Wisconsin B Corps leaders on a discussion panel for the ?Business for a Better World? Business an...
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Among Carthage’s many signature events, the Business and Professional Coalition (BPC) is a well-received program that brings hundreds of people to campus each year.

Attracting an audience of academic and professional communities, the BPC presents thoughtful programs that provoke tough conversations about the economic trends and workforce challenges facing our region.

During the 2023-24 academic year, the BPC hosted four well-attended events centering on the topic of sustainability, broadly defined. Each event generated much excitement and offered concrete takeaways for attendees to improve their businesses and communities.

In September, structural engineer Jordan Komp from Thornton Tomasetti spoke to Carthage engineering professor Kathryn Hasz about Milwaukee’s Ascent Tower, the world’s tallest mass timber structure, which was completed in 2022. Mr. Komp was responsible for overseeing the extensive fire safety testing. He presented a compelling case for how sustainably grown wood resources can help us continue to grow our cities in a responsible fashion.

Our October event featured a roundtable format focusing on several topics related to sustainable urban growth, such as urban water usage, property development, urban ecosystems, and smart transportation. Facilitated by regenerative architect and urban planner Tim Duggan from Phronesis, the discussants learned key takeaways about how to generate community buy-in for urban development projects and how to work collaboratively across socioeconomic groups.

In February 2024, the BPC convened a panel of certified “B-Corps”; these companies are for-profit organizations that meet high ESG (social, environmental, governance) standards, as certified by the non-profit B-Lab. A diverse group of speakers included Kimberly Kane of Kane Communications, Russ Klisch of Lakefront Brewery, and Kurt Brenkus of Indigenous Pact. Interviewed by Carthage communications and digital media professor Colleen Palmer, the group argued that having high sustainability credentials, over and above excellent product or service, is the new baseline expectation for consumers and new employees.

Crowning this year’s exciting series was April’s Future of Higher Education fireside chat with Carthage President John Swallow and University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman, moderated by WGTD’s morning show host, Professor Greg Berg. These two transformative leaders emphasized the importance of higher education in preparing Wisconsin’s workforce for the changes driven by changing technology, aging demographics and tight labor demand in professions requiring 4-year degrees. They emphasized the need to support financial aid initiatives so that more students from Wisconsin can afford to attend college in the state.

See videos of 2023-24 BPC events