A version of this post originally appeared on GOOD.is.
Eight months ago, four first-year Harvard Business School students asked themselves a simple question: what if MBAs left their classrooms to get a hands-on education in the heart of America?
Then we stopped asking "what if?" and decided to hit the road to spend eight weeks in eight cities where daring entrepreneurs are creating the future of American business. Our journey is called MBAs Across America, and we see this summer as much more than a road trip; we see it was a call to action for our generation.
You see, every day another headline tells us that the future of America is bleak--that our business leaders care only about the bottom line, that the American dream has become merely a myth, and that our generation will be the first to do worse than our parents'.
We've hit the road because we think the headlines are wrong.
The future of America is bright because entrepreneurs are building it themselves. They're building it in New York and Silicon Valley, sure, but they're also building it in places like Detroit, Las Vegas, and New Orleans -- where communities are surviving and thriving against all odds. It's their dreams and their grit that will decide our fate as a nation, not the promises of politicians in Washington or the prognostications of pundits on TV.
The future of America is bright because a new generation of MBAs is prepared to serve. MBAxAmerica isn't about know-it-alls going out into the country to "fix" things. It's about understanding business in the trenches where it matters most, and lending our skills, experience, and curiosity to the task of helping entrepreneurs & communities bring their visions to life. We want to see a world where MBAs are a force for progress, sustainable growth, and revitalization, rather than a force for greed, short-termism, and economic destruction -- which has unfortunately become much of the MBA brand in the past few decades. (Maybe we can even get Seth Godin involved, who is on the verge of getting rid of business school as we know it.)
The future of America is bright because we're building it together. As we travel the country, we are bringing folks together -- from local students to business leaders, from artists to mayors -- to answer one simple question: What can we do to unleash the potential of every American entrepreneur? We're lucky to have partners like the masterminds at Impactor who will be helping us design, curate, and facilitate community workshops that create lasting relationships and meaningful impact in our tour cities and beyond.
The future of America starts now. The challenges we face as a generation and a country are too large for us to wait, and that's why we've received support from organizations like Ponyride in Detroit, The Downtown Project in Las Vegas, the Startup America Partnership.
That's also why Four Points by Sheraton has agreed to sponsor our housing for the summer so that we can make this journey happen. Four Points is committed to providing business travelers with everything they need to be productive on the road, and we can't thank them enough for taking the lead as a company that goes beyond the boardroom and into the communities it serves.
We invite you to join the MBAxAmerica movement by liking us on Facebook, following our blog, and reaching out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can write a different story about America's future: one where dreamers, doers, and purpose-driven MBAs come together to make America stronger, one community at a time.