Save the Date: IGEL's 4th Annual Conference-Workshop: Valuing Water

Fourth Annual Conference-Workshop

Save the Date

March 22, 2011
World Water Day
8th Floor Colloquium
Jon M. Huntsman Hall
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
3730 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Topic: Valuing Water: Business Challenges & Opportunities for Innovation

As part of President Amy Gutmann’s Climate Action Plan, the 2010-11 academic year will be designated the Year of Water at the University of Pennsylvania. The Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) at Wharton/Penn will lead salient discussions on how businesses can evaluate how water use and the exchange of water value impact the economy, human rights, and global environmental issues.

Conference-Workshop Objective:   Provide an in-depth, informed and current overview on challenges of managing water scarcity and costs, including a global perspective on best practices of business strategy.   Explore specific opportunities for innovation in this area related to the development of new internal management tools, policy formation and new business opportunities.   Issue report based on collective discussions for future research, potential policy impact and future potential business opportunities.

General description: This series of conference-workshops is designed to address leading environmental issues facing business from academic, practical, and policy-oriented perspectives.  Scheduled formal presentations will be limited to a “Davos rule” of a 15-minute, 10-slide maximum for each contribution.  The distinctive format of this series of conference-workshops is to employ “workshop-style” interactions to promote rigorous in-depth discussion and engagement on issues among different stakeholders, including representatives of non-governmental organizations and government as well as business and academia.  Participation in the conference is by invitation only (though requests for participation from interested and qualified people, including students, have been liberally granted).  The aim of the conference-workshop is to promote a neutral and intellectually rigorous environment for learning and education on major selected issues.  Identification of topics and problems deserving continued research or revisiting at future conferences is another goal of the deliberations.


Tentative Agenda

8:30 – 9:00                  Registration &Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15                   Welcome Remarks: 

Vincent Price, Penn Provost

9:15 – 9:30                    Introduction:  

Eric Orts, Faculty, Director of IGEL
Elaine Wright, Conference Moderator                                

9:30 – 11:30                Panel #1:

Business Challenges for Water Management, Strategy, and Policy 

 Robert Giegengack (Penn), Will Sarni (Deloitte), Joe Rozza (Coca-Cola Company), Jeffrey Fulgham (GE Power & Water), Carol Collier (Delaware River Basin Commission), Christopher Crockett (Philadelphia Water Department)

Moderator: Eric Orts (Wharton)


11:30 –12:30               Small Group Discussions & Group Reports

12:30 – 2:00                Lunch & Networking

Guest Speaker:  Carl Ferenbach,
Managing Director, Berkshire Partners
Chairman, Environmental Defense Fund

2:00 – 4:00           Panel #2:

“The Value of Water as a Driver for Innovation”

Piet Klop (WRI), Nushin Kormi (Goldman Sachs),Scott Bryan (ImagineH20), Gena Leathers (Dow), Barbara Paxton (United Water), Noam Lior (Penn), Aurelio Ramos (The Nature Conservancy)
Moderator: Stan Laskowski (Penn)

4:00 – 5:00                  Small Group Discussions & Reports

5:00 – 7:00                  Reception: 

Harker Hall, 8th Floor Jon M. Huntsman Hall

Keynote Speaker: Charles Fishman, Journalist and Author
"The Big Thirst: The secret life and turbulent future of water”

Closing Remarks

For more information contact:

Dinner: Reception & Dinner at the University Museum


After the panels ended, attendees walked to the University Museum, located at 3260 South Street. After cocktail hour, everyone went into the dining room for a specially prepared meal consisting of local and sustainable foods.

2309_352Brent Blackwelder, the President Emeritus of Friends of the Earth, gave the keynote speech during the dinner. He discussed his relationship with policymakers and their joint work to protect the environment.


See more pictures from the reception and dinner after the jump.


After the third panel, conference attendees had impromptu discussions amongst themselves. Following the informative and engaging panels, attendees were eager to talk about the important issues from the day.


More pictures of conference attendees after the jump.

Corporate Interviews

Interview with Erin Meezan, Interface

Web 2.0 is the term we use to describe the changing way that businesses, consumers and software developers are using the internet.  In today’s marketplace, companies are turning to social media tools to educate consumers, sell products and elevate their brands and reputation.  Over the last three years several companies have launched Web 2.0 initiatives and virtual communities to connect more directly with and influence consumers.  Pepperidge Farm created the Art of the Cookie, Waste Management designed and launched Greenopolis among many others.  This month, Interface, Inc., the world’s largest modular carpet manufacturer, will launch Mission Zero, an online community that addresses sustainability.  IGEL had a chance to talk with Erin Meezan, Interface Inc.’s Vice President of Sustainability, about Mission Zero.

Interview with David Struhs, International Paper

Q: Your company uses a lot of energy, and the majority of it is green energy – bioenergy from the forests.  How do you feel about the push to use more bioenergy?  Can we find a solution to our energy problems in the forests?

A: When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  It is impossible to run a 21st century economy on an 18th century fuel.

News and Updates

IGEL Fellow Bernard David’s personal account of the Vice President Task Force Meeting

First Meeting of Middle Class Task Force
The Vice President of the United States
“Green Jobs as a Pathway to a Strong Middle Class”
February 27, 2009
Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvana
12:00 noon – 3:30 p.m.
Summary by Bernard J. David, Senior Fellow, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Penn/Wharton

Back to the Future?

Burning America’s forests is not a sustainable energy solution

David B. Struhs

Can a 21st century economy be powered by an 18th century fuel? Can we really find our energy future in the woods? When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

November 2008: Corporate Advisory Board Meeting and Classroom Panel


Top Row, From Left: Ann Klee (General Electric), Nushin Kormi (Goldman Sachs), Kyung-Ah Park (Goldman Sachs), Jim Bero (BASF), Joanne Spigonardo (IGEL

Bottom Row, From Left: William Brady (Exelon), Helen Howes (Exelon), Nancy Schmicker (International Paper), David Struhs (International Paper), Erin Meezan (Interface Global), Eric Orts (IGEL/Wharton)

IGEL's Impacts

IGEL’s Impact: Beyond Conferences and Reports?

This year, the students in my course in Environmental Management: Law and Policy read a new book: James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the End of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainabilty (Yale University Press 2008). Speth has been a fixture in environmental policy circles for decades and serves currently as the Dean of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, one of the most impressive schools of its kind in the world. One set of observations in the book struck me as disturbing and provocative. After many years of work on environmental policy, Speth makes observations such as the following:

Save the Date: IGEL's 4th Annual Conference-Workshop on Valuing Water: Business Challenges & Opportunities for Innovation

Fourth Annual Conference-Workshop

Save the Date

March 22, 2011
World Water Day
8th Floor Colloquium
Jon M. Huntsman Hall
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
3730 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Topic: Valuing Water: Business Challenges & Opportunities for Innovation