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Redefining Business

Looking to the 2018-2019 Academic Year: Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends of the Center for Responsible Business:

Greetings from Berkeley!  2018 marks the CRB’s 15th anniversary!  In celebration, we are reflecting upon the CRB’s impacts through the many incredible people and organizations that have touched and been touched by the CRB while looking ahead to our next 15 years.

Therefore, to celebrate our 15 Years of Impact we have launched our “15 Stories of Impact” campaign that runs throughout the 2018-19 academic year.  The first of the Stories are now available: 15 Years of Impact: Founding of the CRB; Why Students Choose Haas: The Center for Responsible Business; Alumni Spotlight: Rob Kaplan on Finding (and Sticking to) a Career with Impact; and CRB Mobilizes Students to Solve Patagonia’s Most Pressing Sustainability Challenges.  Please follow these Stories and please also mark Tuesday, November 27th on your calendars to come here to Haas to celebrate with us.  We will commemorate the CRB’s 15 Years of Impact with a very special Peterson Speaker Series: Redefining Responsible Business: Past, Present, and Future of the CRB.

Speaking of events, the CRB believes firmly in collaboration and better connecting Haas with this incredible institution UC-Berkeley.  So we are putting on a number of exciting events through collaborations with a wide array of university partners that include the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI), Human Rights Center, Berkeley Law Business in Society Institute, and the Scandinavian Department.  We offered an overview of our many Fall Semester events and activities here.  This included our first Rudolph Peterson Speaker Series event of the academic year on September 13th with Clif Bar co-owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford in collaboration with BFI.  This event was fitting with the formal establishment of the Sustainable Food Initiative (SFI) at the CRB in April 2018 with the leadership of our good CRB colleagues and SFI Faculty Director, Will Rosenzweig.  

Sustainable Food joined Human Rights & Business and Sustainable Investing & Finance (home to our Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund) as a formalized focus area of the CRB.  A good strategic framework provides focus where these represent areas that the CRB sees unique opportunities to drive deep impact through our Curriculum, Events, Berkeley Haas Case Studies, and Research support.  As depicted in our CRB strategy visual, we identify CRB focus areas by considering the greatest global challenges and opportunities for which UC-Berkeley and Haas have a particular strength and for which we can engage with companies and individuals in support.  Most importantly, we put Students at the center of it all.  We just named a new cohort of CRB Student Advisory Board members where these students are truly the engine of the CRB.

The CRB is also explicitly increasing our attention to further draw the engagement and financial support of Individuals.   Let’s face it, we are a nonprofit center in a public university with diminishing public financial support where we could not have existed over these past 15 years without the kind support of so many good people.  Rudolph Peterson, John C. Whitehead, Mike Homer, Charlie & Doris Michaels, Larry Jacobs, and Paul Newman (yes, THAT Paul Newman) are among the ranks of so many kind individual supporters who got the CRB off the ground and running.  Just a few more key supporting Individuals are offered here but there are so many more which speaks to the number of people who have contributed to make the CRB a success.

So we also turn our attention to the future and cultivating more Individuals to directly sustain the CRB in support of our mission “to develop leaders who redefine business for a sustainable future.”  We seek to cultivate a handful of new CRB Sustaining Sponsors.  Excited to engage and support?  I would love to hear from you at rstrand@berkeley.edu.  Moreover, we are so grateful to have the incredible strategic CRB Corporate Partners of Patagonia, Microsoft, Levi Strauss & Co., and Cisco.  These company partners make sense for Haas and our students and we are always on the hunt for additional great company partners.

Finally, on behalf of all of us from the CRB community, I would like to offer great health and happiness to our CRB Associate Director Seren Pendleton-Knoll.  Seren is away from the CRB as we eagerly await her bringing a new little one into this world.  As I consider why we do what we do at the CRB, there is no better reason than ensuring the wellbeing of generations to come.

Thank you all so very much for all that you do for the CRB.  I am so grateful.

Onward!!!

Robert Strand

Robert Strand, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Center for Responsible Business

Berkeley Haas School of Business

 

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