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Sustainability Policy Careers: Changing the Rules of the Game


By Eban Goodstein. Reposted from on Oct 23, 2012

Are you (1) a patient leader and a systems thinker? Or (2) an impatient leader who likes to build things?

When I counsel students interested in careers in sustainability, I direct them down two paths: policy and business.

A policy career is about changing the rules of the game. Through government action, and within corporations, NGOʼs and agencies, policies incentivize behavior, sustainable or otherwise. From international treaties governing trade and investment, to national policies on energy, agriculture and transport, to local zoning and transit regulations, getting rid of bad rules and putting good ones in place is critical for progress.

One example: Microsoft recently introduced an internal carbon tax. This new policy makes carbon intensive activities, like flying, more expensive, and will push company budget managers to find substitutes for their teams—video conferencing for example. The policy also creates a pool of money for Microsoft to incentivize energy efficiency and renewable investments, helping build a more local and resilient energy system within the company.

What are the types of policy jobs?
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This event was last updated on 11-19-2012