Tweet-a-thon answers #CornellSGE Questions!

by Monica Touesnard, Associate Director (4/15/14)

Monica Touesnard, Associate Director

SGE alumni and students answer all things sustainability in the Center's first tweet-a-thon - a 24 hour period of lively conversation about Johnson's Sustainable Global Enterprise program.

The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise hosted its first tweet-a-thon on February 12, 2014 with 28 students and alumni joining us from China, England, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and the USA. This was an opportunity for prospective students to ask questions and for alumni and current students to respond based on their experience. Here are some of the highlights from the Q&A session. You can follow the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise on Twitter @CornellSGE. Like us on Facebook and join the Sustainable Global Enterprise Facebook group.

 

Alumni and students that joined us throughout the conversation included:

 

Arnab Mukherjee MBA ’15 @CornellMBA_AM | @arnabito | MBA Student @Cornell_MBA | Ithaca, NY

Brian Alward MBA ’11 @brianalward | Account Manager @EnerNOC | San Francisco, CA

Burgen Belltawn MPS ’09 @burgencb | Monitoring and Evaluation Manager @theIRC | Lebanon

Hayley Farr MBA ’12 @hayleyjeanfarr | Sr. Manager of Special Projects and Chief of Staff @athenahealth | Boston, MA

Jessica Rosman MBA ’08 @jessred | Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability @CaesarsPalace | Las Vegas, NV

John Renehan MBA ’07 @jprenehan | Power and Water Strategic Initiatives Manager @generalelectric | Albany, NY

John Tauzel MBA ’12 @JohnTauzel | CEO, Oratel Diagnostics | Ithaca, NY

Justin DeKoszmovszky MBA ’06 @jdekoz | Sustainability Strategy @PUMA | United Kingdom

Kelly Dwyer MBA ’12 @douyoga | International Project Manager @RallySoftware | Denver, CO

Keyzom Ngodup MPA ’06 @KeyzomN | Country Technical Advisor of Financial Inclusion @UNCDF | Papua New Guinea

Kristin O’Planick MBA ’10 @koplanick |Enterprise Development Specialist @USAID | Washington, DC

Lakshmi Raj MBA ’13 @lakshmi_raj | Senior Consultant @EYnews | New York, NY

Laura Schaffer MBA ’11 @bikeWrite |Brand Manager @hardwear | San Francisco, CA

Linley Kirkwood MBA ’15, MPA ’15 @LinleyKirkwood | MBA Student @Cornell_MBA | Ithaca, NY

Lori McMahon MBA ‘10 @lmcmahon10 | Marketing Manager, Corporate Initiatives @Intel | San Francisco, CA

Mike Pezone MBA ’09 @MikePezone | International Business Development, Independent Consultant| San Francisco, CA

Natalie Grillon MBA ’12 @nataliegrillon | Co-founder,  JUST | Pakistan

Natalie Wossene MBA ’14 @CornellMBA_NW | MBA Student @Cornell_MBA | Ithaca, NY

Pratima Arapakota MBA ’13 @pratimaaa | Business Analyst @CymerInc | San Diego, CA

Raghuram Dharmaraju MBA '07 @Raghu__ |VP Marketing & Business Development @EmbraceInnov | India

Selina Ang MBA ’12 @SelinaAng | Senior Consultant @DeloitteUS | New York, NY

Taryn Goodman BS ’00, MBA ’09 @taryngoodman | Director, Impact Investing, @RSFSocFinance |San Francisco, CA

Tom Long MBA ‘12 @tomleelong |Business Development @BertramCapital Chevron | San Francisco, CA

Uday Tumuluri MBA ’13 @moi_uday| Senior Consultant @DeloitteUS | Boston, MA

Veronica Lescay-Megret MBA ’13 @VLMBA2013 |Livelihoods Technical Specialist @save_children | Iraq

Will Martin MBA ’12 @peakoilproof | Downstream Graduate Development Program @Chevron | San Francisco, CA

Yasuhiro Karakawa MBA ’12 @yskarakawa |Senior Manager of Market Creation Strategies @CornellSGE | San Fransico, CA

Yin Song MPA ’12 @songyin1008 | Health Economics Strategy Project Manager @Medtronic | China

 

QUESTIONS

 

Q1       How did you get involved in #CornellSGE while @Cornell_MBA?

