March 2019 Newsletter

At Ross:

Form Your Team for the Aspen International MBA Case Competition

Find a team now!
Register by Mon, Mar. 25
U-M Competition Dates: Mar. 29 – Apr. 1
NYC Worldwide finals: Apr. 25-26

Michigan Ross has been selected to partner on the Aspen Institute’s 2019 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition. This preeminent program differs from other MBA case study competitions in that its focus is explicitly on environmental, social, and ethical decisions currently being faced by a real business. The top five teams worldwide will be flown to NYC to present in front of corporate, academic and other friends of the Aspen Institute and to compete for a share of over $30,000 in scholarship funds. Students in other Ross graduate programs are eligible to compete as long as they are part of a team with MBA students.


Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Results

On Fri, Mar. 15, Dear Black Women, an affirmation movement and social network for Black women, won the Seigle Impact Track competition, co-sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, Business+Impact, and the Erb Institute. In addition to receiving $15,000 for first place in the Seigle Impact Track, Dear Black Women received $100 for third place in the Elevator Pitch competition. Practical Prosthetics was the Seigle Impact Track Runner-up ($7,500), and won the Best Undergraduate Team Award ($5,000) and the Williamson Cross-function Team Award ($5,000). Seigle finalist NeoHealth won the Positive Organizing Award ($2,500) and Best Showcase Award ($250). 



Board Fellows Nonprofit Partners Info Sessions

Tues, Apr. 16 @ 5:30 pm, Ross School of Business, B2560
Thurs, May 2 @ 11:30 am, U-M Detroit Center

Are you a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan that is curious about the Board Fellowship program? This program places students on a nonprofit board for an academic year, and they complete a strategic project. These sessions provide an overview to prospective organizations interested in participating during the 2019-20 academic year. Food will be provided.


Impact Investing Symposium

Sat, Apr. 13 @ 9 am – 6 pm
Ross School of Business
Organized by the Global Investments Committee and Net Impact in collaboration with the Business+Impact, the Michigan Impact Investing Symposium (MIIS) is a conference that allows participants to explore positive investments that provide financial as well as social returns under the guidance of some most distinguished members of the impact investing community.


Ross Event Highlights:

Ross: Sister Simone
Sun, Mar. 31 @ 2-4 pm
Bethlehem United Church of Christ, Ann Arbor

Sanger: Story Lab Finale
Tues, Apr. 9 @ 5-7 pm
Ross, Robertson Aud.

Ross: Ross Talks Detroit
Tues, May 7 @ 11:30 – 1
Westin Book Cadillac
Detroit, MI

Ross: Positive Business Conference
Thurs-Fri, May 9-10
Ross School of Business

For a complete list of impact events in the coming month, visit the Business+Impact Impact Gateway at


Workshop on Defining, Measuring, and Encouraging Impact

Fri, Mar. 22, 4-7:30 pm
Ross, B1570

During this event, co-sponsored by Effective Altruism at Michigan and Business+Impact, guests will discuss social impact in terms of effective altruism, which is a philosophy that tries to discover how we can use our time and careers to do the most good possible. The event features a quick series of talks and an activity segment.

Please RSVP

VIDEO: Learn about the Fall ’19 Impact Studio Class

A pilot of our Impact Studio class was offered this semester and will be offered again as a course in Fall 2019. If you have an interest in design thinking, leave an opening in your class schedule for it. The class will be open to Masters students from Ross and across campus. This multidisciplinary class will continue its work on the Flint water crisis and will also tackle financial inclusion.

Watch the video to learn more

Make an Impact with Your Internship

Application Open
Apply by April 12

Business+Impact’s Summer Fund awards competitive grants to Ross and Ford masters students and BBA juniors. Students completing internships in the nonprofit, public, or private sectors may apply if the organization has a clearly defined social mission.

Info and Application


Impact News & Notes

LISTEN NOW: Eight Short Talks from Some of the Smartest People at U-M about the Future of Society (Michigan Ross News)

U-M researchers explore reasons why less-educated men face declining labor prospects (Michigan News)

Tauber Institute Students, Alumni Give Back on Community Service Day (Michigan Ross News)

Joe Arvai on Climate Change (Michigan Ross News)

Without Regulation, the economy is in danger (Michigan Ross News)

University launches commission on Carbon Neutrality (University Record)

LISTEN NOW: Reduce Chronic Absenteeism by Addressing Poverty (U-M Poverty Solutions)

Michigan Ross Professor Testifies Before Congress on Climate Change, Says U.S. Infrastructure Is ‘In Bad Shape’ (Michigan Ross News)

WATCH NOW: The Plight of the Black Academic (U-M Detroit Center)

About Business+Impact

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 it is part of the DNA of our business school.

