What is the Impact Challenge?

This year-long Ross effort seeks to create a profitable venture with a social mission in Detroit. It begins with a series of workshops, community conversations, team challenges, and pitch competitions that engage more than 1,500 students across five academic programs at Ross. It continues with eight months of engagement with individuals and organizations in Detroit, and culminates in the launch of a new, high-impact venture. Built into the process, awareness-building activities, feedback mechanisms, and reflection sessions maximize your leadership development.

Leadership Skills You’ll Practice

Designing High-Impact Organizations

You will experience firsthand what it takes to create exceptional value for shareholders, stakeholders, and society. You are at the forefront -- identifying opportunities, brainstorming solutions, developing models, and pitching ideas.

Facilitating Creative Processes

Your team's success depends on its ability to generate breakthrough ideas. Following a design thinking process, you will learn to start with a user-centered approach and progress through stages of inspiration, ideation, and implementation.

Leading High-Performing Teams

You will lead your team toward a shared vision. You'll set clear goals; clarify values; define roles and responsibilities; leverage diversity; empower all team members; and design processes for coordination, communication, conflict, and decision-making.

Building High-Quality Connections

You will practice in an environment where stakes are high and timelines aggressive. Your ability to influence the outcome will depend on your ability to form relationships built on a foundation of trust, mutual positive regard, and active engagement.

How to Participate

The Impact Challenge is a required component of the Michigan Ross experience for students in the Full-Time MBA, Weekend/Evening MBA, Global MBA, and Master of Management programs. Starting at the beginning of May and ending on the last day of August, more than 1,500 Michigan Ross students will have an opportunity to participate. Watch for details from your program office.

When your opportunity arrives, come prepared to engage with your team in an intense and rewarding experience that will include audacious goals, aggressive deadlines, and numerous opportunities to practice leadership. If you would like to continue your engagement, consider joining Ross’s Detroit Revitalization and Business Club (R&B), a key partner in continuing our engagement with the community and our development of the challenge concept. Finally, if you are interested in being part of the final implementation team and benefiting from a year of advanced leadership development opportunities, consider applying to the Ross Leaders Academy.

  1. Come Prepared
    Come to your program’s Impact Challenge ready to engage in an intense and rewarding experience.
  2. Sign Up
    Become a member of Detroit Revitalization and Business to continue engagement with the city and participation in the Impact Challenge.
  3. Apply
    Apply to the Ross Leaders Academy to help implement the idea that emerges from the Challenge and benefit from a year of advanced leadership development.