KOPLANICK: I chose @Cornell_MBA b/c of #CornellSGE program. Did immersion, clubs, TA'ed, social connex. Loved every minute.

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Q2       What was your #CornellSGE immersion project @Cornell_MBA?

MOI_UDAY: Worked on organizational transformation and branding for a tough hydro power client in Philly. Immense learning experience // Client actually implemented our solutions and e-mailed us a year later showcasing the same. Real Impact

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Q3       What attracted you to #CornellSGE? #CornellMBA?

RAGHU__: @CornellSGE sought to create a new mental model for how business strategists thought. So the 'Enterprise' in SGE really attracted me.

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Q4       How did the #CornellSGE immersion prepare you for your job?

JDEKOZ: I was able to build vocab, tools, examples, cases, network, experience & confidence to combine my passion and profession

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Q5       What current #sustainability trend are you following?

TARYNGOODMAN: Using integrated capital and alternative #impinv financial vehicles to support #socent @RSFSocFinance

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Q6       What skills did you gain from #CornellSGE immersion?

KOPLANICK: Learned systems thinking, scenario planning. Comfort with lack of data or precedent. Getting to heart of problem

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Q7       How can business and #sustainability be mutually beneficial?

CORNELLMBA_AM: in a world with increasingly scarce resources, #sustainability will be a driver of costs and revenues

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Q8       What was the hardest part of your #CornellSGE project?

NATALIEGRILLON: handling ambiguity and conflicting interests around company priorities, trends and on the ground facts

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Q9       What was your most memorable #CornellSGE experience?

JPRENEHAN: Kicking off the Net Impact club at Cornell & convincing fellow classmates/administration that we'd actually land jobs!

 

MIKEPEZONE: Most memorable #CornellSGE - WB Philippines Waste Scavenger project in Manila - earthquake on 23rd floor & proposed to @annempark

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Q10     Did your #CornellSGE experience re-define your POV re: # sustainability as a strategic biz practice?

LMCMAHON10: Yes, my #CornellSGE exp. changed my POV on #sustainability. Realized its a mindset & approach to every problem/project, not 1 corp role.

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Q11     What advice would you share w/ #MBAs preparing to focus on #sustainability?

SELINAANG: #sustainability is relevant to nearly every industry and organization. It can often bring out the most creative solutions.

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Q12     How has your #CornellSGE experience brought real value to your career?

HAYLEYJEANFARR: Continue to be praised for frameworks, storytelling, teamwork, thoughtful communication, problem solving, thx #CornellSGE

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Click here for additional questions and responses.

Questions & Answers

For ease of reading, some hashtags and handles have been deleted if they were used simply to connect to the conversation.

 

Q1       How did you get involved in #CornellSGE while @Cornell_MBA?

KOPLANICK: I chose @Cornell_MBA b/c of #CornellSGE program. Did immersion, clubs, TA'ed, social connex. Loved every minute.

 

JOHNTAUZEL: The #CornellSGE Ag & Food Affinity Group held conversations with leaders @MonsantoCo and @haincelestial (USA)

 

BURGENCB: I wanted to apply my data skills to a business context through the lens of sustainability

 

HAYLEYJEANFARR: Led SGE consulting affinity group, TA for SGE immersion in '12, and completed a 2nd immersion project in 2nd year

 

DOUYOGA: During my first pre-app visit I made it a point to meet with Mark Milstein and one of the current SGE immersion students

 

SELINAANG: I was in the #CornellSGE immersion, a primary reason why I chose to attend #CornellMBA. Was also a member of the SGE Club!

 

NATALIEGRILLON: I did sge immersion and sgeclub while at @Cornell_MBA major reason I chose Cornell

 

MIKEPEZONE: Came to @Cornell_MBA specifically for #CornellSGE.  Took immersion, developed BRM & upon graduating CSGE helped me work with BoP company

 

LAKSHMI_RAJ: I did the SGE immersion in 2012. It was a great learning experience!

