Ross Events
Skip Navigation Links.


Friday, October 8 Saturday, October 9

Toby Barlow

Pod Presenter: Friday, October 8

Tony Barlow is an ad exec and writer who left the Big Apple in 2006. He's been instrumental in efforts to save what's left of old Tiger Stadium, and is outspoken in advocating that Detroiters "stop the loathing" and love their gritty city.

Rolling Stone called his debut novel Sharp Teeth "brilliant." His Mies van der Rohe-designed townhouse in downtown Lafayette Park graced the cover of a recent issue of Dwell. That's, well, for starters, awfully authentically cool.

Bill Currie

Pod Presenter: Friday, October 8

William S. Currie Assoc. Professor, SNRE, University of Michigan The goal of Dr. Currie’s research program, growing out of a foundation in ecosystem science, is to understand the organization, causal interactions, and dynamics in ecosystems and landscapes and to contribute to the new field of sustainability science. "If we can capture the right complexity in our understanding and models of ecosystems and landscapes, we can apply this understanding to represent, study, or simulate current interactions and future scenarios in linked human-natural systems. Understanding these broader, linked systems from a scientific perspective is at the core of the new field of sustainability science."

Tom Gladwin

Presenter: Friday, October 8

Professor Gladwin's current research centers on establishing and promulgating a science of sustainable enterprise, a field that addresses relationships among ecosystems, social systems, economic systems and organizational systems.

Tom is the author of over 130 articles, cases and chapters on international and environmental management and eight books including: Environment, Planning and the Multinational Corporation, Multinationals Under Fire: Lessons in the Management of Conflict, Environmental Aspects of the Activities of Transnational Corporations, Building the Sustainable Corporation: Creating Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Advantage, Stakeholder Negotiations: Exercises in Sustainable Development, and Business, Nature and Society: Towards Sustainable Enterprise (in process).

Professor Gladwin was awarded the 2003 Faculty Pioneer- Lifetime Achievement award from the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute.

John Griffin

Keynote Speaker:  Friday, October 9 workshop.

John Q. Griffin is executive vice president of the National Geographic Society and president of publishing at the Society. He also serves as chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), the trade association of the consumer magazine industry. His MPA term runs from 2008 to 2010.

Griffin has responsibility for the English-language editions of National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Kids, National Geographic Little Kids magazines and National Geographic Green Guide. He also heads the National Geographic Books division. Under his leadership, National Geographic has won the prestigious National Magazine Award for general excellence in a publication with over 2 million circulation for the past two years.'s Web site won both the Webby Award and the People's Voice Award for best magazine Web site in 2008, and National Geographic magazine won the Ad Sales Team of the Year Award, presented by MIN, for outstanding media sales performances in 2007.

Prior to joining the National Geographic Society in September 2001, Griffin was executive vice president and COO of Hearst Magazines International in New York. From 1990 to 2000 he was president of the magazine division at Rodale Inc, publisher of Prevention, Men's Health, Runner's World, Backpacker and many other health and fitness publications. Under Griffin's leadership, Rodale more than doubled its sales, launched many U.S. magazines, over 30 international editions, and became a leader in Internet marketing.

From 1987 to 1990 Griffin was chairman, president and publisher of PC World in San Francisco. Before joining PC World, Griffin had experience as circulation director at Rodale and as an editor at both book and magazine publishing companies.

He serves on the board of directors of the MPA, the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Guidepost and Trout Unlimited.

Griffin holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from Wesleyan University. He lives in Chevy Chase, Md. His daughter Elizabeth is in the Erb class of 2010!

Aaron James

Arboretum Workshop Facilitator: Saturday, October 9

An Erb MBA/MS Class of 2010 student, Aaron's studies focus on corporate strategy and demand-side energy solutions for the built environment. As an Erb student, Aaron has worked with UM administrators to create enterprise-wide sustainability strategy and campus-wide green building standards. His collaboration with the university's CFO and multiple presentations to the Board of Regents have elevated awareness across the institution for the strategic importance of sustainability.

As an intern, Aaron worked with the executive team at Net Impact's central office to develop the 5-year strategic plan for this international organization. He has studied design at Harvard and leadership at the Center for Leadership Design. His professional background includes start-ups in rural Montana, troubled teenagers in rural Utah, cross-cultural training, university teaching, and program administration. Aaron received a Percy Award for his contributions to the Erb community. He holds a B.S. in Social Science from the University of Michigan.

Scott Page

Pod Presenter: Friday, October 8

Scott is Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan and is on the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Insitute.

The following is his own (very brief) description of his work:

My research was originally in the field of mechanism design, but over time I have drifted into complex systems -- things like economies, ecosystems, and political systems. I'm particularly interested in the effects of diversity and variation within those systems. Does diversity make a system more productive, more robust? I know a lot less than I don't know about this topic, so that opens up ample opportunities. I'm fortunate to be able to work with a collection of brilliant people -- Lu Hong, John Miller, PJ Lamberson, Russell Golman, Ken Kollman, and Jenna Bednar -- as I try to make sense of the world.

Carol Sanford

Carol will be facilitating the Saturday, October 9 Personal Development Workshop
Carol's Website

An acclaimed speaker on TV and radio, at conferences and in universities, Carol Sansford is a leader of leaders whose consulting clients are successful corporations including Fortune 500 businesses like DuPont, Colgate and emerging ventures such as Seventh Generation.

Carol's extraordinary keynotes help executive audiences see a whole picture of human productivity and innovation and provide a clear path, not just to "the next level" but also to the next many levels of innovation and growth. Carol isn't gimmicky or complicated, but she does use up-to-date research in business, human intelligence and systems theory. She helps her audiences see and believe that despite the recent productivity stall and increasing global competition, there is a virtually endless supply of innovation and growth available to companies that increase their Human Consciousness Factor.

Because human consciousness is important to every aspect of business and human performance, Carol's keynotes explain the role that the Human Consciousness Factor plays in Business Growth, Strategic Leadership, Organization Design, Human Resource Practices and other business initiatives.

Kathleen Sutcliffe

Pod Presenter:  Friday, October 8

Kathy Sutcliffe is Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research; Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration; Professor of Management and Organizations.

Her research is devoted to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of organizational adaptation, reliability, and resilience. One stream of research focuses on how top executive team composition, cognition, and learning influence a firm's adaptability and performance. A second stream of work focuses on processes associated with team and organizational resilience, high-reliability organizing, and investigation of the social and organizational underpinnings of medical mishaps, with the explicit goal of understanding how an organization's design contributes to its member's ability to successfully manage unexpected events.

Steve Walls

Steve will be facilitating the Friday, October 8 Professional Development Workshop

Steve Walls has spent the last 15 years of his life trying to get the great ideas too often left languishing at the back of PowerPoint presentations out into the world.

It’s a quest that’s seen him living everywhere from Australia to Vanuatu (he claims to want to move to Zaire, just for the full A-Z) and that has seen him launching new products worth in excess of $30bn.

As the co-founder of Propellerfish he spends his days teaching people the tricks and tools of  the Creativity trade and his evenings practicing what he preaches (on the nights when he’s not too engrossed in House that is).

Steve currently lives in Montreal, speaks very poor French, is in the middle of rewriting a book of haiku dedicated to magician’s assistants (as well as a less serious book on innovation models and methods) and is delighted to be back in Ann Arbor, if only for the opportunity to bemoan the price of food.

Ryan Whisnant

Arboretum Workshop Facilitator:   Saturday, October9

An Erb class of 2010 student, Ryan's interests include sustainability strategy and organizational development. Prior to graduate school, he founded a consulting company providing strategy, program management, and communications services to Microsoft and other clients in the Seattle area.

Ryan's career experience includes communications and training for an energy systems software company, developing programs for an environmental non-profit, managing R&D projects for 3M, and helping to build an environmental dot-com. Most recently he completed a project for reducing energy use 25% at the corporate headquarters for a $5B IT services company. Ryan graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and a certificate in the Business Institutions Program.


My iMpact Search/Sitemap Accessibility Features Privacy Statement University of Michigan - HOME
2019 Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.