“Your Impact Starts Here”: Day in Durham 2011

CASE and the Fuqua Net Impact Club recently hosted the 8th annual Day in Durham.

178 first years attended (over 1,200 have participated since Day in Durham began!)

Every year, we organize this event to introduce new Fuqua students to Durham where they’ll spend the next two years.  The goal is to whet their appetites for getting involved in the Durham community and for a career focused on responsible business and community leadership.

The day kicked off with a keynote by Kevin Trapani, founder and CEO of The Redwoods Group, an insurance provider dedicated to protecting YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers and nonprofit resident camps around the nation.  A leader in the B Corporation movement, Kevin is a Duke alumnus and member of the CASE Advisory Council who was named as one of America’s 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs in a Businessweek feature last year.

Kevin delivered a riveting speech which you can watch on the Redwoods website – trust me, it’s fantastic! He did a great job of inspiring the students and calling them to action, including some of the following words of wisdom:

  • “You are here to learn to lead, to learn to lift your community, to learn to change the world.”
  • “No business can succeed in a community that is failing – business can and must be a powerful force for social change.”
  • 4 habits of socially responsible organizations: (1) have a socially beneficial mission; (2) sustainable profitability (“profits are not a bad word, profits are an enabling word”); (3) conservative financial practices (“save some, spend some, give the rest away”); (4) progressive employment practices.
  • Not all profits are created equal, profits with a social benefit are better.”
  • “I know you are here to get an MBA … I’d like to see you walk out of here with an MMC – a Masters of Moral Courage. I’d like to see you learn how to not just lead a business but lead and heal and rescue a community.”

After Kevin’s keynote, the students headed out on excursions to various Durham locations for tours and panel discussions with local business and community leaders. Panelists presented their thoughts about issues and opportunities in the Durham community as well as reflections about how to make an impact in that issue area using one’s career.  The five excursions included:

  • Social Enterprise in Action
  • Economic Development – Revitalizing Downtown Durham
  • Sustainable Development for a Green Economy
  • Educating & Empowering Durham’s Youth
  • Supporting Healthy Communities

Day in Durham’s tagline is “Your Impact Starts Here” – we hope to inspire the students to have an impact in the Durham community and then to continue having a positive impact wherever their lives and careers take them after Fuqua.  Day in Durham got them off to a great start with a wonderful day of community building and inspiration!

A special thank you to our event sponsors – John DeereBB&T, and Education Pioneers, as well as our partners from Fuqua: the Health Sector Management program, EDGE, the Health Care Club, Real Estate Club, Energy ClubFinance Club, and Duke’s Graduate & Professional Student Council.

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