In 1990 I chose to work at The Body Shop, not because I was particularly interested in selling soap and shampoo, but because I was interested in the potential of business as a force for positive change. In those days, it would have been unimaginable to think you could gather together a large group of MBA students who were passionate about exploring the same subject. Back then, the subject might have been intriguing, in a fringe sort of way, but not the stuff careers are made of. That’s why I found my participation at this year’s Net Impact conference to be so inspiring. The conference attracted 1500 MBA students from around the country. They were brimming with curiosity, intellectual smarts, passion, and the desire to make a difference and they were there to explore everything from the role of micro finance in eradicating global poverty to the case for green building. Alan Webber, the founding editor of Fast Company, observed that real social change necessarily “starts with looking at the brutal facts of life in the eye and admitting that the status quo is broken.â€? This group of students seemed to get that, but instead of wallowing in cynicism and resignation, wanted to respond to the obvious challenges in a creative way. As for me, well, I left feeling even more conscious of my age, but energized by a new dose of optimism about the future.