At the University:


Innovation in Action Finals

Fri, Mar. 22 @ 5-7 pm
Kahn Auditorium, 109 Zina Pitcher Place

Student teams from across the University of Michigan worked for five months to develop solutions to a real-world challenge they are passionate about. Now see the students pitch in front of a live audience!  There are $23,500 in prizes and 15 schools and colleges represented. Kathy Sample and Bill Brinkerhoff of Argus Farm Stop are the keynote speakers.

More Info


Made at Michigan Application

App deadline: Sun, Mar. 24

For the fourth year in a row, Innovate Blue is teaming up with partners across campus to produce the Made at Michigan report—a compilation of annual entrepreneurship highlights with a special focus on undergraduate and graduate student ventures created over the course of the year. Apply now to not only gain visibility and make your mark, but to also join U-M’s long legacy of student innovation by being a part of the university’s historical record of entrepreneurs!

Apply here


Munger Case Competition – Sustainability

Thurs, Mar. 28 @ 5:30 pm
Munger Graduate Residence

This semester, Munger Graduate Residences has partnered with MDining and Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) to ask teams of students to address issues of sustainability. Come see what teams of U-M grad students came up with.

More Info


Semester in Detroit

Fall ’19 Deadline: Sun, Mar. 31

Start your application to spend Fall 2019 in Detroit!  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through Mar. 31st.  The Semester in Detroit program accepts undergraduate students from all schools and departments at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

More info


Dream City: Creation, Destruction, and Reinvention in Downtown Detroit

Fri, Apr. 19 @ 4:15
Rackham Building, East Conference Room

Join the Detroit School Series for a book talk with Conrad Kickert – Assistant Professor of Urban Design, University of Cincinnati –  to explore how the history of downtown Detroit has differed from the familiar decline of the city’s neighborhoods: downtown grew faster, declined differently, and has been forced to reinvent itself time and again while battling the influential forces of the automobile and the suburbs.

More info

In the Impact Community:

Jewish Family Services Seeks Microenterprise Development Program Intern

The MED Business Consultant is responsible for providing a range of consultancy services to refugees who are seeking to start or expand a microenterprise. Business consultants will assist entrepreneurs with the fundamental aspects of operating a microenterprise in the U.S., creating a viable business plan, licensing, marketing, tax planning, and other essential advisory services. If interested, please contact MED Program Coordinator Carolyn Scorpio at or (734) 769-0209 ext. 210.

GMAT Think Like an Entrepreneur

Application deadline: Sun, Mar. 31

“Think Like an Entrepreneur” encourages undergraduate students in the US to solve a social issue while motivating others to join their effort. Through March 31, 2019, GMAT will accept proposals that integrate the value of impactful social entrepreneurship with a graduate business education. The proposal garnering the most votes will be awarded a $10,000 grand prize. 

Info and Application

Ford Community Challenge

Application Deadline: Wed, Apr. 3 @ 5 pm EST

Now in its 12th year, the Ford C3 grant program requests proposals for projects that address an unmet need among the following topics surrounding the theme of Making Lives Better: changing the way people move through smart mobility, driving social mobility, or building sustainable communities. Up to 10 winning proposals will be selected to receive $25,000 each from the Ford Motor Company Fund to support implementation of the proposed projects.

Submit a Project

Halcyon Incubator

Deadline: Wed, Apr. 4 @ 5 pm

The Halcyon Incubator is seeking early-stage social entrepreneurs to participate in an 18-month fellowship in Washington, DC that includes five-month residency, 12+ months of free workspace, a $10K stipend, a mentor, and 1,000+ hours of advice.

Apply Online

Propose an Event for Upswell Chicago

Application Deadline: Wed, Apr. 19

This November, changemakers from across the country will gather in Chicago for Upswell. What ideas, innovations, and skills will you share with them? From in-depth workshops to quick pitches to creative problem solving, Upswell is accepting proposals for a wide range of activities on the conference schedule. If you have questions, please email them at

Submit an Idea

My Work with a Nonprofit in Detroit Has Shown Me The True Power of Collaboration

By Grace Kendra, MM ’19

From the moment I was accepted into the Master of Management Program at the Ross School of Business, I started looking into opportunities that would supplement my academic studies and provide relevant experiences for my future career.

