Local Data Dive

Future of Business in NYC: Unpacking Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Impact within Black and Brown Communities and Businesses

A Call to Action in New York City

Hosted by the Center for Urban Science and Progress, the Local Data Dive invites new students to participate in a hackathon that applies data science skills to real-world urban issues facing local communities.  

Students have the opportunity to kick off their graduate studies by creating impact from day one. By diving into data sets and seeing how new tools and techniques can uncover complex trends, students get an immersive preview into what their studies will entail–and how they will be able to enact positive changes to urban communities.  

The 2023 Data Dive will be held from August 28 through September 8 at CUSP. 

2023 Theme: Unpacking Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Impact within Black and Brown Communities and Businesses

We are proud to partner with the Metro New York Chapter of the National Black MBA Association and ALTÉRer Consulting LLC. to develop data-backed strategies for building a thriving business ecosystem that uplifts and empowers Black and Brown communities, while fostering environmental stewardship and social progress.

The National Black MBA Association’s upcoming conference, The Future of Business: Advancing ESG Practices for a More Sustainable Future, is dedicated to exploring and promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices within Black and Brown communities and businesses. 

In recent years, the importance of ESG practices has gained significant traction as businesses recognize their responsibility to not only generate profits but also make a positive impact on society and the environment. However, the unique challenges and opportunities faced by Black and Brown communities and businesses have often been overlooked or underrepresented in this crucial conversation. 

Not anymore. 

In preparation for the conference, CUSP students will be working with the National Black MBA Association to understand the current status of Black and Brown-owned businesses in NYC, the impact of ESG initiatives on Black and Brown communities and businesses, the economic and social footprint of businesses on Black and Brown communities, and the future outlook for Black and Brown-owned businesses. Student teams will 1) wrangle and understand data structure relating to these topics; 2) analyze the data and find key insights; and 3) design both a technical recommendation and a clear, compelling data presentation for an end-user.

Potential Research Areas

Current Status of Black and Brown-Owned Businesses in NYC:

  • Overview: What is the current state of Black and Brown-owned businesses compared to the city’s demographic makeup? Are they concentrated in specific neighborhoods and sectors?
  • Challenges: What hurdles do these businesses face, ranging from access to capital, gentrification-induced displacement, and competition from larger chains?
  • Opportunities: How have city-initiated business development programs impacted Black and Brown entrepreneurs, and how do we create more opportunities?

ESG Impact on Black and Brown Communities and Businesses:

  • Environmental Impact: Do Black and Brown communities and businesses reside in areas with higher pollution levels and less green space, and are they more vulnerable to climate change effects? What’s the potential of Black and Brown-owned businesses to play a pivotal role in local sustainability initiatives, pushing for eco-friendly practices and advocating for better environmental conditions?
  • Social Impact: What’s the impact of gentrification, while boosting property values, on the displacement of long-standing Black and Brown communities and businesses, altering the socio-cultural fabric? Can Black and Brown businesses act as community anchors, providing employment and preserving the community’s cultural heritage?
  • Governance Impact: What’s the current state of representation in decision-making, from community boards to city councils, that can ensure Black and Brown businesses’ interests and concerns are heard and addressed?

Current Status of Black and Brown-Owned Businesses in NYC:

  • Employment: Do Black and Brown-owned businesses offer different employment opportunities within their communities? Do they provide jobs to those marginalized in the broader job market?
  • Wealth Distribution: How do Black and Brown entrepreneurs address wealth disparities? Do successful Black and Brown entrepreneurs reinvest in their communities, supporting local causes and initiatives more?
  • Cultural Preservation: Do Black and Brown-owned businesses, especially those in the arts, dining, and retail sectors, play a role in preserving and promoting Black and Brown culture within NYC?

Future Outlook:

  • Growth Potential: What’s the potential for Black and Brown-owned businesses to grow, further diversifying NYC’s business landscape?
  • Technology and Innovation: Are Black and Brown entrepreneurs in NYC venturing into tech, fintech, and other innovative sectors?
  • ESG Focus: Do Black and Brown-owned businesses lead in the ESG implementation, given their intrinsic connection to community and sustainable practices?

Why should students participate?

Learn to ask the right questions

In the field of urban science, curiosity is crucial. In order to learn what we don’t know about our surrounding environments, we first have to learn how to ask questions that will lead to informative insights.

Forge relationships with new classmates

There’s no better way to make connections than working together for the greater good. Meet your new cohort in a setting that encourages open-minded thinking and the inclusion of diverse perspectives.

Practice in a safe setting

Students come to CUSP to gain urban data science skills–and you have to start somewhere. Beginning graduate-level learning can feel daunting at times, but this hackathon allows students to start thinking at a higher level without the pressure of grades.

Data Dive 2023 Schedule

Activities listed below are for NYU CUSP’s participants of the Local Data Dive only. However, the Final Presentations on Friday, September 8 are open to the public. 

DAY ONE: Monday, August 28

  • 3:00–5:00 PM EST – NYU CUSP students will be introduced to the Data Dive and given guidance for participation. NYU CUSP students will form groups of 4-5 students; at least one student must be a current student at CUSP, but graduate and undergraduate students from across NYU schools and departments are also welcome to participate.

DAY TWO: Tuesday, August 29

  • All Day – Independent working time with your group. 
  • 4:00–5:00 PM EST – NYU Data Services will host a workshop, “Intro to Data Services & Data Finding,” to provide resources from NYU and open-source datasets. This workshop will be held over Zoom. Please register through the intent form below.

DAY THREE: Wednesday, August 30

  • All Day – Independent working time with your group. 
  • 5:00 PM EST – Group intent form must be submitted to ensure participation. The intent form can be found here: https://forms.gle/JBFmt2uSbrUiFthS7

DAY FOUR – DAY EIGHT: Thursday, August 31 – Thursday, September 7

  • All Day – NYU CUSP students will work with their teams independently.

DAY NINE: Friday, September 8

  • 3:30 PM–5:00 PM EST – NYU CUSP Data Dive Showcase will be held at 370 Jay St., 13th Floor, Brooklyn, NY, at the CUSP Learning Commons. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. Students will present their deliverables through a digital poster session. Please RSVP: https://forms.gle/qUD71yiiVa63ULKW7

Our Partners

NYU CUSP would like to thank our partners at The GOVLAB, NYU Data Services from NYU Libraries & IT, the Metro New York Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, and ALTÉRer Consulting LLC.

Recommended Resources and Pages:

Students are encouraged to research resources and open data sources to inform their prompt and self-learning on their own. Here are resources to start.