Engage with distinguished business leaders, future business innovators, and forward-thinking academics through the Peterson Speaker Series. This flagship program explores emerging areas of sustainability that require the vision and leadership that our partners, Berkeley-Haas MBA students, and faculty members are uniquely positioned to provide.
Since 1997, Peterson Speakers have challenged the status quo on topics from sustainable consumption to transparency in the tech industry. Speakers have included Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, David Pottruck, former CEO, Charles Schwab, and Lisa Jackson, vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, at Apple.
The Peterson Series embodies the man who endowed it in 1997, Rudolph Peterson ’25: bold, far-sighted, and resolutely convinced that businesses can and should be productive, ethical contributors to society. Throughout his career, from leading Bank of America onto the global stage in the 1960s to heading the United Nations Development Programme in the 1970s, Peterson brought integrity and dedication to serving the less fortunate.
Upcoming Peterson Speaker Series
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Past Peterson Speaker Series
Dean’s Speaker Series / Peterson Speaker Series | Manish Chandra, CEO, Poshmark | April 9
Manish Chandra, a graduate of our EWMBA program, has Questioned the Status Quo throughout his career and has been a driver of innovation in social shopping platforms — starting with the creation of Kaboodle in 2005 to the founding of Poshmark in 2011. Extending the life cycle of clothing is at the core of Poshmark’s mission, and Manish is committed to building a community that creates a more sustainable future. In conversation with students of the Center for Responsible Business, we will hear about his journey as a leader; how he has embedded sustainability into the core of his business; his vision for the future of capitalism; and the influence of his Berkeley MBA on his career.
Speaker: Manish Chandra, CEO & Founder of Poshmark
Dean’s Speaker Series/Peterson Speaker Series – Chip Bergh, President & CEO, Levi Strauss & Co. | December 1
At this critical moment in our society, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from Chip Bergh: a leader who believes companies must approach the pressing and difficult issues that exist in our world today. An exemplar of Beyond Yourself and Question the Status Quo, he has proven his commitment to taking on the issues of gun violence, voting rights, social injustice and the environment.
When Chip took the helm at Levi’s in 2011, he pledged to refocus the brand to be more socially aware. We will have the opportunity to hear more about several of the sustainability initiatives implemented under his leadership — WellThread, WaterLess, and Levi’s SecondHand. Additionally, Chip is a firm believer in the opportunity for business to build back stronger, and we will discuss his vision for Levi’s in a post pandemic world.
Speaker: Chip Bergh, President & CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
Edible Education 101 / Peterson Speaker Series: Feeding the World in Need with José Andres | April 20
José Andres is a change maker in the Global Food System. In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that provides smart solutions to end hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. In this very special edition of Edible Education 101, José Andreas describes how he blended a bold vision with intentional execution to catalyze change. José Andrés is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. This special event will focus on Andrés’ humanitarian efforts with the not-for-profit organization World Central Kitchen.
Speaker: José Andres
Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018, and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. As a naturalized citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform. Notably, his team served over 3.6 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Andrés’ work has earned awards and distinctions including the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of twelve distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Andrés was also named EY Master Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Washington for his leadership and impact on the global business community and was awarded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Chair’s Medallion Award.
Peterson / Dean’s Speaker Series: “Leading in Times of Crisis” | April 28
In this Dean’s Speaker Series, co-sponsored by the Peterson Speaker Series, Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, and Alexa Koenig, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center discuss “Leading in Times of Crisis.”
Speaker: Brad Smith
As the longest serving executive at Microsoft, Brad Smith has led the company through challenges ranging from the 2008 financial crisis to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Smith is also a global advocate for responsible tech and the role it can play in pioneering cybersecurity and trust in the digital age. This intimate conversation will covers the role and responsibility of tech companies in responding to crises and the importance of integrity and historical context in responding to such events.
Peterson / Dean’s Speaker Series: Does Enlightened Capitalism Have a Future? | November 20
In this very special Dean’s Speaker Series / Peterson Speaker Series, Professor James O’Toole, Professor Emeritus at USC’s Marshall School of Business and author of The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good, will discuss the future of enlightened capitalism with Professor David Vogel, Solomon Lee Emeritus Professor of Business Ethics at the Haas School of Business and author of The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Speakers: James O’Toole, Professor Emeritus at USC’s Marshall School of Business and author of The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good; Professor David Vogel, Solomon Lee Emeritus Professor of Business Ethics at the Haas School of Business and author of The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility
Peterson Speaker Series: Sustainable Innovation | September 18
How are companies utilizing sustainability as a driver for innovation, instead of a constraint on their operations? The Fall semester kickoff Peterson Speaker Series was with key industry players who are using innovation to address some of businesses’ trickiest sustainability challenges.
