“There’s a club for all these other industries — marketing, finance, etc. Why not for the cannabis industry? We thought there was a need for it and that it would be valuable to students and to us; we didn’t know enough about the industry ourselves.”
Over 80 people attended the first ever Social Impact Conference — which featured panels with local business people, staff, faculty and students — in Sage Hall Saturday. The event focused on the many ways to make a positive social impact in business and was hosted by the Sustainable Enterprise Association and the Johnson Graduate School’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and Social Consulting Business. Samantha Kirsch ’18, member of Sustainable Enterprise Association, said the conference was meant to “create a conversation and collaboration between the Ithaca community and the schools in the area.”
The conference included a presentation from keynote speaker Kunal Mehta, two panel sessions, a coffee chat hosted by “Up to Us” and a networking event. Mehta is the author of Disruptors: Entrepreneurs and the Escape from Corporate America as well as the former financial strategy associate for Charity: Water — a non-profit organization which creates clean water initiatives. At the conference, Mehta discussed the importance of embracing failures, realizing optionality and thinking differently.
The Dyson Atrium in Sage Hall — the home of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management — received a makeover during winter break with the addition of new furniture, an updated sound system and the installment of more electric outlets. Last semester, a small group of faculty, staff and students with architecture and interior design backgrounds worked together to create a space that would accommodate the events and students using the atrium, according to Amanda Sloane Shaw, associate dean for student services of the Johnson School. “The Johnson program prides itself on being a really close-knit collaborative community.” —Amanda Sloane Shaw
Renovation plans began last semester when the committee made design decisions to enhance the events that would take place in the atrium, according to Teodoro Guzman grad, chair of the student council facilities. “We have high tables around the perimeter for informational conversations, tables of various sizes to accommodate diverse group types, soft seating areas for more relaxed conversations and bigger desks with power outlets for more extended work sessions,” Guzman said. In addition, Guzman said state of the art LED lighting and new recycling bins, as part of a new waste management campaign, were installed.