Net Impact 2011 in Portland: How Many MBAs Does it Take to Build a Bike?

Intel has been a long-time sponsor of the annual Net Impact Conference, and personally, it’s one of my favorite sustainability conferences during the year, given the energy, the great questions, and unique mix of students and professionals. This year, the conference was held in Portland, backyard for one of Intel’s manufacturing sites, so we decided to do something a little different this time with our sponsorship.

Talking with the Net Impact folks and thinking about the fact that Intel has such a strong employee volunteer program, we decided to help Net Impact put together a volunteer event for conference attendees, providing the opportunity for them to give back to the Portland community while networking with each other and some of our Intel folks.

So there were lots of volunteer event ideas our team proposed – but given Portland’s fanaticism around biking, we decided to do a bike-building event over the lunch hour, with bikes donated to the Community Cycling Centerfor their Holiday Bike Drive. We purchased 50 bikes for the donation, brought along some great Intel employee volunteers to provide support, (thanks so much to them all for coming down on their Saturday off!), and swung open the doors to close to 100 generous Net Impact volunteers.

Click here to check out a few pictures from the event.

One hour later, we had 50 bikes built, quality checked, and ready to be picked up to go over to the Community Cycling Center. Through our Intel Involved Matching Grant Program, we’ll also match the volunteer hours donated by the Intel volunteers with cash grants to support the Net Impact organization and their work.

Also, because we know that these MBA types have a competitive streak in them, we put out a challenge to the Net Impact chapter who could get the most members to the event. Our winner was University of Washington, with UCLA and Georgetown as runners up. We’ve invited our winner to do a guest CSR blog post soon, talking about the work of their Net Impact chapter and their experience at the conference this year.

We were so happy to be able to support both Net Impact and the Community Cycling Center, and I personally want to thank the team of Intel volunteers who organized the event and for the Net Impact staff for their support.

One of the things I love is the Community Cycling Center’s tagline: The bicycle is a tool for empowerment and a vehicle for change. That sentiment also seems to fit well for the tool that the MBA is and will be for the more than two thousand sustainability-minded conference participants who will be heading back out to businesses and other organizations to drive positive change around the world.

Published on Categories Community Engagement, General CSR

About Suzanne Fallender

Suzanne Fallender is Intel’s Director of Corporate Responsibility. In this role, she collaborates with key stakeholders across the company to integrate corporate responsibility concepts into company strategies, policies, public reporting, and stakeholder engagement activities to advance Intel’s corporate responsibility leadership and create positive social impact and business value. Suzanne leads a team of experienced professionals who engage with internal and external groups to review Intel’s corporate responsibility performance and to identify new opportunities to apply Intel’s technology and expertise to address social and environmental challenges. The team also works closely with Intel’s investor relations and corporate governance groups to drive an integrated outreach strategy with investors on governance and corporate responsibility issues. Suzanne has more than 20 years of experience in the field of corporate responsibility and socially responsible investment. During her time at Intel, Suzanne has held a number of corporate responsibility-related roles, including leading programs empowering girls and women through technology. Prior to Intel, Suzanne served as Vice President at Institutional Shareholder Services where she managed the firm’s socially responsible investing division. Suzanne holds an M.B.A. from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She has served on a number of leading industry advisory boards and committees on sustainability and corporate responsibility over the past decade and currently is a member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Executive Forum and the Net Impact Advisory Council. Follow Suzanne on Twitter at @sfallender.