Whether my career choices would land me in the nonprofit sector or not, I knew a goal of mine was to be involved in aiding the missions of nonprofit organizations in the community where I live. The Board Fellowship Program appeared to be, and has been, the perfect opportunity.

Read the full blog post »

January 2019 Newsletter

At Ross:

Visit the New Business+Impact Website

Students returning from their holiday breaks are in for a treat. Business+Impact is proud to introduce a new website. Not only does the new website clarify our mission and vision, but it looks fresh–with more media, more ways to interact, and more thought-provoking features. Plus, students can still find the events, co-curriculars and all that they rely on in our new, cleaner Impact Gateway

During the coming semester, be sure to visit and interact with everything from our new public blog to our revised community collaboration section.

Visit the Website

B+I Impact Studio Course to Take on Flint Water Crisis

The B+I Impact Studio course launched January 14. This new initiative aims to translate insights from faculty research into practical solutions for the world’s challenges. The inaugural course draws on Ross Professor Eric Schwartz’s research recently featured in The Atlantic. During the winter term, graduate students from across disciplines will use design methods to develop solutions that address lead contamination in the Flint water system and beyond. 

Preparing the Next Generation of Nonprofit Board Members

Tues, Feb. 12, 5:30-7 pm
R0220, Ross School of Business 

The nonprofit sector is in a time of generational change. The U.S. baby boomer population has comprised the majority of board leadership roles across the country, but as they leave these positions, there is a significant challenge (and opportunity) for nonprofits to recruit the next generation of nonprofit board leaders. 

Join us to engage with our panel of nonprofit experts as they discuss ways in which the sector is creating a pipeline for future leaders. 


Ross Event Highlights:

ZLI: Marcel Gani Internship Info Session
Wed, Jan. 23 @ 5 – 6 pm
Ross R1230

CPO: Positive Links: Inclusive Workplaces
Tues, Jan. 29 @ 4 – 5 pm
Ross School of Business

BBSA: ALE Conference
Feb. 8-9
Ross School of Business

Detroit R&B: Revitalization or Gentrification?
Sat, Feb. 16 @ 11 am – 5:30 pm
U-M Detroit Center

CPO: Search Inside Yourself Conference
Feb. 21-22 @ 9 am – 5 pm
Ross, Blau Hall

For a complete list of impact events in the coming month, visit the Business+Impact Impact Gateway at


Business+Impact’s New Managing Director: Cat Johnson

Business+Impact is proud to welcome Cat Johnson as our new Managing Director. Cat most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at Empowerment Plan in Detroit and is a University of Michigan MBA/MSW alum. As we move to expand our Impact Studio, Cat will lead that initiative in addition to handling the day-to-day operations of B+I. Stop in at our office and say “hi!”

Read more

Michigan Business Challenge – Start-up Workshops for Student Entrepreneurs

Students involved in the Seigle Impact Track of the Michigan Business Challenge and student entrepreneurs all across campus are invited to attend a series of invaluable workshops designed to make their startups successful. Below is a list of workshops offered by Michigan Ross‘s Zell Lurie Institute, all starting at 5 pm at various locations in Michigan Ross.

Give-A-Day Fund Board Info Session

Tues, Jan. 29 @ 5 pm
Ross R0210 

Join next year’s Give-A-Day fund Board to help continue an important tradition supporting social impact at Ross! You will gain valuable experience planning and executing a fundraising campaign and gain insight into the selection process for award recipients. Register above to learn more about positions and the application process. The application will be sent out on Fri, Jan. 25 and is due Fri, Feb. 1.

