Periclean Scholars host sustainable business summit
The half-day event organized by the Periclean Scholars Class of 2016 included a keynote speaker; four breakout sessions led by local business owners; and a company fair featuring sustainable businesses and organizations.
By Laura Orr, ‘16
Ninety students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the “People, Planet, Profit Sustainable Business Summit” on Feb. 20, 2016. The event was hosted by the Periclean Scholars Class of 2016, and was sponsored in conjunction with the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, the Office of Sustainability, and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Fund for Excellence Grant.
The mission of the Summit was to illustrate that profitable business, humanitarian ideals, and social/environmental consciousness are not mutually exclusive. The purpose of the event coincides with the Periclean Scholars’ mission to “raise the level of civic engagement and social responsibility of the entire university community.” The Summit was designed as a campus-wide initiative to strengthen the relationship between the business and humanitarian spheres of campus.
The half-day event included a keynote speaker; four breakout sessions led by local business owners; and a company fair featuring sustainable businesses and organizations.
The event was held in McKinnon Hall and other Moseley Center rooms. In addition to the keynote speaker (Shawn Humphrey), participants chose to attend two of the four 45-minute breakout sessions, each of which focused on a specific theme:
Sustainable agriculture (Braeburn Farm, led by Dr. Charles Sydnor)
Humanitarian cosmetics (Beautycounter, led by Laura McCall)
Sustainable textiles (TS Designs, led by Eric Henry)
Ethical artisans (Ten Thousand Villages, led by Anna Thomas)
After the breakout sessions ended, participants returned to McKinnon Hall for the conclusion of the event and the company fair, where they had the opportunity to network with local business owners, continue conversations with breakout session leaders, and purchase products provided by the businesses.
“We thoroughly enjoyed Saturday's Summit: it was a well-planned, well-organized, relevant program,” said Jane Chandra, breakout session leader and board member of Ten Thousand Villages. Based on her participation in the event, Chandra noted that “students at Elon are very much involved in the world.”
“This was a student-led initiative from start to finish and a perfect example of the opportunity for engaged learning that characterizes an Elon education,” said April Post, Periclean Scholars Class of 2016 Mentor and Senior Lecturer in Spanish. "I am fortunate to be able to work alongside such an incredible group of young people. They challenge me to be a better human being and give me hope forthe future.”
The Periclean Scholars program consists of a cohort of students from each year's class. Scholars take a series of academic courses, which culminate in a class project of global social change. First-year students interested in becoming a Periclean Scholar can apply until March 11.