By Tyler Bench (BSBA ’13), Undergraduate Net Impact co-President and CSE Leadership Fellow
People who create positive change have one thing in common: the ability to recognize flaws in a system without dismissing its value. The students, academics, and professionals I met at William and Mary’s 2012 Corporate Collaborative for Sustainability recognize the limitations of business, but also understand its power to create value in society. They are capable of conceptualizing a sustainable balance between societal progress and the conservation of natural resources that make civilization possible. They believe that a market system, driven by competition, can still respect the rights of all earth’s people.
This year’s 3CS conference featured design thinking as a means of innovation in sustainability. Some highlights include Dr. Bidhan Parmar’s presentation on the importance of having a tolerance for ambiguity and learning orientation when approaching tough business problems. Apollo Gonzales of EchoDitto also gave insight into the role of disruptive technology in sustainability and social innovation. Probably my favorite part of the conference was Sam Miller of Notre Dame’s session on using sustainability challenges as a lens for forecasting and long-term business planning.
My classmates and I spent a weekend at William and Mary’s 3CS Conference learning alongside people who are truly changing the world for the better. I would like to sincerely thank Kenan-Flagler’s Undergraduate Business Program and Center for Sustainable Enterprise for giving UNC students the opportunity to attend.