Impact News & Notes

Interactive poverty map shows mixed changes in Michigan – Michigan News 

Report on owner-occupied property tax foreclosures in Detroit- U-M Poverty Solutions 

How a Feel-Good AI Story Went Wrong in Flint – The Atlantic 

“Podcast: How to Close the Gender Pay Gap” – Cindy Schipiani 

“U-M launches new projects to fight poverty” – Michigan News 

“Forecast 2019: Climate Change Reality Takes Firmer Hold – Andy Hoffman 

Report: How business can measure the impact of corporate sustainability” – Erb Institute 

“Building a more inclusive environmental movement” – Erb Institute 

“Shifting toward business practices to address human rights” – Erb Institute 

“CLP to research opportunities for shaping more inclusive economy for the poor” – Ford School

At the University:


Social Impact Career Fair

Mon, Jan. 28, 6 – 8 pm
Michigan League Ballroom

The annual LSA Social Impact Fair is a chance to explore opportunities for you to affect change on pressing issues, or to gain experience in nonprofits supporting the arts, health, and beyond. Representatives from nonprofit organizations and U-M programs will participate.


Munger Case Competition

Application Deadline: Fri, Feb. 8 @ 11:59 pm
Showcase: Thur, Mar. 28 @ 5:30 pm

This semester, Munger Graduate Residences has partnered with MDining and Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) to ask teams of students to address issues of sustainability on campus, using a fictional $100,000 grant. Winning team members will be awarded $1000 each, and runner-up team members will be awarded $250. Registration opens Sun, Jan. 27.

More info


Michigan in Washington

Application Deadline: Thurs, Feb. 14 @ Noon

The MIW program offers an opportunity each year for 45-50 undergraduates from any major to spend a semester in Washington D.C. Students combine coursework with an internship that reflects their particular area of interest (such as American politics, international studies, history, the arts, public health, economics, the media, the environment, science and technology). 

Apply here


Equitable Development Conference

Fri, Feb. 22, 9 am – 5 pm
Art + Architecture Building

In Building Better Futures: Innovations in Equitable Development, U-M Taubman College will convene experts at the forefront of designing, financing, developing and promoting better buildings, better outcomes and better futures for all across race, income, age, ability, household type and geography. 

More info


Online Course: Community Engagement

Now available online

Now more than ever, people are seeking ways to affect change in their communities — both locally and around the world. This course is for anyone — from novices to experienced practitioners — who wants to work more effectively with community members and organizations. This course is now offered through EdX.

More info

In the Impact Community:

All of Us Makers Conference

Feb. 6 – 8
Online and Southern California

The 2019 MAKERS Conference is a global women’s leadership event that brings together the most powerful names in business, entertainment, tech, and finance to explore ways to accelerate the movement with compelling videos, provocative conversations, and onstage pledges for change.

Conference Info and Previous videos

Investing in Inclusion Pitch Competition

Application due Sun, Feb. 10
by 11:59 pm PST
Finals Event: March 8

Berkeley Haas Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL) invites teams from the University of Michigan to apply to the Investing in Inclusion Pitch Competition. This year’s competition is focused on the following areas: race; ethnicity; gender identity; intellectual, mental, or physical disabilities; sexual orientation; age; former incarceration; and socio-economic status. Finalists will present at UC Berkeley on March 8, 2019. 

FAQs and Application

Education Pioneers Summer Fellowships

Application due by Wed, Feb. 13

Education Pioneers is looking for emerging leaders who have proven professional expertise, leadership experience, and commitment to education to transform education for our nation’s students. Are you the next Education Pioneer? The application for the 2018 Summer Fellowship is open. 

Info and Application

October 2018 Newsletter

B+I and the Aspen Institute Team up for “Shared Prosperity” Conference, Keynote Events

On October 25 and 26, the Ross School’s Business+Impact is partnering with the Aspen Institute to host an academic-executive dialogue on the future of work and prosperity. Two of these events are open to the public:

Restoring Worker Power in an Age of Shareholder Primacy
(Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:00-6:15, Robertson Auditorium)

Many businesses, pressured by Wall Street, view workers as a cost to be managed. How can boards, executives, and especially shareholders change that narrative? How do we utilize the desire for purpose-driven work to combat distrust in capitalism and corporations and tell a different story about how corporations create value for society? Join Carl Camden (founder of IPSE US and former CEO of Kelly Services), John Denniston (chairman of SharedX and former senior partner at Kleiner Perkins), Rick Wartzman (founding director of the Drucker Institute and author of The End of Loyalty), Joel Rogers (U of Wisconsin law school labor scholar), and Carmen Rojas (CEO of Workers Lab) for a lively discussion.

