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Discussing the evolving energy landscape

February 2013 | by sustainNU

Solar PanelsKellogg School of Management’s Student-run Energy Club hosted their inaugural Energy Conference last Wednesday. The conference focused on challenges for industries due to the changing landscape of energy. Over 230 students, alumni, and conference sponsors attended. As a crossroad between many industries, energy is increasingly at the forefront of political and business dialogue. The conference featured keynotes from John Bryson, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and former CEO of Edison International and Dr. Sue Tierney, Managing principal at Analysis Group and former Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Sue Tierney opened the day's speeches with her Keynote address, “The evolving energy landscape,” focusing on energy production and distribution in the U.S., and around the globe. “If we take a lackluster approach, we’ll never reach our reduction goals,” said Sue Tierney. Her Keynote address was followed by a panel discussion, “The impact of energy on corporate strategy decisions.” The panelists talked about steps that corporations are taking to drive energy reduction, even without government intervention. Panel members included business leaders from five different companies, including McKinsey, McDonald's, and United Airlines.

Bryson closed the conference with the keynote address, during which he spoke about evolving energy demands and the need to act on climate change. “As a global economy, we need to think about climate change because it is exclusively a global issue," Bryson said. "We have to find ways that will reach around the world to address this issue." Bryson sought for global participation, “I wish to focus on the U.S. as a global economy, China as a global economy, and India as a global economy. We must come together and work together to address the issues of energy and climate change.” 

Resounding Bryson’s thoughts, Tierney said,  “Nation is as selfish as we allow it to be, the responsibility is on us, citizens and companies, to demand better policies from our leaders.” during a Q&A session following Bryson’s speech. Kellogg Professor Meghan Busse closed the conference by encouraging students to make a difference by promoting new policies and leading brave initiatives. She stated, “We at Kellogg believe that businesses can be bravely led and world changing. We need our students to be these business leaders in energy industry.”