Segments in this Video

Introduction: Saving the World at Business School (01:29)


"Sustainability" is the buzzword associated with growing environmental awareness. Andrew Hoffman has critiqued sustainability, as it is based on stasis, staying the course, which he thinks is taking us to catastrophe.

Love Canal, Building Houses, and MIT (04:08)

In response to Love Canal, David Hoffman studied environmental engineering. He was dissatisfied at EPA. Businesses eventually embraced environmental consciousness; Hoffman got a civil engineering PhD. at MIT.

The Evolution of Environmentalism (05:57)

"Bright greens" see markets and business as allies. "Dark greens" see markets as the problem; they play a useful role in bringing change, due to the radical flank effect. Business schools have become more receptive to environmental focus.

Environment as Culture War (11:10)

The public debate about climate change is about values. Hoffman seeks to separate strictly scientific questions from cultural questions in the debate,and turns to social scientists for help in understanding how to persuade people. He discusses academics' participation in public debates.

American Exceptionalism (08:20)

Uniquely in the U.S., climate change is a partisan issue; culture debates big government. The global government versus sovereignty spills over into factual questions of whether climate change exists.

Changing Hearts and Minds, Responsibly (07:38)

Super-storm Sandy sparked a change in views on global warming; Hurricane Katrina hit a politically marginalized population and had little effect. Leveraging crises is effective politically, but such focus on individual data points is unscientific. Howard Burton and Hoffman discuss tension between political effectiveness and scientific integrity.

Flourishing: Redefining Human Happiness (09:44)

John Ehrenfeld believes popular sustainable alternatives only delay crisis; we need a radical change in values to move away from consumption. Hoffman operates teaches business students to find solutions consistent with profit, thus not limiting oneself to corporate social responsibility.

Flourishing: Utopian Ideals (03:52)

Howard Burton thinks environmental protection is consistent with economic productivity, but is skeptical of environmentalists who think we can become less materialistic. Hoffman sees such transformation of values as a helpful aspiration.

Global Impact, Hope, Optimism, and Competition (10:25)

Combatting climate change must be a global effort, but Americans are skeptical of global governance. Hoffman says you can't directly change people's values, but you can change behavior and values may follow; the movement to urban centers is promising. Business schools are moving in a promising direction.

Building Houses and Lives (02:27)

Hoffman finds academic work different from the carpentry he used to do, there are no tangible standards. He is concerned about the emphasis on pushing young people to build resumes.

Credits: Ideas Roadshow: Saving the World at Business School (01:08)

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Ideas Roadshow: Saving the World at Business School



In this Ideas Roadshow episode, Andrew Hoffman of University of Michigan speaks with Howard Burton about how environmental sustainability often seems at loggerheads with our modern capitalistic societies. In this discussion, Andy argues that this isn't necessarily so.

Length: 67 minutes

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Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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