Envisioning the Future: Business as Creators
(Friday, Oct. 26, 9:00-10:15, Robertson Auditorium)

Business is not an innocent bystander when it comes to forces such as technology and market shifts. Why then is the current narrative about how business can “cope” with the future of work instead of recognizing the deep influence business has in building that future? What could a more just version of work look like and how do we get there? This session includes Jim Keane (CEO of Steelcase), Joe Nocera (NY Times and Bloomberg Business columnist), Maureen Conway (The Aspen Institute), and Tom Kochan (MIT, author of Shaping the Future of Work).

Free Accounting Fridays in Detroit

Every Friday, 11 am – 3 pm
Schedule an appointment online
@ U-M Detroit Center
3663 Woodward Ave, #150, Detroit

Every Friday, Ross students working with B+I and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project provide free accounting and business finance consultations for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the city of Detroit. The goal is to take some of the stress out of owning a business and provide some peace of mind at no cost. Watch the video above to hear from Detroit business owners that have received consultations.


2018-19 Board Fellows Program Kicks Off

Welcome to our 2018-19 Board Fellowship participants! This year’s Board Fellowship Program brings together a record 30 partner organizations and 38 fellows from six U-M schools who will serve on the respective governing boards.

Check out the photo album from the orientation.

2018-19 Board Fellowship participants:

  • Tim Bier (MBA) – SOS Community Services
  • Carrie Boyle (MBA) – Community Action Network
  • Emmeline Cardozo (MBA) – 5 Healthy Towns Foundation
  • Georgia Cassady (MBA) – Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor
  • Selene Ceja (MPP) – Community Action Network
  • Nicole Crosby (MBA) – Ten Thousand Villages
  • Jillian Crowley (MBA) – Sweet Dreamzzz
  • Erin Finn (MPH) – Ann Arbor Track Club
  • Kevin Finnegan (MPP) – Ponyride
  • Jenna Fiore (MSW) – The Salvation Army – Eastern Michigan Division
  • Karen Goldburg (MS) – The Treeline Conservancy
  • Daniel Heckman (MBA) – The Salvation Army – Eastern Michigan Division
  • Hannah Heebner (MSW) – Alternatives for Girls
  • Alexandra Husted (MBA/MPP) – Arts & Scraps
  • Gunjan Jain (MBA) – Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living
  • Carly Kadlec (MBA/MS) – EcoWorks
  • Daniel Kaplan (MSW) – Michigan Abolitionist Project
  • Grace Kendra (MM) – Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund
  • Daniel Kurzner (MBA) – Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
  • Yuwei Li (MBA) – Foundations Preschool of Washtenaw County
  • Jessica McClain (MBA) – Corner Health Center
  • Baylee Miller (MSCM) – Common Ground
  • Katherine Nagley (MBA) – Ele’s Place
  • Cepha Nixon (MBA) – United Way of Washtenaw County
  • Taylor Pahl (MSW) – Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living
  • Torre Palermino (MBA) – Detroit Horse Power
  • Avril Prakash (MPP) – Alternatives for Girls
  • Theo Pu (MBA) – Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor
  • Amrit Rathi (MBA) – Ten Thousand Villages
  • Alex Reinthal (MBA) – NEW
  • Jodi Richard (MBA) – Arts & Scraps
  • Jonathan Rodriguez (MBA/MPP) – NEW
  • Rodion Stolyar (MBA) – Neutral Zone
  • Vishnu Suresh (MBA) – Matrix Human Services
  • Timothy Trollope (MPP/MAE) – Eastern Market Development Corporation
  • Hridya Turlapti (MBA) – National Network of Depression Centers
  • Jennifer Wiener (MBA) – Family Learning Institute
  • Hanna Zlotnick (MPP) – Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor

Four Winners of $5000 Scholarships

Business+Impact is proud to announce four winners of the Skip & Carrie Gordon Scholarship this year. Each scholarship is $5000, and all of these MBA students have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to making an impact in their career and while at Ross. The four scholarship recipients are Tim Carter, Apoorva Kanneganti, Christopher Owen, and Nathan Stevens.

More Info

Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track

Application Deadline: Mon, Nov. 5, 8 am

Do you have an idea for a mission-driven business? Are you developing a social venture or interested in working with one?

Info Session
Tues, Oct. 30, 5 – 6 pm
Room B1580 Blau
Ross School of Business

The Michigan Business Challenge Seigle Impact Track, with prizes totaling over $26,000, recognizes the business plan that best pursues a mission-driven goal. This award aims to stimulate new businesses, products or services that prioritize social and/or environmental considerations. This track of the competition is sponsored by the Mark and Robin Seigle Entrepreneurial Innovation Fund and co-managed by Business+Impact, the Erb Institute, and the Zell Lurie Institute.

