PISO Positive Impact Society

How PISO Is Making a Positive Impact on Campus

by Tobias Leng | May 27, 2024
In this article our guest author and Master in Management student Tobias shares insights into his very own experience of being part of our extra-curricular student initiative Positive Impact Society (PISO) and what approach they are aiming for.

When I joined HHL, I was eager to participate in an HHL student initiative. While well-known student groups like TEDxHHL, the Energy Conference, and the European Ivy League often grabbed the spotlight, one initiative remained relatively under the radar: the Positive Impact Society (PISO). But, what exactly does PISO do?

Our Approach as the Positive Impact Society (PISO)

PISO was established to enable HHL to participate in the Positive Impact Rating (PIR) which ranks business schools worldwide according to their sustainability and social impact performance. Based on that, PISO aims to engage in projects designed to raise awareness about these crucial issues and sustain the school’s ongoing commitment to them. Contrary to the notion that social impact and sustainability are less pertinent in a business school than in public society or universities, these topics are, in fact, highly relevant. HHL is dedicated to educating future leaders, and it is essential for those to critically consider the effects of their actions on society and the environment.

79.5% of respondents desired to see sustainability more prominently featured in the curriculum, and 90.9% were interested in collaborating with NGOs as an extracurricular activity.

PISO survey results among students at HHL

To make a meaningful impact, we as PISO, founded just three years ago, first needed to understand the perspectives on social impact and sustainability among HHL students and to raise awareness on these topics. To achieve this, a survey was conducted among MSc and MBA classes to gather insights. The results were telling: 79.5% of respondents desired to see sustainability more prominently featured in the curriculum, and 90.9% were interested in collaborating with NGOs as an extracurricular activity. These are just two results from the survey, which overall revealed a strong affinity towards sustainability and social impact among the students. One notable PISO project implemented in 2023 exemplifies these themes and will be briefly presented in the following section.


Our Highlight so far – Cooperation with “Periodically”

The project was initiated as part of the “Responsible Entrepreneurship for the Common Good” course taught by Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt, who holds the Dr. Arend Oetker Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. In this course, public value-oriented start-ups collaborate with teams comprising students from all HHL classes and pupils from regional schools. PISO members, with the support of Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt, initiated a cooperation that extended beyond the scope of the original joint project.

The cooperation partner was the company “Periodically,” whose mission is to provide free menstruation products in public bathrooms and raise awareness about menstruation poverty and equality [Our mission – Periodically (21/05/2024)]. The initiative at HHL aims to improve hygiene product supply for those who need it.

PISO Periodically HHL

The mission of “Periodically” aligns perfectly with PISO’s goal of promoting equality at HHL. Consequently, we were able to install free-of-charge menstruation product dispensers in the most frequently used female bathrooms on campus.

This initiative not only theoretically benefits female students and employees but has also received positive feedback. One student shared, “It is good to know that, whenever needed, there are products available on campus.” Another student mentioned, “I really appreciate that I do not need to ask people if I ever don’t have any products.

As PISO, we view the collaboration with Periodically as a significant opportunity and are grateful for HHL’s support, both financially and organizationally, in making this project possible.

Team of PISO

My Personal Outlook for PISO

And I, myself, am very satisfied with this project as well. However, satisfaction does not mean we stop here. This is why I, along with the entire PISO team, am eagerly looking forward to our future projects. Our upcoming initiatives encompass the establishment of an HHL marketplace, facilitating the passing on of flats and furniture among current and prospective students, a collaborative seminar with an NGO, and a student picnic to enhance connections across all HHL classes. So, join us in making a positive impact!