Victoria Chames_1's blog

Chapters of the Year Interview Series: Texas State!

In this special blog series, we are interviewing our Net Impact Chapter of the Year winners to learn more about their chapters, plans for next year, and advice to others looking to make an impact.

For the third time in seven years as an organization, the Texas State University, McCoy College of Business Chapter has won our Chapter of the Year Award in the undergraduate category! We are so proud of the work this dedicated and inspiring team has accomplished over the past year.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your Chapter’s past year?

I am the most proud of our team that we put together. McCoy Net Impact is a very special organization that allows students to develop their talents and manage their own innovative projects and ideas. Our members always work well together and support each other when needed the most. For instance, when we were competing for the national champions in UniGame, our members got together and went all around campus to recruit votes in support of presenting team which granted us the place in the national finals. It is an honor to be a part of this group of innovative leaders of the future.

Why did you first decide to join your Net Impact Chapter?

I joined McCoy Net Impact because I was intrigued by an opportunity to make a real impact on my community while gathering professional skills and knowledge. The focus on student projects provides invaluable experiences for members and levitates them among their peers. Members of McCoy Net Impact can easily impress employers by the work they have done and the results they have achieved during their academic careers. Project work, research opportunities, and outstanding mentorship of our academic advisor, Janet Hale, is what brought me to our organization at the first place. 

What is the best lesson you have learned from your Net Impact Chapter?

By participating in McCoy Net Impact, I got exposed to a wide range of ideas and speakers from different industries and professions. Our speakers range from recent graduates who just started their career journeys and want to share the first steps they are taking, to the distinguished authors and leading business experts who share best industry practices with our students. The speakers represent the diversity of ideas and professions that McCoy Net Impact members will face in the future careers, regardless of their majors. This diversity of thoughts and ideas in the world is the lesson that we try to communicate to our members and the one that I learned while being Net Impact member. 

How would you describe your Net Impact Chapter to someone who has never heard of Net Impact?

McCoy Net Impact is a unique organization, that brings together the most talented and innovative students who work closely together producing outstanding results while making a positive impact in the community. The core of our organization is the student projects, and the best part of being a Net Impact member is an ability to participate in those as well as to lead your own. I think it is a unique opportunity for a student to get a real-world exposure and generate innovative solutions to the problems facing our society.

How does your Chapter plan to make an impact on campus and/or in your community this year?

Our chapter is very excited for an upcoming year. Today, we are participating in the Up to Us competition and hosting events and workshops on campus to educate our Bobcats about the issue of the national debt.  Soon we will be entering the Food Solutions Challenge with the purpose to educate students about the food waste and to create innovative solutions to this problem. We also plan to engage our community when conducting energy audits, competing at UniGame, taking on the Future of Energy Challenge, and working on many other projects that our members will want to do. 

What advice would you give to someone who knows they want to make an impact, but is not sure where to start?

The best advice that I can give is to join a professional organization that will expose you to a variety of business industries and will provide mentorship for you to discover your talents. The hardest part is to start, but after you join, you won’t even notice how you get involved in a range of projects that make impact on someone’s life every day.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who love what they do and who strive to make a world a better place. I try to surround myself with those and want to learn from them on a daily basis.  

Are you looking for a student or professional organization to expose you to new opportunities and connections to make an impact? Learn more about joining or starting a Net Impact Chapter

Chapters of the Year Interview Series: IIT Kharagpur

In this special blog series, we are interviewing our Net Impact Chapter of the Year winners to learn more about their chapters, plans for next year, and advice to others looking to make an impact.

The IIT Kharagpur Net Impact Chapter has won our Chapter of the Year Award in the international category! Here is our interview with their Chapter Leader, Saurabh Deosarkar:

Why did you first decide to join your Net Impact Chapter?

Joining Net Impact was maybe the easiest thing I have done. At the time I joined IIT Kharagpur Chapter in 2016, it was only one year old. From the very beginning of my Undergraduate studies, I often thought of joining some social club which would not only enhance my skills and help me seek interest in a particular aspect, but would also become a part of my life. Net Impact fulfilled all the requirements I was searching for in a club. 

What is the best lesson you have learned from your Net Impact Chapter?

One important life lesson: never lose hope, even a small ripple can cause huge impact. 

How would you describe your Net Impact Chapter to someone who has never heard of Net Impact?

