Not Your Mama's MBA: Net Impact 2011 Hosts Responsible Business Leaders

GOOD Business heads for Portland this week to meet the next generation of social impact leaders.

If you hear “MBA” and think “soulless banker of the future,” you’re not alone—but you’re not necessarily right, either. Business skills are just tools, after all, and how they’re applied makes all the difference. Not everybody at Wharton or Harvard Business School has their heart set on a career of amoral profit-seeking: Many want to succeed by doing good.

This Thursday, GOOD Business is going to meet some of these folks at the 2011 Net Impact conference in Portland, Oregon. Net Impact is a 19-year old organization founded by a group of MBAs interested in making a difference as well as making a buck, and at the time they felt “extremely isolated,” says Liz Maw, the organization’s executive director.

Maw says the organization’s goal is to catalyze the next generation of business leaders to change the way they think about work, and break down the artificial boundaries between career and social impact. Even in a time when everyone’s first priority is simply getting a job, Maw says, anyone—no matter her position—can help businesses become more socially responsible and sustainable.

The 2,600 expected attendees will have some excellent role models at this year’s conference, including leaders from these three GOOD Companies, plus Craig Newmark, the man behind craigslist; Sally Jewell, president and CEO of apparel-maker REI, the country’s largest cooperative; and Leslie Christian, CEO of Portfolio21, a pioneer in impact investing.

The organization is also taking advantage of its location: We’ve all heard the jokes about Portland’s over-the-top love of sustainability, but the obsession has paid off, with a number of important local organizations dedicated to responsible public behavior. The conference will provide a forum for attendees to work with Portland leaders like the Bus Project and Upstream Public Health to solve important social problems.

One other thing to look forward to (shameless self-promotion alert) is the panel I’ll be moderating on the future of corporate social responsibility: I’ll be grilling executives from companies like Autodesk, Deloitte, and Campbell Soup Company about emerging trends in their field.

We’ll also have a GOOD booth at the expo, so come say hi, and don’t forget Saturday night’s Halloween-themed closing party. To truly terrify all of the ethical business fans, I’ll be dressed as an industrial strip-mining conglomerate that also makes genetically modified-food and has a finance arm specializing in subprime mortgages. Boo!

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less