The Presidio Buzz is an ongoing project by MBA and MPA students and alumni of the Presidio Graduate School. Please click here to be directed to the main Presidio Buzz page.

Industrial Ecology: Paradigm Shift or Emerging Discipline?

By Katie Branagh, Adam Feldman, Margaret Hartwell, Dean Martucci and David Tausheck Is Industrial Ecology a paradigm shift with normative potential to be applied to policy, strategy and technology or is it an emerging discipline, in its own right, as the “science” of sustainability? Industrial Ecology has been defined as “a systems-based, multidisciplinary discourse that … Continued

John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and F.A. Hayek Compared

By Jonathan Mariano Three of the most influential economists include John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and F.A. Hayek. Keynes and Friedman are typically viewed as opposing, rather than supporting each others views. Hayek often gets overlooked, although is becoming prominent once again, as of the last boom and bust. It’s interesting to note the overlap … Continued

Why Water Isn’t the Next Carbon

By David Jay “Water is the next carbon” has become a go-to-soundbyte in the workshops and conferences I’ve been attending recently. But the closer I’ve looked, the more I’ve begun to uncover reasons why that’s just not true. Why Water is Smaller than Carbon At first glance, managing water seems like a coming echo of … Continued

Balancing Arrogance and Humility in Business Strategy

By Ted Ko Some recent writings by Jay Ogilvy (not yet published) on the opposing styles of systems thinking provide an enlightening philosophical framework behind the evolution of strategy theory and the successes and failures of corporate strategy development processes. Fundamentally, strategy design is a systems thinking exercise and executives would do well to understand … Continued

Why Humans Are Wired for Systems Thinking

By David Jay During a recent lecture at the Presidio Graduate School’s MBA program my professor gave us a taste of systems thinking. In a PowerPoint slide with text too small to read, he showed us a nest of boxes and arrows, stocks and flows describing just a few of the millions of complicated relationships … Continued

The Parallels of the Toyota Production System and Sustainability

By Jonathan Mariano The Toyota Production System has garnered praise and accolades not only in the realm of automobile manufacturing, but in the realm of operational efficiency. Similar to how individuals interested in sustainable business focus on the the 3P’s, the triple or integrative bottom line of People, Planet, and Profits, the underlying elements of … Continued

Marketing Green

By Ali Hart In the past decade, green products have infiltrated the mainstream consumer market, and I’d argue that the biggest splash has been in the “luxury green” market. When I first noticed this happening, I was appalled–I’m not a luxury brand buyer and I don’t want sustainability to be associated with “upscale and expensive.” … Continued

What About the People?

By Brahm Ahmadi Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field of study that addresses the complex interconnectedness of human systems and natural ecosystems. Unlike neoclassical economics, which is preoccupied with the value-free idea of efficiency, ecological economics focuses on the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem, and emphasizes the natural limits of our planet in … Continued

Toward a “Green Ocean Strategy”

By Jacob Park Managers must start to recognize environmental improvement as an economic and competitive opportunity…it is time to build on the underlying economic logic that links the environment, resource productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. – Michael Porter What do SUVs, genetically modified organisms, and fast food all have in common? They’re all antithetical to sustainability…and … Continued

Marketing and the True Individual

By Matthew Madden In neo-classical economics, the paradox of thrift describes an economic scenario in which the more people save their own money, the worse off the overall economic situation becomes. As a result, the paradox of thrift states that what may be good for the individual may not be good for society. The consumption … Continued

Garbage and Human Psychology: Don’t Ask, Don’t Smell

By Leslie Caplan Reading about throughput makes me wonder if we could approach solving product or service needs by starting at what we now call the “end” of the throughput process or “the dump.” Let’s say companies were incentivized to change how they solved consumer and social problems by a government tax or regulation that … Continued

How Might the National Debt Be Related to Sustainability?

By Basak Altan Financial, social as well as ecological sustainability are important macro economic goals. We have believed up until this point that as long as our GDP grows, our financial, social and sustainability problems will also be solved. Hopefully the world is eventually coming to a realization that this is really not the case. … Continued

Peak Oil is the “Sustainability Spear”

By Max Dunn Ray Anderson was 60 and retired from the weight of making next quarter’s numbers when he was able to breathe, look around, and ask: “What’s next? What legacy to do I want to leave for my daughters?” That is when he got the sustainability “spear in the chest”. However, Ray’s case was … Continued

The Sustainability Lens

By Steve Pierson “The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run, as if your life depends on it.” From Paul Hawken’s commencement address to the University of Portland Class of … Continued

Ethonomics Explained

By Rebecca Greenberg It can be said, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that our world is changing. Our planet is warming, our population is growing, our water supply is under preassure, and our financial systems have suffered. We have a new president in office; a man who passionately describes a new, green economy. The … Continued