Pompous Ass


Good morning baby, my wife will say. Already woken up by Iris, our virtual personal assistant, she is shaking me and telling me to get moving as today is my big day. I stretch and hop out of bed to find that she has already picked out my favorite suit along with my favorite shirt and tie (though I believe Iris helped her). I begin to get dressed in the bathroom while watching the morning news and looking at my calendar built into the mirror. I notice that for the first time in what feels like forever, my calendar is clear. I am accepting my award today for my work in founding the most innovative company of the year.

I arrive downstairs and Iris is just finishing printing my breakfast (yes I said printing). The food is completely fresh and warm as I begin to practice my speech by reading it on the projected teleprompter and listening to myself in the recording. My wife sits at the other end of the table making fun of me, as usual… It was only 10 years ago that I graduated Bucknell, and 5 years ago that I started my company. Using the advancements in technology, we found a way to measure all types of inputs and develop models which all types of companies are using to figure out what their customers want and need. We have also managed to use this mass amount of data to find new trends in the markets, and to find ways to offer new opportunities to the developing world.

me

Proud of myself (I’m allowing myself to have a bit of hubris today), I wait for my mom and dad to arrive at my house. Together, the four of us step into our Google driverless car and sit around the table drinking coffee and talking about the news as the car brings us to our destination. The drive, which in years past would have taken nearly an hour to complete, took a mere fifteen minutes. We pulled up in front of the hall where I would receive my award.

Afterwards, we left to go celebrate 2023 style. Our car lifted off of the ground and we entered the skynet headed from New York to Dubai to take a week of vacation and relax together. Iris was capable of managing the main aspects of the business for the next week and had strict instructions to only interrupt us if there was an emergency. The beauty of the future is that we only need to worry about the important things. The technology will handle the rest.

Advertisements

Sustainability & Bucknell


This past week I attended the 10am symposium that spoke about sustainability and how it applies to Bucknell University. The session was moderated by Peter Wilshusen and included talks by Alf Siewers, David Kristjanson-Gural, and Jamie Hendy. Each professor spoke on varying areas of sustainability—including what they are most passionate about within the area, what sustainability means to them, and how it applies to our campus community. They provided varying definitions of sustainability, they spoke of the future, and of possible solutions to the environmental issues that plague us today.

Alf Siewers was the first faculty member to speak. The main idea of his talk was that we should not take our environment for granted, and emphasized that idea that we need to try to find meaning in our lives outside of technological communication. For instance, he gave the example of watching the sunset over the Bucknell academic quad. He stated, “When you watch the sunset on the academic quad over the Appalachian Mountains, do you stop and appreciate what you are seeing? Or do you find yourself looking down at your cell phone?”  He repeatedly referred to sustainability as “a story”.

 Professor Kristjanson-Gural spoke next. He spoke from two different perspectives—first social justice and then economic. He demonstrated how social justice and sustainability are interrelated, but separate as well. He noted that it is possible to have a just system that is unsustainable, and a sustainable system that is unjust. He also said a very controversial statement saying that capitalism is intrinsically unsustainable because it creates uneven distribution of wealth. I see his point, but I do not think that I can support ending capitalism.

Finally, Professor Hendy spoke from a management perspective. As she also teaches Business, Government and Society, it came as no surprise that most of her talk could directly tie back into our class discussions. Her message was clear—that it is entirely up to our generation to pave the way for change, to make the world a better place, and to try to save our environment. I absolutely loved when she brought up Patagonia as an example of a company that is truly doing things the right way from a sustainability standpoint. They exemplify social responsibility and are truly paving the way for the future of sustainable clothing.

I am very pleased that I attended this symposium. What I enjoyed the most was hearing each individual professor’s unique perspective on sustainability, and seeing how the issue of sustainability is important across all fields of study. I was disappointed that they did not talk more about what we as Bucknell students can do, and how the issue of sustainability is affecting our campus. I would have liked to hear more on that topic. Overall, I thought it was great. Definitely worth waking up early to go see it!!

Bucknell gets Sustainable……in the classroom


sustainability_diagram

Hey everyone, hope you had a Happy Easter. Since I was leaving after class to go home for the weekend and had work in the morning, I was only able to attend the 1 pm session of the Sustainability Seminar about the curriculum. I noticed that there was a significant amount of us that attended this one, so I’ll try not to be too long and do the best I can not to make this sound repetitive. So what is sustainability in the eyes of four Bucknell professors? According to dictionary.com, its defined as “the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed.” I don’t think this really sums up what they were trying to say, but the website also gives an Environmental Science definition as well. It states, “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance: The committee is developing sustainability standards for products that use energy.” Now this is more likely, as the four professors discussed educating future students at Bucknell on how we should be more environmentally sustainable when making managerial decisions.

HillerCC

Professor Tammy Hiller spoke to me the most, considering I’m a management major and she was speaking for the management program. She discussed how the school of management was recently split up into four degrees and that sustainability was one of them. The courses in this division of management will focus on how to make the future of our world a more sustainable place. I find this interesting, but I have a feeling student will tend to turn away from this kind of major. That’s a personal opinion, but I feel kids will lean more towards finance and marketing. Anyway, this was only a small part of her discussion. She went into greater detail though about how sustainability has not been a major issue for most companies in the recent past. She said now though, that more companies are working towards becoming more sustainable, a lot of them because it is the ethical thing to do. But are all companies eventually going to be sustainable? I don’t think so. There are always people looking to cut corners and as long as they make profits, they won’t care about the state of the environment. Does that mean we need more government regulation or is this just the American way?

