Up Next

Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Accelerating progress in social and environmental sustainability
News & Media

ACES Family Focus: Meet John Duffy

Each month, we will spotlight a member of the ACES family to learn about their passions, how they are connected to the Center and how their work with ACES has helped them create a bigger impact through our collaboration. 

  1. What led you to become involved with ACES?

I became involved with ACES last summer when I joined the Business Leadership in Sustainability (BLiS) program and started interning for the Center. ACES was an incredible team to work with and gave me the opportunity to explore places like Asheville, NC and New York through a sustainability lens. I learned things and worked in places I could have never imagined–from a regenerative onion farm to an abandoned subway line. Interning at ACES has given me invaluable professional contacts, and I’m grateful to have found a community that is so passionate about making an impact on the world.

2. How has ACES empowered you to accelerate positive social and environmental impact?

ACES has given me the opportunity to explore what I’m passionate about, and dive deeper into how business processes can change to impact the world. I’ve been able to explore my interest in sustainable fashion by connecting with executives at Nike, Plastic Bank and Kontoor Brands, learning what corporations need to implement sustainability initiatives. Through the Ackerman Center, I’ve been able to see machines that upcycle socks into new thread up close and personal in Morganton, NC. I was also able to breakdown clothing scraps with staples in them by hand at FABSCRAP. These opportunities have given me insight into how difficult, but worthwhile, accelerating environmental and social impact is.

3. What are your top take-aways, both personally and professionally, from working with ACES?

My top take-away is finding and becoming involved with a strong, intellectually curious and kind-hearted community here at the business school. The ACES team has inspired me to grow professionally and personally as I navigate academics, recruiting and life as a consumer. I’m excited to use the lessons they’ve bestowed upon me as I work to scale sustainability initiatives throughout my career. One day, I would love to come back to ACES and help facilitate the LIFT Challenge from the professional side!

You may also be interested in: