Investment Opportunity

BUSINESS FOR A BETTER WORLD CENTER

Honey Bee Initiative

The Business for a Better World Center addresses the world’s “wicked” challenges through innovative curricula, cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research, and robust private-public partnerships, empowering leaders to create a better world.

B4BW Vision and Mission

Our Vision

Business is a force for good in the world, leading the charge to address the world’s wicked problems.

Our Mission

Educate the next generation of business leaders ready to take on the world’s complex challenges.

Generate knowledge that transforms business “as usual.”

Convene leaders across sectors to exchange ideas and generate new ways of doing things.

Effect positive change in the world by actively engaging in partnerships with organizations and communities.

Reshape business education by leading an international movement to advance the idea of business for a better world.

Solving Wicked Problems

Five-Year Goals

The most important and complex challenges facing society—health, security, equality, the environment, to name a few—are wicked problems, problems that are interconnected across disciplines, cultures and the globe.

Wicked problems do not fall neatly into disciplinary boundaries. They require people educated in the liberal arts working in tandem with people in fields such as conflict analysis and resolution, the creative arts, sciences, engineering, and business.

Universities have a critical role to play in solving wicked problems. In response, George Mason University’s School of Business will lead, convene, and connect businesses, government, and NGOs to offer innovative multidisciplinary approaches to solving these problems with a focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The School will accomplish this goal through the Business for a Better World Center, which will provide a living laboratory for addressing global goals and a model for solving complex challenges.

Engage the Next Generation

  • Engage 15,000 students through responsible business curriculum
  • Place 1,000 students in impact internships
  • Engage 5,000 students through high-impact programming

Generate Knowledge

  • Host 10 conferences and symposia to exchange knowledge
  • Produce research related to our global futures with 25% of our faculty writing 50 journal articles and case studies
  • Engage in 25 research partnerships with industry
  • Launch a responsible business case series or journal

Convene Leaders

  • Convene 15 industry roundtables with 300 participants
  • Host 4 international conferences for changemakers
  • Host 10 speakers in the B4BW Speaker Series with 1,000 attendees and 10,000 views online

Effect Change

  • Create a network of 50 university Honey Bee Initiatives worldwide
  • Develop a regional network of 100 organizations pursuing the UN Global Goals
  • Engage faculty and students in 100 community-driven projects
  • Partner with 10 international organizations focused on addressing UN Global Goals

Lead a Movement

  • Develop a replicable and scalable model for implementing a B4BW Center
  • Mentor 50 colleges and universities in implementing B4BW Centers
  • Amplify B4BW Center impact by leading the development of a network of 200 centers and programs that share our goals and values
  • Move into a new business school building that embraces and embodies the goals of Business for A Better World

Projects for a Better World

The B4BWs initiative will create many new programs, partnerships and research opportunities. Examples include:

Environmental Engagement and Sustainable Development is a project that involves developing virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) learning experiences for upper elementary students around sustainability issues, specifically honeybee conservation. The project would enable students to investigate a real scientific problem, honeybee colony collapse, which has frightening implications for food security on a global scale. One of the main goals is to make the experiences accessible to underrepresented groups in STEM, specifically English Learners, in order to foster interest in future STEM careers for underserved populations.

Impact Fellows Program, designed to deliver an innovative social impact curriculum tailored to first-generation college students and Pell Grant recipients (lower-income students). Over 40% of Mason’s students are first-generation college students, 30% are Pell Grant recipients, and over half identify as non-white. The program will conduct outreach programs to regional high schools, recruit potential first-generation students and other at-risk populations to George Mason to take part in programs aimed to increase their understanding of social impact, entrepreneurship and innovation, and raise student awareness of what a college education offers. Key components of the Impact Fellows Program are:

  • Impact Challenge: 11th and 12th grade students with an interest in social impact, entrepreneurship and innovation, will come to Mason for a one-day, challenge-based activity to foster soft skills with a focus on creativity, problem solving and oral and written communication skills.
  • Washington Youth Impact Fellows Summit: The Summit will bring 11th and 12th grade students from around the region to campus for two weeks in the summer for a curriculum developed to foster leadership, problem-solving and career aspirations in young people with particular attention to the United Nations sustainable development goals.
  • Leading Change through Business Education: This two-year, cohort-based program for Mason undergraduates will respond to the needs of both first-generation first-year college students and transfer students to Mason. Students will learn about sustainable development goals, social enterprise and entrepreneurship concepts and tools, and explore their passion and purpose through project-based learning, and summer internships.

Mason and the Public Good

Our Distinctive Value

George Mason University is uniquely positioned to play a leadership role in the business-for-good space. Central to Mason’s strategic plan is the following question: “What can Mason do—or do better—to produce the types of graduates, scholarship, and service-oriented action that will best serve society?” This question is rooted in Mason’s history and culture, which define us as a place where diversity in thought, demographics, and field of study is applauded, where mission-driven efforts are encouraged, and collaboration with community is rewarded.

George Mason University’s School of Business cares deeply about educating our students to be leaders who are well-equipped to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We want our students to understand the role of organizations in addressing sustainable development goals. We are committed to educating our students to serve as ambassadors who will lift and transform the notion of what business looks like in the 21st century. Our ultimate goal is to make a significant difference for the next generation of business leaders.

Several schools (including Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Case Western, Georgetown, and Duke) have centers and/or initiatives related to multidisciplinary social innovation. What sets Mason apart from its peers are the following:

  • Access:  Mason offers a high-quality education for an affordable price at a public institution that is open to all.
  • Diversity: Mason is home to a diverse student population: 40% of undergraduates are first-generation college students, and one-third are low-income students who qualify for Pell Grants (federal need-based financial aid).
  • Location: Strategically located in the heart of a culturally-, economically-, and politically-rich region, Mason offers unparalleled experiential, real-world learning opportunities across all sectors.
  • Focus:  Mason’s B4BW is devoted to university-wide, cross-disciplinary, collaborative, hands-on learning aimed to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To discuss opportunities for supporting B4BW, please contact:

Eleanor Weis
Director of Development
School of Business
703-993-2412
eweis2@gmu.edu

Lisa M. Gring-Pemble, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Business
Director, Global Impact and Engagement
School of Business
703-993-4174
lgringpe@gmu.edu