|UW School of Business Forums Push 'Green' Economy|
By Todd Finkelmeyer
January 18, 2009
With the hope of both protecting the environment and creating good-paying jobs
in the state, UW-Madison's School of Business will offer a "Sustainability Meets
Entrepreneurship" series to provide UW students and members of the community
access to experts on clean technology, alternative energy and a "green economy."
"There are tremendous opportunities that lie ahead in building green industry in
Wisconsin," said Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, who was instrumental in getting the
series up and running. "I think this is an area where we're going to see
sustainable job creation -- jobs that are going to stay."
The first of the six Friday forums -- which are run through the Business,
Environment and Social Responsibility (BESR) Program in the School of Business
-- will be at noon on Jan. 30 in 5120 Grainger Hall. That session will feature
Tom Eggert, associate director of BESR, and Xun Pan, an assistant professor of
bioenergy and bioproducts engineering. They will provide an overview of clean
technology and alternative energy.
"We want to highlight some of our amazing entrepreneurs and offer them up as
models for others that are seeking to address some of the challenges we are
facing while also providing jobs and making money," Eggert said in a statement.
"This community forum is unique in the way it brings the community together with
the professionals and students to hear from green business experts and start a
Subsequent forums include: Terence Barry, president and CEO of AquaMost LLC, who
will speak about business related to a clean environment on Feb. 13; John
Biondi, president of C5-6 Technologies, who will talk about alternative fuels
and transportation on Feb. 27; Sony Newenhouse, founder and president of Madison
Environmental Group, who will speak about the green building industry on March
13; Lawton will discuss public policy issues related to building green industry
on March 27; and on April 17, representatives of Cardinal Glass, which is
opening a $60 million solar panel factory in Mazomanie that could employ 120
people by the end of the year, will give a presentation.
"Listening to these people gives this topic a real face," said Lawton. "People
have heard about a 'green economy.' Every presidential candidate spoke of it and
it's all around you, but what we need to do now is anchor it in real narratives
and real life right here in Wisconsin so that these participants in the forum
have a chance to really interact closely with successful entrepreneurs in this
"It's important to hear their stories and listen to them tell the stories of the
challenges that they've met, the trends that they see coming and the
opportunities that are there and how they built success stories."
Seating for the forums is limited to 30 students and 30 members of the public,
said Lawton. For students, the series can be taken as a one-credit class. For
more specifics, visit
"This is a field that calls for innovation and entrepreneurship," said Lawton.
"So what we need to do is help our bright students at UW-Madison understand that
there is tremendous opportunity here. And we want them to begin the kind of bold
thinking that drives solid entrepreneurship. We need to connect these students
to people who have done this. We need them to know that there are people out
there to help them with their dreams and to provide a network of support."
The forum is part of the Wiscontrepreneur Initiative, made possible in part by a
grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and administered by the
UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations.
The forum series is also part of Lawton's Green Economy Agenda, which is a plan
to "empower smart individual and institutional action related to energy, water
and climate change while strengthening Wisconsin's competitive position in a