People + Planet = Profit: Darden Conference Ponders Rewriting the Business Equation

January 12, 2011 — What are Coca-Cola, Dominion Resources and the National Wildlife Federation doing to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world?

Students at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business will find out the week of Jan. 31, when Darden's Net Impact & Energy clubs host their annual conference. Registration is now open to all.

This year's theme is "People + Planet = Profit: Rewriting the Business Equation."

"Our members are pursuing careers or initiatives in corporate responsibility, social enterprises, nonprofit management, community and international development and environmental sustainability," said Natalie Schafer, president of the Net Impact Club at Darden. "We put together this week each year to help students get a pulse for where they fit in and explore how the power of business can create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world."

Three leadership speakers will share their views on sustainability including, John C. Reid, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Coca-Cola; Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources Inc., one of America's largest energy companies; and Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America's largest conservation organization, with 47 affiliates and more than 4 million members and supporters.

Their addresses are open to the public and will take place in Darden's Abbott Center Auditorium.

The conference will also include panels on public-private partnerships, corporate social responsibility, renewable energy financing, social entrepreneurship, energy policy, international development and renewable energy. The panelists for these sessions include:

Corporate Social Responsibility
•    John Reid, executive vice president of sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company
•    John Newsome, vice president, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
•    Bonnie Glick, business development executive, IBM Research
•    Adam Cooper, Accenture Sustainability Services

Social Entrepreneurship
•    Wendy Brown, founder of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence
•    Kevin Miller, principal and chief operating officer, Reingold
•    Fabricio Soares, chief financial officer, Ashoka
•    Mike Curtin, chief executive officer, D.C. Central Kitchen

International Development
•    Martha Piper, senior vice president, Rare
•    Leslie Barcus, president, Microfinance Management Institute
•    Jesse Fripp, vice president, Shorebank International
•    Chin Ejiasa, investment funds officer, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
•    David Wal, vice president and director, Economic Growth, Governance and Reconstruction Division, AECOM

Renewable Energy
•    Matthew Markee, Recast
•    Brandon Ogilvie, Recast
•    Thomas Meth, Enviva
•    Eamon Perrel, Apex Wind
•    TBD, HelioSage

Renewable Energy Financing
•    Blake Clifton, Abundant Power
•    Fabricio Soares, chief financial officer, Ashoka
•    Matt Dixon, EnXco
•    Terri Denning, Suzlon Wind Energy

Net Impact is a global nonprofit organization with student and professional members that has more than 240 chapters on six continents and thousands of professional, graduate and undergraduate members. Most graduate members are MBA students, but there are also members and chapters in other graduate programs. Net Impact at Darden is a student organization with the goal of encouraging students and professionals to harness the power of business to create a more sustainable world.

The Energy Club is devoted to fostering an understanding of the energy industry and its career tracks among its members and enhancing Darden’s relationships with energy professionals.

For more information, contact or a member of the Darden communication team.

Media Contact

Beth Schmid

Senior Writer McIntire School of Commerce