A place with like-minded people where they come to do something for the community around them by using business and science for good. It's a great place to network and make contacts, also keeping in mind the needs of the community and working effectively towards finding solutions to the problems the world is facing today. It's the best place to feel satisfied with what you are doing.

How does your Chapter plan to make an impact on campus and/or in your community this year?

This year we plan to expand our Net Impact network and to spread the impact circle all over the regions of India where people are interested in making some change. 

What advice would you give to someone who knows they want to make an impact, but is not sure where to start?

Take suggestions from experts/mentors, research online and find where you can contribute to make change, and join a Net Impact Club.

What inspires you?

Constantly learning and meeting new people. Also the satisfaction that I get from thinking that I could be of some help to society inspires me!
Hear from the Chapter Leader at this year's International Chapter of the Year.
Hear from the Chapter Leader at this year's Net Impact International Chapter of the Year.

Getting There: Mobility As a Social Issue and How Toyota is Making Moves

What if I told you there’s technology that can open a door and bring you a glass of water from across a room? 

My guess is you would wonder why. Why did someone devote time and brainpower to create an alternative means for such simple, rudimentary tasks? For a lot of us, these tasks are so basic that we don’t even think about them. 

But for some people, they aren’t so simple – and that can make a big difference in their day-to-day lives. Imagine you need water, but you can’t get up to get some. Imagine you’re outside an unlocked door, but you can’t turn the handle to let yourself in. Suddenly that technology sounds a lot more useful, doesn’t it?

Toyota’s Human Support Robot

If you were at the Net Impact conference, you may have had the chance to meet our Human Support Robot, or HSR. For more than [20] years, Toyota has been working to develop “partner robots”, like the HSR, with the goal of supporting people who require help with everyday tasks, just as they are.

For those of you who didn’t have a chance to stop by, here’s a short video of our first in-home trial with the HSR and Romy Camargo, a decorated U.S. war veteran, who is paralyzed from the neck down. 

Mobility for All

Now you may be wondering what Toyota has to do with robots. You probably know us for our cars and trucks, and now we’re talking about going off-road in a new way. 

Here’s the thing: our goal is the same, whether we’re making great vehicles or assistive robots. Toyota creates solutions that help people get where they want and need to be – whether it’s across town or across the room.

That’s why we at Toyota believe that everyone should have access to mobility, no matter their circumstances, so they can live better lives and fulfill their potential. We call it “Mobility for All.”

How does this fit into my role as Chief Social Innovation Officer? Many people may not think about mobility as a social cause, but it is. Where you can go is directly tied to the opportunities you can access, like conferences for learning and networking, but also jobs, classes and doctor’s appointments – and these, as you know, can be life-changing. 

Based on what we learned with Romy and his family, we focused on the HSR’s functionality on three “high-value” services to meet his individual needs: opening doors; fetching a bottle of water and retrieving a snack from the pantry. These may seem like simple tasks, but we know from Romy that they can go a long way towards enriching his quality of life and enabling him do more with greater freedom, independence and confidence.  

We’re proud of what the HSR can do—but at the end of the day, we’re most excited about what Romy can do. 

There’s lots more work ahead on the HSR and other exciting projects, but we are committed to helping people get where they want and need to be, because we know that, just like the HSR, mobility opens doors.

Thank you to Toyota for being a Convening Sponsor at the 2017 Net Impact Conference. 

How can we Correct the Balance between Food Production and Food Consumption?

Food waste is a challenging paradox: even though one in seven Americans is food insecure, as a nation and a global community one-third of all food is lost from farm to fork. Of that, one-third is food waste (from market to consumer); and two-thirds is post-harvest loss (from field to market). All food loss also has an environmental impact.

So how do we change systems to correct the balance between food production and food consumption? Leaders in the food and supply chain fields continue to search for answers to this question. 

This is a topic that we care about and continue to engage our community to imagine innovative strategies to combat the issues surrounding food loss. At the 2017 Net Impact Conference we held a session dedicated to this topic, Farm to Trash: Disrupting the Food Waste Epidemic, led by Laura Asiala, Senior Fellow at PYXERA Global, Scott Boylston, Professor, Design for Sustainability at Savannah College of Art and Design, Eileen Hyde, Director Hunger and Healthy Eating at Walmart Giving, and Brittany Price, Director of Sustainable Operations at MGM Resorts International. The session dived into the sources and trends in the food waste epidemic and gave participants the opportunity to discuss real-world solutions with leading experts. 

