Fordham is one of 29 Champion schools within the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) network. The PRME initiative is a relationship between the United Nations and business schools across the globe to transform management education. In addition to creating a learning environment that promotes awareness of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Fordham is committed to providing students the platform to create innovative solutions to the environmental, social, and economic challenges of today's business landscape.
Fordham's role as a Champion school allows the university to engage with other management programs through collaborative projects and research. These efforts seek to implement sustainability principles within academic curricula and co-curricular activities. In both contributing to and taking part in game-changing projects that address the social responsibility of the business sector, Fordham is developing future leaders who see business as a force for good.
Fordham students are currently engaged in the "Breakthrough Innovation Challenge," an example of one of these PRME projects. This year-long initiative led by the UN Global Compact offers students the opportunity to solve real world sustainability challenges in collaboration with managers from multinational companies. Eight companies have created cases specific to their firm that invite students to evaluate sustainable business models and make final recommendations to the companies. The process will allow students to engage with disruptive technologies and, ultimately, provide each company the means to effectively address the UN Sustainable Development Goals through their business operations.
St. Rose's Garden
In May 2012, eight raised bed with 20 yards of soil were installed by the Fordham Community to establish St. Rose's Garden. St. Rose's serves as a social space, living laboratory, and classroom right on Fordham's 85-acre urban campus. The raised beds are used to grow a variety of produce, including: kale, collard greens, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, more. St. Rose's also offers local, organic seasonal CSA shares for purchase to all members of the Fordham community. The Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory has supported St. Rose's in a variety of capacities, including the financing of extended growing season initiatives and an on-campus farmers market.
The Sustainable Food Practicum
The Sustainable Food Practicum is a small committee of self-motivated students who are working to improve the sustainability of on-campus dining services on Fordham University's Rose Hill campus. The students operate as sustainability representatives between Fordham's administration, Aramark, the student body, and Fordham's sustainability consultant. They are working to increase communication between these parties to achieve measurable environmental and student health impacts.
Food Impact Investing Practicum
The Food Impact Investing Practicum focuses on collaboration as a process for financing better and more sustainable food systems. In partnership with SlowMoney NYC and other champions from the food sustainability arena, students in this practicum learn how food impact investing entrepreneurs strategically unlock resources by connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Project highlights include developing a Local Impact Rating System for the Hudson Valley foodshed as a shared platform for entrepreneurs and investors for whom the non-financial returns of food system ventures are an important value.
The Student Sustainability Committee
"The Student Sustainability Committee is a permanent subcommittee of the United Student Government. It also serves as the student partner to the University Sustainability Council which brings together administrators, faculty members, and both undergraduate and graduate students from within the University community.
Members of the committee work in collaboration and seek to promote sustainable living by promoting on-campus sustainability initiatives and by engaging their undergraduate peers.
Given the similarity of their missions, the Sustainability Committee and Social Innovation Collaboratory engage in a weekly leadership meeting to discuss current initiatives, offer feedback, and identify opportunities for further inter-university collaboration."
The Fashion Sustainability Practicum is dedicated to improving efforts towards sustainability in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world-just behind the oil industry-with problems focused on the supply chain and the environment. In today's culture of fast fashion and high trend turnover, the industry uses between 1.5 trillion gallons of water per year, 70-100 million trees to create wood-based fibers, and 25% of all chemicals produced worldwide.
By going to sustainable fashion conferences and events and researching successful sustainable business models, to prove that profitability and sustainability can coexist in this industry. Through the Social Innovation Collaboratory, the Fashion Sustainability's goal is to partner with brands as well as lead on campus initiatives to promote and improve sustainability efforts as well as spread awareness. To get involved, email email@example.com with "Fashion Sustainability" in the subject line!
