B-School Bulletin: Impact Investing Comes Into Its Own

Selling Kids On Healthy Eating

News from INSEAD

“In the last four decades, childhood obesity has escalated into a full-blown global epidemic. As rates continue to skyrocket across Africa and some parts of Asia, the latest U.S. data largely deflates hopes that the crisis was beginning to recede.

“The main causes of the epidemic include: the globalisation-fuelled prevalence of fast food chains around the world; Big Food’s child-targeted marketing tactics; the resource-thin lifestyles of poorer families; and a general decline in physical play due to the mobile revolution. It is a perfect storm that leaves concerned parties wondering where to start combating the crisis. No less challenging is assessing which interventions are likely to be most effective and should therefore receive the lion’s share of government support.

“The field of marketing has been especially implicated, with some advocacy groups demanding tougher restrictions on junk-food advertising that reaches children.”

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Kelley School of Business Prof Has Advised Vietnamese Officials For Decades

News from Indiana Kelley

Andreas Hauskrecht

“For more than a quarter century, Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor Andreas Hauskrecht has advised the Vietnamese government and its central bank on monetary policy and macroeconomic issues.

“Hauskrecht, a clinical professor of business economics and public policy, has been a senior advisor to four prime ministers and five central bank governors in the Southeast Asian country over the past 27 years. Today, he co-directs the Vietnam Initiative, a 60-member international think tank, with Anh Tran, an associate professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the institute’s founder.

“‘Andreas combines both world-class macroeconomic expertise and captivating presentation style. His expertise is not only rigorous but also very practical for real-world policy. That’s why Vietnamese leaders keep coming to him for advice,’ Tran said.”

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Unlocking Serendipity Is The Key To Life Science Breakthroughs

 News from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

“Cracking the human genome code and other big medical advances offer a new level of hope for more effective treatments. Moving those breakthroughs from the lab to patients, however, often means confronting hefty barriers. But progress can get a huge boost through specialized management, interdisciplinary cooperation and the fostering of creativity — or serendipity – notes a new book: Managing Discovery in the Life Sciences: Harnessing Creativity to Drive Biomedical Innovation.

“The authors are Lawton R. Burns and Mark Pauly, both Wharton health care management professors, and Philip Rea, a biology professor and co-director of the Penn Life Sciences & Management Program (LSM). They joined Wharton management professors Nicolaj Siggelkow and Harbir Singh on the Mastering Innovation show, which airs on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111, to discuss the highlights of the book.”

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We May Have Given Ourselves Too Much Credit For Easing Racial Segregation In The Workplace

News from Harvard Business School

“Large American companies are less racially integrated today than a generation ago — in fact, businesses have returned to the bleaker segregation levels of the 1970s, new research shows.

“This racial division among companies was a startling, unexpected finding—one that caught the researchers off guard — largely because it flies in the face of other studies and anecdotal evidence showing that, within many businesses, the employee pool has grown more racially mixed over time.

“’There’s this assumption that firms are more diverse,’ says Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Rembrand Koning, who co-wrote Firm Turnover and the Return of Racial Establishment Segregation with Stanford University Assistant Professor John-Paul Ferguson. ‘I’ve had people say, “How can this be the case? It can’t be true. My workplace is so much more diverse.”‘”

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MIT D-Lab research scientist and CITE research affiliate Eric Verploegen (right) installs sensors on an evaporative refrigerator with Ousmane Sanogo of the World Vegetable Center in Mali. Photo by Lauren McKown/MIT D-Lab

Introducing A User-Friendly, Step-By-Step Guide To Conducting Comparative Product Evaluations

News from MIT Sloan School of Management 

“According to the World Bank, over 1.1 billion people have lifted themselves from extreme poverty since 1990. But even as the global outlook on extreme poverty improves, billions of people continue to struggle to access basic human needs, like water, food, shelter, health care and energy. In response to these challenges, innovators around the world have developed a preponderance of cost-effective, locally implemented solutions, from solar lanterns and water filters to improved cookstoves and refugee shelters.

“With such a dizzying array of products on the market, development professionals often struggle to cut through the hype associated with novel technologies, and many are hesitant to pursue innovative approaches to stubborn development challenges, given the high stakes of working with economically vulnerable populations.

“MIT researchers are now seeking to help development professionals overcome these challenges by using design thinking, together with a methodology for comparative technology evaluation that is five years in the making.”

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