With 2018 coming to a close, the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the year and all our community’s work to tackle complex social and environmental issues. Below are the most well-read stories from the year, starting with the most popular.

1. Chicago Booth Announces Winners of 2018 Social New Venture Challenge

Published May 23, 2018

The Rustandy Center announced winners of the eighth annual John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC). AIM Clinics took home first place, with Shakti and VouchCircle tied for second place. Other finalists included Gather Activism, Insights for Impact, Mighty, and Unbreakable.

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2. SNVC Startup SLAP’D Grows, Stays in the University of Chicago Family

Published August 3, 2018

Founded by Genevieve Liu, LAB ’17, at age 13, SLAP’D is a startup that aims to help fellow teens who cannot find an outlet for their grief when a parent has passed away. Since earning recognition as a finalist for the SNVC, SLAP’D (and Genevieve’s younger brother, Asher) has plans to expand nationally as a gateway for grief resources.

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3. 18 Teams Advance in the 2018 Social New Venture Challenge

Published February 21, 2018

In February, 18 teams advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 SNVC. Teams accepted into Phase II of the competition tackled various social issues in the US and abroad, ranging from addressing Chicago’s gun violence to improving the health of expectant mothers in Mali communities.

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4. One Complex Problem, 3 Simple Strategies: What Research Reveals about Gender and Racial Discrimination

Published December 11, 2017

Research done by Booth faculty regarding discrimination and bias across various sectors—conducted nearly a decade apart—revealed shocking similarities: discrimination exists, has measurable consequences, and is not limited to one sector. A Rustandy Center research brief offered tips for mitigating the effects of discrimination and biases.

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5. Five Tips for Making a Career Move into the Social Impact Sector

Published January 1, 2018

Insights from the “Making the Switch” webinar series, hosted by the Rustandy Center and Booth’s Career Services, provided several actionable steps for individuals considering a career move into the social impact space.

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6. VouchCircle Offers ‘LinkedIn’ for Job Seekers in Underserved Communities

Published June 12, 2018

Founded by Wenting Xi, ’18, VouchCircle was established to solve a perceived disparity in society – individuals in underserved communities need a professional networking app to stay connected to people they might meet at work, interviews, etc. VouchCircle, which tied for second place in the 2018 SNVC finals, focuses on referrals for individuals in underserved communities with its peer-to-peer job posting and job referral platform.

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7. Rustandy Center Announces New Tarrson Fellows

Published July 30, 2018

Three recent University of Chicago graduates earned 2018 Tarrson Social Venture Fellowships, receiving $25,000 each to pursue their social ventures full time after graduation. The Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship provides funding and other support to graduating UChicago students and recent alumni who are committed to growing a startup that helps solve a social or environmental problem.

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8. Ticket to Ride? Building Efficient and Equitable Cities with Bus Rapid Transit

Published March 29, 2018

Research by Nick Tsivanidis, PhD ’18 (economics), investigated one question related to the job market: How large are the economic gains to improving public transit within cities and how are they distributed between low- and high-skilled workers? Tsivanidis’ research is one of several projects the Rustandy Center has helped fund since 2015.

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9. SNVC Winner AIM Clinics Strives to Make Autism Therapy Available to Children – No Matter Where They Live

Published May 25, 2018

Founded by George Boghos, ‘18, AIM Clinics plans to provide the gold standard for autism therapy, especially for children in rural US communities. Boghos started the venture after realizing that many children diagnosed with autism do not have access to ABA therapy, the only autism therapy endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General.

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10. From Chicago to India – Understanding the Water Crisis by Focusing on the User

Published May 31, 2018

Booth’s Global Social Impact Practicum (GSIP) is a course facilitated by the Rustandy Center and supported by the Tata Centre for Development, instituted by Tata Trusts. In this blog, students shared their experiences and lessons learned from their GSIP trip to India in December 2017.

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