Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

The Sustainability Speaker Series is supported by a generous grant from Nancy Eccles and Homer Hayward Family Foundation.

Spring 2015 Events

Creating a New Water Paradigm with Onsite Water

Paula Kehoe
Director of Water Resources, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

February 9, 2015
McGowan 102

Paula is responsible for diversifying San Francisco’s local water supply portfolio through the development and implementation of conservation, groundwater, recycled water and desalination programs. She has spearheaded the landmark legislation allowing for the collection, treatment and use of alternate water sources in buildings and districts within San Francisco. She has also assisted with a $4.6 billion capital improvement program designed to rebuild and repair the third largest water delivery system in California. Paula has also served as Public Education Director for the commission's Water Pollution Prevention Program receiving six state and national awards.

Paula's talk examines on-site production and focuses on three questions: 1) What is the current state of practice with respect to on-site water production, for example different technologies, policies, incentives, and adoption levels? 2) What are the main obstacles keeping on-site water production from widespread adoption? and 3) What needs to happen in order to overcome these obstacles and thus fulfill the promise of diversified, on-site water production?

The Important Role of GMOs in Advancing Sustainability

David Zilberman
Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley
March 5, 2015
6 pm- 8 pm
McGowan 100

David is a Professor and holds the Robinson Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at U.C. Berkeley. His areas of expertise include agricultural and environmental policy, the economics of innovation, risk and marketing, and water, pest control; biotechnology and climate change. He is a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) and the Association of Environmental and Resource economics (AERE) and is the recipient of the 2000 Cannes Water and the Economy Award. David won the AAEA 2002 and 2007 Quality of Research Discovery Award and the 2005 and 2009 AAEA Publication of Enduring quality award

Managing Performance of Social Ventures: An Innovative Approach

Amit Sharma
Co-Founder, Empowerment Capital
March 25, 2015
6 pm- 8 pm
McGowan 102

Amit Sharma is currently engaged in several global initiatives that intersect markets, risk management and international development.  He is co-founder of Empowerment Capital, an investment management and strategic advisory company focused on income generative scalable enterprise for the global poor—leveraging the power of institutional capital, and consulting corporate entities in the engagement of and support to market-viable poverty alleviative commercial initiatives.

Separately, he is assisting in the development of an inter-disciplinary network of experts that delivers shared solutions to multi-faceted global risk challenges to private, public, non-profit and development institutions.  The Risk Assistance Network and Exchange, or RANE, is a technology-based for-profit enterprise operating in the broad public interest.

Previously, Amit served as the Head of Operations and Strategy at Command Global Services (CGS), where he worked with former Deputy National Security Advisor Juan Zarate, to manage the investigations, intervention and recovery of stolen sovereign assets, and the strengthening of sovereign financial integrity and regulatory controls. Prior to joining CGS, Amit worked as the Chief of Staff for Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc. the American investment banking and brokerage unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and as Head of Project Management for the firm’s International Business Unit. 

Corporate Blowout: BP and the Untold Story of Gulf Oil Disaster

Dan Jacobs
Senior Professional Lecturer, Kogod School of Business, American University

April 14, 2015
12 pm - 1 pm
McGowan 100

Professor Jacobs is the founding program director of American University's Kogod School of Business' Sustainability Management Program. He has researched, taught and lectured extensively on business sustainability, corporate and environmental regulations, corporate social responsibility, and ethics. Before joining Kogod School's faculty, Dan had a long and distinguished career with the Federal Government as a Trial Attorney in the Justice Department, a Senior Negotiator and Office Director in the State Department's Economics, Energy and Business Bureau, and as a member of the State Department's Office of the Legal Advisor. In these roles, he has led major environmental, civil rights and international arbitration cases, and has promoted and protected American business interests overseas. Professor Jacobs has also taught at George Washington University, Middlebury College, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and UCLA. He has a BA from Middlebury College, MPhil from Cambridge University, and a JD from Duke University School of Law.

Enterprise Solutions to Marine Plastic Pollution

Daniella Russo

April 15, 2015
6 pm - 8 pm
McGowan 102

Daniella launched ThinkBeyondPlastic in 2007 as part of National Geographic's Strange Days of Planet Earth campaign. The aim of the campaign was to increase awareness of plastic pollution as a global threat, especially to our oceans. The campaign used an innovative mix of new media and traditional media - incorporating social media, film screenings, a film festival, a series of podcasts, live events such as Mayors Ocean Summit in Monterey and numerous public outreach events in California. In 2009, Think Beyond Plastic won “Best 360 Campaign” at Jackson Hole Film Festival, and has since then evolved into a global innovation and entrepreneurship phenomenon.

Daniella has operated her own business accelerator for start-ups, Daniella and Associates since 1999 which helps in developing disruptive innovation technologies and business models. She has also been involved in marketing roles for technology giants such as Sun Microsystems, Infoseek Corp., Xerox and Frame Technology. Daniella has a Masters degree in English Philology from Vélikoturnovski universitet 'Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodi' and speaks fluent Bulgarian and Russian.

Surfing into Spirituality and Environmental Ethics

Dr. Bron Taylor
Professor of Religion and
Nature, University of Florida
April 21, 2015
12 pm - 1:30 pm
McGowan 100

Professor Bron Taylor is a world-renowned scholar in the field of religion and nature as well as environmental and social ethics. His extensive research suggests that while few natural substances have been more important in the history of religion than water, there has been little scholarly attention to how moving water, and human bodies moving through water, can evoke religious perception and felt ethical obligations toward ecological systems. Professor Taylor's historical, ethnographic, and global tour explores surfing as a form of what he calls aquatic nature religion, namely, nature-spirituality in which the religious experience inheres to a bodily practice related to moving water

Dr. Taylor is the Editor in Chief of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, and founder of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture and the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. He previously taught in the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh where he was instrumental in creation of the Bachelors in Environmental Studies program. He received his PhD from the University of Southern California in Social Ethics. 

Carbon Shock

Mark Schapiro
Contributor, The Center for Investigative Reporting

April 22, 2015
12 pm - 1:30 pm
McGowan 102

Mark Schapiro specializes in international and environmental stories. His award-winning work appears in all media: in publications such as Harpers, The Atlantic, Mother Jones and Yale 360; on television, including PBS FRONTLINE/World and KQED; on public radio including Marketplace; and on the web. He recently published a book for Wiley & Co. investigating the backstory to our carbon footprints "Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy". His previous book, "Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power," reveals the health and economic implications of the tightening of environmental standards by the European Union.

New Approaches to Old Issues: Port Dredging, Ocean Dumping and London Convention

Patrick Cotter
Environmental Scientist, COOL Consulting
April 7th and 9th, 2015
4 pm- 6 pm
McGowan 102

Patrick has been associated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for over a decade as an international environmental program specialist. An expert in marine global pollution, he was a lead US negotiator for the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. He has also worked as an environmental scientist for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and at the California Coastal Commission.

Patrick has a Masters degree in Oceanography from McGill University and a Bachelors degree in Marine Biology from University of Texas, Austin.

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