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BBX: Brandeis Business Explains...Sustainability

You’re closer to the subject than you might think.
“Sustainability crosses a lot of disciplines,” says Brandeis International Business School (IBS) Professor John Ballantine, an expert in international economics and energy. From physical science to environmental studies to politics, history and geography, sustainability influences and is impacted by the way the world has grown and evolved. 

Relevant Undergraduate Fields: Engineering, Urban Planning, Business, Economics, Finance, Risk Management, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, Politics, History

It’s not just about business or economics – but the bigger global picture.
“The politics of the Middle East is a big influence,” notes Ballantine. “The way the maps were drawn after World War I – after the Ottoman Empire fell – all impacted the formation of major countries we discuss in relation to energy, such as Turkey, Iran and Iraq.” 

Pro Tip: Keep historical and political perspective top of mind. The context of where each country comes from affects the region's awareness and attitudes about climate change, related agreements and their impacts on companies worldwide.

Energy sources are still quite varied around the world.
The world is still largely a fossil fuel-based economy, but with big energy users such as China turning to new sources, there are many shifts to come. 

Experimental Energy Sources: Solar, Wind, Battery, Wave

Jobs aren’t few and far between – they’re plentiful in a variety of fields.
Have an engineering background? You’re well-equipped to succeed at a utility company, where the shift to sustainable energy sources such as hydro and solar is a priority. Majoring in business? As corporations try to decrease their carbon footprint, the ability to identify big picture solutions – such as how to adapt and transport sustainable sources across borders – is in demand. At green energy startups, a background in risk management helps companies understand supply and demand shifts, ways to infiltrate the market and how to set up homes and businesses with alternative energy solutions.

The big picture is a big challenge.
“There are dramatic environmental changes in our future,” says Ballantine. The rise in water levels and extinction of native species, for example, can affect the insurance, housing and agriculture industries. Enter your studies in economics and finance.  “As an analyst and economist, you have to break conventional thinking when trends begin to break the models. Students who understand that discontinuity will only continue over the next 10 to 20 years will be prepared to use their background and contextual knowledge to build strategy around new, creative ideas.”

Ready to launch your global career? Learn more about the academic programs at Brandeis International Business School (IBS), including the new Accelerated MA program for undergraduates obtaining their bachelor’s degree in economics. Priority application deadline is on March 15th

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