News & Highlights

  • NOVEMBER 2022

Singing to the Corn: Taylor Keen’s Sacred Seed Project shows how a Native American approach to agriculture can protect the planet’s soil—one garden at a time

Corn likes people. It benefits from human contact, when it’s thinned out and hand-pollinated, explains Taylor Keen (MPA 1996/ MBA 1997). Corn thrives when sung to and spoken to—something Keen does in the language of his mother’s Omaha Tribe, where he is known as Bison Mane. Keen is also an active member of the Cherokee Nation, his father’s people, where his tribal name is Blackberry. He grew up between Omaha and the Cherokee reservation in northeastern Oklahoma, where he was a football player and top student—not a plant whisperer. It would be decades before Keen fully understood the role that growing things could play in educating others about indigenous cultures. Read more about his journey here.
  • OCTOBER 2022

Inclusive Leadership and Fair Chance Employment: A Conversation with Larry Miller, Professor Francesca Gino & Professor Hise Gibson

This October, the Harvard community gathered to participate in a conversation based on a new case, Larry Miller, written by Professors Francesca Gino, Frances X. Frei, and Hise Gibson in collaboration with the Mid-US Research Office. Miller, chairman of Nike’s Jordan Brand Advisory Board, visited campus to join the discussion. His successful tenure at Nike and the Portland Trail Blazers suggests a life of accomplishment and privilege, but when he was younger, Miller spent nearly a decade in and out of prison for homicide and armed robbery. He shared his experience navigating adversity, and the conversation centered around themes of inclusive leadership and fair chance employment.
  • OCTOBER 2022

Doing Business in a Divided World: The Changing Role & Responsibilities of the American Firm

The School’s new Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society (BiGS) launched in Detroit, Michigan, this October with a convening of leaders who discussed the role of firms and their leaders in repairing a divided America and world. The event, hosted in conjunction with the Mid-US Research Office, brought together leaders in industry, academia, government, and nonprofit sectors for a day of discussion around current practices, challenges, opportunities, and rationales for business to engage in societal goals beyond shareholder value. These topics lie at the heart of BiGS, which seeks to frame and examine a critical management conversation of our time, and to provide new tools for leaders striving to navigate this shifting and complex landscape.
  • May 2022
  • MBA Experience

FIELD Immersion Course with a Domestic Focus

After two years of cancellation due to COVID-19, this May more than 1,000 first year MBA students participated in project assignments for FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development) Immersion, a required course that took students across the US for the first time this year. For the past 10 years, this required course has sent first-year MBA students around the globe in an immersive learning experience that pairs them with companies to introduce a new product, service, or customer experience for the local consumer. This year, Stephanie Galloway, senior director of the Global Experience Office (GEO), and her staff, as well as with the MBA Program staff, worked to build an entirely new immersive experience. The team researched locations across the US, developed relationships and projects with companies and organizations, planned contextual experiences such as meetings with local leaders and historical tours, and fine-tuned the course details and extensive logistics required for sending 1,000 students to 15 new locations. Cities such as Milwaukee, Birmingham, or Chattanooga were intentionally selected as a majority of students would not have past experience. Students had the opportunity to participant in projects ranging from a company seeking to attract and retain more underrepresented minorities, to an organization wanting to design a program providing mortgage loans for Black and minority homebuyers, to a startup bringing dental services to traditionally underserved neighborhoods.

New Research on the Region

  • October 2022
  • Case

Beam Dental (A)

By: Rembrand Koning and Alicia Dadlani

In May 2014, Alex Frommeyer, cofounder and CEO of Kentucky-based Beam Dental, a seed-stage startup that developed connected toothbrushes that tracked brushing habits, needed to decide which strategy to pitch to a venture capital firm. The first pitch deck played to the founders’ strengths as engineers and requested funds to develop a market-leading, next-generation connected toothbrush. The second pitch deck requested capital to start a dental insurance company, an industry in which the founders had limited knowledge, that would distribute the toothbrush and offer premium credits for healthy brushing habits. This case is the first case in a two-part series (second case 723-356), and there are two supplements (723-374 and 723-375) for this case.

  • October 2022
  • Teaching Material

Beam Dental (A): Pitch Deck Supplement 1

By: Rembrand Koning and Alicia Dadlani

Early pitch deck (one of two). This case is a supplement to Beam Dental (A) 723-355.

  • October 2022
  • Teaching Material

Beam Dental (A): Pitch Deck Supplement 2

By: Rembrand Koning and Alicia Dadlani

Early pitch deck (two of two). This case is a supplement to Beam Dental (A) 723-355.

See more research

Mid-US Staff

Alicia Dadlani
Christy Hirokawa
Program Manager
Lauren Modelski
Senior Researcher