Last Night’s Event with Adam Werbach

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?

September 25th, 2009

Sustainability in the Mason School of Business

On Friday, I attended the Mason School of Business’s staff & faculty lunch christening the new Miller Hall and the new semester. The main focus of the event was sustainability at Mason, and it was fantastic to see such dedication from the school’s administration not just to celebrate their new environmentally-friendly (and absolutely gorgeous!) work space, but to advocate for sustainability making its way into every member of the business school’s daily work and routine. Dean Larry Pulley pushed for each person in the room to pick one thing to make more sustainable in their daily lives; his own was deciding not to print the meeting’s agenda for everyone in the room!

Chris Adkins, the director of Mason’s undergraduate program, finished the event with the announcement that Adam Werbach, the CEO of global sustainability marketing firm Saatchi & Saatchi S, will be speaking at W&M in the coming weeks. He also laid out his plan for more fully incorporating sustainability into Mason’s curriculum, research, and everyday activities, including the adoption of Saatchi’s Do One Thing (D.O.T.) initiative for all undergraduate business majors.

Sounds like it’s going to be a great year for sustainability in Mason! I’ll keep you updated with their progress and the events they’ll be hosting over the coming months. In the meantime, I highly recommend Adam Werbach’s new book, Strategy for Sustainability. It’s a great overview of organizational/institutional long-term planning for sustainability, and an excellent primer to making sure that your business or group is heading along a sustainable path.

August 31st, 2009


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