BGI’s Net Impact Chapter is Golden

June 20th, 2013

BGI’s Net Impact chapter was again awarded Gold standing for the 2012-2013 year. Less than 25% of 300 plus chapters worldwide have been distinguished with this top achievement, signaling exceptional performance across the board. Net Impact is a global community of MBAs and professionals using the tools of networking and professional development to create opportunities that drive sustainability into business.

Proud as we are of the recognition, the reality is that getting Gold status at a deeply green school like BGI is not a dramatic feat. The real news is all the behind the scenes ways in which this student group has improved the experience for all students and strengthened the BGI brand in Seattle.

The single biggest accomplishment this year was a smooth merger with Network BGI to form a group that continued a legacy of bridge building between BGI’s two MBA programs. Network BGI was formed two years ago by MBA in Sustainable Business students to provide regular networking events for students enrolled in the Seattle Learning Site. The union of this with the ongoing Net Impact BGI group of the MBA in Sustainable Systems created a student-led team of both programs, including Systems MBA candidates Hannah Gant and Hilary Kilgour and Business MBA candidates Marisa Gant, Duschka Fowler-Dunning, and Tauschia Copeland.

The most visible part of Net Impact’s work this past year has been its diverse series of networking and professional development events held monthly on Wednesday evenings before Systems MBA intensives. Building on the leadership and skill of Duschka and Marisa from their Network BGI experience, the new team also leveraged the expertise and good work of BGI’s Marketing and Admissions departments. By years end, Net Impact BGI had successfully hosted fifteen events that contributed towards the gold status recognition, including the Future of Clothing co-branded with the Hub Seattle and attended by over 130 people, as well as multiple events co-branded with the University of Washington and Seattle Professional Net Impact chapters.

This year’s team is also particularly proud to have provided assistance and mentorship to incubate a new Net Impact chapter at Seattle University’s MBA program. Thank you to BGI Marketing faculty April Atwood for making the connection and Marisa for being most present with this work.

Hilary and Hannah worked with the BGI administration to proactively create opportunities for our faculty to present at the upcoming Net Impact Conference, this year in San Jose October 25-27th. BGI Faculty Luni Libes and Nina Serpiello will facilitate an interactive workshop speed-walking the attendees through prototyping the customer experience. BGI faculty Kevin Wilhelm is also a featured panelist.

Earlier in the academic year, Net Impact joined forces with the Diversity and Social Justice group and the ‘Mascots’ to raise over $10,000 in a black-tie auction fundraiser. The proceeds went directly to support student activities, including underwriting travel and fees related to business competitions. Several teams distinguished BGI this year, including Loopool in the semi-finals of the Walmart Better Business Competition in Arkansas, Happy Belly at SPU, as well as Biomethane and Tinkr at UW. Many more competed and were reimbursed thanks to this barn-raising effort and the diligent work of Tauschia managing Net Impact’s finances in concert with BGI administrative staff.

The 2012-2013 Net Impact team is proud of the Gold status recognition and the work the team has accomplished this year. The tradition of bridge building will be carried forth by the incoming leadership team, which includes Sarah Schafer, a student from BGI’s newest program, the MA in Organizational Leadership. We welcome Alana Kambury, Amanda Thorton, and Skaidra Scholey representing the MBA in Sustainable Systems and Jason Hinojosa and Kira Kramlich from the MBA in Sustainable Business. Expect more golden work in the coming year from this excellent team!