History of the Green MBA
Dominican University of California's GreenMBA program is the nation's first Master’s of Business Administration in Sustainable Enterprise, created from the ground up by Jane Lorand and John Stayton beginning in 1999.
John Stayton spent fifteen years in high technology industrial marketing and sales, with an M.B.A. in International Business from Dominican University of California. Seeking a more ecological lifestyle, he purchased an organic farm in Sonoma county. He began searching for an opportunity to use his business acumen to develop a new kind of profession that could nurture a healthy environment and just society.
Jane Lorand had worked as an elementary school teacher, a tax attorney, and the director for Research at the Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique. She holds an M.A. in Education and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law. She worked as a consultant to the electric industry, creating a public education campaign during California’s deregulation experiment.
A Brief History
During the California Energy De-regulation crisis, Jane had witnessed the disconnect between environmental and citizen activists, and business executives. She saw the need to educate a new generation of leaders who would be able to bridge this gap between environmentally, and socially responsible business practices and financially successful companies.
Jane heard that The New College of California was starting a campus in Santa Rosa. She believed that New College’s core values of education, social change and activism fit within the vision she was developing. The Institute for Environmental Entrepreneurship was created to facilitate the relationship between New College and the fledgling Green Business Program. Because of this ideological alignment, New College was willing to take the risk of helping launch this new venture.
John Stayton noted that, “It was extremely unlikely that we would have been able to develop the program at a traditional business school.” Self-awareness and transformation are not a typical course of study in most schools, but are a differentiator for the GreenMBA.
The focus of the curriculum from its inception was to transform the individual as the originator of positive change, hence the motto: Transform Yourself, Transform Business, Transform the World.
The program debuted at New College of California in 2001 as an M.A in Humanities with a concentration in Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Communities. Later a concentration in Environmental Entrepreneurship was developed. The founders recognized that the program was developing into an MBA-type program, and the GreenMBA was launched officially in the fall of 2002.
Due to the financial difficulties facing New College, the GreenMBA faculty searched for other institutions to house the program. Dominican acquired the GreenMBA in 2007.
Today the program seeks to integrate business and environmentalism and to educate a new generation of leaders who able to bridge the gaps among environmentally sound, socially responsible and financially successful business practices.
The GreenMBA places a high degree of emphasis on individual transformation as the starting point to transforming business and the world. Classes are scheduled on the weekends to accommodate students with careers and busy schedules, and students traditionally graduate in 2 or 3 years. The GreenMBA is accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.