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Fridays from the Frontline: Reflections from Leading the Net Impact Conference

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In this Fridays from the Frontline, take a look inside the 2024 Net Impact Conference at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School with current MBA student, Fayez Ahmed.

Empowering Innovation for Change: Reflections from Leading the Net Impact Conference

By Fayez Ahmed, JHU Carey MBA Class of 2024

Passion ignited, purpose galvanized, and community transformed—such were the echoes of the 2024 Net Impact Conference at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School on February 24. As a Co-President of the Carey Business School Net Impact chapter, it was a privilege and a profound learning experience for me to lead and organize the conference this year. The conference, titled “Business with a Purpose: Making Community Level Impact,” epitomized my commitment and the club’s vision to inspiring emerging business leaders to make positive impact in our community.

Empowering through purposeful action

The premise that business can serve a meaningful purpose and act as a force for good while creating shared values for all stakeholders was at the core of this year’s conference. This resonates deeply with my personal values and the ethos of our MBA program at the Carey Business School. We provided a platform for thought-provoking discussions on topics such as connecting capital to communities and investing in women. These enlightening discussions reinforced my belief in the power of collaboration and the need for inclusive approaches for social change.

Fostering innovation for community impact

A highlight of the conference was the “Baltimore Challenge” case competition focused on financing strategies for revitalizing vacant properties in Baltimore, an issue the city has long struggled with. My team and I were excited to challenge our peers to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to a crucial problem in Baltimore. We collaborated with The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins, who co-authored the case, while the Cohn Reznick, David Reznick Foundation, and the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association generously sponsored the challenge.

It was incredibly rewarding to receive proposals from the graduate students from University of Virginia, The George Washington University, the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. We are grateful to have shared the progressive ideas from business students with the City of Baltimore and local real estate companies to drive meaningful change at the grassroots level.

Networking and community engagement

The conference went beyond its formal sessions, offering invaluable networking opportunities for connecting with like-minded individuals. We drew inspiration from the impactful networking events hosted at the Carey Business School, which facilitated the building of valuable connections, leading to career advancement and personal growth. Our conference’s networking session fostered collaboration among attendees, laying the groundwork for future initiatives aimed at creating positive social impact.

Leading the conference has been a truly transformative journey. It has reignited my dedication to community impact and reinforced my conviction in the potential of business to drive positive change. The conference’s success wasn’t solely gauged by attendance figures but by its enduring influence on the Baltimore community and the motivation it sparked in others to enact change. As I continue my journey in the MBA program, I am inspired to leverage my experiences and knowledge to drive positive change and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.