Change Maker Badges
Changemaker Badges is student run initiative supported by the Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory designed to provide digital tokens of achievement for students, faculty, and alumni. Changemaker Badges provides a certificate of achievement, backed by the Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory, that rewards students for engaging in extracurricular social innovation, service, and leadership activities. The badges subscribe to Mozilla's Open Badges Standards and can be shared through users' various social media accounts including Linkedin and Facebook. Students can view the many possible badges on badgerepo.changemakerbadges.com and can apply to earn badges on the site directly. An issuer will then review the student's application and grant the badge if it is determined that the criteria for the badge is met. The student can then store all of their badges through Mozilla Backpack or Mozilla Open Passport, and cite them on their resume. This benefits students because they are earning tangible recognition for extracurricular work. It is also helpful for the Fordham as a whole because it encourages more students to do socially innovative work outside the classroom, which increases university-wide awareness of social issues concerning the world today. Changemaker Badges is currently in its trial phase and hopes to officially launch in Fall 2017.
Outreach and Media
The Fordham Social Innovation Collabatory's Outreach and Media team is a coalition of students who work together in order to promote the Collabatory in a multitude of ways. Max Lynch, our Network Leader, manages the communications of events, activities, and opportunities that come to the Collaboratory. His responsibilities include oversight of the weekly Social Innovation Newsletter, outreach, and partnership establishment and relations. This includes bringing together the people necessary to get projects off of the ground. Emily Mills, our Branding Design Leader, creates digital design media for the Collaboratory. Throughout her time so far, she has created everything from business cards to stamps to signage even designed the Collabatory's new logo! William McBurnie, our Technology Director, oversees the Collabatory's Internet presence, including this website and the Collabatory's social media pages, and works on other technological projects as needed.
If you would like to get involved with the Collabatory, please contact Max Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the summer of 2016, Fordham University hosted the very first Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Entrepreneurship Experience from July 6th to July 30th. The hands-on program allowed twenty-five underserved and underrepresented high school students to live on Fordham's campus for three and a half weeks learning fundamental entrepreneurial and technological skills. These skills include how to communication efficiently in a business setting, how to design, launch, and start a new business, as well as web and mobile app design. These crucial skill sets gave the students the knowledge and ability to be competitive in the job market and hopefully inspired them to pursue a degree in higher education.
The students were divided into groups and used their newfound skills to work with several non-for profit organizations local to Fordham University to create a unique technological solution to a problem that the organizations were facing. The goal of this exercise was to show the students how technology can be used as a force for good and invoke positive change around the world. One group partnered with an organization called Peer Health Exchange, which teaches high school students about physical, mental, and sexual health, and created a multi-functional app for them. The app included an online digital survey that will allow Peer Health Exchange to better evaluate their volunteers and stored their data in the cloud.
Net Impact mobilizes new generations to use their skills and careers to drive social and environmental change. Net Impact works with both university students and professionals by providing them with the tools necessary to be the most effective change agents they can be. Our programs and events focus on social challenges such as protecting the environment, inventing new products and orient business toward the greater good. We are currently working on Net Impacts very own Food Solutions Challenge where students will be able to follow a chosen food product through the agricultural supply chain and come up with solutions to reduce the carbon impact. We plan to host many speaker series related to impact investing, social entrepreneurship, and corporate responsibility.
Good Morning Breakfast Series: Good Mornings is a breakfast speaker series that invites innovative businesspeople from New York City to interact with and inspire Fordham students. These speakers focus on the creative and social impact of business, with topics that range from fair trade and sustainability to urban planning and empowerment of marginalized populations. Past speakers have included Housing Works, Radiate Marketplace, One Planet One Future, Citizen's Mark, Greensoul Shoes and Transfernation
Fordham University Social Innovation Collabatory partnered with BMW in order to create a new strategy to sell the BMW i3, an all electric and 100% sustainably built car. "Students have a natural understanding about products [like BMW–i]. We don't need to explain to them what an electric vehicle is and why it's needed—they all get it. They've grown up consuming these products and they're used to thinking about how to integrate them into our cities. Their intuition is very valuable to us," said Tadhg O'Connor, BMW–i area manager for the Eastern region.
Students split up into teams in order to research various topics, such as how to better market the i3 series to environmentally and socially conscious consumers, corporate vehicle discount programs, the corporate fleet landscape, and to identify pre–existing BMW company partnerships that would be optimal targets for BMW's marketing efforts.