Berkeley Board Fellows Applications Break Records

This fall, we broke our previous records for both nonprofit and student applications to our Berkeley Board Fellows program. We received applications from 94 nonprofits and 137 students!

BBF has proven to be a successful outlet for Haas’ community impact. The striking number of applications demonstrates the dedication that Haas MBAs have to creating a positive social impact in their community – even while being full-time students.


Impact Speaker Series – Global Leadership For Social Impact with Farooq Kathwari

Event: Farooq Kathwari: Global Leadership For Social Impact
Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Location: Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Farooq KathwariMr. Farooq Kathwari, CEO of Ethan Allen, spoke about the need for global leaders to identify their personal passion and engage with social issues. His experience as a humanitarian and social advocate informs his discussion of the need for emerging cross-sector leaders to be active, conscious global citizens as well as “executives”. Successful global leaders must address the ways in which their efforts affect local peoples and incorporate social efforts to have a positive impact in the world. “I’ve seen conflict, and I’ve been a refuge. This is a reason why I choose to focus on advocacy,” said Mr. Kathwari.

Mr. Kathwari has been active in public service, often supporting initiatives that strive to improve the lives of people affected by war and other turmoil.  He is a director and former chair of Refugees International, an independent organization that advocates on behalf of displaced people, and a director of the International Rescue Committee, which responds to humanitarian crises around the world. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and on the advisory board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan global security think tank in Washington DC. In 1996, Kathwari founded, and continues to chair, the Kashmir Study Group, which after extensive interaction with regional leadership, issued recommendations for easing tensions in the area. He is also a member of President Obama’s Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Here are a couple of clips from Mr. Kathwari’s presentation:

View photos from the event:

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To view the full presentation, click here.

Laura Callanan’s Response to Impact Investing Articles

Recently a new round of impact investing articles have come out.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy published It’s Time to Cut Through the Hype of Impact Investing which is a synopsis of a new report, Making Impact Investable, and The Stanford Social Innovation Review When Can Impact Investing Create Real Impact. Laura Callanan responds to these articles:

Laura Callanan

Laura Callanan

I am always encouraged to see folks thinking and writing about impact investing.  I force myself to remember that 20 years on this idea of “doing well and doing good” is still eye-opening for many people.

But I find myself feeling a bit glum and crotchety. For all the ink spilled – some by me – on this topic, we still lack (in the words of Jed Emerson and Antony Bugg-Levine) the “Apple IPO” of impact investing.  Perhaps more importantly we lack a robust set of compelling examples – with real, proven track records — that an investor can earn a meaningful return while generating a social benefit.

I have written grant proposals, and run a family foundation. I have managed the endowment at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Wallace Foundation.   I have published on social impact assessment, lectured on strategic philanthropy – and handed big wads of cash to elderly women in Mali who came up to me and opened their hands for help. So I understand the complexity both of funding social change for meaningful impact, and investing to maintain philanthropic purchasing power.

I would humbly ask that we focus today on the investing half of impact investing — to prove that folks driven by impact can be successful at generating financial return.  We realize measuring impact is a whole can of worms in itself, and will certainly want to know whether these investments are delivering on their impact promise.  But if they don’t make good as investments, the discussion will be moot.  And at this point, the discussion has been going on for so long I’m afraid people may stop listening.

Laura Callanan is a visiting scholar at Haas. She has vast experience as a consultant, author, and teacher in the field of social innovation. Laura recently spoke at a SoCap panel on impact investing, data, and pay for success. Watch the video below.

Multi-Sector Leaders are Well-Recognized

“‘The next leader of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is unlikely to be a Microsoft executive’, says Jeff Raikes, who announced on Tuesday that he is stepping down as chief executive of the world’s largest philanthropy.” The recent article about the next CEO of the Gates Foundation highlights the benefits of having a multi-sector leader who can bring an array of experiences and perspectives to understand “the distinctive challenges of philanthropy”.

The past two leaders of the foundation (Jeff Raikes and Patty Stonesifer) have been high level executives of Microsoft, but the new leadership will change that. “By having CEOs who have the same experiences as board members, [The Gates Foundation is] missing out on the potential benefits of broadening the circle to include people who bring a different perspective to solving these really thorny problems,” criticized Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Nora Silver, Director of CNPL, has led research on multi-sector leadership, finding that “in today’s increasingly inter-dependent world, many leaders engage in managerial, advocacy and leadership activities across the commercial, public, and social sectors”.