Is sustainability a major issue for corporations? Yes. Should we work towards becoming more sustainable for the health of our planet? Definitely. Do we need a whole section of the school of management focusing completely on it? Will wait and see, I guess. I don’t know. I always felt that sustainability courses were good, but not good enough for me to base my major on it. I always felt one class a semester, maybe even a year would be better. What’s your opinion?

Educate yourself


This week I attended the sustainability seminar that spoke about the new curriculum.  I think sustainability is actually a very interesting topic and wish I had attended a different seminar that spoke more about sustainability rather than the curriculum.  I mean yeah, I guess it was somewhat interesting to learn about the new curriculum but to be honest I don’t really care about a curriculum that wasn’t offered to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that sustainability is an extremely important topic but I’m not sure its something that can be taught in the classroom.  I really think it is something that you kind of have to go out and learn on your own.  Its similar to what we were talking about in class with taking an entrepreneurial class.  There is no reason to do this, it’s more of something you just have to go out and learn on your own.

I hate to be so distraught towards I school I love but to be honest I kind of feel like this whole sustainability notion is more of a facade than something that is actually real.  I feel like Bucknell is doing it in order to look better in the eyes of a number of different people and so that they can make the claim that Bucknell is a highly “sustainable” campus.  Like I saw in some other posts, it is important to highlight that sustainability doesn’t just mean saving the environment.  I do support the parts of engineering curriculum that are being changed but I am by no means a huge fan of what is going on in the management school.

Teaching for a sustainable future


Although the session about curriculum would not have been my first choice to attend during the Sustainability Seminar, it was the only one that fit in my schedule on short notice. Four professors spoke about their respective sustainability-focused courses and programs, then sat for a brief question and answer panel.

I’m not going to go over what was said by each since there are already half a dozen posts like that, but realize that sustainability is not just about the environment and natural resources. The gist of the Engineering department sustainability curriculum was to develop courses for engineers but include all students, not labelled engineering, and provide necessary perspectives for engineers designing sustainable technologies and techniques. The new sustainability-focused Management major is about managing limited resources to carry out an organization’s mission in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable method. The Bucknell in Nicaragua program is focused on social sustainability of communities and adaptation to external and internal pressures. The interdisciplinary integrative perspectives courses, wrestle with issues, combine content, model interdisciplinary collaboration through co-teaching by professors in different disciplines that inspire new perspectives on how to deal with global questions with local ramifications.

I think sustainability is a very important topic for all students to cover as our world is more crowded than ever and natural resources are becoming scarce. The global market requires sustainable thinking and planning to continue, as we have talked about the need to develop long-term benefits rather than short term rewards thinking.

We have an opportunity


How can the world change if our future generations are continuing to be taught by old principles? This is a pressing question that was raised by the professors at the sustainability seminar. Change starts with small, but necessary steps. Old environmental attitudes and principles need to be changed in order to create a future for next generations. We now know that the resources on the planet are finite so we have to stop acting like we can keep taking from the earth without any responsibility. This change starts with the education of students at the college level.

I attended the 1pm section of the sustainability seminar in which 4 professor discussed the change in curriculum in the management, engineering, and humanities departments. I thought it was very interesting to see how Bucknell was incorporating the go green movement into their curriculum. It was refreshing to see the great extent of interdisciplinary courses because I think that students gain a lot of knowledge from taking classes in different majors. As a management major, I think I am a better and more rounded person when I take courses to explore different angles of the world. College students are some of the future leaders of the nation so they need to be educated on a wide variety of subjects. I think that by creating a new engineering major and by restructuring the management school, future Bucknell graduates will be more informed and prepared to enact change in the business industry. Professor Hiller, a management professor, explained not just the content of the new courses, but also why they were necessary. She explained that even though businesses are still mainly focused on profits, there has been a recent shift towards focusing on the environment. Businesses have felt pressured to start thinking about making their operations more sustainable. As a result, they need students who have education in both business and the environment. I thought that this was very interesting that the Bucknell administration placed a lot of emphasis on educating students to act more responsibility.

Throughout the seminar, I was thinking to myself if this new sustainability incorporation into management, engineering, and humanities will make any difference. The answer to my question came about when a man in the audience asked a question. He asked whether or not students will be able to bring any changes into Fortune 500 companies since these companies are more focused on profits not sustainability. She did acknowledged that major companies are focused on the bottom line. Although, she said that if there is no change on the education level then new college graduates will not bring any change to the business sector. Professor Hiller stated that it would be difficult for a college graduate to influence a major company, but if graduates start their own companies then they will have a sense of the importance of sustainability. I don’t think that any significant change will occur short term from the incorporation of sustainability and interdisciplinary courses in the majors of engineering, management and humanities. Although, I think that this change is very necessary because college professors can’t continue to teach old environmental principles. I do believe that this change in teaching will create long term change in the business sector. I do wish that I had the opportunity to benefit from this new change in the management department.