Business and the Natural Environment
This course explores dramatic changes taking place at the interface of business, society, and the natural environment. Previously, business and environmental interests were believed to be adversarial. Now, some contemporary thinkers are suggesting that environmental capabilities can be a source of competitive advantage for corporations. A recent Harvard Business Review article refers to the sum of these changes as "The Next Industrial Revolution." In this course we will study examples on the cutting edge of these developments. We will look at corporations that are creating a "double bottom line" by strategizing about the ecological impact of their decisions, as well as the economic impact. We will learn about industrial designers who are rethinking everything from tennis shoes to corporate headquarters' buildings with the environment in mind. We will consider new alliances among business, environmental activists and government regulators--all stakeholders in a sustainable society.