At Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.
Twenty-two years ago, a small group of MBAs, a former Harvard Business School professor, and a handful of entrepreneurs founded an organization called Students for Responsible Business (SRB) with one goal in mind: to use business as a force for good. Today, SRB is known as Net Impact, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower a new generation of both students and professionals to use their careers to drive transformational change in the workplace and the world.
As one of the largest student organizations among MBAs in the world, Net Impact supports over 200 autonomous volunteer-run chapters and a membership base of over 10,000, with programs and networking events centered on topics such as corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international development, and environmental sustainability. Here are some highlights of what Net Impact is doing and how it is inspiring others to harness the power of business for the greater good.
Every year, Net Impact produces a social and environmental impact guide to graduate business programs titled Business as UNusual. Created by students for students, the guide ranks how well certain graduate programs integrate sustainability themes into curricula, career services, and student activities. Each individual ranking is based on information from written questionnaires completed by Net Impact chapter leaders and an online survey completed by over 3,000 students. With a sleek design and helpful info-graphics, this guide is a great tool for anyone to see how graduate schools stack up on impact issues. Find the 2014 report here.
Perhaps Net Impact's most well known program is its annual Conference. The event is held every autumn in a North American location in partnership with a prestigious business school. Much like a TED Talk event, the conference brings together thousands of next-generation leaders with forward thinking businesses and nonprofits for a dynamic exchange of ideas through inspiring keynotes, panels, workshops, and special events. In the end, the conference aims to inspire emerging leaders to build successful "impact careers"–either by working in jobs dedicated to change or by bringing a social and environmental lens to traditional business roles. Click here to learn more about this year's upcoming conference in Seattle, WA.
Not only is Net Impact's main website packed with current news and trends in CSR, but it also includes a CSR career center. By clicking on the Explore Careers tab, visitors to the website have access to a plethora of resources, including CSR job field descriptions and career advice for people who want to make a positive impact through their careers. Some other helpful features include access to a jobs and internships board and a free self-assessment.
The problems our world faces are tremendous—from global poverty to depletion of natural resources. But with the mobilization of more people dedicated to tackling these problems, thanks to organizations such as Net Impact, a sustainable future is not an impossible reality.