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For the past four years, S3 has dispatched teams of MBA and undergraduate students to consult with nonprofits like the Women’s Sports Foundation that are poised to launch entrepreneurial ventures.
On Oct. 12, Professor Oliver Williamson was named a winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
When tennis star Billie Jean King decided she wanted to nationalize a program that promotes health and wellness for girls through sports, the challenges seemed daunting. The team at King’s nonprofit, the Women’s Sports Foundation, faced several questions that did not have easy answers: Which cities should be targeted? Who are the partners? What is the business model?
Enter Social Sector Solutions, or S3, a program offered by the Haas School’s Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership in partnership with McKinsey & Company. For the past four years, S3 has dispatched teams of MBA and undergraduate students to consult with nonprofits like the Women’s Sports Foundation that are poised to launch entrepreneurial ventures.
S3 matches each client with a custom-built team backed by classroom curriculum and a McKinsey coach. For instance, to help the Women’s Sports Foundation develop a plan to expand its GoGirlGo! Program, S3 created a team of Haas students with a sports or health background, led by an accomplished equestrian and girls’ mentor, Kirstin Mennella, MBA 10.
“We came to Haas because we wanted help creating a 21st century business model to have an even greater impact on millions of girls’ lives by expanding GoGirlGo! around the country,” says WSF Senior Program Officer Cicley Gay.
While students in S3 gain hands-on consulting experience from such projects, they also learn academic frameworks in a course taught by Nora Silver, director of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, and Paul Jansen, founder of McKinsey’s nonprofit practice and a director emeritus with the firm. The program is one component of the Haas School’s nonprofit learning opportunities — a specialty for which Haas was ranked #3 by US News & World Report.
S3 has served 28 clients since its inception, and Silver has only seen demand increase from both students and clients. “S3 offers a high-impact experiential learning opportunity,” says Silver. “It helps students build consulting skills, understand the nature of nonprofits, and have a real impact in the community.”
Budding student-entrepreneurs at Haas now have a new step-by-step guide to help them successfully get their businesses off the ground. The UC Berkeley Venture Launchpad outlines all of the opportunities and offerings available to student-entrepreneurs during the entire life cycle of developing a business, from idea creation to going live. While several components of the Venture Launchpad have been in place at the school’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for many years, the Launchpad more clearly delineates which component can help an entrepreneur at one of seven stages of entrepreneurship. The Lester Center has raised $400,000 for the Launchpad, which debuted this fall.
Senior Lecturer Sara Beckman has been named the new co-faculty director of the Management of Technology (MOT) Program. MOT is a partnership between Haas and the College of Engineering that focuses on the use of technology to obtain competitive advantage and brings MBA and engineering students together in the classroom. Beckman’s charge at MOT includes exploring new opportunities and integrating the program more tightly with the Haas School’s “Leading Through Innovation” emphasis on developing leaders who know how to put new ideas to work. Beckman’s efforts pioneering the study of product development and design thinking in the MBA curriculum were a key factor that led BusinessWeek to name Haas one of the world’s top design schools in the world.
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The Haas Undergraduate Program climbed to #2 in this year’s US News & World Report ranking, up from #3 for the previous six years. Haas tied for second with MIT Sloan. Wharton took #1. UC Berkeley remained the #1 public university and ranked 21st nationally among public and private schools.
Hundreds of Haas School faculty, staff, and students toasted Professor Oliver Williamson on Oct. 12 after he was named a winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
Williamson shares the prize with Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University. Both were recognized for their analyses of economic governance. The award is the second Nobel in economics for the Haas School and the fifth for UC Berkeley.
“It’s undeserved I suppose,” Williamson, 77, told a crowd of more than 300 people packed into the school’s Bank of America Forum to celebrate with him. “I would describe myself as a conscientious teacher who had a lot of students who were tolerant and went on to do good work.”
