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Field Course: Nonprofit Clinic, Tackling Inequality — Spring 2017

Professor Oberholzer-Gee

Inequality is one of the principal challenges of our time. Inequality in income, education, race and gender profoundly shapes personal lives, organizational challenges, business opportunities as well as the political discourse. This course develops a systematic understanding of the forces that influence inequality and asks how business skills can be usefully applied in organizations that hope to reduce inequality.

The course has two parts:

  • Understanding the Drivers of Inequality (in-class learning): The first part of the course will last four weeks with two class periods per week. We will begin the semester with a series of case discussions and guest lectures that help understand how inequality affects the economy, organizations, and individuals in roles of leadership. We will examine the phenomenon through three lenses - financial, educational, and demographic. For each of these, we will work to better recognize the drivers of inequality and what we can learn from leading organizations that aim to reduce inequality.

  • Applying Business Skills to Tackle Inequality (field-based learning): Students will work in teams of 2-3 with a non-profit organization on a project of strategic importance. This is an opportunity to apply the insights from the first part of the course - and business skills more generally - in service to local organizations. During this period, we will hold two sessions that allow cross-team learning and support. The semester will conclude with project presentations.

Please note: Some host organizations may require students to sign a confidentiality agreement related to their project work.

For more details about this course, see the Harvard Business School.