Note from the Executive Director, Jeff Mittelstadt

Tuesday April 14, 2020

Dear UNC-Chapel Hill and the Center for Sustainable Enterprise Family,

Thank you for everything you do for our society, our university, our school and for sustainability. During this challenging and trying moment in time, we send out thoughts of support and our best wishes for everyone’s health, safety and livelihood. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives, instilled fear among the people we love and placed many in dire situations. However, these are precisely the moments that drive us to succeed on a new scale. Our place, our community, our people here in Chapel Hill and throughout the world are meant to lead that success – It’s The Carolina Way.

Our students are finding new ways to lead. Net Impact is creating an engaging and educational virtual Green Week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Our faculty and staff are working overtime to help all of our students continue to receive a first-class MBA and undergraduate business education in sustainability. This allows our students to develop the sustainability mindset and knowledge that will differentiate them when they graduate and allow them to lead businesses toward sustainability. Some students are wondering if their internships will be rescinded, some have been. I’m so proud of our team for quickly developing an exciting summer internship program to provide undergraduate Kenan Scholars a remote internship opportunity in sustainability and business this summer.

For our alumni working from home: when you need a break and want to be inspired by the creative and passionate minds of our next generation of leaders, please reach out to us. Our students motivate and inspire us daily; they will do the same for you. And you, our sustainable enterprise alumni, have been driving global business leadership to improve social, environmental and economic impact for decades! Our students would benefit greatly from a Zoom lunch, coffee or happy hour. We can make it happen!

With incredible hardship, comes extraordinary opportunity to positively impact lives today and for generations to come. The Center for Sustainable Enterprise is about to embark on a new strategic trajectory to build upon 20 years of success and to “10x” our ambitions for the next 20 years. We want and need all of you involved! We’re excited to grow our impact as a family of MBA and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners and friends. We will continue to grow our thought leadership and research, and we will lead the way in bridging gaps between knowledge and practice through collaboration with you.

While many events have been cancelled this spring, we look forward to creating the best and most productive events possible next year. We will host another year of our popular Sustainability Awards! Our team will plan an executive roundtable on current sustainability challenges and opportunities. We will host current trends and results-oriented workshops on myriad topics. The Center will work with and support our MBA students in Net Impact to host next year’s FoodCon (a food business conference), Invest for Impact, Careers with Impact and Green Week 2021.

This is our time to help. Sustainability-based business is especially well-equipped to help our economy recover AND become more resilient. The full triple bottom line perspective, as originally intended, is meant for this: for creating breakthrough change and innovative solutions that have positive social and environmental impact while driving profitability, simultaneously. I feel privileged that I received my MBA from Kenan-Flagler with the Sustainable Enterprise concentration. I am honored to come back home and join this team as we all shape the Center for Sustainable Enterprise to drive excellence in sustainability for the next 20 years.

All the Best,
Jeff

Jeffrey Mittelstadt, MBA ’07
Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise
Professor of the Practice, Strategy and Entrepreneurship