Ice cream social with Ben & Jerry's Jeff Furman

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:00pm

Location: Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington

Running a Company with a Social Justice Mission Ain't Easy

Friday, March 28, 2 pm
Rackham Auditorium

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Jeff Furman will describe the early days of the company in the 1980s and explain how a desire to give away ice cream and hold fun community celebrations evolved into a dynamic social mission, with actions that propelled Ben & Jerry's into being a leader in the field of socially responsible business.

The challenges and struggles of combining profit with a social justice purpose led to exciting growth opportunities as well as a clash of cultures and ultimately, to the sale of the company 13 years ago to Unilever, one of the world's biggest corporations.

Jeff Furman helped create the company's original business plan in a gas station in 1982 and became Chairman of the independent Board of Directors in 2010. As an insider in Ben & Jerry's for the whole 35-year history, he will share the stories about the sale, the transition afterward, and the company's social mission today: still alive, growing, meaningful and relevant.
A free ice cream social featuring Ben & Jerry's ice cream follows the talk, where Furman will sign copies of the book Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben and Jerry's. All proceeds from the book sale go to charity.
Sponsored by the School of Information, with support from Innovate Blue, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the School of Public Health, and the Ross School of Business.