We all strive to bring meaning to our personal and professional lives. But what does it mean to be impactful? In this issue we explore that question from many angles and disciplines, showing how actions can produce change in life and work as well as in our neighborhoods and global community.
Ilya A. Strebulaev’s work discusses the impact of venture capital funding on the U.S. economy, and a study by Shai Bernstein looks at whether companies are more profitable when their investors step away from Skype and visit in person more often. The question of whether companies can make money while doing social good is answered with a resounding “yes” by a former basketball player who uses his star power and business acumen to do just that, while law scholar Paul Brest outlines the benefits of social impact investing. And what makes us altruistic? Sociologist Robb Willer tackles that question.
An alumnus who leads Habitat for Humanity explains why he builds, while Larissa Tiedens discusses how female leaders can make a difference in the boardroom. And, from Jeffrey Pfeffer, something we can all use: tips to leverage our own power to bring about change. Sometimes — as Pedro M. Gardete demonstrates — what influences us emanates from an unexpected source, such as a stranger on a flight.