Our International Social Impact Strategies (ISIS) course here is off to a great start! As you may know, ISIS is designed to help students gain actionable insights into the nexus between economic and social value creation in an international context. Specifically, the purpose of ISIS is to provide students with hands-on exposure to the entrepreneurial pursuit of social impact in a developing economy. This year the students traveled to Colombia (with projects based in Bogotá and Medellin) to work with innovative organizations making a significant impact in their communities.
We landed in Colombia on Jan 1st and students dived right into work on the 2nd (largest class across NYU including Stern, Wagner, Steinhardt with 6 projects, 4-6 students per team). They spent all day Monday and Tuesday meeting with their clients, board of directors, etc. and the feedback from both clients and students have been very positive. To get a sense of our program, below is a short summary of our program.
Students based in Bogota are working with Fundación Pies Descalzos, founded by Colombian singer Shakira, that seeks to find opportunities for vulnerable and displaced children in Colombia. In conjunction with the Foundation for Social Change and Changecorp, the students are consulting on the eLife project, an afterschool curriculum focused on life skills and targeted to girls ages 11-16. The students are helping to scale the tablet training program for eLife and investigating mobile app opportunities as part of a larger rollout strategy.
Students based in Medellin are working with Fundación Barro de Medellin, an innovative NGO that aims to not only tell the story of the city of Medellin’s transformation, but be a fundamental part of it. Barro Medellin’s unique model promotes social inclusion by connecting children from all backgrounds through free arts-education and student-driven musical productions, with cutting-edge programming, a deep relationship to the community, and a passionate commitment to Medellin’s revival. Students are consulting on financial/revenue sustainability models, including a viable organizational structure, and overall strategy for Barro Medellin. We have already received positive PR from the city of Medellin – check out:
We’re hoping for even additional press and pictures from both locations!
We also have on board two teaching fellows: Manica Piputbundit, an MBA student at Stern and former ISIS participant; and Lyel Resner, a Gallatin student and Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.
If you have any questions regarding the class, feel free to contact me. We’re here until the 14th, with much work ahead in the field on how business and society can work together to make a positive economic and social impact!