Over last few months, in our interactions with the students from other business schools we felt the need of a platform which can not only bring together energies of students inclined in the sector but also provide a platform where they can discuss and express their ideas and get guidance from the experts.
In the Oxford Launchpad
It is the first Social Impact-focused student conference of its kind hosted by any business school in Europe, and the plan is to for the organisation of future events to rotate between different business schools each year. With the inaugural edition hosted by Oxford and participation from some of the leading schools such as London Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School, we plan to scale the participation from next year.
The conference started with a speed networking session of the participants, where students worked in groups to come out with a product idea around a single word assigned to their team. The exercise helped the participants to get to know each other and get an overview of everyone’s interest and background in the space. Thereafter, and with an impressive speaker line-up, a social impact careers panel discussion provided insights to students about opportunities, expectations and challenges in the sector from experts who have gone through similar journeys after their business school education.
This interactive session was followed by a passionate debate amongst participants from LBS, Cambridge and Oxford with the proposition “The house believes that all social impact that matters can be measured”. The debate was hugely engaging and witnessed some really strong & diverse arguments through various examples shared by the contestants.
In the next half of the conference, students participated in workshops on impact measurement metrics and a real time social business case competition. These sessions not only exposed students to the methodology and the standard practices to these critical and important aspects of the sector but also provided them scope to come out with innovative ideas and brainstorm within smaller groups and get feedback from others. I always believe social impact is a team game and these sessions were a great way to work within different teams to learn not just from resource persons but also mutually from other students.
The event is definitely a great start to what could be a platform which can provide opportunities to collaborate and work together to future leaders of social impact space. The team is especially thankful to our guide and advisor, Dr Pamela Hartigan, Executive Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at our business school, who provided regular guidance and support in conceptualizing and making this event a reality.