News Archive

Erb Faculty Director, Joe Arvai – Better Decisions for a Better World

June 1, 2016

“For sustainable enterprise to truly drive on the promise in its name, it has to be about more than just ‘going green’; it must also account for economic development that is both socially inclusive and environmentally sound. Joe Arvai will take you on an international journey of research and practice intended to breathe much-needed life into the concept of decision-making for the triple bottom line.”  - Ross Positive Business Conference 2016


Erb Postdoc shares how social movements can spark corporate social responsibility initatives

May 20, 2016

Erb Postdoc Panikos Georgallis’ work on social movements and corporate social responsibility was recently featured in Ideas for Leaders.

Read his idea summary on How Social Movements Spark Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives (pdf)

New podcast from Faculty Director, Joe Arvai on Michigan Radio

May 17, 2016

As a follow-up to Erb Faculty Director, Joe Arvai’s publication in Nature Climate Change, Michigan Radio talks with Joe about his recent research which attempts to understand exactly what it takes to get people to care about climate change. This study was co-authored with Jing Shi, Vivianne H.M. Visschers and Michael Siegrist and is published in Nature Climate Change (April 2016.)

What they found seems to refute the popular line of thinking that culture is the biggest factor in whether we care and are willing to do something about climate change.

Joe Arvai is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the School of Natural Resources and he directs the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Arvai tells us that while culture plays a role, it doesn’t appear to be the biggest factor.  Listen to the podcast .pdf link

Erb Faculty Member, Tom Lyon featured in The Guardian

March 9, 2016

Erb Faculty Member, Tom Lyon opines that although Warren Buffet and ‪‎Berkshire Hathaway’s‬ record of astute financial moves is hard to argue with, he may be missing the mark in terms of under-estimating the pace and acceleration of ‪‎climate change‬ and what that means for business.  Read the full Guardian article.  (.pdf)

Erb Faculty Member Quoted in Sustainability Education Program Annual Report

March 3, 2016

Erb Faculty Member, Andy Hoffman was quoted and featured for his work on “The Fourth Wave” in the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation’s 2015 Annual Report. Read more

“Today, with little sustained attention to critical sustainability issues like poverty, climate change, species extinction, social unrest, equity, and fairness in a rapidly globalized world, some have begun to question whether business schools are falling out of step and irrelevant to the world of practice and whether the modern business school must fundamentally alter its teaching and research in order to respond to the environmental and social challenges of the twenty-first century.”
-Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan and Education Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute

Creating a shared value model for sustainable agriculture in developing countries

February 29, 2016

Shared-X is a for-profit impact company working to revamp agricultural practices and models for high value specialty crops like organic bananas, aromatic cocoa and specialty coffee in developing countries. They strive to close the agricultural yield gap to equitably produce more food, lift rural farmers out of poverty and minimize their impact on the planet.

Erb Student Involvement
Erb Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) Member, John Denniston and his business partner, Tony Salas visited U-M in September 2015 to share collaboration opportunities with Erb Institute MBA/MS dual-degree students. This cutting-edge model sparked the interest of Erb students so much so that a group of 16 students gathered together after the event to strategize potential student involvement with Shared-X.

On the ground experience
Two Erb students from this group, Carissa De Young and Bob Kraynak, traveled to Peru in December 2015 to see the Shared-X model in action, with the goal of reporting their findings back to the group. Carissa and Bob connected and interacted with a variety of stakeholders: farmers, distributors and many others who bring Shared-X to life. This trip gave the students better insight into the production process and will allow the Business Impact Group (BIG) to make improved recommendations for scaling the impact Shared-X can have on rural farmers in Peru.

A few photos from Carissa and Bob’s December 2015 trip to Peru:

Carissa and Bob observe the growing coffee beans on a healthy plant at a Shared-X Farm

Carissa and Bob observe the growing coffee beans on a healthy plant at a Shared-X Farm

Carissa and Bob visit a coffee plant nursery at a Shared-X Farm

Carissa and Bob visit a coffee plant nursery at a Shared-X Farm

Bob and Jame, a Shared-X employee and agronmist, discuss the growth process of cocoa

Bob and Jamie, a Shared-X employee and agronmist, discuss the growth process of cocoa

Bob walks with neighboring farmer Reinaldo along his pineapple field on a visit from Shared-X staff

Bob walks with neighboring farmer Reinaldo along his pineapple field on a visit from Shared-X staff

Carissa checks pineapples picked that morning in the central Peruvian Amazon

Carissa checks pineapples picked that morning in the central Peruvian Amazon

Feb 15 – Erb Prospective Student Webinar

February 2, 2016

Register here

During this webinar, we will talk about upcoming deadlines, ways to get involved with Erb, and some of the exciting projects that are going on at the Institute and Erb Recruitment Scholarships.

Sharon Flynn Student Workshop Summary

November 6, 2015

Workshop-Photo-cropSharon Flynn visited campus and held a career and discussion focused student workshops on October 30, 2015.

Sharon’s career has spanned the globe in identifying critical stakeholder issues and developing and implementing plans that benefit all stakeholders. Furthermore, ‘stakeholder engagement’ was defined as a means, not an end. Sharon indicated that impact comes from the dialogue established between stakeholders; recognizing who needs to be at the table, building trust and empathy with indigenous populations and using anthropological skills to understand the community. Much of Sharon’s success in creating that dialogue was not necessarily in being the expert, but being able to digest and assimilate disparate views and information.

A closing piece of advice from Sharon was “not to shut off any sectors, consider the opportunity and have a key grasp on the Leadership, systems and competency” in any organization you consider for for a career.

Erb Students learn about Shared-X startup

September 14, 2015

12017562_10153714770823953_2272520971276510905_oOn Sunday, September 13th, Erb Students met with John Denniston (Erb SAC Member) and Tony Salas to learn more about their recently launched for-profit impact company called Shared-X. Topics of discussion included compelling arguments for business to take the lead on closing the agricultural yield gap and raising thousands out of poverty. Learn more about Shared-X


MBA’s with Sustainable Impact

September 3, 2015

Sky-MagazineThe Erb Institute was featured in September’s issue of Delta Sky Magazine for the dual degree MBA/MS program and it’s work to create a sustainable world through the power of business. Erb Managing Director, Terry Nelidov and Erb Student, Marianna Kerppola share how the Erb Institute is shifting business and student culture for careers in sustainable impact.

“Millennials, [Terry Nelidov] notes, crave work with purpose. They want more than just a job, they want to positively influence their world; they crave community at work and want to see a rapid and direct link between what they do and real social change. ‘It’s no longer enough for them to have a traditional MBA,’ says Nelidov. ‘They want an MBA with impact.’”

“In her final year, [Marianna Kerppola] plans to dive deeper into sectors outside of retail in her search for sustainable solutions to what she calls ‘the tough issues in business.’ ‘On paper, none of these things seems connected, but I’m not unique in the Erb program,’ she says. ‘We’re all extraordinarily curious and have a broad range of ideas about how we might make an impact in the world.’”

Read the full Delta Sky Magazine article (pdf) or read it online