The Erb Institute regularly hosts focused, high-impact conferences that involve academics, business executives, members of non-governmental organizations, and policymakers. These events are typically sponsored in collaboration with external organizations such as the World Resources Institute and the National Science Foundation. Our conferences seek to fulfill two primary objectives. First, they convene researchers and practitioners from around the world to frame sustainability challenges and inform research agendas for the future. Second, they serve as a means to educate the broader public in regards to the research activities of the institute.
September 9, 2014 in Ann Arbor
2nd Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference
Details and Registration
March 31, 2014 in Ann Arbor
Energy 2030 on the Road: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Co-hosted by: the Alliance to Save Energy, the Erb Institute and the City of Ann Arbor
Read more about the conference | Watch the sessions, features, and interview recordings
June 26, 2013 in Ann Arbor
How will “Disruptive Challenges” in the Electric Markets Impact Michigan’s Energy Decisions?
Co-sponsored by the Erb Institute, Growth Capital Network, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Institute for Energy Innovation, 5 Lakes Energy, Next Energy, and Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.
View the Conference Videos, Presentation Slides, and Podcasts | Read the White Paper (pdf)
January 19-21, 2012 in Ann Arbor
Increasing Public Understanding of Climate Risks and Choices: What We Can Learn from Social Science Research and Practice
Co-sponsored by the Erb Institute and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
View the Conference report
June 3-4, 2011 in Ann Arbor
Informing Green Markets: What Makes a Difference and Why?
Co-sponsored by the Erb Institute and the Sustainability Consortium.
Post-conference resources page
May 18-19, 2011
U-M/SJTU Collaborative Workshop to Initiate Research on Barriers to the Deployment of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Technology
Sponsored by the Erb Institute at the Ross School of Business.
December 10, 2010
Michigan-China Clean Tech: Collaboration and Competition in Energy, Smart Grid, Green Cities and Transportation
Sponsored by the Erb, Zell Lurie and Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institutes, the Center for Chinese Studies and the Center for International Business Education. Michigan Union in Ann Arbor/ Free Pre- registration required.
Conference Video, Presentation Slides, and Photos
June 17-19, 2010
Informing Green Markets: The Roles of Industry, NGOs and Government
Sponsored by the Erb Institute at the Ross School in Ann Arbor/ By Invitation only.
The conference is designed to stimulate dialogue between the private sector, the public sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academia and will focus on the dynamic processes by which information in green markets emerges and evolves. It is designed to provoke a “deep dive” discussion into how green markets will develop in upcoming years, and the appropriate roles of government regulation, corporate environmenal claims, and external evaluations by NGOs.
Complete Conference website
Papers and Slide Presentations
November 20, 2009
Cleantech 2009: Innovations & Opportunities for Building Business
Sponsored by the Erb and Zell Lurie Institutes at the Michigan Union in Ann Arbor/ Free Pre- registration required.
Complete Conference website | View the Agenda
May 8-9, 2009
Alliance for Research on Corporate Responsibility Conference (ARCS).
Sponsored by the Erb Institute at the Ross School in Ann Arbor/ By Invitation only.
To help accelerate the development of a body of knowledge on corporate sustainability, a group of leading institutions at prominent universities that share a strong commitment to research on business and sustainability has formed the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability. As part of the Alliance’s mission to foster first-rate research, this first annual conference is designed to bring together scholars interested in corporate sustainability strategy and management. It is hosted by the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan on May 8-9, 2009. We envision the conference rotating among Alliance schools in future years.
2009 ARCS Conference
Current ARCS Website
Corporate Transparency and Accountability: The Role of Information Disclosure
Held at the National Press Club, Washington, DC 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Co-organized by Erb Director, Tom Lyon.
This one-day, two-part workshop will connect the worlds of practice, policy, and scholarship, identifying and exploring cross-cutting issues and opportunities in the areas of 1.) Information Disclosure Regulations, Voluntary Disclosure and Disclosure credibility and certification.
Oct 19, 2007
Religious Perspectives on Climate Change: Turning Faith into Action
This one day conference will bring together representatives from a diverse array of religions to discuss how the belief systems within each tradition inform our moral responsibilities to address climate change; and to consider how those belief systems might be put into action. Go to Agenda, Web and Pod cast, and transcripts page.
May 4-5, 2007
Conference/ Book Project: What Do NGOs Want?
Meeting of academics and practitioners focused on creating new insights and research directions relating to the increasingly significant, but little understood phenomenon of non-governmental organizations. NGO structures, processes, and efficacy were discussed.
Conference Agenda Page with video links.
November 10, 2006
Corporate Strategies that Address Climate Change
The objective of this one day conference (inspired by publication of the Pew Center Report: Getting Ahead of the Curve), was to help companies consider the range of available options for developing a climate strategy and to help financial analysts identify benchmarks for industry best practices on the issue. Company representatives provided a wealth of valuable experience and insights.
Agenda and Webcast.
May 4-5, 2006
Business and Climate Change: Designing Integrated Strategies
The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise was pleased to host a high-level exchange of views on the links between market and non-market strategy for a carbon-constrained future among senior representatives of industry, national environmental organizations, government, labor unions, trade groups, corporate executives and leading scholars. The Institute aimed to offer a unique environment of trust and collaboration in which a wide range of perspectives on business and the natural environment were be presented and treated with respect. Building on our previous forum entitled “Reframing the Climate Debate: Jobs, Trade, Security and a Revised Research Agenda,” the goal was to identify new opportunities for business leadership on climate change in both the private and public sectors. Extended Summary.
June 2-3, 2005
Reframing the Climate Change Debate
The intention of the conference is to facilitate a high-level exchange of views on climate change policy among senior representatives of national environmental organizations, labor unions, trade groups, corporate executives and leading scholars. Our goal is to broaden the debate in an effort to bridge what at times appear to be highly divergent interests. We expect the conference to result in new avenues for research, as well as having an impact on the way practitioners approach the problem of climate change. We are pleased to sponsor this event in partnership with the Center for Advancing Research and Solutions in Society (CARSS).
Mobility in a Sustainable World: A Complex Systems Approach
This conference was organized by the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS). For the first time the science of complex systems was used and applied to the challenges of creating sustainable transportation models for the future.
The conference was a stepping stone for a longer longer-term partnership, entitled “Initiative on Mobility in a Sustainable World,” launched by the Erb Institute, CSCS and Ford to develop a program of research and policy formation and implementation that is consistent with a sustainable future. The initiative includes graduate seminars, senior executive programs, workshops, a speaker series and faculty research projects focusing on complexity, mobility and sustainability.