Skip to main content

The Global School Forum: Saving Humanity: Radical Confidence for a Positive Future, a Sustainable Development talk with Rob Watson

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm


Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609
United States
Floor/Room #: 

Environmental performance platforms like LEED (green buildings) and SWEEP (solid waste) play an important role in slowing humanity’s race toward catastrophe, but, unfortunately, these types of approaches are structurally incapable of providing long-term solutions to humanity's environmental problems. We need to begin now to think about a radical revisioning around the valuation of transactions and a full "ethonomic” accounting of the impacts of transactions in order to bring about a sustainable future.

Rob Watson, LEED Fellow, is an international leader in market transformation in solid waste,green buildings and sustainable tourism. He is best known as the “Founding Father of LEED,”which he launched in 1993. Under Rob’s direction, LEED became the largest and fastest-growing international standard by which green buildings are measured. Author Thomas Friedman called Rob "one of the best environmental minds in America." In 2019, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine recognized Mr. Watson as one of the "25 Most Influential Alumni" in the College's 250-year history.

At the forefront of technical innovation in solid waste management, Watson is a Principal with Upland Road Developers, which develops waste separation and processing complexes called Centers that can separate and transform 95% of the incoming waste stream into commercial products. As part of transforming the solid waste sector, in 2016 Mr. Watson launched the SWEEP—Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Performance--Standard, a comprehensive framework for triple bottom line performance of municipal solid waste programs.

Mr. Watson received his MBA from Columbia University in 2006, a MS in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley in 1990 and his AB from Dartmouth College in 1984.  He is married to Green Schools Alliance Founder, Margaret Howard Watson and has a 23-year-old son, Max.

Joseph Sarkis is a Professor of Management within Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Business School. His teaching and research interests are in the fields of environmental sustainability, operations and supply chain management. He is the author or co-author of over 500 publications. His research is widely cited and earned the designation of highly cited researcher for six years from 2016-2021 from Thomson-Reuters/Clarivate Analytics (Web-of-Science). He has also been noted as the most productive researcher in the field of supply chain management from the years 1995-2015. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE's Engineering Management Review and Associate Editor of Sustainable Supply Chains for Resources, Conservation and Recycling along with serving on the editorial board of a number of leading scholarly journals in Sustainability, Operations, Supply Chain, Logistics, Transportation, and Technology Management. He is also Co-Editor of the Greening of Industry Networks Studies Springer-Nature Book Series. He is an international program coordinator for the Greening of Industry Networks; along with being a Co-Chair of the Circular Economy Working Group  of the Future Earth Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production Knowledge Action Network (KAN). He has served as a visiting International Scholar for a number of years at Hanken School of Economics' HUMLOG Institute.

Michael Timko is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at WPI.  He describes his role as one who lights the fire and opens new doors for budding engineers.  The stereotypical view of a scientist or engineer is as a solitary figure, toiling away in the lab. And, if this were true, he’d never have become an engineer because nothing could be further from the truth. He thrives on interactions with colleagues and students – especially students and enjoys “talking shop”, whether it be to solve a specific problem encountered in the lab, thrashing out the details of new technology, or taking a step back and consider the broader implications and context of our work. Interaction with talented, passionate people who have different viewpoints and skills is what drives him in this field.

Mike's research interests include studying the environmental and engineering aspects of clean energy technologies, with a specific emphasis on liquid transportation fuels. Liquid transportation fuels are derived nearly exclusively from petroleum resources – these resources are finite, distributed unevenly around the world, and their combustion contributes to many different environmental problems. His work involves studying the fundamental chemical engineering science – including transport, phase behavior, and reactor design – to develop new technologies for converting under-utilized energy resources into fuels and chemicals. 

Registration Deadline:
Thursday, August 25, 2022 12:00 am
Dawn Farmer
Phone Number: