Can we leave it to the next generation?
At the Erb Institute, we are seeing a tremendous increase in interest and demand among U-M’s younger students for business sustainability content.
Not only do our undergraduate students want the world to change, but they also want the skills, training and access to jobs to be able to bring about that change.
That being said, as we know from research by our own faculty director, Dr. Joe Árvai, the passion we see in these students may not actually be representative of their generation as a whole—these students may simply value or be politically motivated to value sustainability more than their peers. And sometimes, such passion might not translate into action. So, while it might make us feel better to think about how today’s children and young adults—whether as consumers, activists or business leaders—will save us from the mess we’ve created, it’s simply not wise (or fair) to put that responsibility on their shoulders.
P.S. This panel was a “WOManel” (all female panel)! Kudos to our colleagues at Innovation Forum for working so hard to host more inclusive and diverse events.