Net Impact also participated in a Food Loss Twitter Chat: Defending the Harvest – Reducing Food Loss (#GEFlive) hosted by PYXERA Global with the Rockefeller Foundation, Feed the Future, and ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss. Key discussion areas focused on how organizations are addressing post-harvest loss through collaborations. Examples include how Feed the Future is bringing agricultural technologies to smallholder farmers in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana and Guatemala and The Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise initiative focused on fruits, vegetables, and staple crops in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. 

The overall theme in both events is that food loss is solvable. Solutions are consistently being designed through partnerships, innovation, and commitment from all stakeholders including businesses, farmers, and consumers. 

Are you interested in gaining hands-on experience in generating solutions on the timely topic of food loss? Host a local event to raise awareness in your community through the Food Solutions Challenge.

Young Leaders Find an Innovative Way to have a Voice in Politics

Bullying is occurring on Capitol Hill and across local and state governments, but one initiative is training political leaders on how to manage bullies: DC Bully Busters. Led by a group of 11 and 12-year-old girls in Seattle, Washington, their mission is to inspire and train Senators and Congresspeople to be courageous and not bystanders as bullying is unacceptable everywhere including in Washington, DC.

We were first introduced to DC Bully Busters from Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative, on the keynote stage at the 2017 Net Impact Conference. He shared the story of his daughter, one of the leaders of this campaign, and attendees were so inspired by this unique and impactful story that they asked us for more information.

Watch their video to learn more about DC Bully Busters and read on to hear from the girls behind this incredible mission. 

With help from Aaron Hurst, we interviewed these young emerging leaders on their inspiration, plans for the future, and advice to others looking to launch an impact project in their school or community: 


What motivated you to launch DC Bully Busters?

My voice matters even though I can’t vote. Bullying in politics is a terrible thing and it means that people’s views are not being respected. That hurts our democracy. I know how bully impacts students and we know it is wrong.

What inspires you most about the progress you have made so far?

We have so many students who wrote letters who now understand what this work means. We traveled to DC and were able to meet with politicians and they were really inspired to not be bystanders. Nancy Pelosi said it was one of her favorite meetings she had.

How has this experienced affected your future career goals?

It made me realize that I can do anything I want in my career if I am passionate about it. It made me want to make sure that in everything I do, I make sure everyone’s voice is heard.


What motivated you to launch DC Bully Busters?

I think it’s often overlooked that kids pay attention to the news, just as much and sometimes more, then adults do. A lot of kids, especially in the frustration and high tension of the 2016 election, were being awakened by the true world of politics and were deeply disappointed by what they discovered, me and my friends included.  We wanted to make an impact that would really count so we decided to form a group for positive change.

What is the best lesson you have learned from leading DC Bully Busters?

 When you are feeling frustrated, you can always channel that anger into positive action. We were so tired of swallowing our anger that we felt we really needed to do something so the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you don’t have to just swallow your answer but you can channel it to create resistance to bullies and oppressors.

What advice would you give to someone launching their own impact project?

Go with your gut and always remember your inspiration.  It’s important to remember what’s motivating you and what brings you fulfillment.


What is the best lesson you have learned from leading DC Bully Busters?

The best lesson I have learned is to always believe in what you are doing and believe that you can go far with it because no matter what issue you are focused on there are people who also care and will help you take it to the next level. Also to be confident and proud of what you are doing because it is important.  Some people may not have the values or beliefs or the courage to stand up so be confident enough for both them and yourself.

How has this experience affected your future career goals?

I have learned a lot more about politics and may consider a role in the government.  I definitely want to help people and keep standing up for what I believe in.

What advice would you give to someone launching their own impact project?

Be proud and confident, work with others to grow your group or organization, know what you are talking about, and always remember that every issue is important and needs to be heard.


What motivated you to launch DC Bully Busters? 

I remember as the election was progressing, listening to all of the hate, cruelty, and discrimination that was being said and thinking about all the kids who look up to politicians as their role models. What was being said was not anything that happened before and it was not okay for children to watch this on live television and think that this hurtful language was what our country stood for. Injustice, attacking other people based on race, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, or gender identity. That is what motivated me to start this campaign. 

