Saving The World At Business School (Part 1): A Conversation with Andy Hoffman

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Open Agenda Publishing, Oct 1, 2020 - Technology & Engineering

This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Andy Hoffman, Holcilm Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and School of Environment and Sustainability. This extensive conversation starts with inspiring insights into how Andy Hoffman became interested in environmental issues when he declined acceptances from graduate school at Harvard and Berkeley and instead worked as a carpenter for several years in Nantucket. 

Topics include the notions of ‘environmental sustainability’ and ‘big business’ which sometimes seem as incompatible as oil and water and ways to make a synthesis a reality by seriously reconsidering the way we currently conduct public policy and even some deep aspects of our current societal values.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Clarity vs. Popularity, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Building a Career - Getting a lay of the land

II. Environmental Evolution - Fringe and mainstream

III. Beyond Punditry - The cultural backdrop to climate change

IV. Fostering Debate - Engaging, responsibly

V. American Exceptionalism? - Discussions on uniqueness

VI. Talking the Talk - Communicating science better

VII. Breaching to the Choir? - How to make genuine social progress

VIII. Energy Renaissance - Government’s role

IX. Reinventing Sustainability - Imagining the long term

X. Surprising Revolutionaries - Idealistic business students

XI. Setting Ideals - Towards a North Star

XII. Impact - Changing hearts and minds

XIII. The Passion Principle - Discovering our calling

About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series: 

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a relaxed and informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website (


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A Note on the Text
Introduction The Conversation
Building a Career
Environmental Evolution
Beyond Punditry
Fostering Debate
American Exceptionalism?
Talking the Talk
Preaching to the Choir?
Energy Renaissancee IX Reinventing Sustainability
Surprising Revolutionaries
Setting Ideals
Impact XIII The Passion Principle Continuing the Conversation

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About the author (2020)

Howard Burton, the founder and creator of Ideas Roadshow and Ideas on Film, holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MA in philosophy. He was the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) from 1999-2007. During his time at PI, he also developed an extensive outreach programme for teachers, students and the general public. His experiences at developing the research and outreach mandates of the institute were described in the book First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute, featuring a foreword by renowned theoretical physicist Roger Penrose.

Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning initiative, recipient of the London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2018. Howard has hosted and filmed in-depth conversations with more than 100 of the world’s brightest thinkers, including 3 Nobel Laureates, across the arts, sciences, sports and games. 

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