As fall semester continued for the DMBA, four students took off to Philadelphia to represent the program at the 2016 Net Impact conference. From planes, trains and busses, the students participating in the conference made their way to the conference in hopes of networking and learning from some of the biggest influencers in social impact, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. With keynotes speakers ranging from entrepreneurs to co-founders and CEOs, the students were given a taste of current industry practices starting from the first night of attendance.
As a part of the conference, two students also represented CCA and the DMBA at the net impact chapter leader breakout session. At this session, Ximena Sarango (C8) and Meg Luce (C8) were able to meet along with MBA students from all over the country to discuss the practices that were vital to support a successful net impact chapter. Chapter leaders from Net Impact’s professional chapters were present as well, and gave great insight as to how to continue involvement with net impact beyond graduation. Being able to hear different perspectives from different schools provided insight to the DMBA chapter that would have otherwise not have been possible. Within this session, the students were also able to see the effect that design thinking is beginning to have even within the most traditional of MBA programs. While the DMBA chapter is quite finely trained in facilitating and creating design sprints, there were many programs present who are just starting to incorporate these practices into their curriculum. With being somewhat of the resident “experts” in design thinking, the DMBA students were able to share the experiences of all of the events that they had put on, and were able to relay insights and advice to these other MBA students who wanted to learn more.
Justine Keller (C9) and Marcie Chin (C8) were also able to take advantage of the great numbers of speaking opportunities that the conference provided. From key subjects such as incorporating social responsibility into existing companies, to the best practices of how to facilitate design sprint, each session provided new perspectives and viewpoints on subjects that are consistent within the DMBA every day. And as each student returned to their perspective city, they took with them the knowledge that they were able to gain from this conference, and the knowledge that the opportunity that social impact provides is not only for business, but for all stakeholders touched by that business.