Posted on May 20, 2013 by admin
By Camille Jensen, Axiom News
Having worked for more than a decade in the parks and conservation industry, Ryan Gerlach is passionate about protecting nature. Now, as he prepares to graduate from Presidio with his MBA, Ryan is excited to see how he can apply his business skills to sustainable land use.
Ryan will be able to explore what he calls “the nexus of conservation and finance” when he joins the Conservation Fund this summer; Ryan has been named a Packard Environment Fellow, and will be working with the Conservation Fund, a leading nonprofit, for 10 weeks to help them identify forestry investment opportunities.
The fellowship will see Ryan help the Conservation Fund identify ways to grow, scale and increase its impact using innovative financing tools and business models to make the most of land conservation.
“On a personal level, it really merges what I’m interested in. I’ve really gotten excited about this broader field of impact investing, and what keeps me going is working in ecological conservation and restoration work,” says Ryan. “(This work) really brings those things together.”
Posted on May 16, 2013 by admin
By Camille Jensen, Axiom News
International impact investing expert R. Paul Herman recently taught a Master Class at Presidio Graduate School to help executive-education students better understand how their money can build a better world.
We caught up with Mr. Herman, who invented the “HIP” scorecard methodology (HIP = Human Impact + Profit) to learn more about what’s happening in impact investing. Learn why Paul says there are more impact investing options than ever before, and why institutions need to change their belief that you can’t make money and do good at the same time.
Mr. Herman, you’re a recognized leader in impact investing. Can you tell us what trends you’re seeing in your work?
One of the trends is that forward acting investors are signing up for the Investing Pledge. Today, there is a giving pledge where billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are willing to donate half or more of their billions to charity. But there is another group of investors, which you can see at investingpledge.com, that want to invest 100 percent of their portfolio by the year 2020 in positive impact investments.
Posted on May 14, 2013 by admin
By Camille Jensen, Axiom News
HIP Investor’s CEO R. Paul Herman has an inspiring message for young people: you don’t have to choose; you can do good and make money.
It’s this message Mr. Herman recently underscored when teaching a PresidioPRO Master Class on Impact Investing April 16.
Paul is an internationally recognized expert in impact investing. In 2004, he invented “HIP = Human Impact + Profit” to show that the strongest portfolios and leading companies in profit and shareholder value can source much of their competitive advantage and bottom-line benefits from improvements in quantifiable human, social and environmental impacts.
Posted on May 10, 2013 by admin
By Camille Jensen, Axiom News
Sara Kennedy had a very clear goal when she signed up for the Presidio Graduate School MBA program: to work with or consult large corporations on sustainability.
With one month left before she graduates, Sara is already acting on her vision working as a consultant at the boutique sustainability consulting firm BrownFlynn. Based in Cleveland, the firm is at the cutting-edge of helping clients understand how sustainability practices can transform their organization and how to move forward with implementing and communicating these responsible practices.
“It’s amazing. I’ve never wanted to work so hard and so long for any other job,” says Sara, on her new position. “It’s very inspiring to be able to do it every day. You’re changing the world.”
Posted on May 9, 2013 by admin
By David Stripling, MBA Candidate
Last spring, while preparing for a business case challenge, I learned about a new investment approach that blends social and environmental impact with financial return–Impact Investing. I happened to be part of a team that was trying to help scale Habitat for Humanity to help serve 50 million people in 10 years, and we were wrapping our minds around the problem: “how can we make sure there is capital for our solution?” In a search to answer this question we stumbled on the incredible work being done by impact investors across the globe. Before us we found a new way of thinking and investing that is changing the world by bringing the necessary capital to social entrepreneurs.
While finishing my fourth semester as a part time student in Presidio Graduate School’s Business program, I had the first-hand experience of how this new investment space actually works. I became a Fink intern working at Sonen Capital LLC, an impact investment firm that works with investors to make financially compelling investments with meaningful social and/or environmental impact. Since becoming an intern, I not only became familiar with the landscape of impact investing, I also had the chance to contribute to the investment selection process by assisting with due diligence on some of Sonen Capital’s investments.
The thematic sectors they invest in include renewable energy, microfinance, low-income housing, small social enterprise funds, water conservation, forest conservation, and others.
Posted on May 8, 2013 by admin
By Ryan Miller, MBA students starting fall 2013
I had the privilege of attending the Presidio symposium ‘Outgrowing GDP: A New Approach to America’s Accounting System’ at Bloomberg LP yesterday, off Pier 3 near the Ferry Building. The half-day event included a mixed panel of current and former students and professors, each with a unique area of study relating to this country’s preferred financial barometer, GDP. In addition, key note speaker Jacques Leslie was on hand to present his experiences in Bhutan, a country experiencing significant environmental challenges due to rapidly melting glaciers within its Himalayan mountaintops. How this story, along with the experiences presented by the panel, is affected by the misuse and misrepresentation of GDP served as the foundation for a discussion tackling how to best derive and implement a new solution.
