Forming the MBA Social Impact Club

05 February 2021

Full-time MBA participant, Ruchi Sankrit, provides an introduction to the student led MBA Social Impact Club. 

In December 2019, Full-time MBA student, Ashish Padhi, invited myself and several other members of our MBA cohort for a discussion about how businesses could help drive social good. About 20 of us huddled up in a small syndicate room to discuss a wide range of challenges that businesses could tackle, such as poverty, climate change, health and mental wellbeing.

From this discussion, an informal group called Business for Good (B4G) was born, created as a platform for MBA students to discuss and work on ideas to tackle these challenges. Members of the B4G group have gone on to win multiple competitions on innovative ideas, firstly at a ‘Purposeful Ageing’ competition organised by Saïd Business School/EIT-Health, and then Reload Greece Challenge, where the winning team presented a non-invasive diabetes testing idea.

With a pandemic bringing the world to a standstill, the year 2020 reinforced the fact that organisations aren’t immune to societal challenges. Deep-down I was keen that as future managers, we should be aware of the society in which we operate in and ensure that we don’t cause or aggravate disparity in our communities and environment. During the summer lock-down, myself and my fellow Full-time MBA students Ashish and Diana worked together to form the school’s first Social Impact Club (SIC) with the support of CareersPlus and the Corporate Relations team. 

The Social Impact Club is a student-led initiative, with the aim to increase students’ engagement with social impact topics. The club focuses on five thematic areas - social enterprise, impact investing, sustainability, inclusion, and tech for good. The club is advised by Dr Haley Beer (Social Enterprise and Impact), Dr Frederik Dahlmann (Sustainability and Strategy), Prof. John Lyon (Impact Investing), Dr Maja Korica (Inclusion) and Dr Ram Gopal (Data analytics and business impact of technology).

Myself, Ashish and Diana are currently working with the WBS Behavioural Science group and CareersPlus/Corporate Relations team to organise the club’s first ImpactX event. The event aims to bring together MBA students from top UK and EU Business Schools to develop innovative venture-ideas and business-models which could address complex societal challenges, aligned to the UN SDG Goals, with a focus on areas severely impacted by Covid-19.

The Social Impact Club now has its first set of office-bearers: a team of two Co-presidents, five Vice-presidents and a Marketing Coordinator. Over the coming year, the club is planning to conduct activities such as masterclasses, guest panel discussions, webinars, and competitions to expose students to societal and environmental challenges. Warwick Business School embodies the spirit of change and it’s hoped that the Social Impact Club will create pathways for change makers.

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