Last night, Adam Werbach of Saatchi & Saatchi S spoke at the new Miller Hall, courtesy of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business’ Undergraduate Program and the Undergraduate Net Impact chapter. A few thoughts:
- I was lucky enough to have dinner with Adam and some of the Mason and sustainability faculty before the speech. I have to say — the meal and the executive dining room were both wonderful. I can’t say enough about both Mason and Miller Hall to this point; I’ve had nothing but fantastic experiences with both since I’ve been hired.
- Adam was, as expected, bright, enthusiastic, and eager to learn what we were doing at William & Mary. We discussed higher education’s role in promoting a sustainable way forward for the next generation, and Adam had some interesting insights into the way sustainability would be perceived in the years to come.
- Wow, what a turnout! Apparently the event sold out quite quickly, and the ballroom in Miller Hall was absolutely packed. So great to see so many people, from both within and outside of Mason, interested in sustainability in the business world.
- For those of you who haven’t read Adam’s book Strategy for Sustainability, I highly recommend it; most of his speech highlighted the points he elaborates on in his book. The speech itself was entertaining, informative, and light-hearted, all of which I think are important in the general sense of educating people on sustainability.
- The questions asked by the audience were fantastic, and, perhaps most importantly, were from a wide range of students — MBA, BBA, and non-business students. Perhaps most telling was Adam’s response to the question “So what do we do next?” Saatchi & Saatchi S’s “DOT” is to have 1 BILLION people pick a personal sustainability practice; but, as Adam elucidated, that’s where their role ends. They aren’t in charge of what we do after picking our practice; that’s our job! We get to decide what happens next. And I think, more than anything else, that’s what I took away from Adam’s speech: that here in higher education, and especially here at William & Mary, we have the opportunity to use these networking and marketing tools to build larger & more effective groups dedicated to one thing (sustainability) which, like ourselves, is so many different things at once.
I hope you all enjoyed the event as well. I’ll be meeting with Net Impact next week to discuss phase two of W&M’s “DOT” campaign. What will YOU do next?