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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

An end of the string
June 17, 2011 - 1:16pm

Ever have one of those days where you wake up smarter than you went to sleep?

Well, maybe not smarter in an abstract sense, but knowing more?

That sometimes happens to me when I've been wrestling with an issue for a while. Usually when wrestling is required, it's because I haven't yet had that "aha" moment that says I understand the problem. (Correctly or incorrectly.) Once some level of understanding is achieved, the wrestling can stop. That's what happened to me yesterday as I finally got a partial grip on the problem of how Greenback can both teach sustainability and continue to accept (and, indeed, obtain) corporate funding.

I had initially grasped the lower level of entrepreneurship which has characterized American business over the past generation as a major aggravating factor, and that may still be true. But what occurred to me this morning (around 5:00 a.m., if it matters) is that decreased entrepreneurship also points the way to a solution. Because low levels of entrepreneurship aren't typical, they're an exception. The need for more entrepreneurs in the future gives me an end of the tangled string that I can pull on. Entrepreneurship is as American as Kentucky Fried Chicken. (Trivia question: what did Harlan Sanders have in his pocket when he went on the old game show "I've Got a Secret"? Answer: a check for a million dollars. And that was back when a million dollars was a million dollars.)

So I'm thinking that an opportunity exists to work with the folks in Greenback's business school who teach entrepreneurship. And supply chain management. And marketing. Each of these, taught with a regional focus (perhaps through case study selection) and incorporating the concept that the future business environment will increasingly be characterized by constraints (resources, waste disposal requirements, transportation costs, etc.) can help students -- and the university, itself -- take a big step towards contributing to the sustainability of North American societies and economies.

Oh, and also the environment.

 

 

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