McKenna Newsletter Spring 2023


News and Updates Spring 2023

In Memoriam: Andrew McKenna, Distinguished Notre Dame, and Keough School Benefactor 

Andrew Mckenna

Andrew McKenna had a vision for a center in the new Keough School of Global Affairs devoted exclusively to the role of business in addressing big social challenges. It was the kind of bold and empowering vision that was reflected in so many of his accomplishments over a storied career. Building upon this vision, the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business was launched in 2018.
In four short years, a strong team has been put together, and an exciting and high-impact portfolio of programs has emerged. These programs bridge the world of practice with the worlds of student learning and scholarly research. Centered around social entrepreneurship and the future of work, the McKenna Center is identifying innovative ways to leverage business approaches and resources to address poverty.
Mr. McKenna had a transformative impact in building businesses, leading boards of directors, and making the City of Chicago a better place to live and work. His was a rich and full life, and one that was defined by such core values as hard work, integrity, humility, action, and service to others. It is this legacy that inspires us to make the McKenna Center a global leader in transforming how we think about and approach poverty alleviation.



Future of Work Conference

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On Tuesday, February 21, the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business at the University of Notre Dame hosted the AI Adoption in Manufacturing workshop. Notre Dame faculty and students, representatives from Indiana's manufacturing SMEs, and iNDustry labs came together to explore the opportunities and challenges of AI adoption in manufacturing. The workshop aimed to help academics better understand AI's potential in the sector. The panels focused on comprehending tech trends, their impact on workers and skills, and larger implications on work and dignity. The workshop's ultimate goal was to inform an NSF grant proposal focused on creating an integrated economic, technological, organizational, and sociological framework for future participatory adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools by manufacturing workers in SMEs.



Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship Webinar 

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On Wednesday, March 8, the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business at the University of Notre Dame hosted a webinar through Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship (GPPE) to discuss Rethinking Poverty, Entrepreneurship, and the Role of the Informal Sector. The webinar featured:

  • Dr. Kaveri Gill, Ph.D., Shiv Nadar University, India
  • Dr. Ariel Newman, Syracuse University, USA
  • Dr. Antonio Baez Morales, University of Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Dr. Andrea Florida, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands

and was moderated by Michael H. Morris, Ph.D., Professor of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame (USA).




UPBI Welcomes New Partners

The Urban Business and Poverty Initiative, which is committed to providing a pathway out of poverty through entrepreneurship, has expanded to 28 cities. We are proud to add Memphis, Tennessee, where our partner is the University of Memphis and George Mason University, representing Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. The University of Memphis will be launching two parallel programs in the Memphis area over the coming months. George Mason University's focus will be on the immigrant and refugee communities. Our UPBI partners now include 21 U.S. cities, six international cities, and one in Puerto Rico.

Learn More



Introduction of the Michael H. Boyce Award 

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In 2022, the McKenna Center established the Boyce Award in honor of Col. Michael H. Boyce USMC (ret.) who spent his last year at Notre Dame as part of the Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI). While here, Mike got heavily involved and was quite passionate about the South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program (SBEAP).  He invested time in helping student consultants in the program, mentoring one of the disadvantaged entrepreneurs from South Bend, and trying to get a version of the program launched in Atlanta, GA. Sadly, Mike passed away during his year at Notre Dame.  

His colleagues and friends raised enough money to create an award in Mike’s name. The annual award recognizes emerging entrepreneurs from adverse circumstances in each of our partner cities. In this first year, eight individuals were selected as recipients. Each of them embodies the values that defined Mike’s extraordinary life. 
2022 Winners include: 

•    Yvonne Kasimbi, Founder, Sanaa Chocolate - South Bend, IN
•    Aaron Thomas, A-Roc Entertainment and AVQ Group – Athens, OH
•    Tastee Smith, Care Task LLC – Dayton, OH
•    Charlotte Terry-Mendez, Cleaning Genie – Gainesville, FL
•    Ruben Gaona, The Way Out – Milwaukee, WI
•    Brianna Edwards, Brianna Chatese Industries – Minneapolis, MN
•    Crystal Fairley, Uncle Keith’s Gourmet Foods – San Diego, CA
•    B. Shanmugapriya, Aswin Millets – Ahmedabad, India

Read More About Our Winners 



South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program Welcomes 2023 Cohort 

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The South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program launched its fourth cohort in February 2023.   The Bootcamp is the beginning of an 11-month program, where the delegates are introduced to business principles in a way that anyone can apprehend, regardless of their background.  Entrepreneur Barbara Turner, founder of Revive Homes, LLC says, “Dr. Morris’ way of explaining business principles and terminology was entirely relatable, like tying how running a home is like running a business.  After the first day of class, I walked out saying, ‘I can do this!’”  Graduates of the Bootcamp are then paired with mentors who are successful entrepreneurs from the community, and then receive 14 weeks of consulting assistance from Notre Dame students. The students create websites, marketing materials, social media campaigns, bookkeeping systems, and much more.  Yvonne Kasimbi, founder of Sanaa Chocolates, says, “I was endowed with numerous resources for my business such as a thorough review of business plan, marketing analysis, and customer segmentation in addition to having my own mentor who has been with me every step of the way.”  As we assist the entrepreneur during the 11 months of the program, we find they gain confidence to take more steps on their own.

Learn more 




Dr. Michael H. Morris Receives Proclamation from the City of South Bend 

Dr. Michael H. Morris, Professor in the McKenna Center and founder of the South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program, received a Proclamation from the City of South Bend on Martin Luther King Day in recognition of his efforts "to bring entrepreneurship empowerment to those facing hardships" and for showing "commitment and concern for helping participants be successful in business."

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Faculty Publications

Robots, AI, and the Future of Employment

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Yong Suk Lee, assistant professor of technology, economy, and global affairs, co-authored two articles discussing the future of robots and AI concerning labor and employment.

The first article,The Evolving Impact of Robots on Jobs, examines the impact of industrial robots on US labor markets and how it may affect the future of employment.

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The second article, When Does AI Pay Off? AI-Adoption Intensity, Complementary Investments, and R&D Strategy, focuses on how high-tech venture performance varies with AI adoption intensity and the relationship between AI adoption intensity and revenue growth.

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Professor Lee was also featured in a piece in the Notre Dame News titled Will a robot take my job? Notre Dame researcher says this view is overly pessimistic. Lee offered insight into the future of employment in relationship to robots and AI stating, "When robots were initially introduced, the intent was to cut costs and replace human workers. But now companies are using ‘collaborative robots’ or ‘cobots,’ which are designed to work together with humans."

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Understanding Entrepreneurship 

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Michael Morris, professor of the practice, recently co-authored two articles concerning entrepreneurship. 

The first piece, Beyond adolescence: solidifying the foundations of entrepreneurship education, investigates pedagogical approaches to entrepreneurship within university programs and discusses the implications of its findings.

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The second publication, Unravelling the Relationship between Dark Triad Traits and Effectuation and Causation within Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, examines the role of the so-called dark side of the CEO personality on decision-making processes within small- and medium-sized enterprises.

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