 

LINLEYKIRKWOOD: #CornellSGE is a perfect fit for my dual #cornellmba / @CornellCIPA degree ('14). Got involved with the club, and am now in the immersion!

 

JPRENEHAN: In '06, we got to launch the immersion. It was fun to learn with a group of rockstars that was genuine about changing the world.

 

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Q2       What was your #CornellSGE immersion project @Cornell_MBA?

MOI_UDAY: Worked on organizational transformation and branding for a tough hydro power client in Philly. Immense learning experience // Client actually implemented our solutions and e-mailed us a year later showcasing the same. Real Impact

 

KEYZOMN: working through #CornellSGE with #Nike to research the Muslim women sporting gear market opportunity

 

JDEKOZ: Pre-immersion projects but I did a project for SCJ that then became a BoP-focused job for 5 yrs. Best job I've ever had!

 

BURGENCB: Create path for improved environmentally sustainable practices for NYC transit

 

VLMBA2013: My #CornellSGE project @Cornell_MBA, consulting w the World Bank (WB), led to my current job managing a WB-funded program!

 

JOHNTAUZEL: My #CornellSGE project with @hayleyjeanfarr and @herb_blackman analyzed farmer needs in India for @JohnDeere

 

RAGHU__: Immersion project: if/how a plastics co with an int'l NGO could scale biosand water filters in Haiti & Honduras

 

KOPLANICK: My #CornellSGE immersion project @Cornell_MBA proposed social impact assessment methods for SCJ BOP biz in Kenya. Worked with @jdekoz!

 

NATALIEGRILLON: worked on strategy for Africa entry for BASF for my #CornellSGE project. Excellent experience working with BASF team particularly sponsor

 

YSKARAKAWA: It was to develop marketing strategy in order to launch a new cook energy for low-income households in Mozambique

 

LAKSHMI_RAJ: Worked on a product commercialization strategy for a local tech start up that manufactured betavoltaic batteries

 

PEAKOILPROOF: Worked with @tomleelong & Bart Bromberger on #CornellSGE project with @A123Systems to forecast Li-Ion battery market for electric cars

 

JPRENEHAN: We had amazing "real-world" projects: I got to work with Nike, GE, SC Johnson and innovative entrepreneurs from around the world

 

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Q3       What attracted you to #CornellSGE? #CornellMBA?

RAGHU__: @CornellSGE sought to create a new mental model for how business strategists thought. So the 'Enterprise' in SGE really attracted me.

 

KOPLANICK: Did #CornellSGE for the real world project, the unbeatable cohort & faculty, the flexibility of #CornellMBA to meet MY needs

 

CORNELLMBA_AM: I came to #CornellMBA interested in sustainability & development careers, so #CornellSGE was perfect!

 

JDEKOZ: Without CSGE I wouldn't have considered @Cornell_MBA but, even early on, it was a leadership and differentiating center

 

BURGENCB: Exposure to @cornell_MBA program and bridge the gap between applied economics and business 

 

CORNELLMBA_AM: A3 I really wanted to work on a #sustainability project though the #CornellSGE immersion practicum. So far it has been awesome!

 

MOI_UDAY: The professors and the department, flexibility of program, challenge of a real world project, ability to create impact.

 

JESSRED: @stuartLhart I applied to @Cornell_MBA right after reading Capitalism at its Crossroads #CornellSGE TY! Life=Changed

 

VLMBA2013: As a career changer going into international development, I needed an MBA program with a strong global sustainability focus

 

NATALIEGRILLON: #CornellSGE immersion project was a big draw plus park leadership program, small classes and close relationships with professors, students

 

LAKSHMI_RAJ: SGE immersion, faculty, hands on learning and the flexible curriculum along with the always amazing Johnson community!

 

JOHNTAUZEL: Why #CornellSGE? Getting real world sustainability experience and the chance to make an impact. Why @Cornell_MBA? The Johnson Community

 

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Q4       How did the #CornellSGE immersion prepare you for your job?