More info


Wed, Nov. 14, 6 – 7 pm
@ Ross B3580

Tues, Dec. 4, 5 – 6 pm
@ Ross B1580


MBAs are invited to learn about Ross Open Road with last year’s teams, as they speak about their experiences. Now in its fifth year, this student-organized program is focused on social entrepreneurship and takes place in the month of May. Ross Open Road is co-sponsored by Business+Impact, the Sanger Leadership Center, the Erb Institute, and the Zell Lurie Institute.

Community News and Events

Below are a few upcoming impact events. For a complete list of all impact events across U-M and the region, check out the Impact Gateway.

TechArb Mingle ‘n’ Match

WED, OCT. 24, 5 – 7 PM

Interested in the Michigan Business Challenge or other entrepreneurial activities on campus? Find team members or mingle with other entrepreneurial-minded students. The evening begins with a mini info session for the upcoming Michigan Business Challenge, followed by a series of one-minute pitches by parties interested in finding team members. Pizza will be provided. If you are interested in attending please sign up here.


UM’s Nonprofit Board Forum

SAT, OCT. 27, 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

The Nonprofit Board Forum is a great program for anyone exploring or currently serving on a nonprofit board. The Forum is focused on improving the governance of nonprofit institutions. It aims to be a resource for sharing opportunities & information on best practices and introducing qualified, interested board candidates to outstanding organizations. Non-alumni and students are welcome to attend. U-M students: Part of the registration fee can be reimbursed through B+I. Write to businessimpact@umich.edufor more info.

Register here now!

U-M Detroit Center Engagement

SAT, OCT. 27, 8:30 AM – 4 PM

If you are interested in volunteerism, organizational capacity building, problem solving, research, project development or working in the City of Detroit, the U-M Detroit Centerhas two offerings for you. Their tour on Oct. 12th will show you a Detroit you most likely have never seen. Meet community leaders and learn first hand about the challenges and opportunities the city faces. Their engagement training workshop will teach you the best practices of engagement, volunteering, and the history of Detroit.

Workshop Info




The world has already invented ways to end poverty, yet the best interventions are not being distributed at mass-scale. Can you design a business or NGO that solves one of the common distribution challenges? If selected, you would get $20,000 from D-Prize to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists.

Info & Application


Soulfull Project

WED, NOV. 7, 7 – 8 PM

The Soulfull Project is a subsidiary of the Campbell Soup Company that works to deliver nourishing food to all Americans by using the buy-one, give-one model. Megan Shea and Chip Heim, Co-Founders of The Soulfull project, will share their perspectives on food security. The event is free and welcomes all majors and schools as well as the public. This event is presented by Net Impact Undergrad in conjunction with the Net Impact Graduate chapter.

Event Info


Real-World Perspective on Poverty Solutions – Speaker Series

NOV. 14, 4 PM – 6PM

Real World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions introduces the key issues regarding the causes and consequences of poverty through a lecture series featuring experts in policy and practice from across the nation. Lectures will be recorded and made available online,and lectures are free and open to the public.

In the Nov. 14 session, Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, will discuss research on domestic policies, including social welfare, healthcare reform, and Social Security.

More info


PITCH EVENT: WED, NOV. 14, 3 – 4:30 PM

Twelve college students from the MENA region will travel to U-M to join up with their Michigan-based peers to participate in a pitch competition to cap off William Davidson Institute‘s M2GATE program. Over the span of eight weeks, several teams worked virtually to find solutions to real problems in the MENA region. The three best teams were chosen to come to Ann Arbor for the final pitch competition.

Pitch Event Info

EndPoverty Virtual Summit 2018

NOV 16, 9 AM – 2 PM EST – ONLINE

Featuring speakers from across venture capital, on the ground and around the world, this virtual summit will feature roundtable discussions as well as keynote speakers who will address the challenges of rolling out poverty solutions globally, looking to business for help, and helping with infrastructure.

