Tuesday, December 18, 2007

First Green MBA Quarter Complete


It is hard to believe that I am not going to be in class for the next few weeks. The first quarter of BGI is over (unless I hear otherwise) I'll not be staring at the computer screen while slides flash in front of my eyes and chat messages flitter along the lower left hand part of the screen (many of them mine). They gave us the really cool glasses Sus 3-D glasses to make the BGI experience more "real" (photo courtesy of fellow BGIer Mickey Lee). Seriously, the glasses magically make the dark and gloomy real world disappear into a warm haze of brightly clad cities that generate their own power. By the way, the folks from Seven Cycles will recognize the shirt.

...OK...back to reality...

The disjointed voices of teachers and students, mingled in some strange web-enabled mesh, sometimes cut off only to resurface with a Mickey Mouse accent as the web's delay catches up, are gone for a while. The constant level of anxiety that I have been dealing with over the past 2 1/2 months has yet to completely dissipate; I feel like I should be doing some school work. Should I already be reading the material for next term? Should I be reviewing the materials I glossed over too quickly in a dazed rush to complete what needed to be turned in? What about "co-creating" the institution; shouldn't I be working on that too? Maybe I really need to take the week off and chill out.

One of my office walls is adorned with an assignment we had in "Intro to Sustainable Business", a course that introduced us to the various sustainable business reporting metrics, tools, protocols, guidelines, etc. that are out there. We took a fictional company and created a sustainability report storyboard based upon the criteria given to us by our parent company. Our team of five people were given about an hour, one big sheet of paper, and some colored magic markers...away we went! Folding the paper into eight sections, working simultaneously, we came up with an outline that made sense:
  1. Title Page & Table of Contents
  2. Welcome letter from the CEO (wow!)
  3. Manufacturing Performance
  4. Transportation Performance
  5. Product Performance
  6. Community Performance
  7. Supply Chain Performance
  8. Summary (where we are & where we're going)
It's amazing what a small team of creative and energetic people can come up with.
W e even did a short Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) exercise in one of the classes. Honestly, I am not sure I remember how to do one, and the real process is quite expensive, time consuming, and leads to reams of data that may cause brain explosion. But I have the foundation...

As I reflect on the other elements of the term, I am continually amazed at the collective creativity and energy among the students. We're a self-selected bunch that have made the commitment to attending an institution focused on changing business-as-usual to business-as-unusual. It's refreshing to be part of this unique community.

I'm of the cynical sort, and I've left myself outside of the circles due to creeping suspicion that we're a disingenuous lot, more interested in ourselves than the greater whole (projecting here!). Oh yes, I am guilty of the hypocrisy of living beyond the means of the planet. I'm not following my own inner beliefs about using less. The gap between where I am and where I want to be is wide indeed, but recognizing it is part of the process. The work to close the gap has just begun.

No comments: