Berkeley Haas Case Study on Burning Man to be featured by The Battery
July 10, 2018
The Berkeley Haas Case Series publication “Burning Man: Moving from a For-profit to a Nonprofit, the Ultimate Act of Gifting,” written by Berkeley Haas Social Impact Fellow Jennifer Walske, has been selected to be featured in the August edition of “Candy” magazine. The magazine is published regularly by The Battery, a San Francisco-based private membership club attended by Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, and other Bay Area luminaries.
The original case study, which focuses on Burning Man Project’s transition from a for-profit to a nonprofit organizational structure, was also the subject of a Dean’s Speaker Series event in March 2018. Burning Man founding board member Michael Mikel spoke with Berkeley Haas Dean Richard Lyons about the organization’s origins -- as a small gathering on Baker Beach in San Francisco – and its current success as one of the most widely-attended cultural events in the world. The annual Burning Man Festival, in which an area of Black Rock Desert, Nevada is converted into a fully-functional, temporary city, was attended by more than 70,000 people in 2017. In line with the organization’s cultural values of “gifting,” the founding board members agreed to gift their ownership to a newly-formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Burning Man Foundation. The transition to a nonprofit structure is due to be formally concluded in 2018.
Walske, along with Berkeley Haas Interim Dean Laura Tyson, is also the author of a newly-published case study on microfinance, focused on the company Grameen America -- an affiliate of Grameen Bank. Based on the original microfinance model pioneered by Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America operates in underserved communities across the United States, providing small business loans to women entrepreneurs who might otherwise be barred from taking out a loan at a larger bank due to lack of opportunities and access to safe and secure banking options.