On October 29, Kenan Flagler’s Net Impact Club hosted its annual Careers with Impact Forum. Themed, “A New Way of Doing Business,” the in-person event welcomed MBA, undergraduate students and alumni to learn about ways to integrate sustainability and impact into any business career. The event included several panel discussions, a live podcast and a final keynote.
The key takeaways from the 2021 event include:
Circular Economy Panel
- A circular economy is closely aligned with social impact. The consequences of waste, especially in healthcare, are most often experienced by the most marginalized people in our society.
- The amount of recycled material has been falling in recent years. Thankfully, there are local programs that can help you minimize your waste. Check out Don’t Waste Durham.
Reimagining Healthcare Panel:
To reimagine healthcare, one needs to:
- be proactive in listening to those you are trying to reach
- be intentional with your actions
- stay persistent and resilient – to make care more accessible and equitable for all communities
Sustainable Real Estate Development Panel:
- ‘Health and Wellness’ are extremely new in the southeast real estate development industy and require an entirely different conversation with civil engineers and architects. Enthusiasm for these projects will vary. Find the right people.
- No matter your role, you can have an impact by providing a case for a sustainable alternative. Understand what your audience cares about and speak in that language. Most transactional decisions are based on Net Operating Income.
- Education is a crucial component. You must prophesize and speak the truth about the benefits of sustainable building design.
Implementing Net Zero Panel:
- ESG is growing and is being integrated into business models (i.e., Nike just disbanded its ESG division and has dispersed the work across the company). There is a lot more department-level and business-level ownership of sustainability goals.
- The movement towards net-zero is pulling from several areas: regulation, stakeholders, community interests and the supply-chain.
- There are a lot of opportunities for innovation. Access to scalable technology is one of the most considerable barriers to net-zero implementation.
- The Renegade Capitalist’s toolkit includes- listening for understanding, understanding your retirement plan and your assets, a financial planner (if you need help with the former), an understanding what causes you care about and should include tools like USF Sif Sustainable Investment Mutual Funds and ETF Chart.
- Get your company to provide SRI Funds and use your 401k to invest responsibly.
Our keynote speaker, Eric Corey Freed, Senior Vice President of Sustainability for CannonDesign, shared his career as a renegade in architecture and his journey to create buildings that improve human health. He shared the hard truth of why the way we build structures must change and gave an inspiring call to action to everyone in the audience. Watch his engaging TEDx.
Thank you to the wonderful panelists, attendees and our event sponsors: BASF, Ecolab and the Center for Sustainable Enterprise!