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472 - Climate Activism and Its Business Impacts

Core/Elective: Elective
Credits: 0.5
Quarter Taught: Fall


This course will offer an overview of climate activism and its business impacts over time. It will analyze the way in which consumer behavior, public policy and corporate practices are interrelated and affected by activism of different types. Students will gain an understanding of how today’s activism has built on the past and will investigate what has changed — demographics, consumer attitudes, global messaging and social media. Students will learn about different components of activism that are impacting businesses, and the variety of ways companies have related and responded to activists. Case studies and current events will be used to bring the modern role of climate activism to life for a variety of stakeholders. 


Course Objectives:

  • Understanding Climate Activism & Its History: Students will understand the varied forms that activism generally – and climate activism in particular – takes, especially when aimed at business. 
  • Impact Analysis of Activism: Students will analyze the impacts of different forms of activism from different perspectives, such as financial, reputational, operational, and political. 
  • Changing Demographics & Attitudes: The course will consider how the values and priorities of modern consumers are changing and how shifting demographics affect climate activism specifically. 
  • Business Responses to Activism: Students will explore ways in which companies can relate to and react to activists, including legal, regulatory, marketing, financial and operational responses.