Leading As If The Planet Matters with Professor Rae André

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Philicia Thomas: Good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us today for Northeastern University online MBA webinar, Leading As If the Planet Matters.

Philicia Thomas: Today’s webinar features Dr. Rae Andre, who will be presenting her lectures on sustainability and Leadership. My name is Philicia Thomas and I will be your moderator for today. Joining us today we also have one of our enrollment advisor Hela Azizi, who will help answer any question regarding the program and the application requirements.

Philicia Thomas: Just a couple of housekeeping items. All attendees are in listen mode only. If you have any questions, you have an opportunity to type your questions in the chat box. At the end of our presentation question we will have a Q&A session where we will address your questions. A copy of this webinar will also be available.

Philicia Thomas: Today’s agenda will include Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, about the online MBA, sustainability and Leadership, admissions requirements, tuition and scholarship, and the Q&A session.

Philicia Thomas: A little bit about Northeastern University. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business was established in 1922 And has a reputation for scholarly research, excellence in teaching and innovation curricula. Our professors and instructors have Ph.D.’s and Master’s degrees and real-world experience in the discipline they teach. This provides teaching based on industrial standards so that you may apply what you have learned in the program to what you are currently doing. Students have an opportunity to network with over 200,000 Northeastern alumni and 40,000 School of Business alumni.

Philicia Thomas: Why choose our online MBA program? You will be studying at a renowned AACSB-accredited business school, learn from instructors who have real world international business experience, enjoy the flexibility of completing your degree entirely online, leverage our focus on experience, no GRE or GMAT requirements, participate in an optional international field study, graduate in as little as 24 months, and tailor your degree by choosing from eight in-demand concentrations.

Philicia Thomas: Today’s competitive business world requires leaders not only to have a solid grasp in core functioning areas, but also have an in-depth specialization knowledge in a given area. Our curriculum enables students to select from a wide range of elective courses, to graduate with either a general MBA or an MBA with a single or dual specialization. Selection of our specializations are finance, healthcare management, high technology management, innovation entrepreneurship, international management, marketing, supply chain management, and sustainability.

Philicia Thomas: The general MBA or MBA with a specialization is consistent of 60 credit hours, which are broken down into 18 courses. 13 of which are your core courses and your five electives. Students will move through the part-time explorative program through enrollment in one course at a time. Again, the program can be completed in as little as two years with the flexibility to stretch it out up to a maximum of five years. The length of the courses are five weeks long with a one week break after each course.

Philicia Thomas: The small group structure is consistent of up to 20 students per cohort to promote a special classroom interaction as well as enable students support by dedicated instructors.

Philicia Thomas: Now I would like to introduce you to Dr. Rae Andre who is a professor of management and sustainability at Northeastern University. Dr. Andre’s research interests include leadership and sustainability, accountability and social enterprises. Dr. Andre has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, Master’s degree from UCLA, and a PhD from the University of Michigan. Now without further ado, here is Dr. Andre.

Philicia Thomas: Welcome Dr. Andre.

Dr. Rae Andre: Thank you so much Philicia and welcome to everybody across the country and hopefully around the globe. It’s such a pleasure to meet all of you and I look forward to seeing you in my class.

Dr. Rae Andre: It’s such a great program because we have a diversity of viewpoints and knowledge from all the students of geographically, demographically. I really enjoy teaching in this program and I think you’ll very much enjoy meeting this great cohort of students.

Dr. Rae Andre: So today they’ve asked me to speak about my course in particular, which is management 6225. It’s offered every spring. It’s a course entitled Sustainability and Leadership, which is a little bit different from the name of my book that is the basis for the course, which is Leading as if the Planet Matters. And that’s our concern. Everyone is concerned about that today, whether you’re in business, whether you’re in community. And we all have to figure this out together. So what we cover in the course is climate change and energy evolution. By energy evolution I mean the transition from fossil fuel energy that is causing climate … The burning of that is causing climate change and energy evolution moving from dirty energy to green energy.

