BAWB: Nothing More Than Nothing

Nancy Adler takes the podium and encourages us that “global transparency lets us see the global heart.” She shares this story.

Field mouse and bird meet in the Canadian woods. The bird asks the mouse, “What is the weight of a snowflake?” “Nothing more than nothing,” the mouse replies. The bird tells of watching a gentle light snowfall, and counting the snowflakes. In a few short hours, 3, 741, 952 snowflakes fell. When the next one fell (recall that it weighed nothing more than nothing) and landed on the branch, there was a loud crash as the branch broke and fell to the ground.

It’s easy to question what one person can do. Panelists offer a new definition of hope from what they have done. The first panelist is Carolyn Woo – Dean of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business – who addresses business as an agent of peace. Schooled by missionary nuns in Hong Kong, after an extraordinary journey of education, career in consulting, nonprofit and academia, Carolyn is an energetic and passionate speaker.

From 150 business schools around the world, 47 responded to a survey about initiatives the continuum of programs emerges:
1. Joint MBA programs in other countries with good will missions
2. Courses and curricula that focus on a specific countries with economic development programs
3. Micro finance and social entrepreneurship
4. Social programs focused on rebuilding

Schools are involving their students around the world in many countries, large and small schools, competencies for these programs grew from the 60s, the whole program design tends to be very experiential, efforts are the benefit of a more diverse business school faculty, student body, technology and travel costs being low help, the millennial generation are more engaged in volunteering and service.

Where do we need to go:
1. Start with small projects – micro finance
2. Incorporate a clearer idea of the student as an agent, as a consumer, as a citizen
3. Grow alliances: partnering to share teaching materials that are turn key; collaboration with NGOs and the business sector; watchdog groups; certification (similar to CPA, CFA) for social benefit skills.
4. Program from the vantage point of stages of learning: awarness, understanding and wisdom, engagement.

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