University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

October 22, 2017

Ann Arbor, Flint campuses collaborate on Social Impact Challenge

January 12, 2017

Ann Arbor, Flint campuses collaborate on Social Impact Challenge

The sixth annual Social Impact Challenge will take place in Flint and is presented as a partnership between the Stephen M. Ross School of Business' Center for Social Impact in Ann Arbor and UM-Flint's Office of University Outreach.

As Flint looks toward a post-water-crisis future, the 2017 Social Impact Challenge will look at how to advance entrepreneurship efforts in Flint to revive neighborhood centers and city corridors for economic development.

The Center for Social Impact has hosted previous challenges in Detroit, partnering with civic, community and nonprofit organizations to tackle pressing strategic issues in the urban environment. In 2016, students tackled strategic and operational questions to help launch Detroit PAL's Kids At the Corner Campaign in partnership with the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy, which involved the redevelopment of the historic field.

In 2017, in addition to the partnership between the two U-M campuses, teams will be working with the city of Flint, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and Skypoint Ventures, a venture capital and real estate company with strong social impact ties.

"It is exciting to move the challenge to Flint this year, where so much is going on, but where there is also so much potential," says Glenn Bugala, marketing manager for the Center for Social Impact.

Paula Nas, interim director of university outreach at UM-Flint says, "The opportunity to partner with the Ann Arbor campus on meaningful social change in our city is very exciting. We look forward to having ongoing dialogue between the campuses on Flint's future."

Student teams will be presented with a case statement and will work together to find solutions that will be implemented on the ground in Flint through the partner organizations. In addition to being able to create interdisciplinary teams, this year students will be able to create teams from students at both campuses.  The winning team will receive $2,500 and the opportunity to put their plan into practice during the coming months.

There are a number of events between January and March. Students will meet with UM-Flint Outreach in Flint on Jan. 18 and in Ann Arbor on Jan. 24 to kick-off the event. On Jan. 27, all participants will have a site visit in Flint with key stakeholders and U-M.

Students must register their teams for the challenge by Feb. 7. On March 15 in Flint, the final pitches and the winning team will be presented. There will also be special speakers and events surrounding the challenge on that day.