Speakers: Laura Franceschini, Sustainable Strategy & Operations at Google; Michael Kobori, Vice President, Sustainability, Levi Strauss & Co; Rhys Thom, Director of Circular Economy and Sustainability at IDEO
Moderator: Sara Beckman, Earl F. Cheit Faculty Fellow and Faculty Director, Product Management Programs, Haas School of Business
Leading the Pack: Collaborating to Tackle Plastic Packaging Waste | April 18
The issue of plastic packaging waste is a complex, universal issue. Our culture of “throwaway disposables” has led to an increasingly alarming rate of environmental consequences. On Thurs, April 18, 2019 key industry leaders from Patagonia Provisions, Safer Made, UC Berkeley, Avery Dennison, and the City of Berkeley shared how they’re collaborating to overcome our reliance on plastic packaging and the resulting waste. This kicked off the 2019 Patagonia Case Competition, which revolved reducing packaging waste.
Speakers: James Farag, Senior Manager of Product, Patagonia Provisions; Sophie Hawn, Berkeley City Council Member, 5th District; Marty Mulvihill, Co-founder and managing partner of Safer Made; Debbie Shakespeare, Senior Director of Compliance and Sustainability, Avery Dennison; Jessica Heiges, Master of Development Practice Candidate, Class of 2019
Redefining Responsible Business: Past, Present, and Future of the CRB | November 27
A special celebratory Peterson Speaker Series in honor of the CRB’s 15th Anniversary! To mark this momentous occasion, the CRB released the 15 Stories of Impact, a story sharing campaign that encapsulates the many individuals, programs, and partners that have led the charge in redefining business for a responsible future.
Speakers: Lynelle Preston Cameron, VP of Sustainability and CEO of Autodesk Foundation; introduced by Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Interim Dean and Faculty Director of Institute for Business & Social Impact; Kyle Rudzinski, Director of Strategy for Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co.; introduced by Jo Mackness, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at U.C. Berkeley; Nikita T. Mitchell, Senior Manager of Strategy & Planning at Above the Bottom Line; introduced by Kellie McElhaney, Founding Director of Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership; Kai Hinson, Product and Sourcing Manager at Patagonia Provisions; introduced by Robert Strand, Executive Director of Center for Responsible Business
Inspiring Tomorrow’s Business Leaders: Clif Bar Co-owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford | September 13
Gary and Kit convene for a fireside chat with Haas Social Impact Fellow and food innovator, Will Rosenzweig, as they dive deeper into the company story and reflect on what it means to run a company that doesn’t just focus on profits, but also strives to create a healthier, more sustainable world. Gary and Kit also share details of Clif’s new program, the Business with Purpose Scholarship, designed for graduating college seniors who want to pursue a purpose-driven business career.
Speakers: Gary Erickson, Co-Owner & Co-Chief Visionary Officer of Clif Bar & Company; Kit Crawford, Co-Owner & Co-Chief Visionary Officer of Clif Bar & Company
Moderator: Will Rosenzweig, Social Impact Fellow at Haas School of Business
Carbon Neutrality: Achievability through Collaboration | April 19
In this panel, discussion focuses on how Salesforce achieved net zero carbon emissions and worked with small but mighty organizations like Cool Effect to help them reach that milestone, as well as how Patagonia is gaining inspiration from young minds at the Berkeley Haas Patagonia Case Competition to implement carbon neutrality by 2025 and inspire other business along the way.
Speakers: Marisa de Belloy, CEO of Cool Effect; Paul Hendricks, Environmental Responsibility Manager at Patagonia; Sunya Ojure, Senior Manager of Sustainability at Salesforce; Arjun Patney, Policy Director at the American Carbon Registry
Moderator: Kira Stoll, Director of Sustainability at U.C. Berkeley
Chef Dan Barber: A Case for Regenerative Cooking | February 7
Join Chef Dan Barber in conversation with Haas Social Impact Fellow, Will Rosenzweig, as they explore the possibilities for regenerative cooking. From seeds to soil health to stem-to-root eating, Barber envisions a new type of menu that sustains the land and our diets.
Speakers: Dan Barber, Chef & Co-Owner of Blue Hill, Author of The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food; Will Rosenzweig, Social Impact Fellow, Haas School of Business
Divestment vs. Engagement: Activism in Investing | November 16
Presenting vastly different theories of change for activism in investing, the three panelists will be presenting their points of view and debating the best ways to achieve social impact while still upholding their fiduciary duty.
Speakers: Anne Simpson, Investment Director, Sustainability at CalPERS; Jagdeep Singh Bachher, Chief Investment Officer and VP of Investments at the University of Calfornia Office of the President; Adam Sterling, Executive Director at the Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and the Economy
Moderator: Wendy Walker, Managing Director and Outsourced CIO at Cambridge Associates
Utilizing Technology to Protect Freedom of Expression: Microsoft & the UN Advancing Human Rights | September 28
A highly-anticipated discussion on freedom of expression, this event explores topics such as the most pressing risks to freedom of expression today, the role of business in protecting this right, and the use of technology to promote and protect freedom of expression
Speakers: Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Brad Smith, President & Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft
Moderator: Alexa Koenig, Executive Director at the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law
Corporate Climate Action: Strategies to Address Climate Change | September 12
The Center for Responsible Business (CRB) and The Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) welcome sustainability leaders from Clif Bar, PG&E and Tesla to share how their companies are mitigating carbon emissions and delivering climate leadership
Speakers: Chris Benjamin, Director of Corporate Sustainability at PG&E; Katie DeWitt, Director of Energy Digital Products at Tesla; Elysa Hammond, Director of Environmental Stewardship at Clif Bar & Company
Moderator: Mark Lee, Executive Director at SustainAbility
Innovations in Hiring Practices: Encouraging Social Inclusion & Diversity in the Workplace | April 3
A lunch panel discussing better alternatives to traditional hiring practices to create work forces that are not only productive but also socially inclusive and diverse.
