“Igniting Impact” Conference Brought together Business People and Researchers for Maximum Impact

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ANN ARBOR – March 13, 2020 – Last week on March 5-6, Business+Impact at Michigan Ross sponsored a conference on business research for social impact at the Ross School of Business. “Igniting Impact: Enhancing Business Practice and Research through Greater Collaboration” was co sponsored by the Aspen Institute Business and Society program and Responsible Research in Business and Management. Focused on translating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into practical solutions to address global challenges, this conference gathered top thinkers from U-M and across the country to discuss and brainstorm ways for business and other disciplines to take responsibility for these goals.  

In the opening session, Ach Adhvaryu and Anant Nyshadham, co-founders of Good Business Lab, and corporate partner the Gap, shared their formula for using research to find a common ground between worker wellbeing and business interests, with a particular focus on factories abroad.

A dinner keynote on the first night focused on how “Uberization” is re-shaping labor markets around the world, creating greater convenience for consumers but greater precarity for workers. Panelists included Mike Bishop, former US Congressional Representative and co-president, IPSE.US (The Association of Independent Workers); Lindsey Cameron, Professor of Management, Wharton School; Carrie Leana, Professor of Management, University of Pittsburgh; Azariah Lehman, Chief Administrative Officer, iWorker Innovations. They shared what the latest research tell us about how to take on this dilemma and what new business opportunities are being created.

On the second day, the conference opened up two “Choose Your Adventure” breakout session periods, where award-winning researchers were paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions. Brief presentations were followed by very active brainstorming sessions, where participants collaborated on specific solutions to the issues and goals stated.

That Friday, the lunch speaker, Sridhar Tayur (Carnegie Mellon University; founder, OrganJet) shared his experience in using research to transform the organ transplant industry.  And as a closers, Doug Guthrie, Apple; Christopher Marquis, SC Johnson Professor of Management, Cornell University; Xun (Brian) Wu, Professor of Strategy, Michigan Ross discussed the ongoing trade war with China and the potential risks and opportunities of doing business in China. 

POSTPONED-Peter M. Wege Lecture & Earth Day 2020: Rise Up For the Environment

The Peter M. Wege Lecture & Earth Day 2020: Rise Up for the Environment double-event is part of the university & community-wide commemoration of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary—when U-M and Ann Arbor held the nation’s first “Environmental Teach-In” in 1970.

The annual Wege event brings environmentalist Philippe Cousteau, Jr. to the Hill Auditorium stage. Inspired by his grandfather, Jacques Cousteau, Philippe is a multi-Emmy-Nominated TV host, producer, author, and social entrepreneur. His conservation efforts, focused on solving global social and environmental problems, led him to found EarthEcho International—an organization dedicated to inspiring youth to act now for a sustainable planet.

Rise Up for the Environment Rally: Musical performances and dynamic sustainability and environmental justice leaders will inspire audiences to “Rise Up for the Environment” and take action on the greatest challenges of our time.

Earth Day 2020 Rise Up Speaker & Performer Highlights

Naomi Klein

New York Times best-selling author and journalist; filmmaker and activist

Mustafa Santiago Ali

National Wildlife Federation’s Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization; founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice

Abdul El-Sayed

Physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist; Chair at Southpaw Michigan

Mari Copeny: “Little Miss Flint”

Youth activist best known for raising awareness about Flint’s ongoing water crisis and fundraising to support underprivileged children in her community and across the country

Andy Levin

U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 9th District

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Earth Guardians Youth Director

Bryan Newland

President of the Bay Mill Indian Community Executive Council

David Pitawanakwat

Indigenious Community Activist, JD Candidate

Heather McTeer Toney

First African-American, first female and youngest mayor of Greenville, MS; National Director, Moms Clean Air Force

Learn more on event website

Reserve your free seats here

Freshwater Stories: Optics, Governance, and Adaptation around the Great Lakes

Institute for the Humanities. Image is of the University of Michigan yellow block M and the word humanities in all caps.

Institute for the Humanities. Image is of the University of Michigan yellow block M and the word humanities in all caps.

Jill S. Harris Memorial Lecture/Humanities Week Keynote Lecture by Rachel Havrelock, founder and director, UIC Freshwater Lab

There is a plausible bright future for communities in the Great Lakes basin. Holding over 20% of the world’s fresh water, the much-maligned Rust Belt could transform into the Water Belt marked by innovation in agriculture and production and welcoming to waves of climate migrants. Yet no framework of regulation, governance, or funding currently exists to ensure such outcomes. Instead public subsidy of extractive and polluting corporations persists. Along with lax enforcement of regulation, there are no mechanisms to deal with agricultural runoff, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. How to get from here to the Water Belt?

