Submitted by: Bainbridge Graduate Institute
Posted: Jun 10, 2007 – 12:00 PM EST
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA – June 10, 2007 - The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) announced the graduation of its fourth class of MBAs in Sustainable Business. "This class is already making a difference in the world," says BGI President and Cofounder, Gifford Pinchot. "They've started up a new biodiesel venture, contributed to a book, and reduced carbon footprints. And now that the world is finally coming to grips with the need to change towards a more sustainable future, we expect our alums to be driving the new, more green, more just economy."
Graduate, Stuart Stranahan chose BGI hoping it would be a springboard for the launch of his new biodiesel company. "Before the first year was over I had my business plan and venture capitalists. And now I'm graduating not only with my MBA in Sustainable Business, but with my new business launched, up and running. There's simply no where else to get this kind of education."
Also participating in this year's commencement are students receiving Certificates in either Sustainable Business or Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship, or both. Kevin Wilhelm, President of Innovative Strategies, a consulting firm focused on making the business case for sustainability, comments "Good business means making profit while improving your social and environmental business performance. We're showing that you can make a profit, even make more profit while giving back to our communities and to the planet." Kevin's personal philosophy is "make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." Wilhelm was chosen by his MBA peers to speak on their behalf. Henry Fielding, who was "greening" the lines of major apparel and home furnishing companies before it was fashionable, was chosen to speak for the certificate students.
With changing the world for good a key tenet of BGI's philosophy, the class of 2007 chose David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, as this year's commencement speaker. The New York Times describes Bornstein's book as "must reading" for "anyone who cares about building a more equitable and stable world." It chronicles and analyzes the work of social innovators who are successfully addressing social problems at scale in several countries. Bornstein's writing and interviews are published in 16 languages for countries around the globe.
Bornstein's first book, The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank, won second prize in the Harry Chapin Media Awards, was a finalist for the New York Public Library Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best books of 1996. The book traces the history of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank during its first 20 years, describing the global emergence of the now-famous anti-poverty strategy known as "micro-finance."
Commencement services for this year's graduating class of 30 MBAs in Sustainable Business and 31 Certificates in Sustainable Business and/or Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship will take place at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66, Seattle, WA 98121 at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 10.
"It's been a great year for us" comments Pinchot. "It's not every year that you receive a #1 ranking in Net Impact's 2006 Student Guide to Graduate Business Programs, land your biggest class yet, launch a successful concentration in Outdoor Industry and a certificate program in downtown Seattle, are named One of the 20 Ideas That Changed the Way the World Does Business [by Social Venture Network] and have 3 students inducted into the Society of Royal Arts for figuring out new ways to bring food to market. It's going to be tough to top this year. But we'll figure out a way."
About Bainbridge Graduate Institute
BGI was born five years ago when Cofounder and President, Gifford Pinchot, a renowned business consultant, realized that the nation's graduate business schools were churning out one-dimensional MBA graduates who had solid short-term profit-maximization skills but lacked a deep understanding of how to integrate social and environmental issues into business decisions.
The Institute's pioneering MBA and certificate programs prepare a diverse group of leaders to build enterprises that are economically successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. The innovative curriculum preserves the rigor of a traditional MBA program, while infusing sustainability - including both environmental and social responsibility - throughout every course.
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