Berkeley Board Fellows alum shares his experience

The Berkeley Board Fellows provides a connection between students and boards that, in some cases, last longer than just the designated program year. Cal Blake, a past Fellow who continues to be involved in Planned Parenthood Northern California whose board he served through BBF, discusses his personal experience of being a Fellow.

CalCal Blake, MBA/MPH ’15

Currently works with the Governance Committee of Planned Parenthood Northern California

1. What factored into your decision to stay involved with Planned Parenthood Northern California?
Planned Parenthood Northern California aligns with my interests in many ways, so it was an obvious choice to stay on. I’m learning how a clinical services organization works; I’m involved in strategic decision-making at the Board level during a major shift in American healthcare; and I’m giving back to my community through a venerable nonprofit.
2. How was BBF a part of your experience at Haas?
It was fantastic – looking back on it, I wish I’d allocated more time to this during my first year. Haas is good at giving us many compelling ways to spend our time, and my classmates and I feel like we’re always over-committed. Seeing things from the board level of a major nonprofit, this was one of the most constructive experiences for me, mostly because it concretely applied what I learned in the classroom – accounting, strategy, healthcare policy, operations, etc.
It also showed me how important Haas is to the Bay Area and Northern California. I got to see the alumni network in action, and not just in the context of looking for internships or jobs. Haas grads are everywhere!
3. What made BBF a success for you?
It was a true experiential learning experience for me – seeing the ACA implementation firsthand; working on a talent and supporter pipeline for a prestigious organization; thinking and acting holistically across finance, accounting, operations, and strategy issues. Such a broad scope of experience is rare, even for MBA students. I think it also helped me build long-term personal connections in healthcare, outside of Haas, in the Bay Area. And of course, it’s a pleasure to be working for a mission that I believe in!

Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project publishes photo essay in The Diplomat

Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project, a project within the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, published in The Diplomat a photo essay titled “Punjab: Civil Society and Conflict Transformation,” which depicts the lives of the survivors of the 1984-1995 conflict in Punjab. Focusing on internal armed conflict and mass social violence, the Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project examines the cultural, economic, and legal factors that cause violence, the long-term consequences for the victims, and how the effects are addressed. The presentation, which includes additional photos that were not included in The Diplomat article, can be viewed below.

Tackling Stigma and Brainstorming on Strategy for Nonprofit Aiming to Prevent Deadly Virus

By Katherine Murtha

On November 3, six alums of the UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business proved they are students always. Gathering on campus, the group of alumni volunteered to help a startup online health education nonprofit at a Solutions Lab organized by the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership.

The nonprofit client, HPVANDME.ORG, creates easy-to-understand videos educating people about human papillomavirus (HPV). Its mission is to become the premier hub of information on the treatment and prevention of HPV and HPV-related head and neck cancers. HPV is a prevalent disease: each year, more than 14 million people are infected, and 26,000 are affected by the cancers it causes – cancers that are preventable. HPV has a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control recommend all people ages 11-21 (up to 26 for women) receive the vaccine, which targets three of the most common strains of the virus. But as HPV is a sexually transmitted infection, efforts to educate the public about it must overcome a social stigma that stifles conversations about sex.

Volunteer alums Alice and Dave brainstorm ideas on sticky notes for HPVANDME, a client of the Solutions Lab.

Volunteer alums Alice and Dave brainstorm ideas on sticky notes for HPVANDME, a client of the Solutions Lab.

The approachable style and high production value of HPVANDME’s content have drawn the attention of the Centers for Disease Control, the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, the Mayo Clinic, and other potential partners. During the Solutions Lab, the alumni volunteers brainstormed ways for HPVANDME to partner with these organizations to help it achieve its goal. Alums drew on a diversity of experiences in online content creation, technology startups, and health care. The opportunity to give back through business skills piqued the interest of one volunteer, who said activities like Solutions Lab keep his “brain from turning to mush.”

“This is our ‘continuing education,’” another Haas volunteer said of Solutions Lab, “and it feels good.”

That continuing education included a quick overview of a Problem Framing Problem Solving brainstorm technique, diverging and converging. After ideating individually on sticky notes, volunteers paired up to cluster their ideas by category and refined a pitch. They presented their top ideas to the client and, via video conference, to representatives of two prospective partner organizations for HPVANDME. In the process, alums learned about the disease and the discourse within the medical community on prevention and treatment for HPV-positive cancers.

In addition to approaches to partnership, the ideas for HPVANDME also included business practices that the startup nonprofit could implement to help it grow.

The Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership has hosted four sessions of Solutions Lab, a unique opportunity for Haas alumni to lend their business acumen to assist nonprofit clients. You can read more about past sessions here.

Top 5 Takeaways from Social Impact Consulting Career Panel

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Event: Social Impact Consulting Career Panel Date: Monday, November 3, 2014 Berkeley-Haas hosted panelists achieving social impact through careers in consulting. They shared their advice and personal experience with using consulting principles and projects on strategy, sustainability, evaluation, change management and others. With Kimberly Wright-Violich as moderator, the panelists provided insight on the challenges of their work as well […]