Event Info

Center for Social Impact brings opportunities for community engagement, social entrepreneurship & more

April 5, 2018 – ANN ARBOR – Nitya Gupta of Michigan News posted an article on the Engaged Michigan newsfeed that discusses corporate social responsibility, social challenges, and the place of Business+Impact in developing leaders that will make a positive change in society. This article includes discussions about our Board Fellows Program, last year’s Change Agents Program, and our Social Impact Challenge experience.


2017-18 Board Fellows Gain Insight, Experience


The 2018 Board Fellowship Program was one of our biggest and most competitive programs all year. Students from Ross, Ford, School of Social Work, Public Health, and other programs developed project management and executive skills as board members of nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan.

In addition to attending all board meetings and serving on a board committee, they worked on a board-level project tackling a complex organizational challenge.

You can see the complete list of 2017-18 Board Fellows, but we interviewed a few of our board fellows here and learned a bit more about their personal experiences with the program:

Ryan DeCook, MSW ’18

  • Organization: National Network of Depression Centers

  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Describe the project you have worked on with National Network of Depression Centers: I have worked on restructuring the board of directors at the National Network of Depression Centers. We are also trying to look at how we equitably distribute funding to the member centers.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/board fellowship? Hopefully this work will help lead to the organization being more effective and fulfill its potential to help others with depression/bipolar disorder.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned? I’ve learned about the relational dynamics of a board and how to try and navigate seeing change come about.

What impact will this experience have on future plans, if any? Yes, I hope to continue staying involved with the NNDC. Since I’m going into the mental health field I hope to stay connected with the organization long term.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? If possible, try and get matched to an organization/mission that you care about. That has made all the difference for me and given me a great experience.

Stephanie Roman, MPP ’18 and Hannah Smalley, MBA/MPH ’20

  • Organization: Alternatives for Girls

  • Location: Detroit, MI

Stephanie Roman:

Describe the project you have worked on with Alternatives for Girls: The project has focused on surveying and documenting all previous advocacy work by the organization in order to create a strategic advocacy plan moving forward. We have interviewed board members and staff, and continue to conduct these interviews to ensure our policy advocacy recommendations are in line with the strategic goals of the organization and fit within the operational limitations of AFG.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/board fellowship? This experience has given us the opportunity to share our knowledge of policy and advocacy with AFG to strengthen the impact of their advocacy work among stakeholders and Detroit residents. The board fellowship has also provided us with real-world insights into how nonprofit boards function as well as the staff and financial constraints that nonprofits have to navigate.

Hannah Smalley:

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned? The board’s job is essentially a series of balancing acts. There is a very fine line between micromanaging day to day aspects of the organization and being too hands off, as well as ensuring that short term and long term goals fit together as effectively and efficiently as possible.

What impact will this experience have on future plans, if any? I have always wanted to sit on a board. However, I never fully understood what it meant to be part of that type of governing body, so it was really more of an abstract goal. This unique experience of being able to view the inner workings of a board as an outsider–while also contributing to its progress–has absolutely helped show me what type of board I want to sit on when the time comes, and the type of board member I want to be.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? Sitting on a non-profit board is unpaid, voluntary, time consuming, and is done in addition to a day job because they believe in the organizations mission. Non-profit staff are very passionate, but they are typically stretched very thin and their time is valuable. This means that although the staff and board are as engaged as possible with the board fellows and their projects, communication can be challenging. To get the most out of this experience it is incredibly important to be proactive with emails and calls, and if you don’t hear back from someone you need to speak to, follow up, follow up, and then follow up again.

Sean Welsh, MBA ’19

  • Organization: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County

  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Describe the project you have worked on with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County: We worked on the strategic planning process for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/board fellowship? By conducting SWOT analysis sessions with board members, employees, and the volunteers (bigs), we ensured that the strategic planning process incorporated viewpoints from multiple stakeholders. This allowed the executive director and board to get a more complete view of problem areas and opportunities so that the organization could better serve its beneficiaries (littles) in future years.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned? Employee development and mobility needs a lot more attention in the nonprofit sector. This is something that comes up time and time again; however, the funding just never gets allocated to those that are the backbone of organizations.

What impact will this experience have on future plans, if any? This experience solidified my desire to serve on nonprofit boards in the future and made me feel more equipped to add value to a board.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? For those that are MBAs specifically, take action and conduct research early. If you start strong, it’s easier to keep up with the project while your recruiting is happening.

For a complete listing of the 2017-18 Board Fellows, click here.

For information on applying to the Board Fellows program, click here.