2017 | Impacting Behavior

The Sustainability Management Student Association (SUMASA) is proud to present the 6th Annual Sustainable Perspective Symposium…



Western society’s current consumption habits outpace our planet’s ability to regenerate essential resources. Achieving a more sustainable society demands changes in individual and collective human behavior. This year’s Sustainable Perspective Symposium, Impacting Behavior for a Sustainable Society, dives into the role of sustainability professionals in supporting this shift with examples of their experiences, and the solutions they are pursuing.

Join SUMASA, the student association for Columbia’s Sustainability Management (SUMA) program, as we discuss how both consumer and corporate behavior can be addressed to support a more sustainable society. Our expert panels and featured presentations with industry leaders and policy makers will provide a dynamic forum for solutions-based discussions and actions.


  • Dig into the ins and outs of designing and managing a program to facilitate behavior change with the student-led workshop, Managing for Behavior Change.
  • Hear from corporate leaders on how companies are successfully affecting consumer behavior at the Conscious Consumerism panel.
  • Learn from policy-makers on how their roles can encourage corporate behavior and transparency in the absence of mandatory requirements at the Policy Influences on Corporate Responsibility panel.
  • Discover how sustainability professionals can and will shift society with our closing Keynote Speaker.
  • A unique opportunity to continue the behavior conversation with our accomplished panelists and diverse participants during the post-event reception.


Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we finalize our speakers by following SUMASA on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through #SUMAspeaks17!


Impacting Behavior is the 6th Annual Sustainable Perspective Symposium; an annual student-organized symposium by the Sustainability Management Student Association (SUMASA) of The Earth Institute and the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University.


11:30 am – 3:30 pm | Registration 

Light refreshments to be served throughout the day

11:45am – 12:45pm | Managing for Behavior Change: Student-Led Interactive Workshop

The challenge for many sustainability professionals is that our objectives are often influenced by others’ behaviors. Join this session to learn how programs and initiatives can be structured to encourage stakeholder behavior and monitor progress, inspired by the principles of Community-Based Social Marketing.

Created by students of the Sustainability Management program

Led by Amanda Stevens, SUMASA Co-Vice President of Communications

1:00 – 1:15pm | Symposium Opening Remarks


STEVE COHEN, Executive Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

1:15-2:15pm | Panel: Conscious Consumerism

For many consumer-facing companies, the bulk of environmental impacts come as consumers use and dispose of their products. These companies can choose to tackle these impacts by either changing their consumers’ behavior or changing the product. Join this panel to learn how to tackle consumer challenges.

  • ANTON LJUNGGREN, Director of Industrial Design, Biolite
  • YARA NAGI, Director of Operations, Blue Planet Consulting
  • JACQUELYN OTTMAN, Founder and Principal, J. Ottman Consulting, Inc.
  • DAN SACCARDI, Director, Corporate Program, Ceres, Inc.
  • ERIN SHERMAN, Senior Associate, ideas42

Moderated by MARY O’MALLEY, Vice President, Corporate Governance, Prudential Financial

2:30 – 3:30pm | Panel: Policy Influences on Corporate Responsibility

Local, state, and federal policy all play a role in influencing corporate responsibility. Join this panel to hear policy-makers from multiple levels of government discuss the ways policy can continue to push and support both mandatory and voluntary CSR.  

  • CAMERON BARD, Director of Market Development, 1776
  • LEE BALLIN, Head of Sustainable Business Programs, Bloomberg
  • JUAN ELIAS CHEBLY, PH.D., Lead Adviser, United Nations Environment Programme
  • PROJJAL DUTTA, Director, Sustainability Initiatives, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • ELODIE TIMMERMANS, Senior Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY

Moderated by BRIDGET REALMUTO LAPERLA, Senior Research Associate, Domini Impact Investments

3:30 – 4:50pm | Keynote


ERIN SCHRODE, Citizen Activist, Social Entrepreneur, and Founder of Turning Green

4:50 – 5:00pm | Symposium Closing Remarks

YURIJ PAWLUK, Chief of Staff, Columbia University School of Professional Studies
HILARY OSBORN, Vice President of Events, SUMASA

5:00 – 7:00pm | Reception

Amity Hall, 982 Amsterdam Ave, New York

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cash bar