Students are faced with real-world problems in a real-world environment.

In January 2006, a group of 57 HBS students, faculty, and staff traveled to New Orleans to contribute to the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Some students worked with government agencies to plan economic redevelopment strategies. Others helped clean and rebuild homes, secure personal and business bridge loans, and assess public education reform needs. Several students returned during spring break, helping to create an economic redevelopment plan for the badly flooded Broadmoor neighborhood. Students and faculty will return in January 2007 to provide strategic consulting to church and community groups and to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity.

Map of Gulf Region


  1. High damage areas as the result of levee/floodwall breaches.
  2. HBS students helped in the badly flooded Broadmoor neighborhood.
  3. Extensive flooding areas.

"The MBA curriculum prepares our students to take on complicated, ill-defined problems. There is plenty of opportunity for that in New Orleans today."

Prof. Dutch Leonard,
Co-Chair, HBS Social Enterprise Initiative

"The first thought I had when I heard about the destruction left by Katrina was, 'Let's do something about it — let's match the expertise of the students and faculty here with the needs of the New Orleans community.' If we are going to make a real difference, we need to build both relevance and sustainability into the work we do."

Anthony D'Avella,
MBA '07