Several Sonoma State University professors and staff members are amongst the dozens of scheduled speakers at the 12th annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference, held for the first time on campus this year, in the Student Center on Wednesday, April 5, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. This year's theme is "One Planet for a Sustainable Future."
"In 2006, this event launched with confidence in widespread support for sustainability," says William Silver, dean of the School of Business and Economics. "Today, that support is less certain and this conference is more vital than ever. We're proud to play our part as the educational catalyst for a thriving North Bay economy, and will continue to prioritize innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainability."
The conference is presented annually by the School of Business and Economics and for the first time this year is co-sponsored by Sustainable SSU. Sonoma State received a Bronze Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's STARS program last year.
"Hosting this conference on campus is a terrific opportunity to further connect with our community partners who are deeply invested in sustainability," says Paul Draper, director of sustainability at Sonoma State.
Silver will provide opening remarks focusing on the importance of education and the pursuit of discovery to a thriving and sustainable economy. "In addition to a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and financial performance, it's now clear that education is an essential fourth measurement in this framework," he says.
Professor Robert Girling, who founded the conference in 2006, will also provide introductory remarks, including insight to changes in attitudes toward sustainability since the conference began.
"Our approach and our commitment is to simultaneously honor our communities and the businesses that respect our planet," says Girling, whose 2012 book, "The Good Company," highlights established companies and social enterprises from around the world that are making the planet better by meeting human needs of their employees, suppliers and customers. "We showcase businesses, educators and community leaders who look far into the future, innovating to sustain us and create vibrant communities and employment opportunities."
Professor Adele Santana, an expert on the effects of company culture and industry characteristics on building and executing a sustainability strategy, will help lead two sessions: "Academic Partnerships: How Can Students Help Solve Real Sustainability Challenges in the Community"; and "Business and Government Efforts to Generate Sustainable Energy."
Members of the media are invited to attend and may register at no charge here.