los Angeles, CA
Andrey Higashi, Fleming Medicina, Porto Alegre Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Dustin Huibregtse, Quorum: The Twin Cities GLBTA Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis, MN
J’Taime Lyons, East Durham Children’s Initiative, Durham, NC
Avani Sharma, Teach for India, New Delhi, India
Stephanie Simpson, NextStep, Ann Arbor, MI
Alexandra Taikowski, Henry Health, Washington, D.C.
Allison Winstel, Enterprise Community Partners, Washington, DC
Nicki Yochim, Spoiler Alert, Boston, MA

Paul Capp, Asia Society Policy Institute, New York, NY
Kellen Data, City of Hamtramck Community and Economic Development, Hamtramck, MI
Eli Gold, Soulardarity, Highland Park, MI
Vivian Kalumbi, CARE, Merrifield, VA
Emma Kern, Hawaii Appleseed, Honolulu, HI
Christopher LeFlore, Office of Detroit City Council Member Janee’ Ayers, Detroit, MI
Tanya Omolo, Mary Turner Center for Advocacy, Detroit, MI
Daniel Park, Movement Advancement Project, Boulder, CO
Victor Rateng, MIT GOV/LAB, Cambridge, MA
Orlando Sanchez, Monterrey County Free Libraries, Marina, CA
Kalena Thomhave, Institute for Policy Studies, Boston, MA

One searchable platform for all things impact at Ross and across campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. 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. 

Board Fellows Program Information

Could your nonprofit benefit from the knowledge that an outstanding graduate student could provide? Applications from nonprofit organizations are accepted on a rolling basis through June 26. We match students with organizations based on the student’s skills and interests and your needs. For the coming year, projects could focus on the COVID-19 response or on broader strategic goals.




The Restorative Potential of Local Economies

Tues, June 23
@ 5:30-6:30 pm EDT

As we watch COVID-19 unfold across the globe we see supply chain breakdown and shortages in desperately needed PPE. Across the nation companies are pivoting how they do business, leveraging their supply chain, and repurposing equipment. How can local economies and resources such as makerspaces and design tools make an impact and fuel economic growth, and what can we do to help our local ecosystem during this unprecedented pandemic?


At the University:


Poverty Narrative: A Midwest Perspective

This is a free virtual series dedicated to a deeper understanding of poverty in the U.S. and especially the Midwest. This series is open to anyone interested in improving the narrative around poverty in the U.S. – from exploring new storytelling strategies to translating complex research for deeper public engagement.

Understanding Disadvantage in Rural, Urban, and Suburban Places
Thurs, June 18 @ 12-1:30pm EDT

Where Public Policy Meets Real Life
Tues, June 23 @ 12-1:30pm EDT

Using Personal Stories for Systemic Change
Thurs, June 25 @ 12-1:30 pm EDT


White Liberalism and the Illusion of Racial Progress

Thurs, June 18 @ 12-1:30pm EDT

How does information impact opinions and voting behavior in the case of white liberal progressives? Specifically, does exposure to racial wealth gap data lead to support by white liberals for affirmative action, reparations, and similar programs? Join U-M PoliSci professor Vincent Hutchings for a discussion of these and related issues.

More Info


Community Engagement Online Mini-Course

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of content experts from U-M, the Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change massive open online course (MOOC) is designed to help both novices and seasoned practitioners of community engagement work more effectively with communities and organizations, both domestically and abroad.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Co.Act Detroit Activate Fund

Application Due:
Fri, June 19

Eligible applicants must be a registered 501c3 in good standing and serve at least one of the following four counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw. Selection will also be based on forming a diverse grantee cohort, developing a peer learning community, alignment with Co.act’s values and approach to capacity building.

Info and Application


Application Due:
Mon, June 22

The world has already invented products and services to end poverty. Yet millions of people still don’t have access. Can you design a business or NGO that solves one of the distribution challenges? D-Prize will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch a pilot version of your new organization wherever extreme poverty exists.

Application info

Racial Justice Webinars

EQuity Social Venture is Ross student Justin Woods’ vehicle for developing emotional intelligence, so that the world can advance racial justice, Next week, Justin will hosting three community-wide webinars on racial justice, health, and understanding.

Healing Race-based Traume: A Virtual Healing Event for Black People
Tues, June 23 @ 7-8:30 pm EDT

Racial Microagressions: Education for non-Black Allies
Wed, June 24 @ 7-8:30 pm EDT

Emotionally Intelligent Engagement: Navigating Emotions Related to Racial Justice
Thurs, June 25 @ 7-8:30 pm EDT

Epic Social Ventures

Apply now

The Social Ventures Foundation mission is to facilitate sustainable market creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid by identifying, promoting and facilitating the investment in social ventures that employ the poor to lift the livelihoods of the poor. The End Poverty Innovation Challenge is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission, EPIC facilitates a pipeline to facilitate the identification, recognition, promotion and investment in the most impactful and of outstanding   sustainable social ventures that can scale and make a difference to millions of the world’s poor. 

Application Information

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