Harvard Alumni for Impact

Connecting & Engaging Social Impact Alumni

SPOTLIGHT: Achieving Impact at Scale
In this issue, we take a look at how faculty research and alumni work are helping the social sector achieve impact at scale. Read ahead to learn about a case on a historic conservation institution’s strategic pivot to increase its impact, an alum who is helping social enterprises scale up dramatically, and audacious philanthropy’s role in driving some of the most effective social change movements. Plus scroll down to find out about an upcoming alumni webinar led by Professor Julie Battilana about the power of change-makers.

Highlight: Alumni Webinar

Becoming Effective Change-Makers: The Power of Networks
Thursday, January 25, 11:00am – 12:00pm

In this webinar, Professor Julie Battilana will investigate the roles of successful change-makers: agitator, innovator, and orchestrator. Agitation without innovation creates complaints without ways forward, and innovation without orchestration leads to ideas without impact. Change requires all three roles, but they each require different sources of power. More information and registration here.

Alumni in Action: Scaling Impact

Gerald Chertavian (MBA 1992), founder and CEO of Year Up, has scaled the skills-based training organization to serve over 17,000 low-income young people across 20 cities. Find out here how HBS relies on the services of Year Up and read the HBS case about a crucial inflection point in how the organization positioned itself for growth.


In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Susan Wolf Ditkoff (MBA 2001) explains how audacious philanthropyis behind some of the biggest social movements of our time.



In her recent Impact Insights blog post, Radha Ruparell (MBA 2008) explains how cultivating “collective leadership”in her work at Teach for All has been key to the organization achieving global impact on education in this recent Impact Insights blog post. .



Recognizing a need, serial entrepreneur Randy Haykin (MBA 1988) created The Gratitude Network to support nonprofit organizations looking to scale up. He explains more in this blog post.



Faculty Research on Scaling Impact

Two new cases—on the National Audubon Society and Magic Bus, an Indian nonprofit focused on child poverty—illuminate how organizations can achieve greater impact through re-envisioning their core goals and growth strategies.

In this recent Impact Insights post, Professor Kash Rangan discusses his research around organizations engaged in “transformative scale” through traditional growth strategies as well as alternative paths to impact, such as policy advocacy.

SE in the News

These Harvard Business Grads Are Putting Politics Above Profits, Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2017

Abby Falik – How Travel Exposes the Nerve You Can’t Ignore, Sounds Good Podcast, October 30, 2017 (Abby Falik, MBA 2008, on founding Global Citizen Year)

20 People who are Changing Brazil and the World for the Better, Granito & Capital Press Release, October 20, 2017 (Daniela Barone Soares, MBA 1997)

Ways to Engage

HBS Summer Associate Hiring – Planning for 2018

As you consider your talent needs for the coming year, we encourage you to hire an HBS student as a 2018 summer associate at your organization. The Social Enterprise summer website for employers offers guidelines on planning for the summer and posting a position, and lays out the process for students to apply for supplemental funding through the HBS Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship program.

2018 HBS New Venture Competition – Alumni Track

HBS alumni entrepreneurs from around the globe are invited to compete for three cash prizes totaling $100,000+. More than a dozen regional finalists will pitch live to top VCs during the global semi-finals round in Boston. The competition culminates on April 18, where the winners will be announced. The deadline to apply is January 29, 2018. Application details can be found here.

Impact Investing Alumni Interest Group

  • Sasha Dichter (MBA 2002) recently hosted a webinar: Busting the Myth of Impact Measurement. Watch here.  
  • Sign up here to be part of this group, focused on facilitating connections and sharing ideas—through regular webinars, live gatherings, and a LinkedIn group—amongst alumni interested in impact investing.

Alumni for Impact on the Road

Alumni for Impact continues to connect with alumni across the country. This fall, we hosted a reception in Chicago with Professor Dutch Leonard, a dinner in Boston with Professor Kash Rangan, and a breakfast at the SOCAP conference in San Francisco with Professor Vikram Gandhi. Stay tuned for more events coming up in the winter and spring.
Pictured: Professor Dutch Leonard leads a discussion with alumni in Chicago (top);
alumni gather in Boston with SEI and HBS faculty (bottom).