Dr. Rae Andre: So we will cover what leaders need to know and do to help their communities and their companies adjust and be proactive for the planet. So the course learning objectives, I’ll just read this quickly. You can reflect on it on your own later. So first thing we do is we strive to understand the basic science behind the global environmental issues of climate change and energy evolution. Don’t let this scare you if you don’t have a scientific background. None of this has scientific backgrounds or most of us don’t and the key question we address is how can we who are not necessarily scientists understand enough scientists to be able to have a leadership voice. So you want to be able to lead initiatives and companies and communities that rely on understanding basic science.

Dr. Rae Andre: So for example, here in Boston we just had General Electric say they’re going to build there and start a building their headquarters in the seaport district. Well the seaport district is fairly low lying land. And GE had to do research to help it to understand how low lying is it and what do we need to do about that? What they did was they chose to, they’re choosing to fill that land in so that they raise their building five feet above the current level of the pavement. These are the kinds of decisions that require some knowledge of science or some knowledge of how to buy the science, how to get the consultant to help you.

Dr. Rae Andre: So you need to also be able to identify and describe key stakeholders around such decisions. You need to be able to perform research including integrating research reports that have already been done, for example about sea level and the seaport district, and identifying high quality databases to help you to do that. In our course, we’re going to teach you how to write a credible research report that recommends a particular policy or action to a client of your choosing. And help you to effectively contribute to leading strategic business decisions in this area.

Dr. Rae Andre: So why should you enroll in my particular course? First of all, these issues, climate change, energy, and environmental leadership, are increasingly important. And I think we’re not gonna talk about whether climate change is real or not. That the majority of scientists believe that it is real. We’re just gonna move on from there and begin to think about what we can do.

Dr. Rae Andre: Reason two to take this course is to learn the research skills and to do it in a way that reflects your interests. You’re gonna be able to choose what the project you want to work on. If you want to work on fracking in Texas or southwestern Pennsylvania, fine. If you’re from Nebraska and you want to work on the effects of farmland on climate change, fine. I really want you to do something that matters to you. So we’ll be working with peer reviewed research and showing you how to use the Northeastern library online to do that. We have a great library that helps you to do that. And to identify the key sources and key databases for your particular topic.

Dr. Rae Andre: And this course does count towards your Northeastern specialty and sustainability should you choose to take that sustainability specialty. And there are four courses of which you would need to take three in order to get that on your transcript.

Dr. Rae Andre: So the course concept has, first of all we want to understand the truth about climate change and understand the sources of the truth. There’s peer reviewed articles, there’s good and bad media. There’s learning from your neighbor down the street. How do you find good knowledge and how do you yourself decide what is the truth? So that is the very first and basic aspect of the first part of the course.

Dr. Rae Andre: We then look at managing risk, understanding stakeholders, and power. This is very much about power. How to lead in your company and also how to think about global leadership. Is the Paris agreement a good thing or not? Who are the leaders who are going to help us globally to solve this problem?

Dr. Rae Andre: In my particular course, participation is a huge factor. You’ll be offered the opportunity to read some very stimulating articles, see some great films, and reflect on that with your peers. You also have a group project in which I ask you to go out in the virtual environment, if you will, and find oil. So we think about how much oil is there out there and how is that a strategic factor? And then finally you have an individual research paper, again, on a topic of choice that matters to you.

Dr. Rae Andre: So in our class discussions we like to have as much fun as possible. One of the things I’ve done is I’ve created a questionnaire at the beginning to help people to assess their own scientific literacy. So we thought it would be interesting for you to take part of that quiz and even learn a little something today. And my beautiful assistant Nirvana is going to be helping us to work through these slides.

Dr. Rae Andre: So the first question that I want you to answer through some mechanism. I’m not sure what mechanism she has for you to do this. But I’m sure you’ll find it in a moment.

Dr. Rae Andre: So the first question: Throughout history, the earth’s atmosphere contained 270 parts per million of carbon dioxide or CO2. Scientists believe the safe upper limit of CO2 is what? What do you think?

Dr. Rae Andre: So you should be able to click on one of those and then maybe submit it? The bottom it says submit.

Dr. Rae Andre: Okay, so this is what the class has answered. And some people chose 300 parts per million, some chose 350. Let me show you some data.

