I couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative’s new blog, Impact Insights.
I’m Matt Segneri, SEI’s Director, an HBS alum (MBA 2010), and someone whose life has been profoundly shaped by SEI programs and fellowships.
Decades ago, the notion of a leading business school focusing on social impact was a fanciful one. It wasn’t part of the canon of management. Legend holds that a student group interested in nonprofit careers—all six of them—once met only in secret conclaves in campus basements.
In 2017, that not-too-distant past seems implausible. Social enterprise is a foundational part of HBS. From applicants to students to alumni, the energy here is electric. The student Social Enterprise Club is one of our largest. Social enterprise is a top priority of the School—and that’s been true for a long time.
HBS pioneered the concept of social enterprise in 1993 with the founding of SEI and we’ve taken a leadership role in the field ever since. We’ve engaged scores of faculty members in teaching and research, published hundreds of cases, articles, and books, and created transformational learning experiences for thousands of MBAs and executives.
More importantly, though, we’re no longer alone. Social enterprise is table stakes for top business schools today and peer institutions do excellent work, too, which is vital because the world needs more MBAs engaged in these endeavors.
SEI is an incredible community of leaders whose interests are broad and diverse but whose passion is singular: to tackle society’s toughest challenges and make a difference in the world.
It’s far more than just bringing business thinking to the nonprofit world. Creating high-impact social change is no longer about tax status, organizational form, or sector. The lines dividing private, public, and nonprofit are blurrier than ever and our work deliberately intersects all three. No one sector can do it alone. I fervently believe that the leader of the 21st century is—and must be—a tri-sector athlete.
In the months ahead, we’ll use this platform to shine a spotlight onto the people, ideas, and happenings that make our community such an extraordinary one. We’re excited to share stories from campus and around the world. You’ll hear from students, faculty, alumni, and executives doing great work and having great fun doing it.
We look forward to connecting through this blog, via our website, @HBSSEI, and on campus. There’s never been a more exciting time for the field and this work is more important than ever. We’re so glad we’re in it together.