Sustainability Week at Smith
Smith faculty, staff and students are no strangers to
business buzz phrases like “going green” and “social
responsibility.” Sustainability Week at Smith featured Seth
Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Honest Tea, the second annual
Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) Conference, a
discussion on global business, and a Dingman Center for
Entrepreneurship session focusing on alternative energy as a
Net Impact Events
Smith’s Net Impact chapter, an international nonprofit
organization dedicated to improving society through
business, sponsored two events geared toward full-time MBA
students. Officers hoped to host events that would engage
students and bring awareness to issues of corporate social
responsibility and sustainability in everyday business.
Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea
“We were honored to have Seth Goldman as our guest,” said
Emily Chan, first-year student and Net Impact co-president.
“The students in attendance said his lessons were really
valuable and interesting.”
Goldman, Honest Tea co-founder and CEO, candidly shared
stories of his start-up experiences and accomplishments.
Just 10 years ago, Goldman began brewing homemade teas in
his kitchen. The company enjoyed early success as he sold
Whole Foods Market on his mock-up bottle (a Snapple bottle
with an Honest Tea sticker) and several thermoses of
different tea flavors.
With assistance from co-founder Barry Nalebuff, Goldman’s
former business school professor, Honest Tea’s original
investors have made 28 times their original 1998 investment.
The company’s remarkable growth has been recognized
nationally, with Coca-Cola purchasing a 40 percent interest
in Honest Tea in February 2008.
Goldman told students he has no regrets about the path he
and his company have taken. “What I’ve learned is
illustrated in this Chinese proverb,” he said. “’Those who
say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing
Cases ‘N Beer: Yahoo! in China and Global Business
Net Impact and more than 30 MBA students welcomed the
opportunity to discuss the social and economic costs of
global business operations with Dr. Shreevardhan Lele, Smith
faculty member and Tyser Teaching Fellow.
The case discussion centered on Yahoo!’s compliance with
the Chinese government’s request to divulge user identity
and personal information. Dr. Lele led a group debate,
surveying the group for issues and concerns about Yahoo’s
“The discussion was engaging and enlightening,” said Adam
Weiner, a first-year MBA student. “He encouraged people to
share their thoughts and reflect on others’ ideas.”
Second Annual CEO Conference
Sponsored by students in the Entrepreneurship Fellows
Program at the University of Maryland’s Shady Grove campus,
this year’s CEO Conference featured speakers and panels
focusing on current and timely issues in entrepreneurship.
The conference theme, “E*Generation: Entrepreneurship and
the Environmental Renaissance,” attracted more than 180
students and professionals. Conference events included an
entrepreneur business exhibition, networking opportunities,
and the chance to win $500 in a Pitch Dingman competition.
Keynote speaker Doug Humphrey, a “serial entrepreneur,”
kept the crowd laughing as he shared the ups and downs of
being an entrepreneur. His first company, Digex, was one of
the first Internet service providers. In addition to
starting three companies, Humphrey has held positions the
boards of 20 companies. He was able to answer students’
questions, including when you should replace yourself, and
the biggest problems he sees with entrepreneurs.
Smith’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship hosted
Michael Granoff and David Kirsch, associate professor of
management and entrepreneurship at Smith, to discuss Project
Better Place and Granoff’s mission to reduce the world’s
dependency on oil.
Project Better Place, a California-based electric car
company, aims to reduce the environmental impact of driving
by moving cars from the “oil grid” to the electrical smart
Granoff and Kirsch’s areas of interest collided when
Granoff was in a meeting with colleagues, and someone passed
around Kirsch’s book, “The Electric Vehicle and the Burden
The Smith audience asked many questions about the future
of Project Better Place. Kirsch said he was glad students
had a chance to learn about Project Better Place’s vision
for the future of the electric car, and he was happy to
speak with Granoff about the industry’s past.