What advice would you give to someone launching their own impact project?

At the start of our campaign to launch the DCBB, I remember thinking that it would make no difference. Sure, it might get some kids to write letters, but it would have no lasting change. Soon though, I started noticing the difference we were making in the community around us and the peaceful change we were creating in the White House. Our letter writing campaign had taken a long time to start but, once schools started writing letters, it spread like wildfire.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results the minute you start your own project, it takes time to see change but once you do, it motivates you to work harder. This time of hesitation is more time to get out and make a difference, so try your hardest, and never give up if things don’t work out the first time.   

2017 Net Impact Conference: Inspiration, Innovation, and Impact

Over 2,000 change agents from around the world gathered in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center for the 2017 Net Impact Conference (NI17) on October 26-28. These student and professional leaders are committed to making a lasting social and environmental impact now and throughout their careers and continually seek bold and innovative thinking to find solutions for the most pressing issues of our time.

Path to Purpose

With a conference theme of “Path to Purpose” the program inspired attendees to find new ways to address challenges such as climate change, social justice, and food systems. Through workshops, panels, and boot camps, attendees imagined new solutions through tracks including social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and tech innovation. New this year were sessions targeted specifically for professionals and faculty which provided relevant content and networking opportunities. Chapter Leaders were also able to network with each other during exclusive sessions designed to support them in leading their Chapters around the world. 

Keynote Speakers

Kevin Cleary, CEO, Clif Bar & Company

"We have reached a tipping point where companies are either going to start to integrate purpose into the fabric of their organizations, or they are going to risk losing market share." - Kevin Cleary, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green

“I think it's less about your resume and more about what makes your heart sing." - Cheryl Dorsey

Kathryn Finney, Managing Director, digitalundivided

"In order to do differently, think differently." - Kathryn Finney, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Seth Goldman, Co-founder & TeaEO Emeritus, Honest Tea

“The 2017 Net Impact Conference is a multigenerational conference.” - Seth Goldman, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Paul Hawken, Executive Director, Project Drawdown

"We know the problem, let's focus on the solutions."- Paul Hawken, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Aaron Hurst, CEO, Imperative

“Purpose is the reason we work beyond financial rewards and recognition.” - Aaron Hurst, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Derreck Kayongo, CEO, Center for Civil and Human Rights

“The key to humanity is human rights, just like the key to mathematics in multiplication tables." - Derreck Kayongo, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Kerry Kennedy, President, RFK Human Rights

“We believe that one person can make a difference and working together, we can change the world.” - Kerry Kennedy, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Kyle Peterson, Executive Director, Walton Family Foundation

"Don’t focus on making money now and doing well later in life. It is possible now to do both at the same time." - Kyle Peterson, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Shannon Schuyler, Chief Purpose Officer, PwC

“One of the things I thrive on is being disruptive, I don't like things the same. I like disruptive. Change the status quo." - Shannon Schuyler, 2017 Net Impact Conference

Career Opportunities

The conference featured career advancement opportunities. The NI17 Career Expo enabled attendees to network with professionals from international corporations, social enterprises, and nonprofits that have the ability and drive to use their organizations for social Attendees also had access to group mentoring or one-on-one career coaching with leading impact professionals.

Fun Parties and Excursions

All of this took place in a thriving city with a history of social movements, an expanding business community, and a passion for environmental initiatives. Excursions, networking events, receptions, and parties brought the spirit of the conference out into the streets of Atlanta. Attendees were able to explore the impact community in the city while having fun with new friends and peers in a close-knit community of impact leaders. 

Join the fun of NI17 with special limited edition t-shirts and water bottles and don’t forget to save the date for the 2018 Net Impact Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 25-27, 2018!

Meet our 2017-18 Chapters of the Year

Net Impact’s vibrant community of change-makers is constantly growing, now at 335 chapters worldwide! Every year, we recognize the most outstanding Net Impact chapters through the Chapter of the Year award. We are excited to share this year’s winners.

Each finalist was selected from among our Gold Chapters. Judges included board members and staff and finalists were judged based on impact (including number of activities, number of individuals engaged, and impact of activities), leadership and collaboration (including network contribution, cross-chapter collaboration, and leadership), and membership growth. After receiving many outstanding submissions this year—trust us, it was not an easy decision process—the judges felt that the following four chapters really stood out in their exemplary accomplishments and commitment to Net Impact’s mission. 