If you haven’t taken a look at each of the speakers, here’s a link to each individual’s bio:
- Nizar Abdullah, Adjunct Professor and Board Member, Presidio Graduate School
- Lew Daly, of Demos, author of Beyond GDP: New Measures for a New Economy
- Jacques Leslie, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist currently reporting on Bhutan’s Happiness Index
- Maggie Winslow, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental Management, University of S.F.
- William Shutkin, CEO and President of the Presidio Graduate School
- Dan Sevall, Adjunct Professor & Fred Gellert Family Foundation Faculty, Presidio Graduate School
Below is a summary of each individual presentation, the panel discussion, and finally Jacques Leslie’s creative non-fiction account of his experience in Bhutan.
Posted on May 3, 2013 by admin
By Esther Pearl, MBA Alumna C7
Phenomenally underrepresented behind the camera, women make up only about 20% of key roles in the motion picture and television industry. This translates to roughly 4.8 males working behind-the-scenes to every one female.
Sadly, in media aimed at children the gender gap is even worse. From 2006 to 2009, not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, law, politics, or as a business leader. In these films, 8.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce. Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946! These statistics are enormously detrimental to young women’s impressions of themselves and their perceived value in the world. While this is disheartening, this also means there is a vast untapped market for both talent and products that represent the diversity of our society.
My partner, Zoe Boxer and I aim to engage and educate that future talent pool with the launch of our new venture Camp Reel Stories – A Media Camp For Girls. I spent 15 years as a Production Manager in the Entertainment Industry. I love my career and have worked on phenomenal projects with amazing people, but it still is an industry that has a long way to go towards equitable representation. That is having a direct effect on how homogenized the media output is. My son and my daughter inspired me to take my experience and apply it to solution-oriented organization that will get more young women to take an active role in creating media. Seeing the stereotypes and the lack of diversity on television and film through their eyes was enough to motivate me to create a change. The mission of our new organization is that when girls are better represented behind the scenes in the media then they are better reflected on the screen.
Posted on April 30, 2013 by admin
By Ryan Miller, MBA student starting Fall 2013
Michael Linse (right), of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, listens as Robert O’Connor (left), of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, answers a question at last week’s Presidio Presents event. The panel discussion, which took place at the HUB in downtown San Francisco, focused on the topic of Clean Tech Finance.
Last night Presidio Graduate School held its third and final Presidio Presents Speaker Series event of the school year. Presidio President William Shutkin hosted an inspiring line-up of panelists, each with a unique perspective on clean tech financing. The engaged crowd on hand showed a keen interest in what insights and experience were to be shared. With drinks being served and enjoying the casual evening atmosphere of the HUB, the mood was jovial and relaxed. President Shutkin started off by introducing each of the panelists and had each panelist share more about their backgrounds. Our guest speaker panel included:
Speaker’s bios can be found here.
Being at best a casual observer of the clean tech industry, my first impression listening to the panel was “these guys know their stuff.” I was impressed. Their dialogue provided a number of different perspectives to create a solid representation of the financial landscape as it relates to the clean tech sector. For me, it was a chance to get an insider’s view on clean tech’s “state of the union” and how it has changed over the past decade, to better understand the direction in which technologies are evolving, and to gain some strategic insights into where clean tech entrepreneurial endeavors might best be aimed. Here are just a few of the takeaways from last night’s speakers:
Posted on April 29, 2013 by admin
In sports, it’s easy to figure out whether a team is ahead or behind: You just need to look at points, runs or goals scored. If only another score keeping measure—the one used to determine a country’s economic well-being—gave us such clear results. Instead, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) provides a “score” that’s inaccurate or incomplete at best.
Considering that GDP drives nearly every aspect of economic policy today, it’s time to explore alternative measures and how to bring them into wider use.To pursue and promote policies that help rather than harm society, a country needs to know its true economic score.
A Need for the Right Metrics
Even the Nobel Prize-winning economist who standardized the GDP calculation cautioned against using it as an indicator of economic well-being. Simon Kuznets noted in 1934, “The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.”
Adding up income is just one of the ways to calculate GDP, all of which theoretically produce the same results. But whether based on income, production of goods and services or expenditures by consumers, businesses and government, GDP misses many of the factors that contribute to national welfare. Despite the complexity associated with its measurement and constant adjustments and revisions, GDP can’t overcome this shortcoming. Again, the words of Simon Kuznets illuminate the problem: “Economic welfare cannot be adequately measured unless the personal distribution of income is known. And no income measurement undertakes the reverse side of income; that is, the intensity and unpleasantness of effort going into the earning of income.”
Posted on April 26, 2013 by admin
By Camille Jensen, Axiom News
Presidio Professor of Managerial Accounting Dan Sevall is working on an innovative economic theory that challenges how we make decisions.
According to Dan, economists assume that people make choices that maximize their levels of happiness, what economists call “utility.”
But in reality, we may do something very different.
“Rather than trying to maximize our utility what I think we do is we try to minimize regret,” says Dan.
“What can I do that will make me feel less bad? In everything that we do it’s about less bad but in our economics it’s designed to maximize.”
Dan says he first learned of the idea that people make decisions not based on happiness but regret from Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice.