Dr. William Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner, dedicated to helping solve civic and urban issues at the structural level. He believes in the power of increasing access to capital, data, and academic resources to create pathways of opportunity for organizations and individuals to impact communities often overlooked. Using his lived experience, Dr. Towns takes a broad, system-wide approach to problem solving with respect to equitable community development.
Over the course of his career, he has managed more than $800 million in capital directed at reversing economic disparities and racial discrimination across the Chicago region. He has developed multiple corporate strategic plans, directing resources to local organizations to help solve complex civic issues.
He is the Managing Director of 4S Bay Partners, LLC’s Chi-Town Impact a private equity fund that invests in women and minority operating businesses utilizing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017’s Opportunity Zones.
Dr. Towns received his Bachelor’s in marketing from Loyola University Chicago - Quinlan School of Business, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business, and a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University.
His goal is to use his research to help cities, anchor institutions, corporations, and non-profits to develop policies and initiatives that welcome in those who stand just outside the door of opportunity to the table of prosperity.
Measures of business success have changed as the expectations of consumers, investors and employees shift beyond such basic key performance indicators of free cash flows, revenue growth rates, and inventory turnover. Today's businesses are also assessed on their contributions to address many of today's most pressing social ills, such as climate change, economic disparity, and structural discrimination.
William W. Towns, Ph.D., MBA founding Executive Director of Benefit Chicago will teach this course about purpose within and across the enterprise. This course will examine how companies are responding to this challenge through the use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. You will gain an understanding of CSR's key concepts and its continued evolution, learn how to create organizational shared value through a Corporate Social Innovation framework, explore specific examples of successful CSR strategy implementation, and come away better equipped to identify innovative CSR opportunities and approaches.
Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) is an international experiential learning course designed to provide students with an introduction to the unique business opportunities, management practices and market dynamics of a specific region or global industry. The course combines in-class lectures, reading discussions and case studies during the winter quarter with ten days of international field research over spring break. Immersed in the culture and language of their host countries, students will have the opportunity to meet with local business and government leaders, conduct interviews and collect data for their group research projects, and experience some of the unique social and cultural facets of the region. Final presentations and written research reports are due in spring quarter after completion of the overseas portion of the class. Each class section is taught by a faculty member with deep knowledge of the region or industry and supported by an advisor from the Kellogg staff who assists students in planning the field experience. Students are financially responsible for their travel costs, and financial aid is available to those who qualify.