Speakers: Liz Lowe , Innovation Lead for the Sustainability and Social Impact team at Adobe; Virginia Martinez-Martin , Recruiting Head for IDEO SF; Devan Vaughn, Program Manager for Microsoft’s Global Talent Acquisition
Moderator: Don Moore, Lorraine Tyson Mitchell Chair in Leadership at Haas School of Busines
Fireside Chat with Vincent Stanley of Patagonia | February 2
A fireside chat with Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy (aka Chief Storyteller) at Patagonia.
Speaker: Vincent Stanley , Director of Philosophy (aka Chief Storyteller) at Patagonia
Host: Sarah Beckman, Senior Lecturer at Haas School of Busines
Corporate Sustainability and Materiality: Strategy, Practice, and Implementation | October 27
How do companies and investment funds implement corporate sustainability in a strategic and material way? This Center for Responsible Business Peterson Speaker Series event dives into case studies and learnings from academia, a company, and an investment fund.
Speakers: Divya Mankikar, Head of ESG Integration and Investment Officer III at CalPERS; George Serafeim, Jakurski Family Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, Senior Partner at KKS Advisors, Senior Advisor at Calvert Investments; Susanne Stormer, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Novo Nordisk
Moderator: Dan Hanson, Lecturer at Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business, Partner and Head of US Equities at Jarislowsky Fraser Global Investment Management
Partnering With Cities: Inclusive Innovation in the Sharing Economy with Airbnb | April 7
This session explores how the sharing/on-demand economy is reshaping the way we live, work, travel and do business in our cities, and the policy questions that these changes raise.
Speakers: Kati Schmidt, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Global Policy and Public Affairs at Airbnb; Michael Masserman, Director of Federal and International Government Relations at Lyft; Libby Reder, Fellow at The Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative
Moderator: Greg Nelson, Fellow at The Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative
Leading Human Rights in Business | March 29
Leading companies today understand that they have a responsibility to respect human rights wherever they operate. But who are the people making sure that their companies meet this responsibility? This session explores how business leaders can embed human rights in their companies in ways that advance both business goals and human rights.
Speakers: Wilma Wallace, VP of Global Sustainability at Gap Inc.; Dan Bross, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft
Moderator: Faris Natour, Director of Human Rights and Business Initiative, Center for Responsible Business at Berkeley-Haas
Hybrid Organizations: Alternative Corporate Structures | December 3
An increasing number of business are choosing to organize in structures not traditional seen in for-profit business, which offer opportunities for them to blur the boundaries between the public, private, and non-profit sectors and achieve greater social impact. These organizations can also be defined as hybrid organizations, enterprises that design their business models based on the alleviation of a particular social or environmental issue, including many benefit corporations (B-Corps) and cooperatives. Hybrid organizations offer an innovative new approach to capitalism and an alternative structure for organizations with goals that extend beyond short-term profits. The B-Corp certification began in 2007 and now includes over 1,300 businesses from 41 countries and over 121 industries. B-Corps and many hybrid organizations pledge to meet stringent social and environmental standards, and acknowledge that long-term sustainability relies on accounting for stakeholder interests.
Speakers: Bruce Lymburn (Clif Bar), Vincent Stanley (Patagonia), and Andrew Crane
Sustainable Food Entrepreneurship | October 29
Claus Meyers, Alice Waters, and Will Rosenzweig explore how business can facilitate local movements in sustainable agriculture and food production to democratize healthy food, and how business can be a part of the solution.
Speakers: Claus Meyers, Alice Waters, Will Rosenzweig
The Sharing Economy | November 19
Hear Adam Werbach and Andy Ruben speak about their convergent paths to the sharing economy and their insights on driving fundamental change in the private sector.
Speakers: Adam Werbach, Andy Ruben
Environmentalists in the Boardroom: The Evolving Partnership of NGOs and Business | October 31
This event was co-hosted with the Dean’s Speaker Series. Mark Tercek speaks about moving from a career at Goldman Sachs to leadership of The Nature Conservancy, and how in his new role as President and CEO he lead his organization’s work in marrying the unlikely bedfellows of environmentalism and capitalism.
Specific Key points:
- The natural capitalism framework
- The evolving role of environmental NGOs
- Balancing pragmatism and idealism
Speaker: Mark Tercek, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy
William McDonough on “The Upcycle” | April 18
William McDonough speaks about his new book “The Upcycle” in this talk.
Speaker: William McDonough
The Design Thinking Workshop | February 25
The Design Thinking Workshop introduced participants to design thinking and dive deeper into the “synthesis” phase of the design thinking process. Led by sustainability expert Travis Lee from one of the world’s leading design firms, the workshop focused on a campus sustainability issue– food waste– and solutions will be considered for implementation at UC Berkeley.