JDEKOZ: I was able to build vocab, tools, examples, cases, network, experience & confidence to combine my passion and profession

 

TOMLEELONG: Now in private equity @BertramCapital. SGE is a solid even if you end up in other fields

 

RAGHU__: We dealt with complex real challenges that companies needed help with in @CornellSGE immersion. End result: Learning + Differentiation

 

HAYLEYJEANFARR: I use skills from immersion every day @athenahealth thinking in frameworks, storytelling, influencing

 

NATALIEGRILLON: @CornellSGE immersion is also great opportunity to connect with #sustainability professionals in variety of fields

 

SELINAANG: #CornellSGE allowed me to broaden my exposure to very real business issues with a sustainability angle, critical to business execs today // I now help organizations with change management and employee engagement - links to sustainability & strategy

 

KOPLANICK: Analyze tons of info, handle data gaps & uncertainty, focus scope, get out from under analysis to see beyond to new insights

 

NATALIEGRILLON: #CornellSGE prepared me on approach for complex problems

 

PRATIMAAA: #CornellSGE my SGE project was challenging but changed the way I think + learn. It also helped me get my summer internship in sust mrkting!

 

LMCMAHON10: #CornellSGE prepped me for my job by teaching me about the triple bottom line:economic social & environmental #sustainability

 

LAKSHMI_RAJ: immersion project & various classes trained me to work with clients and learn necessary consulting skills for my internship

 

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Q5       What current #sustainability trend are you following?

TARYNGOODMAN: Using integrated capital and alternative #impinv financial vehicles to support #socent @RSFSocFinance

 

CORNELLMBA_AM: Following the importance of social impact alongside environmental sustainability thanks to my #CornellSGE practicum project.

 

JOHNTAUZEL: Current #CornellSGE focus is better livestock health to help feed a hungry world. Dynamic space #kcanimalhealth @Zoetis @CevaSanteAnimal

 

KOPLANICK: A5 Hot topic @USAID is scaling #sustainability solutions. @Microlinks http://t.co/QgXs6rwLxR // To keep up with new ideas within @USAIDEconomic, join our seminar series @Microlinks http://t.co/lYkV2eOSkB #CornellSGE @CornellSGE

 

NATALIEGRILLON: I'm following trends in #ethicalfashion #socent #impactinvesting #agriculture

 

JDEKOZ: Critical trend/theme: circular economy as a driver for innovation, biz model change and step-change toward #sustainability // SustainAbility report on biz model just came out and worth the time to read: http://t.co/doEGBLPYzh via @SustAbility

 

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Q6       What skills did you gain from #CornellSGE immersion?

KOPLANICK: Learned systems thinking, scenario planning. Comfort with lack of data or precedent. Getting to heart of problem

 

DOUYOGA: I developed my skills as a consultant and strategist

 

RAGHU__: @CornellSGE challenged conventional thinking, saying, social/environmental sustainability can actually boost long term financial returns ... // @CornellSGE made me see ecosystem as stakeholders (not externalities) & customers as co-creators (not consumers) of differentiated solutions

 

CORNELLMBA_AM: #systemsthinking and #sustainability in terms of social, environmental and economic impact.

 

YSKARAKAWA: Ability and attitude to see things in a new way, develop systematic solutions, take actions and learn from failures

 

SONGYIN1008: SGE is a great experience which is more than a consulting project. In this process, you learn how to think "Outside the Box"

 

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Q7       How can business and #sustainability be mutually beneficial?

CORNELLMBA_AM: in a world with increasingly scarce resources, #sustainability will be a driver of costs and revenues

 

DOUYOGA: Solves big problems, attracts quality talent & investors. Customers DO care! http://t.co/CXpZeslo9O

 

JDEKOZ: eg: 80% of Chinese Millenials think it is their gen's responsibility to fix environmental damage we are causing now // From supply and rep risk red to employee retention to innovation and topline opportunities--each org/co has own answer

 

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Q8       What was the hardest part of your #CornellSGE project?

