By Kate Alper, CRB Program Manager Untitled

The CRB is excited to announce the fall lineup for our flagship Peterson Series. The series brings together Berkeley-Haas MBA students, forward-thinking academics, and business leaders to discuss emerging topics related to sustainable business. Join us this semester as we explore the role of environmental and social metrics in the technology sector.

Facebook’s Data Use Policy stirred up global controversy this summer when the company reported that they had allowed academic researchers to manipulate the accounts of almost 700,000 users. According to Ceres – a non-profit that ranks companies and industries based on their ability to meet key expectations required of 21st century sustainable management practices – software companies demonstrate weak levels of transparency, and must confront a complex and growing set of human rights and environmental implications.

How much should consumers question the hardware and software that they rely on everyday?  What is the technology industry doing to ensure transparency for consumers, from the sourcing of materials through the collection of data on their devices?

This semester, the Peterson Series focuses on the strategies and tactics that company leaders take as they navigate the critical issues concerning technology and society. This series will feature directors from top technology companies such as HP and Intel and thought leaders from BSR and Responsible Sourcing Network. In the face of rapid growth, these leaders see the potential for responsible management to mitigate environmental risks, deliver social benefits, and generate sustainable value. Our speakers will address social and environmental performance in relation to the topics of privacy, supply chains, and the creation of new markets through disruptive innovation.

Check our upcoming events page in the days and weeks ahead for more information and sign-ups for the following events:

Tuesday, 9/30 (12:30-1:30pm): “The Role of Social Responsibility in Disruptive Innovation”
Speakers: Brian Farhi, Business Development at Nest; Raj Vaswani, CTO at Silver Spring Networks
Moderator: Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR

This session will feature senior-level representatives of companies that are leading a disruptive innovation with the potential to create entire ecosystems of innovation for business and society. A “disruptive innovation” is one that helps to create a new market and value network, to eventually displace existing markets and value networks. Thus, by definition, disruptive technologies have ripple effects – on partners, competitors and other sectors of society.

Thursday, 10/9 (12:30-1:30pm): “Responsible Supply Chains: Conflict Minerals in Electronics”
Speakers: Patricia Jurewicz, Director at Responsible Sourcing Network; Zoe McMahon, Director of Global Social & Environmental Responsibility at HP; and Michael Jacobson, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Intel
Moderator: Rebecca Busse, Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Future 500

New technologies are being launched every day, opening up new ways of communicating and accessing information.  Consumers want to purchase electronic products without having to question whether or not their raw materials were responsibly sourced.  Coffee beans are “fair trade” and diamonds are “conflict-free,” but what is inside our technology?

Monday, 11/17 (12:30-1:30pm): “Human Rights in Tech:  Diversity, Data Privacy, and Freedom of Speech”
Moderator: Faris Natour, Director of Human Rights at BSR

The rapid evolution of technology has helped advance human rights by increasing access to information, communications, and essential services for more people around the world. Yet, as evidenced by recent revelations of mass surveillance of Internet and telecommunications users, technology companies also face human rights risks. In this session, we will explore how the world’s leading technology companies are addressing human rights issues, such as gender diversity, user privacy and freedom of expression and how they can minimize risks and maximize opportunities for positive impact.

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