Williamson’s work involves a multi-disciplinary field that he mapped out to study how varying organizational structures for markets and institutions affect economic activity. One of the world’s most cited economists, Williamson is credited with co-founding “New Institutional Economics,” which emphasizes the importance of formal institutions, as well as informal institutions such as social norms, and how they affect transaction costs. His insights have influenced everything from electricity deregulation in California to investment in Eastern Europe to human resource management in the technology industry.
Before toasting Williamson in the BofA Forum, Haas School Dean Rich Lyons said he “could not do justice” to the depth and scope of Williamson’s contributions to the field of economics. “I don’t know how I’m going to contain myself,” Lyons said. “I couldn't be more proud of the Haas School. I couldn't be more proud of Oliver Williamson. Olly, well done.”
Williamson's son, Oliver Williamson Jr., visiting from Poland, handed his father the phone at 3:30 a.m., saying, “I think this is the call.” The elder Williamson said he hopes this recognition “brings more attention and light to a field that has been largely overlooked in the world of economics.”
Williamson, the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business Administration and a professor emeritus of economics and law, is the author of several books. They include Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications (1975), an economics classic, and The Economic Institutions of Capitalism: Firms, Markets, Relational Contracting (1985), which is said to be the most frequently cited work in social science research.
Williamson is the Haas School’s second Nobel Prize Laureate. In 1994, the late John Harsanyi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in game theory, a mathematical theory of human behavior in competitive situations that has become a dominant tool for analyzing real-life conflicts in business, management, and international relations.
(Editor‘s Note: Williamson’s award was announced days before CalBusiness went to press. Look for more on Williamson and the impact of his work in the next issue.)
Power and Influence, Artful Bragging, and Leading Learning Teams are among a dozen workshops of the new, carefully designed Berkeley MBA Leadership Development Series, aimed at helping Berkeley MBA students become more effective leaders. The new series is designed to round out the experience and knowledge gained by students in the classroom and through experiential learning opportunities at Haas. The interactive workshops are taught by a cast of high-profile experts. They include William Arruda, Entrepreneur magazine’s anointed “personal branding guru,” and Srikumar Rao, author of Are you ready to succeed? and an adjunct professor at the London Business School.
What made your best teacher so great? That was the question posed to 55 Haas School faculty members in a campus conference room one sunny day as they participated in a new seminar offered by the school’s recently launched Center for Teaching Excellence. The center aims to equip instructors with the tools and support they need to deliver top-tier teaching every day. It launched this year with four core initiatives: a three-day orientation for new instructors; coaching services; a mentoring program for instructors; and continuous learning events, including workshops on such topics as experiential learning and technology in the classroom.
The center was created with a $750,000 gift from Steve and Susan Chamberlin, former members of the Haas School professional faculty, who called teaching one of the hardest things they ever did. While good teaching makes an impression on students, it is rarely taught to PhDs, notes Adam Berman, executive director of emerging initiatives at Haas. “Fortunately, teaching is a craft,” he says. “And there is a well-established set of best practices from which to draw, as well as a wealth of expertise at Haas.”
from U. of Michigan
Field: Energy Economics (Economic Analysis and Policy)
“The depth and quality of expertise in energy economics here at Haas is unsurpassed anywhere.”
from U. of Chicago
Field: Game Theory and Dynamic Mechanism Design (Finance)
“Had I not chosen to become an economist, I would have tried to be a chef, professional snowboarder, or safari guide.”
from U. of Illinois
Field: Neuroeconomics (Marketing)
“My research uses models and data from economics and neuroscience to study how the brain computes and values choices in a variety of financial, social, and strategic decisions.”
from U. of Chicago
Field: Banking, Financial Markets and the Macro Economy, Development (Finance)
“The behavior of financial markets has a profound effect on human progress and well-being. I wish to understand these connections.”
from UC San Diego
Field: Consumer Judgment and Decision Making (Marketing)
“Before earning my PhD in psychology, I was a radio DJ. I play guitar — poorly. I knit — worse.”