Insights embedding social impact from the Global North
Societal impact is a central strategic focus of the Grossman School of Business (GSB) mission, programs, curriculum, learning goals and competencies, and students’ experiential learning. Sustainable Business is one of the core themes in the BA curriculum, the Sustainable Innovation MBA program has sustainability - social, environmental, and ethical - integrated into each topic, course, and case, and in the practicums that all students complete. The Masters of Accountancy program includes a course in Social/Environmental/Sustainability accounting that incorporates the SASB standards and ESG Reporting with access to the Datamaran disclosure database. GSB’s courses are also included in UVM’s list of courses required general education requirement.
The Sustainable Innovation MBA (SIMBA) students have demonstrated practical impact by winning the 2019 First Total Impact Portfolio (social, environmental, and economic) Competition beating the top 47 MBA programs in the US. They were finalists in the 2020 Second Total Impact Portfolio Competition. The SIMBA students won the 2021 First Solid Waste Management Case Competition against the top 50 MBA programs in the US and the world. The SIMBA students manage a live Total Impact Portfolio, the Catamount Investment Fund to create a portfolio that has a high social, environmental, and economic return. As a result, the SIMBA graduates are in great demand for positions in ESG and Impact Investing in top financial services firms and other firms focused on sustainable innovation and companies with a sustainable mission and focus including B Corps.
The societal impact of SIMBA students goes beyond helping companies achieve success in current operations. GSB graduates help businesses as intrapreneurs to initiate disruptive innovation in companies; as consultants for sustainability-driven innovation; and as entrepreneurs of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive businesses.
Diversity is a core value of GSB and the school maintains an Inclusive Excellence Action Plan with four components of inclusive excellence: academics, community, environment, and internal/external communications. Examples include a required privilege/bias workshop for SIMBA students; a Diversity Faculty Fellow; coordination of diversity initiatives in student recruitment, advising, and retention; Women in Business and Diversity in Business clubs; and student participation in Women in Business and Diversity in Business case competitions.