Peter M. Wege Lecture & Earth Day 2020: Rise Up For the Environment

The Peter M. Wege Lecture & Earth Day 2020: Rise Up for the Environment double-event is part of the university & community-wide commemoration of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary—when U-M and Ann Arbor held the nation’s first “Environmental Teach-In” in 1970.

The annual Wege event brings environmentalist Philippe Cousteau, Jr. to the Hill Auditorium stage. Inspired by his grandfather, Jacques Cousteau, Philippe is a multi-Emmy-Nominated TV host, producer, author, and social entrepreneur. His conservation efforts, focused on solving global social and environmental problems, led him to found EarthEcho International—an organization dedicated to inspiring youth to act now for a sustainable planet.

Rise Up for the Environment Rally: Musical performances and dynamic sustainability and environmental justice leaders will inspire audiences to “Rise Up for the Environment” and take action on the greatest challenges of our time.

Earth Day 2020 Rise Up Speaker & Performer Highlights

Naomi Klein

New York Times best-selling author and journalist; filmmaker and activist

Mustafa Santiago Ali

National Wildlife Federation’s Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization; founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice

Abdul El-Sayed

Physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist; Chair at Southpaw Michigan

Mari Copeny: “Little Miss Flint”

Youth activist best known for raising awareness about Flint’s ongoing water crisis and fundraising to support underprivileged children in her community and across the country

Andy Levin

U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 9th District

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Earth Guardians Youth Director

Bryan Newland

President of the Bay Mill Indian Community Executive Council

David Pitawanakwat

Indigenious Community Activist, JD Candidate

Heather McTeer Toney

First African-American, first female and youngest mayor of Greenville, MS; National Director, Moms Clean Air Force

Learn more on event website

Reserve your free seats here

Igniting Impact: Enhancing Business Practice and Research Through Greater Collaboration

Focused on translating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into practical solutions to address global challenges, this conference will gather top thinkers from U-M and across the country to discuss and brainstorm ways for business and other disciplines to take responsibility for these goals.  

This event is co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute Business & Society program and Responsible Research in Business Management.



Sessions take place in the Tauber Colloquium, 6th floor, Michigan Ross School of Business
Thursday, March 5th

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Welcome & Opening Keynote

Welcome from Nancy McGaw, Aspen Business & Society Program, and Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at Michigan Ross School of Business

Ach Adhvaryu and Anant Nyshadham, co-founders of Good Business Lab, and their corporate partners share their formula for using research to find a common ground between worker wellbeing and business interests

3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm: Break Out Sessions

What are the big problems you are wrestling with now? How can research help guide the best path forward? Small mixed groups of academics and practitioners brainstorm about the compelling questions they are wrestling with in their work/ problems they are trying to solve, as well as questions that have animated their research.

4:15 – 4:30 pm: Break

4:30 – 5:30 pm: Plenary

Andrew Hoffman, Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and Neil Hawkins, President of the Erb Family Foundation and former Chief Sustainability Officer of Dow, share how research and practice can connect most effectively, drawing on participant input

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Cocktails

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Dinner & Keynote Panel

“What’s next in the gig economy: how Uberization is changing the way you will think about how you work”

“Uberization” is re-shaping labor markets around the world, creating greater convenience for consumers but greater precarity for workers. What does the latest research tell us about how to take on this dilemma? What new business opportunities are being created?

Carl Camden, founder and president, IPSE.US (The Association of Independent Workers) and former CEO, Kelly Services; Lindsey Cameron, Professor of Management, Wharton School; Hollie Hiekkinen, CEO and Founder, iWorker Innovations; Mike Bishop, former US Congressional Representative

Friday, March 6

8:00 am: Breakfast

8:45 – 9:45 am: Plenary

“What’s next in talent: intrapreneurship, employee activism, and the new deal at work”

Social intrapreneurs have become a movement in the corporate world, using the platform of business to help solve complex and often systematic social problems. More recently, employees in tech and beyond are joining together to pressure their companies to take on more overtly political agendas. Why is this happening now, and what comes next? What can companies do to navigate this fraught terrain?

Kevin Thompson, General Manager, GOOD Worldwide; Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at Michigan Ross

9:45 – 10:00 am: Break

10:00 – 11:00 am: Choose Your Own Adventure Breakout Sessions

In these sessions, award-winning researchers are paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions

Sustainable Supply Chains: Katrin Giljens (U of North Carolina) – Some suppliers are more effective than others at meeting (or resisting) demands from big buyers. Find out why.

Precarious Labor: Carrie Leana (U of Pittsburgh) – Precarious wages strain people’s souls and also put organizations at risk. Evidence from the trucking industry, healthcare, and elsewhere.

