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Business School Faculty Help Launch New Research Center

6/22/2004 --

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan Business School faculty will help launch the University of Michigan's new Center for Advancing Research and Solutions for Society (CARSS) by conducting its first two research projects.

In one project, Richard Price, Jerry Davis and Tim Fort will explore the human impact of global corporations. They will join with leaders in international business, policy, economics and psychology to assess the impact of these worldwide companies on individuals, families, neighborhoods and societies.

"Over the past five decades, the public corporation has become the predominant locus of the world's economic activity and now rivals–or perhaps even surpasses–the nation-state in its influence on human well-being," the professors say. "Yet we know surprisingly little about the nature and extent of the corporation's impact."

The other project, by Davis and Tom Gladwin, will examine the future of sustainable transportation. The two Business School professors, along with U-M colleagues Carl Simon and Doug Kelbaugh, will team with academic, NGO, industry and government leaders to analyze how society can meet the challenges of providing for future mobility and accessibility in ways that are both ecologically sound and socially sustainable.

"The global car fleet is expected to triple, reaching 1.5 billion vehicles by 2030," the researchers say. "While modern transportation systems provide unparalleled convenience and independence, they also have a growing number of unintended consequences–air and noise pollution, climate change, urban sprawl, congestion, injuries, fatalities, and lack of access for those without cars."

CARSS, part of the U-M Institute for Social Research, is an innovative forum seeking knowledge-based strategies and potential solutions for society's most pressing problems and vexing dilemmas, says David Featherman, the center's director. It aims to blend the best of scholarship and practical expertise.

"CARSS will create new knowledge that from the start is designed to be tested in the real world," Featherman says. "We are going beyond studying problems and then offering insights for others to use as they see fit. Instead, and in new collaborations between academic experts and leaders from business, industry, the media and public service, we'll enter the world where ideas more directly impact human lives and results matter."

For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.isr.umich.edu/carss.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat
Phone: (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847
E-mail: bernied@umich.edu