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UCLA Anderson Adds Social Impact Specialization, Kicks Off Social Innovation Week

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With interest in social impact careers on the rise among MBA students, UCLA Anderson School of Management announced last week that it has added a new specialization in social impact to its curriculum. Now, in addition to options like accounting, brand management, corporate finance, entertainment and entrepreneurship, Anderson MBA students can tailor their coursework to develop expertise in leading mission-driven organizations seeking to bring about social change.

“Today’s world calls for a more holistic approach to business, as customers demand more transparency and social responsibility from the companies they engage with,” said Professor of Finance Bhagwan Chowdhry, who led the creation of the new specialization, as part of an article on the Anderson website. “As young professionals strive to make a positive impact through their careers, they’ll need to navigate the blurred lines between traditional for-profit business and the social sector and the rise of benefit and flexible-purpose corporations.”

Social Innovation Week Kicks Off
The launch of the new specialization comes just as UCLA Anderson is preparing to kick off its annual Social Innovation Week, which begins today and continues through Thursday. Centered this year around the theme “Ignite Impact,” the conference is expected to draw founders of mission-driven businesses and other thought leaders to campus for a packed week of speakers, design workshops, panels, documentary film screenings and networking opportunities designed to spark ideas for social change.

An array of panel discussions will focus in on topics including how to change the world through food, how TV and other forms of entertainment can bring important social issues to light and how to make Los Angeles a more sustainable city. The speaker lineup includes Ben Goldhirsh, co-founder and chairman of global media company and social impact agency GOOD; Anderson alumna Amy Yip (’12), global communications and community engagement manager for Google Food; Sandra de Castro Buffington, founding director of the Global Media Center for Social Impact; Anderson alumnus Nurit Katz (’08), UCLA chief sustainability officer; and Deidre S. Lind, president of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, among others.

Learn more about social impact at UCLA Anderson.

In case you missed it, check out our recent two-part special on best MBA programs for social impact: Part I and Part II.