About the Course

The Social Impact Field Seminar provides an action-based learning experience to students interested in understanding how (for-profit and non-profit) organizations develop innovative products and services that help mitigate grand challenges―such as climate change, food security, global health, poverty, etc.―and enable them to grow their business and sustain their competitive advantage over time.

Students will work on a live ‘social impact’ consulting project for a client from the host country, and present their recommendation to the client while in the country. Furthermore, students will visit and interact with various players in the social impact sector (e.g., entrepreneurs, high-level executives, non-profit leaders) to learn about the opportunities and challenges they face.

This course is ideal for students interested in social impact, sustainable energy, environmental sustainability, social entrepreneurship, socially responsible investing (SRI), and global health and healthcare.

The Social Impact Field Seminar includes in-class sessions, business visits, as well as social and cultural activities. While the overall focus of the field seminar is on social impact (which includes environmental and social aspects), the specific context of the host country is taken into consideration for the course curriculum and planning of business visits and other activities.

Areas of Focus (Brazil 2020)

Energy and Environmental Sustainability

  • Green energy
  • Providing access to electricity for underserved communities
  • Sustainable farming and food security
  • Protecting the Amazon and biodiversity

Social Inclusion

  • Diversity and inclusion in companies
  • Empowering business and people in favelas

Social Responsible Investing

  • Financing of entrepreneurship / microfinance
  • Providing financial services to underserved communities
  • Impact investing

Access to Education & Health Care

  • Dealing with AIDS/HIV and tuberculosis
  • Providing access to education for underserved communities
  • Providing access to affordable drugs and health care for underserved communities