Clean Tech Innovation - A Berkeley Tradition


The environmental challenges we face as a society compel us to find new energy solutions.  Across the Haas School of Business, students and faculty are discussing green business plans and studying energy markets.  We’ve added new classes on energy and the environment, started a new center, and students have made their hugely successful energy symposium an annual go-to event.  At the same time, UC Berkeley has been awarded several giant grants to expand research on alternative energy technologies.



8:30 A.M.   Registration and Continental Breakfast


9:00 – 9:15 A.M.   Welcome


9:15 – 10:00 A.M.   Opening Keynote Address

Energy Challenges and Clean Tech Opportunities

The US faces three distinct energy challenges: maintaining low energy costs in order to benefit the economy, controlling greenhouse gases and other environmental damage from energy use, and reducing the geopolitical consequences of dependence on crude oil. Though some policies help to address all three challenges, often tackling one of these problems can exacerbate the others.  Severin Borenstein will discuss the logic and fallacies behind government energy policies and the opportunities they present for clean-tech entreprenuers.

      • Severin Borenstein - Director, University of California Energy Institute; E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration & Public Policy


10:00 – 10:15 A.M.    Break


10:15 - 11:30 A.M.    Session I: Energy Markets & Investment Strategy

Concerns among policymakers about climate change and oil dependence are leading many investors to focus on alternative energy and energy efficiency markets.  But which technologies show the most business promise during the next decade and in the longer run?  Answering that requires understanding both the technology potential and the public policy landscape. 

Join a panel of business leaders who are navigating these challenging issues.

Moderator: Severin Borenstein


  • Zach Gentry MBA 05, Co-Founder, Adura Technologies
  • Shannon Graham MBA 03, Associate Director, Navigant Consulting
  • Jonathan Harris MBA 96, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Brenda LeMay MBA 01, Director, Horizon Wind Energy and Board Member, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
  • Sanjay Wagle MBA 01, Vice President, Vantage Point


11:30 – 11:45 A.M.    Break


Nearly all scientists agree that human activities are contributing to global climate change. Private companies, the California state government and universities such as Berkeley have begun to confront the challenges required to either reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to adapt to climate change. Professor Keasling and leaders from industry and government will discuss the roles of private investment and public support in addressing those challenges.

Moderator:  Catherine Wolfram


  • Jay Keasling, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley; Director of the Physical Biosciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Founding Director of the Synthetic Biology Department at UC Berkeley
  • John Geesman, Co-Chair of the American Council on Renewable Energy and Former California Energy Commissioner

1:00 – 1:15 P.M.    Session III:  Energy@Haas

Update and overview of the Center for Energy and Environmental Innovation and the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative

Moderator:  Catherine Wolfram with student leaders

1:15 – 2:30 P.M.   All-Alumni Luncheon - Haas Courtyard


1:15 – 4:00 P.M.   Clean Tech Expo

This expo will showcase exciting alternative energy technologies being developed by Clean Tech companies started by or affiliated with Haas alumni. It will also feature Berkeley’s cutting-edge research, with some of the “Best in Class” Poster sessions from the 2008 UC Berkeley Energy Symposium (Leadership at the Nexus of Energy Science, Policy & Business). We hope to also have examples of advanced technology vehicles. This expo is brought to you in partnership with the Center for Energy & Environmental Innovation and the Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative.


2:30 – 4:00 P.M.   Career Management Workshop (Optional)

Work Should Be Fun and Games: How Play and Levity Drive Creativity (Needed for Innovation)


When we suspend assumptions, step outside our boxes, and change our lenses, we break expected patterns. This allows us to see new, unexpected connections among ideas. That’s creativity, or the a-ha in the ha-ha! Join us for a fun-filled interactive talk, and leave your internal critic at home! Come prepared to have a good time and think about how your creativity can be applied to foster new insights at work or home.

  • Kathy Klotz-Guest MBA 01, is founder of Powerfully Funny, a marketing firm that helps companies come up with new product ideas and then creatively market them to the world.


4:00 P.M.   Conclusion