Congratulations to our 2017-18 Chapters of the Year!

Undergraduate Chapter of the Year

Texas State University - McCoy College of Business

Graduate Chapter of the Year

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson School of Management

Professional Chapter of the Year

New York City

International Chapter of the Year

IIT Kharagpur – Undergraduate

Congratulations to all of our fantastic chapters for everything they've accomplished this year! Keep up the amazing work! 

Stay tuned for an interview blog series with each of our winning Chapters. 

Interested in joining or starting a chapter? Visit our website for more information. Join us at Net Impact to start making meaningful changes today!

Continuing your Path to Purpose: Reflections from the 2017 Net Impact Conference

Over 2,000 change agents from around the world gathered in Atlanta for the 2017 Net Impact Conference (NI17), October 26-28. NI17 provided opportunities for attendees to learn about the latest trends and inspiring stories in social change, network with impact leaders, and gain the skills and experiences for a lifetime of impact.

Here are some of your highlights from the 2017 Net Impact Conference

Inspiring keynotes

Insightful sessions

Innovative tech

Fun parites and receptions

Path to purpose

Looking ahead


Thank you for an incredible three days in Atlanta! Save the date for the 2018 Net Impact Conference (NI18) taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, October 25-27. 

Check Out Toyota’s Human Support Robot

Toyota is bringing its Human Support Robot (HSR) to the 2017 Net Impact Conference.

That’s right – a robot!

The HSR supports people who need help with everyday tasks such as opening doors, fetching a bottle of water or retrieving a snack from the pantry. This is part of Toyota’s work to advance mobility for all, because when people have the ability to get around, just as they are – whether across town or across the room – they can better pursue life-changing opportunities. 

Check out the HSR in action during its first in-home trial with Romy Camargo, a decorated U.S. war veteran who is paraplegic. And, if you are at the conference, visit HSR and Doug Moore, Director, Technology for Human Support Group for Toyota Motor North America on the 3rd floor for demos during coffee breaks.

Tackling Diversity and Inclusion at the 2017 Net Impact Conference

Just one day until the 2017 Net Impact Conference (NI17) kicks off! On this collaborative journey, we will discuss important topics and issues facing generations today - including climate change, social impact, as well as diversity and inclusion. NI17 will open conversations on how to address racial equity and inclusiveness in your environments and what advantages they’ll bring to your teams: 

Purpose in Action with Keynote Derreck Kayongo 

Derreck Kayongo is the CEO for the Center for Civil and Human Rights. He has led an inspiring Path to Purpose; Kayongo was born in Kampala, Uganda just before General Idi Amin Dada, now one of history’s most notorious dictators, seized power in a military coup. As violence spread through the country and civil war erupted, Kayongo and his family became refugees in Kenya. He later immigrated to America to attend university. He is a known for his expertise in environmental sustainability as well as  global health and was a 2011 CNN Hero. We are excited to hear how he has dedicated his life to fighting for human rights. 

 Boot Camp: Owning Your Power and Privilege to Work for Racial Equity

In this professional development boot camp, we will breakdown personal, intrapersonal, institutional and systemic racism. You will discuss what we can do to disassemble systems of oppression and how systems of power and privilege manifest in impact-focused work. You’ll leave this session feeling empowered and with a personal action plan to advance racial equity as you move forward in your experiences. 

Unlocking Success through Diversity and Inclusion

How to approach inclusion? - that is the question in this session deisgned to help individuals and organizations grow and thrive. From this session you will walk away with a stronger understanding of why diversity and inclusive networks is a must-have competitive advantage.

The Role of Business in Championing Racial Equity

What does it mean to acknowledge racial inequity and how to take meaningful actions to address it? Often Nonprofits, activists, and governments are the first to address these issues, but there are some segments in the business community tackling these tough questions. Hear from private sector leaders who don’t just simply respond to creating and supporting movements towards racial equity, they go beyond it!

The 2017 Net Impact Conference brings together leaders that vary in background, experiences, and skills. So while you’re in Atlanta, take advantage - get out there and make connections!  You never know what collaborations, ideas, and innovations might come about on your Path to Purpose.