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Unleashed, a student-led organization devoted to promoting impact investing, is rapidly gaining members and interest, according to co-founder Thomas Flaim (FIN ’16).
Its membership has grown to more than 80 student members in just two years. “Unleashed is more or less becoming an impact investing center as I see it,” he said. “We hope to ultimately have the group replaced with an actual impact investing center at Notre Dame.”
The group’s ambitious plans include the following components:
Social Venture Capital (SVC) funds, where student teams will work on independent projects involving existing impact investing funds.
Social enterprise consulting, where student teams will be assigned to an actual early-stage social enterprise for the semester in which they offer suggestions and work directly with the entrepreneur.
Social Impact Bond (SIB) Lab, which offers a new approach to government financing of social service programs. Unleashed’s first project involves working with Reading for Life, a program to help nonviolent first-time offenders avoid future infractions.
A research paper about unfairness in baseball signing bonuses by Mendoza College senior Jonathan Gordon has been accepted for publication in an academic journal. The paper, “Foul Ball: Major League Baseball’s CBA [collective-bargaining agreement] Exploits College Seniors in the MLB Draft,” is forthcoming in the University of Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Review.
The paper examines the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft process and how college seniors routinely receive signing bonuses well below the amount recommended by the league. Forbes already has cited the study in a story published just prior to the 2014 draft, and Gordon received special recognition at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business annual meeting in August.
Accountancy Teaching Professor Tonia Murphy, who teaches business law, advised Gordon on his paper and said it is rare for an undergraduate student to be published in an academic journal. “It is especially impressive that Jonathan had the initiative to undertake this research project not as part of any course or for academic credit, but purely out of his active interest in the topic,” she said. “It is a great paper.”
Notre Dame Ethics Week 2015 focused on “Ethics Through a Global Lens” during a series of talks Feb. 9–12. The annual series, which brings in experts from a diverse array of industries to explore current ethics issues, featured keynote speaker Joan Dubinsky, chief ethics officer of the United Nations Ethics Office. Dubinsky is an expert in the field of organizational ethics and compliance in the private and nonprofit sectors, as well as with international institutions.
Other talks in the series addressed areas as diverse as international pricing and tax practices, the University’s global mission and faculty perspectives on key challenges in several regions of the world. Speakers included Jerry Carter, vice president, Tax and International Finance, IDEX Corporation; Tom Guinan, associate vice president for Administrative Operations, Notre Dame International; and a Mendoza faculty panel featuring Marketing Professor Georges Enderle, Marketing Professor Patrick Murphy and Associate Management Professor Oliver Williams, CSC.
The 2015 Ten Years Hence lecture series highlighted the topic of impact investing, an emerging field that combines the ideals and practices of social enterprise, investment and charity in order to drive real and sustainable societal change. The annual spring series included speakers from diverse backgrounds and industries, from private investment to careers to global partnerships.
Sister Helen Alford, dean of the faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, talked about how impact investing relates to Catholic Social Tradition. “Impact investing can challenge the Church to think about the potentially crucial role of profit-making business, and hence of private investment, in confronting poverty,” she said. “I’m not sure that the Christian tradition has really taken that seriously enough.” Other speakers included Michael J. Schierl, founder of Immaculata Law and Julius Capital; Mark Albion, co-founder and managing partner, More Than Money Careers, LLC; Tara Kenney, managing director, Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management, Inc.; Mirza Jahani, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.; Jozef Henriquez, chief of the syndications unit of the Inter-American Development Bank; and Anthony Jowid, the chief operating officer and a principal of Allied Argenta.