Leading US Business Scholar to Discuss the Social Implications of Climate Change

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This month the University of Sydney Business School and the United States Studies Centre will be hosting a visit by leading US business scholar, Professor Andrew Hoffman.

Andrew is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Within this role, he also serves as Director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.

Professor Hoffman has written extensively about corporate responses to climate change; how the interconnected networks of NGOs and corporations influence change processes; and the underlying cultural values that are engaged when these barriers are overcome. His research uses a sociological perspective to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations.

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Getting in Touch with the Weather: Extreme Weather and Climate Change Awareness

Extreme Storm Manhattan, NYCSept 8th, 2012 which resulted in two tornados on the edge of NYC. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/redpilotmedia/7974214666/sizes/o/in/photostream/)
Extreme Storm Manhattan, NYC Sept 8th, 2012. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/redpilotmedia/7974214666/sizes/o/in/photostream/)

What is with the weather recently?

It seems like every news bulletin these days has a story about some ‘one in a hundred year’ storm, flood or fire – except they seem to be happening every second year!

While the media increasingly ignores climate change as a topic (even in the case of scientific evidence linking extreme weather events with climate change), there are good grounds for hypothesising that our personal experience of weather affects our awareness of climate change.

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Climate Change: An Emotional Business

Climate change stirs strong emotions in our work and personal lives (Image: iStockPhoto)
Climate change stirs strong emotions in our work and personal lives (Image: iStockPhoto)

Ever wondered why climate change stirs such strong emotions?

Despite the daily reminders of the politically partisan sub-text of much climate change discussion, this issue hit me up front and personal about a year ago.

I was at a friend’s BBQ in suburban Sydney on a sunny Saturday afternoon, when an acquaintance casually asked what I was working on. Without giving it much thought I replied ‘how businesses respond to climate change’… Stunned silence…A look of bemusement crossed my inquisitor’s face before her partner waded in with the retort, ‘You don’t believe that crap do you?’

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Studying the Human Implications of Climate Change