Three forces of good after a year in a pandemic: leadership, diversity and entrepreneurship.
A year has passed since Harvard University announced the transition to remote learning due to the pandemic—a year of learning, resilience and surprises. “Each day I have been awed by how staff and faculty continue to come together to tackle every unimaginable puzzle,” shares with us Executive Dean for the Administration Angela Crispi. Support, persistence, teamwork and relationships are words that resonate as a description of the past year. I would have never thought, a year ago, that we would be celebrating the first anniversary of the pandemic with such positive attributes. It has been a terribly hard year—we cannot ignore the almost three millions deaths by Covid-19, the killing of George Floyd, the riot at the Capitol and many other causes of divide, injustice and frustration. A terribly hard year, but one of growth and learning opportunities. “Covid as a passage for HBS’s future,” says HBS Dean Srikant Datar. We have a lot to do for that future. In his interview for the Harbus, Dean Datar encourages us to think of business as a force of good for society, pushing us to be resilient, adaptable and generous, and putting diversity at the center of the agenda—“Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not.”
There is a lot to remember and a lot to work on, so our team of editors brings you an issue full of stories to inspire you, provoke you and help you. Professor Rosabeth Kanter shares with us leadership truths that transcend the pandemic and Felipe Cerón reports on how to fail well and learn from those failures. Ziana Kotadia calls “all the men” to be equally responsible for gender equity, while a group of students launch the Women in Tech initiative at HBS, reported by Monika Berankyte. In line with Dean Datar’s words, we bring you entrepreneurship stories in which business is used to make a difference in the world—Pear VC’s community for alumni startup founders, HBS Black New Venture Competition and Parade’s tool to facilitate startups’ access to branding.
Leadership, diversity and entrepreneurship are the forces of good the HBS community has chosen to continue making a difference after a whole year of pandemic and uncertainty—what will you remember from this year and what will you choose to do moving forward?
Noelia Lombardo Gava (MBA ’22) was born in Argentina but identifies herself as a global citizen. She is a biomedical engineer, a management consultant, a storyteller and a lifelong migrant. She loves the outdoors, diving, yoga, reading, and good debates.