What societal challenges could be improved by the Wharton alumni network?

Women's participation in the workforce

Wharton could be far more pro-active around sharing ideas for working women on how to get the balance right. There should be mentors for women from the Wharton alumni network that give them an opportunity to have someone to get career advice from.

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What societal challenges could be improved by the Wharton alumni network?

Wharton alumni network and how to make it work

How to both contribute and benefit from the amazing alumni network Wharton has.

How and when to take the call of a fellow Whartonite.

How to ask for a referral or advice from a fellow alumni.

Tools to keep in contact with classmates - official social network groups by Wharton.

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What societal challenges could be improved by the Wharton alumni network?

Building the Wharton entrepreneurial brand

Entrepreneurship is back in vogue. Almost 10% of the WG '11 class decided to start their own company after Wharton. Although Wharton has a strong legacy and track record in entrepreneurship, it is not something that we publicize well and the resources for Wharton entrepreneurs are not in place as efficiently and they should. We need to find ways to help alumni entrepreneurs connect, promote our companies, provide resources and mentoring to alumni and student entrepreneurs, etc, in order to continue to build our brand and help our alumni that decide to venture on their own.

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What societal challenges could be improved by the Wharton alumni network?

Educating Women in Developing Economies

Poverty in underdeveloped and developing countries can be ameliorated and eventually eliminated through education. The most important contributor towards child education is the mother. If women are educated, the world will be a better place due to entrepreneurship, better employment opportunities, and fewer misguided kids gravitating towards terrorism.

 

As those economies improve, they become better markets for the world to serve. What a win-win situation.

 

Opportunities exist for entrepreneurs, and will also help future generations to come.

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Not all MBAs are Greedy 1%ers!

Okay, yes, there are probably some of us alumni who aren't the best apples, but many of us do believe in doing for the societal good. The Wharton alumni network should at least discuss launching a world-wide initiative to increase the number of Wharton alumni committed to and providing their talent/resources to non-profits and social ventures, not just reporting on it as if it were an anomaly. We can impact our society in many different and individual ways; we won't have to decide on one cause or another; and this will ultimately help lift the Wharton brand!

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Wharton Sponsoring Women in Leadership

Wharton recently completed an extensive study on the career history of alumni. I expect the study demonstrated that women alumni, despite similar early careers to male alumni, have had more checkered careers and earnings history than the men. Recent work by Catalyst, McKinsey & others have demonstrated that executive sponsorship (more than just mentoring) can make a big difference in a woman's chance of success. (And women in leadership is important - not just a "nice-to-do" because studies in Europe and the U.S. have shown that companies perform better when they have more women in senior positions and on their boards.

 

So getting more women into executive positions, and keeping them there, will benefit corporations as well as Wharton's reputation. What can Wharton do to build sponsorship of their women graduates, supporting them throughout their careers?

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Energy Efficiency

Finding ways to finance energy efficiency improvements in commercial buildings (particularly multi-tenant ones) is a large challenge.

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A Philadelphia economic renaissance sparked by Wharton

Wharton can spark and support an economic renaissance in Philadelphia by helping inner city-based businesses flourish and by improving employment opportunities for inner city residents. Philadelphia has many strengths to capitalize on and needs to establish a sustainable economic base/strategy and with it employment opportunities, wealth creation, role models, and improved local infrastructure (inc. schools). Wharton can play a crucial role and its students, brand, and faculty have a lot to gain.

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Attack Global Poverty

What if Wharton were to champion one or more of the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations?

 

If we set a long-view goal - say, 10 years - and bring the resources of our school and network to bear on the target, including classwork, volunteerism, GCP-related work, and general business development, meaningful positive, sustainable change can happen, and be a boon to the participants, the school's reputation, and of course the affected parties.

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Education of the Masses

Alumni could work together to convince state legislators that failing kids who can't perform at an appropriate grade level is good for the kids and society -- the parents be damned!

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re-urbanization of america.

america's problems - cultural and financial - in large part stem from america's problematic infrastructure. americans drive long distances, causing environmental harm and - most importantly - further depleting resources. rising gas prices will only exacerbate the problem, increasing prices for consumer-commodities including food. meanwhile, investors continue to build new homes and businesses further from the epicenter of communities, especially in mid-america. any progress to build mixed-using or urban housing has been met w/ limited or mixed success. So, how can we incentivize citizens and - importantly for wharton - industry to contribute to the rejuvenattion of america through re-urbanization? how can we reverse the "white flight" of the 50s, making america a more live-able, sustainable, resource-efficient society?

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Financial Literacy

Is it too utopian to suggest there's merit in a business plan or a non-profit pursuing a good housekeeping seal of approval-like business for consumer-oriented finance vendors (banks, credit cards, mortgages, etc). The seal being an indication that finance products are clear and easy to understand.

 

Second idea - can we create a nation wide financial literacy volunteer program? Occupy Wall Street has highlighted some of the gaps in understanding of basic tenets of finance? i.e., How a loan works, What is a loan, Why a budget is important

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