Home from Brattleboro

Downtown Brattleboro, viewed from the Latchis Hotel in February 2010.

The weekend intensives at the Marlboro College MBA program are aptly named; after three days of ebullient conversations, engaging classrooms, and bonding with colleagues, I am excited about the new trimester.

Bill Baue, former Executive Director of Sea Change Radio, will take through a dynamic stakeholder engagement experience in our Communication, Persuasion, and Negotiation class.  Both Managerial Economics and Corporate Finance promise a critical look at how businesses are run today, and how we can create a more sustainable business world.  We’ll be reading Tim Jackson’s recently published Prosperity Without Growth: Economics For a Finite Planet in our vertical Exploring Sustainability course, for a timely critique of Neo-Classical macroeconomic assumptions.

This weekend, Lisa Lorimer, former CEO and majority owner of the Vermont Bread Company, discussed her new book, Dealing With Tough Stuff, and her experience as an entrepreneur.  She talked about why she loved being a businesswoman, despite the many challenges and setbacks she faced along the way.  It was an exciting discussion, especially in light of the growing consolidation within the larger food industry and its implications on our food systems and on our lives.

After three very full days and nights in Brattleboro, Vermont during the Intensives, we all head back to our normal lives on Sunday night.  My classmates come from different parts of the Eastern Seaboard, as far south as Washington DC.  While we are not at school in Vermont, we keep working both asynchronously and in teams online; this educational model allows many of us to work full time in diverse jobs (one of my classmates works for a defense contractor at the Pentagon, while another works for an environmental compliance firm in Vermont) and keep up busy lives (many of my classmates have growing families).  We have all grown very close, and I consider them colleagues and close friends, rather than the competition.  Together, we are building something.

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