When Yale MBA candidate Eric Lockhart heard that the Sauder School of Business would be hosting a week-long course focused on clean technology, he jumped at the chance.
Lockhart was eligible for the program thanks to the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), a partnership led by the Yale School of Management that includes 28 world-leading business schools. As part of the network, MBA students have the opportunity to travel the world to partner schools for intensive Global Network Weeks. Sauder is the only Canadian school to be included.
Lockhart joined fellow MBAs from China, Nigeria, Mexico, Ireland and the United States, as well as those from Sauder, for a week packed with lectures, tours and hands-on experiences focused on the green economy. The students got insight into the leading edge of Vancouver’s clean tech sector, visiting a liquid natural gas facility and two of UBC’s most innovative research facilities, the Bioenergy and Research Demonstration Facility and the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability.
“We got to see truly cutting-edge work that’s envisioning what a new sustainability could look like,” Lockhart says.
With a keen interest in climate change mitigation, Lockhart says his time at Sauder was a natural continuation of his first experience with GNAM at the University of Ghana Business School, where he researched impact investment in energy and agriculture. He says GNAM has become a central part of his MBA education.
During the week at Sauder, Lockhart was working on a group project focused on carbon capture and storage technology, and how it could apply to Shanghai, China. In his group were two students from Shanghai’s Fudan University.
“It was a lot better to be considering how it applies to Shanghai while talking to people who actually live there and understand the political and socioeconomic realities of the city, rather than just reading a paper in English,” Lockhart says. “We were hearing perspectives coming from completely different places, which really helped us gain a more nuanced understanding.”
The week-long course, entitled “Clean Energy and Green Infrastructure – Innovation at the nexus of politics and society,” was led by Sauder Associate Professor James Tansey, who is also the executive director of Sauder’s Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing.
“At UBC, we’re especially well-positioned to lead a course about renewable energy, given our location in British Columbia, a hub for both conventional and alternative energy industries,” Tansey says. “There’s a growing recognition in the business community of the importance of sustainable resource development. It’s key to find innovative ways that firms can reduce their environmental footprint and appeal to an increasingly environmentally-conscious public.”
At the same time, Sauder’s MBA students were also taking part in similar network week courses across the globe. Students from the full-time, part-time and International MBA programs offered by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School travelled to the Philippines, China, Spain, Ireland and the United States.