By Robert Coombs
Silicon Valley businesses thrive on an unrivaled concentration of enterprising and innovative talent. Now Presidio Graduate School (PGS) and Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) have formed a partnership to apply some of this expertise to help keep San Francisco Bay Area communities sustainable and thriving.
Bay Area communities are grappling with the social and environmental impacts of the booming local economy. PGS students will draft policy and benchmark best business practices to help address these impacts. Also, they will work with the SVLG to learn from community groups how to best create the conditions necessary for livable and thriving communities -- crowdsourcing ideas to help inform policy and corporate discussions.
Collectively, members of the SVLG lead the local economy, providing nearly one in every three private-sector jobs in Silicon Valley and have more than $3 trillion in global GDP. PGS is a thought leader, educating new generations of skilled sustainability leaders to help collaborate on solutions to transform business and public policy. Both work to create a more just, prosperous and sustainable world.
"Silicon Valley Leader Group's partnership with Presidio Graduate School affords our members hundreds of hours of MBA student best-practice research to further the sustainability of their products, services, operations, suppliers, and customers,” says Mike Mielke, Senior Vice President, Environment & Energy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Plus, the Leadership Group itself will benefit from MPA (Masters of Public Administration) students' time drafting policy that benefits the environment, society, and business at the municipal, state, and national levels. In essence, the partnership multiplies our members' and our organization's reach in doing good in the world and in the Valley's economy."
To help SVLG executives and employees of member organizations better understand the complex issues around designing more sustainable communities, PGS will provide student research projects and corporate training opportunities based on its first-of-a-kind Sustainable Solutions MBA and MPA curriculum. Municipalities will benefit from PGS expertise in designing public-private partnerships.
This partnership will deliver tremendous benefits to PGS, SVLG members, and the community. SVLG members and local government gain access to sustainability expertise. Students get practical research and policy drafting experience. As Katie Excoffier, Sustainability Manager at Genentech and PGS Alumna, said after this partnership was announced, “With access to PGS’ research and innovation in sustainable management and policy, my company and the hundreds of other Silicon Valley Leadership Group's members will be better prepared to engage community stakeholders.”
Together, the two organizations will take an exciting leap forward to activate thousands of business and governmental professionals in organizations throughout Silicon Valley. By working together with local residents and leaders, this partnership has the potential to create and model sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges, improving the health of our communities.
PGS Board of Directors First Vice Chair Suzanne Farver noted that “The PGS-SVLG partnership will multiply PGS' impact in Silicon Valley and -- through the companies' influence -- globally. Plus, leveraging PGS' expertise in public policy and public-private engagement will foster the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's ability to propose systems-thinking solutions for energy and sustainability in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and beyond."
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