Dr. Rae Andre: So here is some really interesting data from NOA, from the federal government, that allows us to go back using ice core samples all the way back 400,000 years ago. And the CO2 levels at those, in all the era up until 1950 was less than 300. It’s currently much higher. Very sobering fact right there. So the scientists think that the safe upper limit is probably 350 parts per million. And as of 2018, we are currently at 408 parts per million. We’ve already exceeded what they think is probably the safe limit. In our course we’ll discuss, what is safe? What does it mean to exceed this limit? And as you can see, since I think it’s probably 2006, the limit has just been going, the CO2 has just been going pretty much straight up. This is because we are an industrial era in which we are burning fossil fuels. You’ll have an opportunity to review the science behind that at the very beginning of our course.

Dr. Rae Andre: So question two, where are temperatures increasing the most?

Dr. Rae Andre: So we have in the southern hemisphere. Not a bad guess because one might think it’s warmer. But the answer is at the poles. And there’s a graphic there, so that’s …

Dr. Rae Andre: Nirvana can you show the graphic of the … Perfect, thank you.

Dr. Rae Andre: So if you can see, the north pole in particular is getting very warm and it’s getting warm very fast. This year they’ve already had some temperature anomalies I think up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, I think they’ve recorded that at the North Pole. And that is one of the reasons perhaps why we have had such interesting weather here in New England this year. We can’t say that definitively because you can only predict weather in a 30 year period.

Dr. Rae Andre: Okay, so question three, burning fossil fuels is the major contributor of CO2 in the atmosphere. How many barrels of fossil fuel that we call oil were burned on a daily basis worldwide in 2016? What do you think?

Dr. Rae Andre: So if we could see the next graphic. Go to the next slide. With the results?

Dr. Rae Andre: Okay, so the world, I’m not sure that we … oh, okay. So that was the result. We had 54 million. Some people chose …

Dr. Rae Andre: So this is one of those figures that’s difficult to remember but very important. Could we go to the next slide please? I can no longer control that.

Dr. Rae Andre: Okay, thanks. So the world currently burns about 96 million barrels per day. Let’s round it up to a hundred million barrels per day. Why is that an interesting figure and I make my students memorize that? Now I can’t make you memorize it but my online students but I strongly encourage you. Because you’re reading along and you hear, gee, such and such a formation has three billion barrels of oil. Wow, aren’t we all set for the rest of our lives? Well, as it turns out, 96 million barrels per day, or a hundred, you divide that into a billion, it turns out that one billion barrels only lasts 10 days. Remember that the next time you read a very bright scenario about how much oil is left.

Dr. Rae Andre: So we have a problem. We’ve got a planet that’s heating up, we’re burning fossil fuels, we’d like to move to green energy, and we need all kinds of leaders. We need guys like Elon Musk in business. We need guys like James Hanson in science. We need guys like Josh Fox in media. We need politicians, we need everybody, we need you to think about being a leader for the planet.

Dr. Rae Andre: So when you’re thinking about leading in your organization, there’s a whole chapter in the book on that, it’s very complex, it’s challenging. But you certainly want to be thinking about executive leaderships establishing strategy and meaning in your corporation if you have the executive role. And operational leadership, how to achieve that if you don’t have that role.

Dr. Rae Andre: So we also want to think much more broadly about what sector is gonna lead. Is business gonna lead us to save the planet? Is it gonna be government, or some other organization? Who is leading on the international scene and how can we support those people and what drives them?

Dr. Rae Andre: So we hope to see you in Management 6225. It’s a terrific conversation that I hope will help you in both your business and your community roles. Thank you very much and I enjoyed talking to you.

Philicia Thomas: Thank you professor. Now I would like to turn it over to Hela, our enrollment advisor for Northeastern University online MBA to speak about the admissions requirements.

Hela Azizi: The application requirements for the online MBA are an official conferred transcript, current resume, two letters of professional recommendation, an application update. There is also a hundred dollar application fee, non-refundable.

Hela Azizi: Tuition for this program is hundred dollar application fee, there’s a total of 18 courses, and based on the current tuition rate, 1560 per credit hour, total of 50 credit hours. Total tuition is around 78,000 dollars.

Hela Azizi: Yellow ribbon program. Northeastern is committed to helping post 911 veterans earn degrees through the yellow ribbon program by matching funds provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Qualifying veterans who apply and are accepted into the Northeastern program may be eligible to receive grant aid that covers most to all of the tuition and fee charges. For more information, please visit the website.

Hela Azizi: Double Husky Scholarship: any Northeastern graduate enrolled in a second degree program may be eligible to apply for a Double husky scholarship. It is a 25% tuition scholarship. Also the hundred dollar application fee is waived. Again, for more information, please visit the website.

Hela Azizi: Lifetime learning membership. It’s available to currently enrolled full time student families. Family members can continue working to achieve their advanced educational goal in more 100 eligible graduate programs. Qualified lifetime learning members are eligible to receive a 25% tuition scholarship. Again, for more information, please visit the website.

Philicia Thomas: Thank you Hela. This concludes our presentation for today. Now we would be more than happy to address any questions you may have. Again, please feel free to type your questions in the chat box and we’ll allow you about a minute or so to do so.

Philicia Thomas: Okay so we do have a few questions. And the first question is for professor Andre. The question is, “What should I do to prepare myself for this course?” Professor?

Dr. Rae Andre: Wow that’s a really interesting question. I would say, I would say pick several sources that you respect and start paying attention to the climate news in those sources. For example, if you subscribe to the New York Times, which is a well fact checked newspaper, they have a … They allow you to sign up just for their climate news. And there are many other, like there’s another one, daily climate, that summarizes the news, the climate news. Just so that you begin to think about what is actually happening and begin to identify sources that you respect and are willing to follow.

Philicia Thomas: Wonderful. Thank you professor. And I think we do have another question for you. So how does this Master’s degree feature from Northeastern University School of Professional Studies diploma?

Dr. Rae Andre: You know I’m not really so qualified to answer that because I’m not fully in touch with that their program is. Maybe you guys have something you can say about that?

Philicia Thomas: I would advise you to please reach out to one of the advisors so we can discuss that program and the diploma on campus in more detail.

Philicia Thomas: All right. And the next question is for Hela. “Can I attend classes on campus?”

Hela Azizi: No, it is a hundred percent online program.

Philicia Thomas: And to add to that, so because the program is an online program, we do not have a hybrid program where you can do courses online as well as on campus at the same time.

Philicia Thomas: All right and we have another question and this one is for professor Andre. “On a weekly basis, how much time would I need to dedicate to this course?”

Philicia Thomas: Professor?

Dr. Rae Andre: I’m thinking about that. My guess would be 10 to 15 hours because you’re gonna have readings, you’re gonna have films that you need to watch and discuss, you need to be preparing your paper. Which you’ll choose your topic at the end of the first week. So it’s gonna depend in part on how much experience you already have in writing. Your major output will be writing that paper. So that’s a rough guess on my part.

Philicia Thomas: Excellent. All right so the next question is, I believe this is a recruitment service question. So the question, “Can student enroll in more than one course at a time?”

Philicia Thomas: The answer is we encourage students, if you can only take one course at a time, because we do encourage you to set aside about 20 hours, as the professor said. So it varies from course to course. 20 hours per week dedicated to your studies but if you’re working full time, in order to be successful in the program, you can only register in one course at a time.

Dr. Rae Andre: Yeah I’d just like to reiterate that. It’d be almost impossible to do the work of our course along with another course.

Philicia Thomas: Excellent. Thank you. And the last question I believe is for professor Andre. And the question is, “Professor you mentioned there is a group and individual project. How much is group work and how much is individual project?”

Dr. Rae Andre: I don’t have the slide in front of me, the individual project I know is 35%. I think the group project looking back in my notes is 25%. We will assign you a group. It will be a small group of three people to do that and write a short paper on your findings for the group project.

Philicia Thomas: And that is all for the questions that we do have today.

Philicia Thomas: All right. Thank you. So for more information, please contact us. You will be assigned a dedicated enrollment advisor who will be happy to address any additional questions you may have. Please note our upcoming summer start dates. They are as follows: summer one application deadline is April ninth. Class will commence on April 30th. Followed by our summer two entry, which is, the application deadline is May 21st, and class will commence on June 11th.

Philicia Thomas: I want to thank you to our panelists, Dr. Andre and Hela for joining us today. I also do want to thank you to all the attendees for joining. And you have yourself a wonderful day.

Philicia Thomas: Thank you.

Dr. Rae Andre: Thank you.