Watch: Owen Forward presents ‘The Future of Sustainability’

Owen Forward will present a half-day virtual conference on Monday, March 15, featuring Vanderbilt administrators, faculty and alumni in dialogue about sustainability leadership. “The Future of Sustainability” will begin at 12:15 p.m. CT and is open to the Vanderbilt community.

Chief officers from leading firms such as Nike, Silicon Ranch, KeyBanc Capital Markets, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Energy Transfer will participate. The event also will highlight successful cases like Vanderbilt University’s plan to become zero carbon energy by 2023, as well as energy portfolios and the challenges facing states like Texas.

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Panels and panelists include the following:

12:15 p.m. CT
Sustainability: A Business Imperative

  • Mark Cohen, Justin Potter Professor of American Competitive Enterprise and professor of law; University Fellow, Resources for the Future, Owen Graduate School of Management
  • Mike Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law; director, Climate Change Research Network; co-director, Energy, Environment and Land Use Program, Vanderbilt Law School

Join Professors Cohen and Vandenbergh to learn how sustainability has moved beyond a social and political movement to an issue facing leaders in every industry. The pair will discuss the evolution of sustainability and how it has influenced the curriculum at both Owen Graduate School of Management and Vanderbilt Law School.

1 p.m. CT
Innovating the Energy Mix Dialogue

  • Matt Beasley, MBA’09, chief commercial officer, Silicon Ranch
  • Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration, Vanderbilt University
  • Ashley Lykins, MBA’09, head of North America sustainability, Nike
  • Aaron Melda, EMBA’11, senior vice president of transmission and power supply, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Eric Johnson (moderator), Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy, Owen Graduate School of Management

Every business across every industry uses energy. Reducing energy consumption is on the roadmap for every large enterprise, and progressive firms are finding innovative ways to add renewable energy into their portfolio and diversify their clean energy mix. Moderated by Dean Eric Johnson, this panel will discuss innovation in energy mix and the growth of an industry offering energy solutions to businesses big and small.

2:15 p.m. CT
Diverse Energy Portfolios

  • Jim Rossi, Judge D. L. Lansden Chair in Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Bill Baerg, MBA’95, vice president of investor relations, Energy Transfer
  • Katrina Kaufman, MBA’96, chief commercial officer–Penn LNG, Penn America Energy Holdings LLC
  • Lisa Ryder, MBA ‘06,senior vice president–utilities, power and renewable energy, KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Eric Johnson (moderator), Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy, OGSM

Energy portfolios have become increasingly important around the globe, creating interesting challenges such as the recent power grid failures in Texas, and opportunities such as the growth of a $23 trillion global clean energy market due to transitioning to a net-zero economy. What will a diverse portfolio mix need to look like in the future; what is the role of current energy sources; and how do new innovations in the clean energy space help toward this challenge? Could a more diverse energy portfolio help with blackouts and outages in extreme weather, as in the case of Texas? How does the government encourage diversification of energy sources?