Start your summer internship with a trip to the UN? Three HWS students jumped at the chance. Courtney Wilson '08, Adam Goldstein '08 and John Catillaz '09 are working for Professor Tom Drennen this summer, analyzing a number of economic and environmental scenarios. Before starting their research, though, they went to the United Nations to ATHGO International’s “Global Third Way: Becoming One with the Environment” 3rd Annual Global Forum.
When ATHGO sent Drennen an invitation, he thought it would be a great way for the interns to kick off the summer and suggested they apply to attend. From June 6 through 8, they joined more than 300 students from roughly 100 universities and 80 countries for an intense program of speakers and panel discussions.
“We met so many interesting people,” says Wilson. “Everything to do with the environment is interdisciplinary so the conference attendees were too.” The students were in the company of other undergraduate students as well as master’s and Ph.D. candidates and law students. They met and heard from professionals in law, economics, environmental science and political science, among other disciplines.
Goldstein was particularly interested in the domestic political assessment (forecasting the next three years) of Professor Michael Oppenheimer, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University.
He liked the free form approach to the talk and found it particularly interesting that Oppenheimer's domestic assessment was not dependent on the outcome of the next presidential election.
Catillaz identified most with the panel discussion, “Developing ‘Green’ Business Models and Practices, an area that ties closely with his internship goal of formulating an economically sustainable plan for HWS to become Greener.
“This was one of the most practical aspects of the forum; I took the most from it,” he says. “It was the first sense of people saying that they were not only aware of the problems, but that they were doing something that was tangible — and profiting from it.”
Hearing Tom Arnold, the chief environmental officer of TerraPass, an organization that enables individuals to offset their own carbon emissions, talk about business as part of the solution – and hearing him describe the solution as a multi-faceted approach more like a “silver buckshot than a silver bullet” was something Wilson called, “Motivational. Just the opportunity to meet and speak with so many people drawing from different experiences made it worthwhile.”