A guest post by Christopher Ankney, Social Media Specialist at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

This week, 500 MBA students from the Ross School of Business have one, straightforward, no-big-deal task: Innovate Detroit.

Working in teams with one of six non-profit organizations, the students will have six days to fully develop a “pitch” for a new for-profit venture that creates both economic and social value in Detroit. See? Easy.

Oh. And they have to tweet about it.

It’s all part of the Ross Impact Challenge: Innovating Detroit, a week-long leadership orientation program for new full-time MBA students from the Ross Leadership Initiative.


There is a full week of activities and work sessions planned, but the biggest day is Monday, August 27. On Monday, the teams will be onsite in Detroit, working with non-profit partners to understand the challenges of their specific sector. They’ll also be getting first-hand experience of how these organizations work.

While they are building walls for Habitat for Humanity, working a food pantry with Forgotten Harvest, and learning about the Detroit educational system, the new Ross MBA students will be asked to share their experiences with the public by participating in a number of social media-based challenges.

Using the tag #RossLeaders, the new MBA students will interact with each other, network within the industry on which they’ve been asked to focus, reflect on the lessons of the week, and probably share some pictures of food (because people seem to love doing that).


And they’ll have plenty of opportunities to get their shots of lunch just right: A five-day long photo contest will also be a part of the experience. We’ll be keeping track of all photos posted with the #RossLeaders tag to Twitter and Instagram throughout the week and selecting the most popular (one with the most retweets, and one with the most likes) for some great prizes.

So, follow along this week. Look at pictures, learn about great things happening in Detroit, and get to know the next class of superstar MBAs from @MichiganRoss.

Follow @MichiganRoss, @RossLeaders and the tag #RossLeaders and Like the Ross School of Business on Facebook at Facebook.com/MichiganRoss