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Carey Business School’s ‘Innovation for Humanity’ Course Wins Sustainability Award from Johns Hopkins

April 12, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Ercolano
Office: 410-234-9296

The Innovation for Humanity course of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s Global MBA program is being honored in the inaugural Green Blue Jay Awards presented by the Johns Hopkins University Office of Sustainability.

I4H, as the course is familiarly known, has been chosen to receive the By the Book Award “for its creativity and innovation in involving Carey Business School students in hands-on learning opportunities that emphasize humanity and social responsibility,” said Office of Sustainability Director Davis Bookhart.

In the course, students are immersed for three weeks during the January intersession in an unfamiliar culture with its attendant business challenges and opportunities. Working with local entrepreneurs and community stakeholder sponsors, the students tackle indigenous business problems, and are tasked to think innovatively and act collaboratively in seeking solutions. One I4H team worked this past January, for example, at a health clinic in Quito, Ecuador, and developed multiple recommendations to improve the facility’s admission and discharge processes.

The three-week immersion is preceded by a semester of preparation in which students learn entrepreneurship principles and relevant aspects of the country and business sector in which they will work. They also develop a project work plan that they adapt and execute during the on-site work.

Since the Global MBA program was introduced in fall 2010, about 250 Carey students have formed teams to work on a total of nearly 60 Innovation for Humanity projects that have focused on such domains as health care, agriculture, energy use, and water conservation in diverse global locations such as Ecuador, India, Peru, Rwanda, and the United States. I4H is a required 3-credit course in the first year of Carey’s Global MBA program.

Dipankar Chakravarti, Carey Business School

Dipankar Chakravarti, the Carey Business School marketing professor who directs the 14H course, says it was designed “to provide a transformational experience for our students. They get to see how entrepreneurs can encounter all kinds of difficulties, especially in an emerging economy, and still find ways to make meaningful contributions. In a challenging environment that really puts them to the test, the students learn to use many of the business skills they’ve acquired in their classes and the value of teamwork and collaboration.”

The Green Blue Jay Awards recognize individuals in the Johns Hopkins community who exemplify sustainability, in their ideals and actions, on the university’s campuses. The awards will be presented at noon on Earth Day, April 22, 2013, on the Homewood campus in Baltimore.

“My colleagues and I are delighted and humbled to receive this recognition,” Chakravarti said. “The Innovation for Humanity program and the ideals it embodies are very dear and close to our hearts. There are many faculty and staff who give this program their unstinting support and contribute to its success. We are obviously very grateful to our students whose incredible enthusiasm and commitment makes it possible to implement this program.”

Carey professors John Baker, James Calvin, Phillip Phan, Bonnie Robeson and Lindsay Thompson serve as faculty site directors for Innovation for Humanity. Carey staff member Daniel Sheats, program manager for I4H, handles the complex arrangements made with sponsoring organizations in the various countries.


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