‘We’ve Used a Fear-Based Narrative’: UVA Darden Dean’s DC Fellows Discuss Climate Change

By Tom van der Voort

Open societies face a large challenge when dealing with complex problems such as climate change. Political and economic systems designed to maximize freedom make decision-making more a matter of consensus than authority or expertise. Indeed, the American political system was designed to allow for inevitable disagreement — with guardrails to prevent a descent into factionalism and chaos. When the problem is global, instead of merely national, the difficulties in taking collective action only grow.

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business created the Dean’s D.C. Fellows program with just this kind of challenge in mind. With a wide-range of  experience and a diversity of viewpoints, the group gathered for a roundtable discussion at UVA Darden DC Metro to consider not climate change itself, but rather the critical issue of how to deal with polarization surrounding it.

Opening and leading the discussion was Managing Director of Strategic Investments with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation George Ashton III, joined by (in order of appearance) Executive Vice President of the Economic Innovation Group DJ Nordquist, Atlantic Media President Michael Finnegan (MBA ’07), The B Team CEO Halla Tómasdóttir, former Urban Institute COO John Rogers, retired U.S. Air Force General Bob Kehler and Force Multiplier Capital CEO Rahul Bhandari.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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