NATALIEGRILLON: handling ambiguity and conflicting interests around company priorities, trends and on the ground facts

 

CORNELLMBA_NW: our project, like many of the, is VERY ambiguous, so narrowing the scope and gathering data is a huge challenge!

 

LAKSHMI_RAJ: Understanding client expectations, learning a new emerging technology and identifying its potential in various markets

 

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Q9       What was your most memorable #CornellSGE experience?

JPRENEHAN: Kicking off the Net Impact club at Cornell & convincing fellow classmates/administration that we'd actually land jobs!

 

MIKEPEZONE: Most memorable #CornellSGE - WB Philippines Waste Scavenger project in Manila - earthquake on 23rd floor & proposed to @annempark

 

LMCMAHON10: Getting our client bought into our recommendation which was 180 degrees from how they were thinking about it before.

 

KOPLANICK: Still making memories yrs after with lifelong friends - weddings, babies, NYC excursions. Even meeting up for dinner in Peru!

 

DOUYOGA: a memorable #CornellSGE experience: awesome company tour @ford @ClevelandClinic +more on way to @netimpact conference  #CornellMBA

 

HAYLEYJEANFARR: @douyoga So memorable! #ClevelandClinic introduced me to the intersection of sustainablity & healthcare! Now at #athenahealth

 

MOI_UDAY: NYC trek. Shout out to class of '13 #CornellSGE

 

YSKARAKAWA: Immersed myself in Maputo, Mozambique for two weeks and conducted field research which changed the quality of the project

 

KOPLANICK: too many good memories to choose!! How about the NYC trek in a snow storm?

 

PRATIMAAA: Travelled to China to do market research for my SGE project and collaborated with students at Tsinghua university.  // Also developed great relationships with my SGE cohort who are wonderful!

 

LAKSHMI_RAJ: most definitely the treks to NYC and DC!

 

RETURN to list of questions

 

Q10     Did your #CornellSGE experience re-define your POV re: # sustainability as a strategic biz practice?

LMCMAHON10: Yes, my #CornellSGE exp. changed my POV on #sustainability. Realized its a mindset & approach to every problem/project, not 1 corp role.

 

KOPLANICK: Totally shifted. Seeing #sustainability as a strategic approach, fully integrated, and not just add-on or consumer gimmick

 

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Q11     What advice would you share w/ #MBAs preparing to focus on #sustainability?

SELINAANG: #sustainability is relevant to nearly every industry and organization. It can often bring out the most creative solutions.

 

KOPLANICK: #economic #development loves MBAs! W/out econ growth from vibrant private sector, no hope to reduce #poverty.

 

RAGHU__: @CornellSGE career advice: pick functional (e.g. mktg) & industry (e.g. hightech materials) focus. Then lineup relevant projects via courses

 

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Q12     How has your #CornellSGE experience brought real value to your career?

HAYLEYJEANFARR: Continue to be praised for frameworks, storytelling, teamwork, thoughtful communication, problem solving, thx #CornellSGE

 

LMCMAHON10: My @CornellSGE exp. has helped me bridge the gap b/w business & sustainability so I don't have to accept as a tradeoff

 

KOPLANICK: Skills used daily. Alum connex. Broad learning about the space - like energy & finance - not my focus, but helps my efforts // Still bringing value. Got me on Twitter after my office failed for more than a year :) Anything for #CornellSGE

 

SELINAANG: #cornellSGE immersion and club experience allowed me to examine biz issues with a unique angle, a critical part of mgmt consulting!

 

JESSRED: I dreamt of #greening #supplierchains & #SMEs- Now I mentor #SBE & make @caesarsent #green @CETCodeGreen -TY

 

RAGHU__: What I learned there helped me launch unique products addressing #BOP needs thru #solar and #medtech #socent s

 

MOI_UDAY: Teaches processes, tools and rigor to make implementable solutions. Good fit for consulting as i realize it more.

