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The Journey of Impact: Top 4 Takeaways from the Net Impact Conference 2017

Posted By Katy Rumrill, Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Net Impact Conference 2017(NI17), which engages graduate school student chapter members on its mission: taking on social challenges, protecting the environment, and orienting businesses and products towards the greater good. At the conference, Net Impact hosted various business leaders and academic leaders to connect them to students with an interest in social impact. The first thing that popped up when I researched for the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in Atlanta, GA where the conference was held was how sustainable and environmentally friendly the building is. In fact, the GWCC is the largest LEED certified convention center. What a great place to hold a conference focusing on environmental and social change in the world.

I was there as a chapter leader of the Net Impact Chapter at Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College so I was able to gather a lot of enlightening information. Here are my top four takeaways from NI17:


1.     “If it is to be, it is up to me”

 The theme of NI17 was ‘Purpose in Action.’ The conference had many keynotes and breakout sessions focusing on purpose; self-purpose, an organization’s purpose, or even the world’s purpose. The opening keynote highlighted speakers from Honest Tea, Imperative, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Echoing Green, and Clif Bar. Each speaker created a story starting with self, then us, and finishing with now. Their journeys to discovering their purpose, helped me realize that there is not a straight path to discovering what I am meant to do. It all takes time and reflection for an individual to realize their purpose.

2.     “There is no job description for saving the world”

Many speakers had interesting job titles including Chief Purpose Officer, Vice President of Sustainability, and Director of Community Affairs. For most, these positions did not exist in their corporations until they made the position. Many had to be intrapreneurs and cause disruptive change to find their purpose and/or the purpose of the organization. There were many suggestions for how to accomplish this. One specific suggestion I took away was to find your passion through natural indicators.

3.     “There isn’t a cause that is the most important”

There are many social issues affecting humanity and our planet. All of these issues are extremely important and one is not better than the other. Doing what is right in the world, will always be the right thing to do. That being said, there are many issues, so one person cannot solve them all. You should find your purpose and align that with a cause.

4.     “Don’t always believe what you think”

Many of the ideas that came from NI17 were big powerful concepts that were extremely motivational. However, on the last day, I went to a breakout session on the last day called Mindfulness and Meditation for Bigger Impact. Many of the ideas that came from NI17 were big powerful concepts, that were extremely motivational. This particular breakout session allowed me to take a step back and reflect on my learning and become self-aware of everything that occurred during the conference.

NI17 was a great experience and really connected people who have a passion for doing right in the world. All speakers demonstrated that the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is moving companies into the understanding that business can help the greater good. These takeaways are just a few of the many learnings from the conference. To learn more about CSR best practices and hear from success stories in the Central Florida region, follow us on Twitter @Rollins_CSRhub.

About the Author:

Katy Rumrill is currently a chapter leader of the Net Impact Chapter at Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College where she is pursuing her MBA. She is a graduate assistant at one of Crummer’s Centers for Excellence, the Edyth Bush Institute, where she supports the corporate citizenship program.

Tags:  corporate social responsibility  net impact  nonprofit  sustainability 

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