CESR’s 4th Annual Conscious Capitalism Conference, Business Reinvented: Transforming Lives plowed ahead despite a hazardous spring snow storm on April 17th. CESR Executive Director and founder of the conference remarked, “Even the challenges of rain, sleet, and snow did not stop several hundred talented students, faculty, and business professionals from venturing out to CCCIV. Attendees were treated to the inspiration and wisdom of speakers who have shaped the lives of many people in local, national, and global communities in very different ways.”
The conference was designed to challenge the thinking and stimulate the creativity of the next generation of great business leaders by exposure to outstanding business entrepreneurs who have made values-driven choices in their careers. This year those role models included Whole Foods Board Members Bud Sorenson and Mo Siegel, former Speaker of the House at the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff, now the senior advisor of International Development Enterprises (iDE), Rob Cohen, CEO of IMA Financial Group, and The Unreasonable Institute’s CFO/COO and Co-founder, Tyler Hartung.
“It’s going to take smart minds and a lot of them to put a dent in the problems our world faces. Many of those people are at the Conscious Capitalism Conference. This is why I was motivated to speak there,” said Tyler, after receiving rave reviews for his presentation by attendees.
Leeds senior Linda Pham was in attendance and remarked, “It’s great to reconnect ourselves to our own values and listen to professionals talk about theirs. As a student who is about to approach the real world, I feel like I can be a strong leader.”
A new feature this year was an experiential session requiring students to analyze a case study in sustainability presented by Susan Forsell, VP of Sustainability for McDonald’s. A panel of corporate social responsibility professionals including Jim Peterson, VP of Marketing at Ball Corporation, Nan Stout, Founder of the Ethics Office at Staples, and Deanna Bratter, Sr. Manager of Responsible Livelihood at WhiteWave engaged in a discussion about students’ recommendations for making McDonald’s a more sustainably-driven company.
“Having the case study on sustainable meat production was an invaluable way to demonstrate the complexities of modern governance,” commented Liz Stapp, an instructor at CESR.
Another new feature of the conference was a session focused on guiding students toward planning their path toward a socially-responsible career, led by Mark Albion, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of More than Money Careers.
Andrew Romanoff conducted a special Skype conversation with Carlos Urmeneta, an iDE Country Director in Honduras. Carlos talked about his efforts to establish a for-profit social enterprise (iDEal Tecnologías) for iDE in Central America – a provider of sustainable solutions for smallholder farmer initiatives in the region.
Schools from all over the Colorado region helped sponsor the conference and were also in attendance. Colorado State, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Regis University and the University of Northern Colorado each brought a delegation of students, as they have in years past.