 

JOHNTAUZEL: My #CornellSGE summer internship at a cleantech start-up provided incredible experience for my current role at an animal health start-up

 

MOI_UDAY: got me think about processes and frameworks and be impact oriented which is now everyday at work // Relentless focus on defining the problem and telling a story which being a razor focus in strategy consulting cases

 

RAGHU__: #CornellSGE buddies connected me to #solar internship, then to leadership role at #solar #socent that led to @EmbraceInnov

 

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ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS
NICHOLEGROSSMAN: from new student:  Do companies really think there is a sustainable way to solve extensive social problems?

JOHNTAUZEL: Just a few examples of companies focused on social issues are B-Corps http://t.co/WDLKfEI68H @cabotcheese

 

RAGHU__: Absolutely! @Cornell_MBA alums are doing exactly that in energy, healthcare, finance, etc. around the world

 

KOPLANICK: Yes!! @USAID many companies looking to partner on social solutions in mainline biz, not CSR. End #poverty

 

HAYLEYJEANFARR: #athenahealth is using disruptive thinking, technology & service to address #healthcareproblems

 

ANAVK05: Are there any #CornellSGE real estate projects @Cornell_MBA?

CORNELLSGE: @AnaVK05 Thx 4 your ?!  We have had Real Estate projects!  Learn more on all our projects here: http://t.co/XMhZbYTdTw

 

CORNELLMBA_AM: YES! My current #CornellSGE project is related to real estate in Africa. // There are also many #RealEstate resources @TheHotelSchool through the Baker Program http://t.co/Hoe9cZUBzJ // I am working with a financial institution on entering the affordable housing market in Africa.

 

BIKEWRITE: I took good real estate classes @TheHotelSchool and met sust real estate people there. EESD intern @MGMResortsIntl. #CornellSGE '11

 

DEBRAYOO: @CornellSGE Are there any #CornellSGE grads who went on to work in sustainability in agriculture/food industry?

CORNELLSGE: Yes several! Some are @KingArthurFlour @WhiteWaveFoods @LandOLakesKtchn @Starbucks.  For more info email Monica @mat59@cornell.edu

 

NATALIEGRILLON: @acumen I worked for #organic AG comp in northern #uganda #cotton #sesame bought from smallholder #farmers export EU

 

JSATURLEY: I work in New Business Development at King Arthur Flour-- a B corp and a 100% employee owned company. I love it.

 

CORNELLSGE: Also alumni @RootCapital @LandOLakesKtchn & entrepreneurs like @JohnTauzel #CornellSGE

 

KOPLANICK: I do work in #ag and #foodsecurity @USAID. Trying to improve market systems esp in Africa.

 

JDEKOZ: At SCJ (FMCG industry) I lead a sustainable supply chain PPP with USAid improving Rwandan family farmer livelihoods

 

BRIANALWARD: You bet. Here at @EnerNOC we bring energy intelligence tools to farmers. Some recent work: http://t.co/Rve7mavWFO

 

LETAYUA: @CornellSGE Just wondering how applicable was the project experience to future professional experience?

HAYLEYJEANFARR: 200% applicable! Simply put: learned to define a problem, collect & interpret data, & articulate an elegant solution.

 

JEREMYKUHRE: How is your organization incorporating sustainability initiatives into employee performance and compensation?

PRATIMAAA: I see that even in my company which is strictly b2b. Learning from SGE!

 

HAYLEYJEANFARR: Not sold on comp & performance as the right driver. Needs to be embedded in the DNA/culture

 

JEREMYKUHRE: Is the future of corp. sustainability led by a distinct office or by distributed leadership in each bus. function? #CornellSGE @CornellSGE

PRATIMAAA: Frame sustainability as a platform to meet the needs and values of consumers and you can approach from any fxn.

 

SELINAANG: Corporate #sustainability should be woven into the entire business strategy of an organization 

 

JEREMYKUHRE: Can CSR ever be more than a marketing initiative within orgs. whose bus. model is to mine fossil fuels for profit? #CornellSGE @CornellSGE

SELINAANG: Interesting point on CSR/marketing for energy industry - it may even provide innovation opportunities

 

RAGHU__: Wonderful reconnecting with global network of friends/professionals with common values and interests @CornellSGE

 

CornellSGE: A big shout out to alumni and students for taking the time to participate in this conversation! Thanks!

 

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