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William McDonough, founding partner of McDonough + Partners
William McDonough is an internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he and his partners call “The Next Industrial Revolution.” Time recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet” in 1999, stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”
He is known for his profound approach to design and commerce incorporating concern for economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental intelligence. His ideas and efforts were also honored when, in 1996, he received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor, presented by President Clinton in a White House ceremony.
Mr. McDonough is the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, Architecture and Community Design, an internationally recognized design firm practicing ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning in the U.S. and abroad. He is also the cofounder and principal, with German chemist Michael Braungart, of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC (MBDC), a product and process design firm assisting client companies to design profitable and ecologically intelligent products and systems.
Mr. McDonough also holds several academic and other professional positions. A former dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, he holds professorships at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and at Cornell University. He is the Chairman of Second Nature, and U.S. Chairman and member of the Board of Councilors of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development.
His designs range in scale from molecules to regions—from the environmental optimization of product chemical compositions, to community plans that restore native habitat and hydrology while spurring economic development. Mr. McDonough’s clients include companies like Ford Motor Company, Herman Miller, Rohner Textil, Gap Inc., Visteon, BP, Milliken, IBM, SC Johnson, and Nike; cities such as Williamsburg, VA, Chicago, IL, and Chattanooga, TN; and institutions including Oberlin College, the University of Michigan, Fuller Theological Seminary, Environmental Defense, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Research Insights on Leadership and Ethics
Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics
"Banks in India...the accounts are not well used...This may be because they have to walk the 3km to the bank; or it may be due to other obstacles, such as procrastination.”
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Jack R. Anderson Professor of Business
"The industry has developed general principles on which portfolio risk should be decomposed but actually determining the risk contributions can be difficult in complex portfolios.”
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Senior Vice Dean and Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics
"Those in a homogeneous group put much less effort into the task at hand in part because they were more interested in avoiding conflict. Diverse environments allowed people to focus on the task instead of their social relationship."
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Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Associate Professor of Leadership and Ethics
"If a firm already has one woman in a top management position, then the odds that another woman will also have a top position is lower. It’s as if women are over-distributed among firms, or spread out more evenly than chance alone would dictate.”
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