Channeling Business Leadership into Civic Impact—
HBS Alumni and the City of San Francisco
HBS Association of Northern California Community Partners has recently witnessed widespread alumni interest in volunteering their business skills and expertise not just to non-profits, but also to local government.
Notably, an outpouring of Bay Area alumni have been eager to volunteer recently their time and talent for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation. San Francisco was the first city to establish a Chief Innovation Officer with the objective to champion new ideas, tools, and approaches in city government through leveraging the enormous innovation talent of the private sector. San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath, upon hearing of HBS Community Partners contributing alumni consulting teams to the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks and the San Francisco Department of Environment in recent years, asked for help in refining his own agency’s mission, values, and framework for delivering action. A six-person HBS alumni team mobilized into action, working collaboratively with City departments and resulted in a well-received presentation to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and a framework that is being used today.
This relationship spawned further engagements with the city of San Francisco in 2016. An alumni team is currently helping the San Francisco Public Library envision the future role of the library given the increasing digitization of assets. Another team is partnering with the San Francisco Department of Public Works to define processes and metrics to improve the quality of life one neighborhood at a time. Yet another team brainstormed with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation on how to best address the city’s growing digital divide. Furthermore, John Peters, HBS ’87, was asked to speak in November at a City-sponsored fireside chat forum on best practices for public private partnerships, alongside Google and Bloomberg representatives, based on the work he had contributed through Community Partners.
A total of almost 50 Bay Area alumni from 2013-2016 have offered their business talent to San Francisco local government agencies through Community Partners consulting and brainstorming pro bono engagements.
“It is incredible to see the volume of alumni interest to volunteer for civic projects,“ cites Elaine MacDonald, HBS ’98, Executive Director of HBSANC Community Partners. “Our alum want to be actively engaged in fundamentally helping San Francisco address core issues such as homelessness and the growing economic divide. It is invigorating to see how public-private partnerships can work to move the needle on community issues!”
From Super Bowl to STEM Bowl
January 30, 2016
Community Partners Brainstorming team at the genesis of Santa Clara’s showcase of tech innovations to over 10,000 local students in countdown to Superbowl 50
Members of the HBS Associaton of Northern California‘s Community Partners Program worked with the Santa Clara Office of Civic Innovation (OCI) to launch the Technology and Innovation Challenge, an ongoing effort to engage Bay Area companies in developing and showcasing solutions promoting engagement with the community. One high-profile result of that effort is the STEM Innovation Bowl, a technology-oriented educational event on January 30 that showcased the wonders of virtual reality to more than 10,500 area students and their families. Lead by Dr. Juan Montermoso, DBA ’77, who participated in the HBS Community Partners Brainstorming Session on April 22, 2015… See full article attached here: https://www.alumni.hbs.edu/stories/Pages/story-bulletin.aspx?num=5134