On Being a Net Impacter ...
At CBS, Net Impact works with other similar bodies on campus, such as Students 360, CBS Goes Green and the CSR academic department. The Full-time MBA participants are supported by the program’s administration department in organizing events and other activities.On the 20th of March they will support the group's CSR roundtable event on Tuesday 20 March from 16:30 to 18:00.
Kai Groves (USA)
Jolene Roelofse (South Africa)
On Being a Net Impacter …
We recently caught up with Jolene Roelofse (South Africa) and Kai Groves (USA/Finland), Full-time MBA students who are active members of the Copenhagen chapter of Net Impact, and they summed up the organization, their views on CSR and what they hope to achieve through their involvement with Net Impact.
What is Net Impact, broadly speaking?
Kai: Net Impact is an organization made up of professionals and students (post graduate and under graduate) from all over the world. It’s kind of US based but it’s starting to spread all over the world. The concept behind Net Impact, kind of sums up into: ‘Doing Good work’. And so it has a little double entendre – so you’re doing good work and use your position at work or study and finding out how you can be more sustainable or responsible in everything that you do – in your work life or school life?
How does that work with your MBA studies?
Jolene: It assists in making you conscious of the fact that the way that you work has to have credibility and conscience. Whatever you put out there you’ve got to ensure that it’s environmentally friendly, it’s sustainable and it’s going to have a positive impact. It’s part of a learning curve. The aim is not just to sit in class and absorb and debate, but also to start working in a sustainable way. That is the role the Net Impact plays and also the opportunities it gives us of people who think in a similar way and access to people who have been doing work in this fashion for a long time. It’s a network that we can tap into and a new learning style.
Why did you join Net Impact?
Kai: One of the reasons I came to CBS is that the CSR, which I knew was kind of taking shape in the US, but wasn’t pushing the envelope as far as I wanted it. Denmark is known as being where CSR and business go hand in hand and it’s old hat for Danes pretty much. I wanted to experience that atmosphere. Net impact gives us the opportunity to get it in our hands and play with it.
Jolene: [by joining] I also wanted to find out what the big deal about Scandinavian CSR was and whether it’s organic and how much impact it actually has. It was more of a personal curiosity for me.
Kai: CSR has so many facets to it and it depends on where in the world you come from. In the US it is more environmentally focused and in Europe it’s more about ‘are we doing good by people’. Being in Europe and working with a US based organization helps us to look at both and to say – how can we be environmentally friendly while looking after the people. You need to do all of them; you can’t just focus on one so you need to understand how it all comes into play.
What are your ambitions for the Copenhagen chapter?
Kai: We are still taking it through a forming phase. We have some goals that we want to do. We don’t expect that we will complete all of them. What we are working hard on is getting processes going and set up a legacy for future years/chapters so that they can run with it.
Jolene: It’s still kind of new. Our goal is to get it to the place where future chapters take the torch can make something of it and getting the networks out there and interacting with people in the business world. There isn’t enough time to do a lot of work because we are in the full-time program. Even if we finish one project, it’s good enough and pass it on to the MBA class of 2012.
What is your project?
Kai: It’s a Carbon Report – part of our chapter is that we are analyzing the carbon footprint of the program to see what kind of impact our program has on the environment. So some of it will track people’s travel – how you get to school, cups of coffee you drink, energy use of the building and where the energy comes from and how it’s bought etc. Things like the amount of paper printed by the program etc. There will be a survey going out later this year … it’s taking all those things into consideration and see how we can reduce the program’s impact on the environment with the amount of paper we use etc.
How much difference can this project to make to the MBA program?
Jolene: It’s a stepping stone. The amount of effort we put into it, will be the valuable to the next chapter. Kai: It’s not going to make a huge impact, but it will definitely make people stop and think about the things differently, but it will be something tangible to hand over to the next class.
What is your blueprint?
Jolene: We’ve got a blank canvas. We are not trying to copy or emulate another chapter.
Kai: Because Net Impact it is still at an embryonic stage in Europe, our focus is on a couple of passionate green people in the Full-time MBA: Richard Hungerford [USA], Ahmed Nounou [Egypt] and others. We give them the space to work with something that they are passionate about and that ignites our passion and excitement.
Find out about the CSR Roundtable
Read more about CSR at the Full-time MBA
Visit See the Net Impact Facebook Page