Finance for Good: Emmanuel Kypraios (Maynooth U) – The models that underlie “catastrophe bonds” are surprisingly bad at predicting the financial consequences of extreme events. What lessons does this provide for using finance to achieve social goods?

11:00 – 11:30 am: Break

11:30 – 12:30 pm: Choose Your Own Adventure Breakout Sessions

In these sessions, award-winning researchers are paired with business executives to lead dialogues on pressing problems and evidence-based solutions

Lean Production and Labor: Gregory Disetlhorst (U of Toronto) – Does implementing lean production also improve things for labor? Some yes, some no.

Gigs and Better Jobs: Lindsey Cameron (Wharton School, U of Pennsylvania) – The gig economy, a labor market that relies on algorithms to facilitate short-term work assignments, has changed how we think of work. In this session, we will discuss some of the benefits and challenges of being a gig worker — namely, what makes this a “good bad” job.

Reducing your Carbon Footprint: John Byrd (U of Colorado, Denver) – Internal carbon pricing by corporations: evidence about how companies are using financial tools to prepare for climate change.

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch & Keynote

1:45 – 2:45 pm: Plenary

“What’s next in China: doing business in China during turbulent times”

The ongoing trade war has created uncertainty about the potential risks and opportunities of doing business in China. What are leading companies experiencing, and what can the latest research tell us about what comes next?

Doug Guthrie, Apple; Christopher Marquis, SC Johnson Professor of Management, Cornell University; Xun (Brian) Wu, Professor of Strategy, Michigan Ross

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Final Reflections & Goodbyes

Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Finals


Finals Schedule
Friday, February 21: 

9:00 – 11:35 am   MBC Track Finals (Seigle Impact Track, Innovation Track, Invention Track) Four finalists each track: 15 minute pitch, 15 minutes Q&A

12:30pm Winners of each track announced 

1:30 – 3:15 pm  MBC Best in Business Pitches (First place winner of each track) 15 minute pitch, 15 minutes Q&A

3:15 – 5:30 pm  MBC Reception (lower level Ross building):
3:15 – 4:15 pm     Team Showcase (all Track Finalists will table)
4:15 – 4:45 pm      Elevator Pitch Competition (all Track Finalists) 
5:00 – 5:15 pm      Awards announced

The Track Finals take place in the morning from 9:00-11:35am. All twelve teams will pitch to a new panel of judges. Pitches will include business plan for 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.

At 12:30pm, ALL TEAMS will be present when the winner of each track (and places 2-4) are announced. Those three winners will present again in the afternoon to a new panel of judges for a chance to win an additional $5,000 Best in Business Prize. 

Every Finalist team will participate in the MBC Student Startup Showcase from 3:15-4:15 pm, where there will be tables and talking about each venture to attendees. There is a Showcase cash award to be won. 

Every Finalist team will choose one team member to give a 60-second elevator pitch to the crowd. Yes, there are cash awards for this as well.

At 5:15, the winners of all awards will be announced, there will be big checks and lots of photos.

ALL portions of the day are open to the public.



Here’s how the $100,000 in cash prizes is allotted:
$15,000 MBC track winner (one in each of the 3 tracks)
$7,500 MBC track runner-up (one in each of the 3 tracks)
$1,500 MBC track Finalists (two in each of the 3 tracks)
$5,000 OneMagnify MBC Best in Business Award 
$5,000 Williamson Award for Best Business/Engineering team 
$5,000 Sillman Undergraduate Award
$2,000 MIC Investment Committee Award
$500 MBC Showcase Award
$500 MBC Elevator Pitch 1st Place
$250 MBC Elevator Pitch 2nd Place
$100 MBC Elevator Pitch 3rd Place
$250 MBC Round Two Participation Awards (all teams who continue on in the competition will receive this award along with any additional awards)


Michigan University-wide Sustainability and Environment (MUSE) Conference 2020

The purpose of the conference is to foster connections and new collaborations across the broad suite of sustainability and environment-related research at the University of Michigan. We welcome participation from those advancing knowledge through work in the humanities and the social, physical, natural, and engineering sciences.

Faculty Research for Impact: Addressing UN SDG #13 – Climate Action


How are Ross faculty members advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through business research? Each month, Business+Impact hosts an interactive design session themed around one of these goals. During the month of February, we will address Goal 13: Climate Action.  Several award-winning Ross faculty members (Ekaterina Astashkina, Andrew Hoffman, and Dana Muir) will share their research in an informal setting, and students will have the opportunity to brainstorm possible next steps for how the research can be applied to real-world applications that make a positive impact.

This limited-size two-hour workshop will feature:

  • Faculty presentations on key research insights
  • Discussion
  • Activity using design tools for opportunity identification


Due to high interest in these workshops, we must cap attendance at 25. We aim to keep the numbers of participants at a size that can accommodate the space capacity of the +Impact Studio and provide meaningful group discussion.

