Value Based Organizations, Tax Policy, Stakeholders, and Plenty of Fun Too

Greetings from Hanover.

We’ve had a great start to the week, exploring both and out of classroom. We started Monday with the topic of “value-based organizations,” including a case study of a certain Vermont ice cream company that was purchased by Unilever not too long ago. And then we went and visited that company in nearby Waterbury, VT as well as Green Mountain Coffee, another business that has a strong environmental commitment.

Our evening session segued into the topic of non-profits, and even steered – somewhat unexpectedly – into tax policy. You read that correctly. A room full of high school students eager to talk about taxes on a Monday night. It is, of course, a hugely important consideration when we think about how social and environmental initiatives are funded and who carries out that work, the public sector, the private sector, or the non-governmental sector.

This topic came back into focus the following afternoon in a session with Merritt Patridge, the Executive Director of the Center for Business, Government, and Society at the Tuck Business School. We also spent a portion of the day learning how to conduct a stakeholder analysis, a highly useful exercise that students are implementing in their independent projects.

Last night, Anne Elise and Maria baked a strawberry pie, totally from scratch, for the program staff. It was delicious and certainly deserves mention here. Thanks Anne Elise and Maria!!!!

This morning we shifted gears into the formation of environmental attitudes and a few other related topics, but the highlight of the day was surely canoeing on the Connecticut River to an awesome rope swing.

Students have been hard at work on their independent projects and we’re looking forward to presentations tomorrow evening.