Mendoza School of Business

Entrepreneurship and Climate Change: Looking Ahead Ten Years

Published: January 17, 2017 / Author: Carol Elliott

Ten Years Hence, the annual spring lecture series of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, will focus on the topic of the “Climate of Opportunity,” considering the implications of climate change for innovators, designers and entrepreneurs.

The Ten Years Hence speaker series explores issues, ideas and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade. Students, faculty and the community use guest speaker comments as a springboard for structured speculation about emerging issues and the next decade.

The series, which takes place on select Fridays from 10:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium, kicks off January 20 with a talk by Notre Dame Engineering Professor Frank Incropera. Incropera has authored or co-authored more than 200 journal articles and 15 books in energy science, including the recently published, “Climate Change: A Wicked Problem.”

“’Climate of Opportunity’ begins with an assessment of our current status of climate change to create an understanding of the science, policy and business forces in play,” said Samuel Miller, director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business. “Then we will explore for emerging opportunities across a wide range of sectors including water, architecture, energy and business management. The speaker series will create an awareness and dialogue around climate change as on opportunity for innovation, challenging our next generation of leaders to unleash their creativity as a force for good for the future.”

All lectures are free and open to the public. The full Ten Years Hence schedule is as follows:

  • January 20: Frank Incropera, H. Clifford and Evelyn A. Brosey Professor Emeritus and Matthew H. McCloskey Dean Emeritus, College of Engineering, University of Notre Dame
  • January 27: Matt Manos, founder and managing director of verynice, a design strategy consultancy that donates half of its services to nonprofit organizations – totaling more than $6 million to date
  • February 3: Gordon Gill, founding partner of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a performance-based architecture firm that utilizes a holistic, integrated design approach exploring symbiotic relationships with the natural environment
  • February 10: Stephanie Gallo, vice president of marketing for E.J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, California, the largest family-owned winery in the world
  • March 31: Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the nation’s leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels and also the world leader in producing electricity from the wind and sun
  • April 7: Chris Walker, director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), who manages the organization’s relationship with approximately 40 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in North America and leads WBCSD’s engagement of the financial and information and communications technology sectors
  • April 28: Jon Freedman, vice president of GE Global Government Affairs, where he leads global partnerships and government affairs for GE’s water business

Ten Years Hence is sponsored by the O’Brien-Smith Leadership Program made possible by a generous endowment from William H. O’Brien (ND ’40) and his wife, Dee. The program is named after their respective parents. The O’Brien-Smith Program endowment provides an opportunity for students and faculty to interact with distinguished leaders from business, government, and non-profit sectors.

For more information, visit the Ten Years Hence website or contact Jean Meade, Mendoza College of Business project administrator, at (574) 631-3277 or