Rachel Havrelock’s work shows how the necessary knowledge about water systems resides at the local level where community members struggle with particular forms of privatization, extraction, and pollution. Not only do stories about these contests over water illuminate global processes, but they also chart a course forward. Reflecting on stories she has collected across the Great Lakes basin, Havrelock will share prominent ideas about life around the remarkable freshwater seas.

Learn more on event website

Igniting Impact: Enhancing Business Practice and Research Through Greater Collaboration

Focused on translating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into practical solutions to address global challenges, this conference will gather top thinkers from U-M and across the country to discuss and brainstorm ways for business and other disciplines to take responsibility for these goals.  

This event is co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute Business & Society program and Responsible Research in Business Management.

   


SCHEDULE

Sessions take place in the Tauber Colloquium, 6th floor, Michigan Ross School of Business
Thursday, March 5th

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Welcome & Opening Keynote

Welcome from Nancy McGaw, Aspen Business & Society Program, and Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at Michigan Ross School of Business

Ach Adhvaryu and Anant Nyshadham, co-founders of Good Business Lab, and their corporate partners share their formula for using research to find a common ground between worker wellbeing and business interests

3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm: Break Out Sessions

What are the big problems you are wrestling with now? How can research help guide the best path forward? Small mixed groups of academics and practitioners brainstorm about the compelling questions they are wrestling with in their work/ problems they are trying to solve, as well as questions that have animated their research.

4:15 – 4:30 pm: Break

4:30 – 5:30 pm: Plenary

Andrew Hoffman, Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and Neil Hawkins, President of the Erb Family Foundation and former Chief Sustainability Officer of Dow, share how research and practice can connect most effectively, drawing on participant input

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Cocktails

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Dinner & Keynote Panel

“What’s next in the gig economy: how Uberization is changing the way you will think about how you work”

“Uberization” is re-shaping labor markets around the world, creating greater convenience for consumers but greater precarity for workers. What does the latest research tell us about how to take on this dilemma? What new business opportunities are being created?

Carl Camden, founder and president, IPSE.US (The Association of Independent Workers) and former CEO, Kelly Services; Lindsey Cameron, Professor of Management, Wharton School; Hollie Hiekkinen, CEO and Founder, iWorker Innovations; Mike Bishop, former US Congressional Representative

Friday, March 6

8:00 am: Breakfast

8:45 – 9:45 am: Plenary

“What’s next in talent: intrapreneurship, employee activism, and the new deal at work”

Social intrapreneurs have become a movement in the corporate world, using the platform of business to help solve complex and often systematic social problems. More recently, employees in tech and beyond are joining together to pressure their companies to take on more overtly political agendas. Why is this happening now, and what comes next? What can companies do to navigate this fraught terrain?

Kevin Thompson, General Manager, GOOD Worldwide; Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at Michigan Ross

9:45 – 10:00 am: Break

10:00 – 11:00 am: Choose Your Own Adventure Breakout Sessions

In these sessions, award-winning researchers are paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions

Sustainable Supply Chains: Katrin Giljens (U of North Carolina) – Some suppliers are more effective than others at meeting (or resisting) demands from big buyers. Find out why.

Precarious Labor: Carrie Leana (U of Pittsburgh) – Precarious wages strain people’s souls and also put organizations at risk. Evidence from the trucking industry, healthcare, and elsewhere.

Finance for Good: Emmanuel Kypraios (Maynooth U) – The models that underlie “catastrophe bonds” are surprisingly bad at predicting the financial consequences of extreme events. What lessons does this provide for using finance to achieve social goods?

11:00 – 11:30 am: Break

11:30 – 12:30 pm: Choose Your Own Adventure Breakout Sessions

In these sessions, award-winning researchers are paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions

Lean Production and Labor: Gregory Disetlhorst (U of Toronto) – Does implementing lean production also improve things for labor? Some yes, some no.

Gigs and Better Jobs: Lindsey Cameron (Wharton School, U of Pennsylvania) – The gig economy, a labor market that relies on algorithms to facilitate short-term work assignments, has changed how we think of work. In this session, we will discuss some of the benefits and challenges of being a gig worker — namely, what makes this a “good bad” job.

Reducing your Carbon Footprint: John Byrd (U of Colorado, Denver) – Internal carbon pricing by corporations: evidence about how companies are using financial tools to prepare for climate change.

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch & Keynote

1:45 – 2:45 pm: Plenary

“What’s next in China: doing business in China during turbulent times”

The ongoing trade war has created uncertainty about the potential risks and opportunities of doing business in China. What are leading companies experiencing, and what can the latest research tell us about what comes next?

