MIT Sloan Fellows Respond to Hunger

Published on October 13, 2011

On September 28th, I was the invited guest speaker to open the “Seminar in Leadership” series for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program.  The 90-minute, interactive seminar was a fascinating opportunity to present some of GBFB’s business challenges to Sloan Fellows, who come from all over the world to partake in an intensive year of study. Fellows received a “case” in advance of the seminar that outlined GBFB’s mission, history and the challenge to meet a daunting increase in demand for food.  Three teams were tasked with presenting their plan – as leaders to achieve GBFB’s mission, even as hunger increases during the worst economy since the Great Depression. Some Fellows expressed astonishment at the widespread seriousness of the problem in America, and all appreciated the opportunity to learn more and apply their skills to a charitable business challenge.  Teams’ objective solutions included increased advocacy and raising public awareness, emphasizing grass roots engagement as well as expanding awareness to a national, or even international, scope. I was most pleased with this feedback as it affirmed the direction of our current strategic thinking and planning. I, too, walked away with new ideas and approaches to serving our local communities; how to work more effectively and collaboratively with other area hunger relief organizations, and empowering them to be a part of the solution to end hunger here. I’m grateful for this chance to exchange ideas with up-and-coming, international business leaders.  It was not only fascinating and useful, but a great opportunity to inform and engage creative corporate thinkers in the financial, political and personal issues of hunger.  I know that when they return to their jobs, every Fellow who participated will be more sensitive to those who are most vulnerable in the communities where they do business.  

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