August 10 marked Ivey Social Impact Day. Students turned off their laptops and headed outside. The current hybrid nature of the MBA program provided a twist this year: students were able to volunteer in London or their home communities.
The “why” behind Social Impact Day
Social Impact Day is a tradition rooted in Ivey’s core values. Supported by Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value, MBA students get out of class and into the community. Each cohort gives back by partnering with local not-for-profit organizations.
Ivey MBA cohorts are uniquely diverse. Students come from different regions across Canada and vast countries all over the world. They call London their home for one year and enjoy everything it has to offer. As such, they have a responsibility to give back to the London community while enjoying its beautiful city and surrounding areas. Social Impact Day is an opportunity to do this. MBA students get to leave the classroom to give back and provide socially-minded services to the people of London. Here are some reflections on the day.
Making an impact in London
– Brad Danks
The Ivey Building smelled of coffee and doughnuts bright and early. MBA students arrived to enjoy a social breakfast and pick up any equipment needed for their day’s work. Even though there was thunder and lightning, and it was, as the old saying goes, “raining cats and dogs,” everyone showed up with smiles on their faces and was genuinely excited to give back.
After eating a hearty breakfast and catching up, students broke off into groups and headed off to their social impact initiatives. Most of the activities were outdoors due to COVID-19. In true Ivey fashion, everyone put on a brave face and powered through the tasks, despite being fully drenched in a downpour for the first hour. The most rewarding part was seeing the smiling faces of our colleagues, happy partners, and a cleaner environment.
Current COVID-19 restrictions allowed us to spread our many hands across seven not-for-profit partner organizations, generating unique impact in these different areas of our community:
- City of London – Cleaning up garbage from Waubuno Creek;
- Habitat for Humanity – Painting furniture and building coat hangers;
- London Food Bank – Helping with daily operations, such as food sorting;
- ReForest London – Aftercare for trees, including weeding and mulching;
- Stevenson Children’s Camp – Maintenance work in the great outdoors;
- Urban Roots – Harvesting vegetables and caring for crop fields; and,
- YU Ranch – Weeding around the farm to eradicate an invasive species.
I’m proud to be a part of this group of people who are so inspired and motivated to make a positive impact in the community. They inspire me to be a better person and to drive even more social impact. Thank you to my colleagues on the MBA Association Social Impact Committee. Their hard work and behind-the-scenes effort truly paid off and deeply touched the lives of Londoners.
Giving back in home communities
– Cali Keating
For some MBA candidates, hybrid classes mean spending more time at home. Students currently have the option to attend classes in person or to continue logging on virtually from anywhere in the world. This hybrid model has led to new opportunities to have a positive influence outside of London. Students are encouraged to give back to their communities and broaden the geography of Social Impact Day.
I spent my day volunteering with my local hospital and the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation by helping with upcoming fundraiser preparations and giving a bit of love to the hospital garden beds. Other colleagues outside of London participated in their own ways, such as teaming up with local charities or engaging in environmental cleanups. Mathieu Ruffe and his partner, Lucy, powered through a 50-kilometre cycling race in British Columbia to fundraise for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Current and future leaders alike have a duty to give back to the communities they live and work in. The activities we took part in today are a testament to the impact that Ivey students make in London and beyond. We look forward to serving those around us across the program, and throughout our careers.