Doug Guthrie, Apple; Christopher Marquis, SC Johnson Professor of Management, Cornell University; Xun (Brian) Wu, Professor of Strategy, Michigan Ross

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Final Reflections & Goodbyes

Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Finals

RSVP FOR FINALS SHOWCASE

Finals Schedule
Friday, February 21: 

9:00 – 11:35 am   MBC Track Finals (Seigle Impact Track, Innovation Track, Invention Track) Four finalists each track: 15 minute pitch, 15 minutes Q&A

12:30pm Winners of each track announced 

1:30 – 3:15 pm  MBC Best in Business Pitches (First place winner of each track) 15 minute pitch, 15 minutes Q&A

3:15 – 5:30 pm  MBC Reception (lower level Ross building):
3:15 – 4:15 pm     Team Showcase (all Track Finalists will table)
4:15 – 4:45 pm      Elevator Pitch Competition (all Track Finalists) 
5:00 – 5:15 pm      Awards announced

The Track Finals take place in the morning from 9:00-11:35am. All twelve teams will pitch to a new panel of judges. Pitches will include business plan for 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.

At 12:30pm, ALL TEAMS will be present when the winner of each track (and places 2-4) are announced. Those three winners will present again in the afternoon to a new panel of judges for a chance to win an additional $5,000 Best in Business Prize. 

Every Finalist team will participate in the MBC Student Startup Showcase from 3:15-4:15 pm, where there will be tables and talking about each venture to attendees. There is a Showcase cash award to be won. 

Every Finalist team will choose one team member to give a 60-second elevator pitch to the crowd. Yes, there are cash awards for this as well.

At 5:15, the winners of all awards will be announced, there will be big checks and lots of photos.

ALL portions of the day are open to the public.

RSVP FOR FINALS SHOWCASE

Awards: 

Here’s how the $100,000 in cash prizes is allotted:
$15,000 MBC track winner (one in each of the 3 tracks)
$7,500 MBC track runner-up (one in each of the 3 tracks)
$1,500 MBC track Finalists (two in each of the 3 tracks)
$5,000 OneMagnify MBC Best in Business Award 
$5,000 Williamson Award for Best Business/Engineering team 
$5,000 Sillman Undergraduate Award
$2,000 MIC Investment Committee Award
$500 MBC Showcase Award
$500 MBC Elevator Pitch 1st Place
$250 MBC Elevator Pitch 2nd Place
$100 MBC Elevator Pitch 3rd Place
$250 MBC Round Two Participation Awards (all teams who continue on in the competition will receive this award along with any additional awards)

 

Michigan University-wide Sustainability and Environment (MUSE) Conference 2020

The purpose of the conference is to foster connections and new collaborations across the broad suite of sustainability and environment-related research at the University of Michigan. We welcome participation from those advancing knowledge through work in the humanities and the social, physical, natural, and engineering sciences.

Faculty Research for Impact: Addressing UN SDG #13 – Climate Action

RSVP HERE

How are Ross faculty members advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through business research? Each month, Business+Impact hosts an interactive design session themed around one of these goals. During the month of February, we will address Goal 13: Climate Action.  Several award-winning Ross faculty members (Ekaterina Astashkina, Andrew Hoffman, and Dana Muir) will share their research in an informal setting, and students will have the opportunity to brainstorm possible next steps for how the research can be applied to real-world applications that make a positive impact.

This limited-size two-hour workshop will feature:

  • Faculty presentations on key research insights
  • Discussion
  • Activity using design tools for opportunity identification

RSVP HERE

Due to high interest in these workshops, we must cap attendance at 25. We aim to keep the numbers of participants at a size that can accommodate the space capacity of the +Impact Studio and provide meaningful group discussion.

Designing Business Models for Carbon Capture and Utilization Technologies

The +Impact Studio at Michigan Ross in partnership with the U-M Global CO2 Initiative and the Erb Institute is excited to offer an innovative workshop in which students will use design thinking methodologies to create business models for carbon capture and utilization technologies. Award-winning U-M faculty will share their research on these technologies in an informal setting, and participating students will have the opportunity to learn and apply the business model canvas to them. This process will result in ideas for sustainable businesses that work to meaningfully combat climate change, and further ways to get involved and potentially pursue these business ideas will be shared.

REGISTER HERE

SPONSORS:

     

Financing a Sustainable Future

DAVID BLOOD
CO-FOUNDER AND SENIOR PARTNER OF GENERATION INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Blood will discuss how financial tools, services, and markets can be leveraged to advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability initiatives. Following the lecture, a discussion panel of business leaders will address the practical realities of financing major sustainability initiatives.

PANELISTS
LIESL CLARK // MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, GREAT LAKES AND ENERGY
DIRECTOR

MICHAEL DORSEY // IBERSUN SOLAR
PARTNER

JENNIFER HAVERKAMP // GRAHAM SUSTAINABILITY INSTITUTE
DIRECTOR

CHAD SPITLER // THIRD ECONOMY
FOUNDER AND CEO

Register