Category Archives: Ballard Center

February 24

Social Innovation Aims to Aid Refugees

To assist with the recent influx of refugees in Europe, during the Fall 2016 semester a team of four BYU students worked with the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF) to create a business plan for an interfaith business incubator in Manchester, England. The project aims to help refugees integrate into English society and become […]

October 11

OBHR Lessons from the Caribbean

When two young missionaries lost the trail while hiking Mont Pelée, a volcano on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, Reid Robison had to act quickly. After receiving the news that the two young men had gone missing, Robison, then president of the West Indies Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, […]

July 26

Solving Problems, One ‘Stoplight’ At A Time

Eradicate poverty? Similar to scooping water out of a sinking ship using only a perforated bucket, it can seem like an impossible feat. But like most difficult tasks, the problem could be that we’re taking the wrong approach. Set down your buckets. There may be a solution. Welcome to Poverty Stoplight. More than just a […]

May 17

Watch This Year’s TEDxBYU Event

Bright minds, riveting speakers, and ideas worth spreading—this year’s TEDxBYU event proved to be the best one yet. For the sixth year in a row, the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance invited diverse presenters—including students, alumni, and faculty of Brigham Young University—to share their passion for the transformative power of ideas. Didn’t make it to […]

April 07

Sign Up for Ballard Scholar Program

You might be an accounting major who’s passionate about ending poverty. Or maybe you’re a sociology student striving to solve world hunger. Perhaps you’re studying engineering and just want to create something that will benefit people’s lives. Now no matter what your major is or goals are, you can be recognized for your drive to […]

March 10

The 2016 SISC Ends in Showdown

  The Social Innovation Solution Competition (SISC) started with more than twenty competitors and culminated in a showdown between two teams—but the finale didn’t exactly end as anticipated. “We expected the judges to name the winner,” says BYU strategy junior Daniel Durrant. “But they said they couldn’t decide between the final two teams, so we […]

October 09

Alicia Becker: A Changemaker’s Journey

The path toward a higher education comes with twists and turns. Alicia Becker, a first-generation college graduate, knows this all too well. After navigating her way to two degrees, Becker’s educational journey is continuing at the Marriott School’s Ballard Center for Self-Reliance, where she works as partner relations manager and adjunct professor. Her path began […]

September 14

The Effect of Impact Investing

Business students aren’t just motivated by dollars and cents. Accounting grad Jeremy Sookhoo was looking for a career that would be both exciting and meaningful when he found the perfect opportunity: an internship with the University Impact Fund, now called the Sorensen Global Impact Investing Center (SGIIC). Sookhoo, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013 after […]

August 28

Ballard Internship Propels Career

MPA student Jeff Roberts discovered many things during his internship: the best ways to help people become self-reliant, his love of social innovation, and the power of a late-night pizza party. According to Roberts, those pizza parties helped his team reach their project goals and were some of the best experiences of his internship with […]

July 31

Putting a Freeze on Food Waste

  A lot of students want to save the world, but Michael Snow and Steven Johnson want to save food. On an LDS mission in Cambodia, Snow, a recent BYU grad in exercise science, saw the disparity between the rich and poor and came up with an idea to solve food waste. “I thought that […]

May 21

Infectious Ideas Spread at TEDxBYU Event

The Ballard Center once again hosted a successful TEDxBYU event on 9 April 2015.  TEDx brings together a group of live speakers to spark discussion and leave attendees empowered.  In the spirit of spreading worthwhile ideas, this year’s event brought together several dynamic presenters from diverse backgrounds to share their thoughts on social innovation. Didn’t […]

April 07

Competition rewards savvy business plans

A great business venture starts with a great idea. The Ballard Center’s Social Venture Academy encourages student entrepreneurs to jump-start businesses with mentoring and cash prizes throughout three different stages of development: idea validation, product development, and execution. Students recently participated in the first stage by submitting videos for the Best Idea Competition. “We asked entrants, ‘What is […]

March 19

Megan Murff: In “Cahoots” With SVA

An aversion to exercise probably isn’t something you’d expect the owner of a fitness company to admit to having. “In junior high, the day I had to run the mile in P.E. was the dreaded can-I-stay-home-sick day,” Megan Murff laughs. “That’s how bad it was!” A lot has changed for Murff since then. The 2014 […]

February 23

Changemaker Club Innovates in Provo

For busy college students, opportunities to serve can be lost amid the day-to-day challenge of balancing coursework, jobs, and relationships. But members of BYU’s Changemaker Club are bucking that stereotype by using their education to find sustainable solutions for social issues in Provo. “We’re a group of students who see the same problems as everyone else, […]

December 11

Showcasing Creativity at Best Idea Competition

In conjunction with the Social Venture Academy (SVA), the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance recently hosted the Best Idea Competition. The annual competition has provided the opportunity for students from any major to share their ideas for improving the world through social innovation since 2007. “We want to help out the world, but we want […]

October 30

Creative Partnership Opens Doors

The Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance has teamed up with the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration to help students learn how to solve problems through a creative lens. Working together to use their respective expertise as social innovators and creative thinkers to improve the world, the centers sent a team of students and faculty to […]

July 30

Meet the Piano-Playing Google Guru

It’s not often that a piano-playing gig leads to landing your dream job at Google. That’s the way it worked out for Trevor Dixon, however, when he was asked by the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance to play jazz piano at a dinner for The New York Times journalist David Bornstein. Dixon, who will graduate from […]

June 30

Alum Joins Walmart to Create Change

When Jackie Saumweber started her MPA degree at Brigham Young University, she wasn’t sure where she wanted it to take her. Over time and after a detour through the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance, she found a niche that united her passions and skills—corporate social responsibility. A 2014 MPA graduate, Saumweber will take a position this […]