Designing Business Models for Carbon Capture and Utilization Technologies

The +Impact Studio at Michigan Ross in partnership with the U-M Global CO2 Initiative and the Erb Institute is excited to offer an innovative workshop in which students will use design thinking methodologies to create business models for carbon capture and utilization technologies. Award-winning U-M faculty will share their research on these technologies in an informal setting, and participating students will have the opportunity to learn and apply the business model canvas to them. This process will result in ideas for sustainable businesses that work to meaningfully combat climate change, and further ways to get involved and potentially pursue these business ideas will be shared.




Financing a Sustainable Future


Blood will discuss how financial tools, services, and markets can be leveraged to advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability initiatives. Following the lecture, a discussion panel of business leaders will address the practical realities of financing major sustainability initiatives.






The Choice II Reconvenes U-M’s Best and Brightest to Consider Methods and Modes for Impact Decisionmaking

Business+Impact again brought together U-M scholars on Fri, Dec. 13, 2019 to ponder  how society should make choices that will influence and contribute to a society’s or organization’s ability to flourish.

Featured participants included Tom Malone, former CEO of Summa, and Scott E. Page of the University of Michigan.


Detailed Agenda from the Event

Opening Remarks

The Five Pure Types: A Gathering of Experts
Our day begins with talks by five brilliant Michigan faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and methodological approaches.  Each will provide a working introduction to one of the five institutional forms. How is it defined? When does this institution work well? When doesn’t it? In which allocative and decision-making domains do we see this institution? What spillovers does the institution produce?

  • Markets: Betsey Stevenson (Ford School) (Watch Video)
  • Hierarchies:  Elizabeth Popp Berman (Organizational Studies) (Watch Video)
  • Democracies: Lisa Disch (Political Science) (Watch Video)
  • Communities: Rebecca Hardin (SEAS) (Watch Video)
  • Algorithms: Paul Resnick (Information) (Watch Video)

Keynote: Tom Malone (Watch Video)
In his recent book, SuperMinds, Tom Malone describes how technology increases the potential efficacy and power of humans interacting through institutions. Technology, sometimes in the form of algorithms and often through improved production and allocation of knowledge and information, improves democracies, hierarchies, markets, and self-organized communities.

Dyads: Real World Choices
In The Vanishing American Corporation, Jerry Davis demonstrates how technological advances have led to more market-based transactions and fewer formal organizations (hierarchies) and how that trend has produced a variety of spillovers. Here, we bring in a collection of experts to discuss other dyadic variants of The Choice that occur in the real world.

Spillovers, Flourishing, and Context
The Choice framing emphasizes spillovers across institutions. In this panel, Scott Page (UM-Ross) (Watch Video) will provide some general framing on the types of spillovers that might arise as well as describe a potential taxonomy of spillovers to structure the afternoon’s charrette.

  • Jenna Bednar (Political Science) will propose human flourishing (rather than GDP) as the aim of society and frame The Choice within this broader objective. (Watch Video)
  • Oscar Ybarra (Psychology) will describe evidence for psychological spillovers. (Watch Video)
  • Last, Jerry Davis (UM-Ross) will show how context matters by taking a deep cross-national dive in Uber. Why does Swedish Uber not resemble the US version and how did Uber thrive in India? (Watch Video)

A Deep Dive: The Legal Choice  (Watch Video)
Orly Lobel (Univ. of San Diego Law) and JJ Prescott (UM Law) take a deep dive into how new technology disrupts settled normative regulation choices, and how policymakers should think about leveraging choices to support emerging platform markets, algorithmic capacities, and a changing labor market. 

Micro-Charette: Gigs!
In this session, we will break into small groups to consider the direct and spillover effects of the gig economy. How would we measure spillovers from gig work? How do gig jobs impede and enable flourishing? In what contexts should we encourage or prevent gig employment?

Closings and Openings
We end the day with closing (summary) and opening (new directions for research) thoughts by some key participants. Among our speakers

2019 Global Operations Conference


OPERATIONS 2030: The Next Evolution of Technology, Sustainability, Supply Chain, and Customer Behavior

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations hosts the must-attend operations event of the year — Tauber’s Global Operations Conference, GOC.

The combination of global leaders in industry with top-ranked business and engineering faculty, GOC reflects the unparalleled resources the Tauber Institute offers today and symbolizes our unwavering commitment to the next generation of Operations leaders.

Experience two days where you will:

  • Learn from award winning faculty from both the College of Engineering and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business as well as leading experts in operations today.
  • Discover forward-thinking panels discussing real world strategies implemented to maximize and transform operations.
  • Hear dynamic speakers and well respected industry experts.
  • Network with leading, emerging and future operations leaders.

You must register