The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business will significantly boost its efforts to inspire creative and effective business solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing problems when it launches its new Institute for Business and Social Impact on November 6. The institute will be led by Professor Laura Tyson, economist, policy maker, and former Haas School dean.
“Our students are determined to make a difference in the world, but the answers are not simple or obvious,” says Tyson, whose extensive public service roles include being Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and Director of the White House National Economic Council under President Clinton.
One of the focal points of the institute is helping students define career interests in social impact. “We will provide students with the tools and vision they need to design pathways to fulfilling careers so that they can help create a more prosperous, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable society,” adds Tyson.
Research will also be an important aspect of the institute’s role, galvanizing the Haas faculty’s thought leadership in areas ranging from corporate social responsibility and multi-sector leadership to fraud, corruption, and ethics; environmental governance; poverty; health efficacy; gender parity; and more.
The institute will house several of the school’s current centers and programs that already provide courses, activities, and research spanning the for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. They include:
§ The Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, which works with organizations whose mission is to improve social and environmental sustainability.
§ The Center for Responsible Business, which integrates social and environmental goals into the business models of for-profit enterprises.
§ The Graduate Program in Health Management, which trains students for the future of health finance, health systems and new innovations in health care.
§ The Haas Global Social Venture Competition, which is the nation’s largest student-run competition for approaches to social and environmental challenges.
The Institute is also launching an initiative on the impact of women on business and the economy. Through classes, applied research, a speakers’ series, and seminars with leading executives, this program will explore strategies to foster the advancement of women in corporate management, entrepreneurship and nonprofit leadership.
Beyond its centers and programs, the institute will provide a vibrant hub for collaboration with other groups at the Haas School and UC Berkeley around shared goals.
“The social importance of what we do has always been a part of our school’s DNA,” says Haas School Dean Rich Lyons. “The tools of business can and should be applied to bend the many unsustainable paths our world is on, such as the rising cost of healthcare, public education, access to clean water, carbon use, obesity, clean air, etc. Bending these paths will require the combination of skills and mindsets we aim to deliver at Berkeley-Haas. The Institute for Business and Social Impact is the next level of how we develop these pathbending leaders.”
The institute launch is being supported by donations from Haas School alumni: Allan Holt and his wife, Shelley, gave a $1 million endowment. Margo Alexander, chairman emeritus of the Acumen Fund, gave a $100,000 gift.
Learn more about the Institute for Business and Social Impact at: http://haas.berkeley.edu/IBSI