DSC_0136Leading Sustainable Change

Our big day on March 20th was kicked off at Autodesk where approximately 15 alums attended our first day-long workshop:  Leading Sustainable Change, led by star faculty Sara Beckman and Kellie McElhaney, as well as our very own Alumni Board Member, Dave Sherman and Jeff Klein of Conscious Capitalism.

DSC_0089The first module had a focus on the personal.  Lead by Jeff Klein, participants had the opportunity to explore at the personal level how they define sustainability. He pushed the room toDSC_0087 engage their right brain by providing us a box of basic art supplies and challenging participants to create a three dimensional depiction of sustainability.  From the personal, the Workshop moved into how to integrate sustainability at the organizational level and tips for transforming complex systems.

Feedback was very positive.  Many people really liked the intimate size and great networking possibilities in the room.  Comments included:

  • “Very holistic and human-oriented, as well as full of great ideas for action.”
  •  “Witnessing people combine academic and professional thoughtfulness and accuracy.”

The day was capped off with a very success evening event which was both informative and inspiring. With over 400 people in attendance, the buzz was palpable and the engagement level high. Dean Lyons commented, “It was as remarkable an event as any I can remember at Haas.”

Evening Celebration

Kellie awardWe started the evening honoring Kellie with a “Founder & Visionary” Award.  Several CRB graduates who attended the event said McElhaney was a key influencer in their careers. That included Jo Mackness, MBA 04, CRB’s current executive director, who was among the first students to take McElhaney’s Strategic CSR & Consulting course at Haas. Mackness designed the CSR blueprint for Ernst & Young for her class project and later was hired as the company’s corporate responsibility integration leader.  “Kellie is exceptionally good at having her finger on the pulse of what’s next,” Mackness said. “She always has been and continues to be on the leading edge of topics that are important to business.”

IndiegogoWe then heard from three inspiring alumni who have started two wildly successful (by all traditional financial measures) companies—Revolution Foods and Indiegogo—and are using their businesses to transform people and society for the better. Indiegogo was awarded the Homer Redefining Business Award.

John viera and DeanJohn Viera, Global Director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford Motor Company, topped the evening off with comments about the future of mobility and new ways to integrate sustainability into business models.

We also shared our brand new video that stars many familiar faces—please do check it out.

green $Finally, and most importantly, we announced a fundraising goal of $15M for our Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund. By offering phantom shares in the Fund, we plan to reach beyond the MBA training ground for which the Fund has become well known, and begin to more deeply engage the broader investment community. Assuming a modest return, our plan for the Fund is to yield enough yearly profit to support the Center’s operating budget and become a living example of a self- sustaining business model.

Here are just a few of the comments about our 10 year celebration that we received via email:

  • “It was as remarkable an event as any I can remember at Haas.”
  • “The event last night was amazing…the presentations were nothing short of inspiring. I was so excited about everything I heard and thrilled to see how much the students (and the world) benefitted from their Haas experience and the CRB’s programs and mentorship. You and Kellie and everyone involved should be very proud of what you have accomplished.”
  • “I wanted to congratulate you for all of the things that you have accomplished – from forming leaders, to your own thought leadership in corporate responsibility. Last night was very moving and inspiring. The fruit of your good work really showed. You should feel very proud and satisfied that you are doing a great service to our society.”
  • “You all put on an absolutely incredible event. I had multiple classmates tell me it was the best Haas event of this nature (alium/networking/program) they’ve been to. Delicious food was really appreciated and many people who I would never associate initially with the CRB turned out. And the speaker line up… so many people said how inspired they were…”
  • “Congrats! What a great evening. I hope you are pleased and proud in equal measure. You are building a wonderful, inspiring legacy! Imagine what you can accomplish in the next 10 years?!”
Previous CRB: 10 Years of Impact Video Next Guest Blog Post by Jesse Nishinaga, Haas MBA ’10: Three Ways to Improve Corporate Diversity Through Reporting