Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation
The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is the destination for people committed to tackling complex social and environmental problems. As Chicago Booth’s social impact hub, we build on the school’s grounding in business fundamentals with experiential learning and research. Through programs and events in social innovation and social enterprise, we equip our community with the knowledge and tools to positively impact humanity.
The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation integrates Chicago Booth’s multidisciplinary approach to business education with experience-based learning and research. Through programs and events, the center increases our community’s odds of solving complex social and environmental problems.
The Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program jump-starts businesses and nonprofits built on social missions. Among them: solar-powered light company LuminAID, African tractor-leasing company Hello Tractor, and online voter guide BallotReady. The program is part of a powerful entrepreneurial support system at the University of Chicago that provides the resources that startups need to succeed.
The Rustandy Center is a resource for business and nonprofit leaders; Booth alumni, students, and faculty; nonprofit board members; and philanthropists—anyone committed to making our world more equitable and sustainable. Through programs such as the On Board conference and Alumni Board Connect, we equip business professionals with the tools and connections to give back. These initiatives also seek to remedy an all-too-common social sector problem: a lack of necessary resources and talent.
The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation works with Chicago Booth’s Career Services to support the professional ambitions of students and alumni. We also provide hands-on learning and networking opportunities, so our community can learn about social sector career paths.
With its focus on teaching the fundamentals, Chicago Booth’s multidisciplinary approach to business education and practice is just as right for social sector leaders as it is for business leaders. The social impact curriculum at Booth combines the school’s foundational teachings in finance, economics, and operations with real-world experiences.
The Rustandy Sector for Social Sector Innovation supports groundbreaking social impact research from some of the world’s most brilliant minds. And once the work is done, we strive to share the findings with people working on big problems, in hopes of making their work more effective.
The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is Chicago Booth’s destination for people tackling complex social and environmental problems. Its leadership blends academic expertise with real-world experience at nonprofits, for-profit businesses, and in government. That mix is required, as the lines separating these institutions are blurring—with for-profits adopting social missions, and nonprofits recognizing that business skills are needed to scale their efforts.
The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is Chicago Booth’s destination for people tackling complex social and environmental problems. Alumni and friends who donate generously at all levels help make our work possible.
Rustandy’s $20 million gift in 2017 has provided a solid foundation for the future of social impact at Chicago Booth. In recognition of his gift, Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative was renamed the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation. With a $5 million gift in 2013, Edwardson helped create the Social Enterprise Initiative, the predecessor to the Rustandy Center, and provided the financial foundation for the Social New Venture Challenge startup competition, which was named the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge in his honor. Three years later, Edwardson gave an additional $5 million gift to create the Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program at Chicago Booth.
The Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship at the Rustandy Center provides funding to graduating students or recent alumni of the University of Chicago so they can support themselves while they raise philanthropic or venture capital for their social enterprises. Created by Tarrson in 2017, the Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship is part of the Rustandy Center’s Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program and received matching funds from John Edwardson.