Dear Friends of the Center for Responsible Business,
As many of you know, our long-time CRB Associate Director Seren Pendleton-Knoll’s final day with us here at UC-Berkeley was Friday. Seren will soon assume the exciting new role of Director, Strategic Partnerships and Sustainability with the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT).
Seren has been with us for some six years and is such a dear friend and colleague to so many. So, I asked her if she would kindly offer response to a few questions reflecting upon her experiences with the CRB and looking ahead to the future.
In short, please describe your experiences at the CRB and what you have been part of.
My work at the Center has primarily been strategically thinking through the world of possible programs we could offer, and driving forward the most impactful ones. Tangibly, this included growing our responsible and sustainable investing focus area in partnership with Finance faculty to become the Sustainable and Impact Finance Initiative; as well as shifting our sustainable supply chains area of focus into our Sustainable Innovation focus area, and working with outstanding partnerships such as Patagonia, Levi Strauss, and Applegate Farms. I’ve also worked closely on growing and building out the student advisory board, to become a robust community of student advisors who truly help us innovate and grow as a center. Finally, I worked on updating business school curriculum, through co-authoring sustainability cases, as well as launching the industry survey and case guides, and two new courses premiering this Fall (Carbon Footprinting, and Corporate Sustainability Measuring and Reporting).
What is one or two things of which you are particularly proud from your time with the CRB?
Helping to strategically grow and launch flagship programs such as our partnership with Applegate on regenerative meat and the carbon neutral hot dog, the Patagonia Case competition, and the Sustainable and Impact Finance Initiative – and most recently, our work reimagining how we operate as a center and our impact in the world, resulting in the launch of our anti-racism commitments.
What is one thing you think the CRB should do MORE of?
Continue to question the status quo of business, and sustainable business practices. We as a center, at a leading public university, have a unique platform to truly push forward transformative, just, inclusive, and regenerative business models. We also need to continue to give our students hands-on experiences in these areas, so they are best equipped to go out into the world and enact change.
What will you miss about the CRB?
The outstanding staff, students, and board members. We have built an incredible community that has become my second family, and I am leaving colleagues that have been with me through major life moments. I will miss everyone immensely.
Give us a parting message, Seren, what do you want to say to the CRB community?
Climate change is happening now. This community has the incredible opportunity to enable business to actively be part of the solution.
We love Seren and will miss her dearly. But we do not see this as a goodbye. The CRB is a connector, and we will stay closely connected with Seren.
I am grateful to say that our wonderful Emily Pelissier has assumed the role of interim Associate Director. The most important role of our Associate Director is to ensure our strong and vibrant CRB Student Advisory Board continues to thrive as our students are our heart and soul. Emily has successfully taken hold of the torch passed by Seren to ensure we are off to this academic year with strength.
Our best wishes to you from all of us here at the Center for Responsible Business, and Seren: don’t forget to keep being awesome!
Executive Director, Center for Responsible Business