This Wednesday, Richard Brubaker, Founder of Collective Responsibility, was invited to give a presentation to students at Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC), where he addressed the importance of sustainability, leadership, and innovation
Kicking off his presentation with an explanation of how he understands sustainability, and why sustainability is never really about “saving the polar bears”, he spent his time engaging the students on the importance of seeing sustainability as our ability to deliver an economy to 7 billion urban consumers.
An economy whose food, energy, water, healthcare, and education systems will all be tested, and only through developing deep understanding of these issues will solutions be brought to market.
To bring tangibility to the conversation, Rich focused his time explaining the challenges that China is currently facing, and will continue to face in the food & agriculture sectors. That, as China has urbanized and urban foodprints have grown, China’s food systems have been challenged to keep up with growing demand, that consumers are tiring of endless food safety scandals, and that it is the responsibility of brands to understand that the rules of the road have changed. That, even if they are meeting government guidelines the risk of consumer boycotts exists.
In the Q&A session that followed, Rich and students discussed in more depth about his career path and the challenges of doing business in China versus in the US. Rich ended the presentation by encouraging the students to think strategically about their own positions in the transition towards a sustainable future.
During his visit, Rich also held discussions with HNC’s Cornelius Kubler, the American Co-Director, and Roger Raufer, Resident Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, to discuss opportunities of hosting a student Hackathon at HNC as well as developing experimental learning sessions in 2016.