An entrepreneur’s approach to the Anthropocene

Debra Dunn discusses the (hopefully) changing role of the modern entrepreneur to one committed to positive social & environmental impacts in addition to profits.  She also addresses the increasing emphasis on the individual as opposed to the community and the sorts of problems this emphasis brings.  And finally, while reflecting on what she views as the greatest social injustices in the Anthropocene, Debra Dunn takes us to Cuba and the “grand egalitarian experiment” with some surprising revelations on culture, the arts and even the healthcare system.

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Debra Dunn
Debra believes that entrepreneurs can solve even the toughest social problems. That is why she devotes so much time to advocating for and advising social ventures in the United States, Europe, Africa, India and Latin America.  Before joining the corporate world, Debra worked in the non-profit sector with food and housing cooperatives and in the Massachusetts state government, running an energy conservation program for low income residents. Debra joined Hewlett Packard in 1983, starting as a manager in the executive development group and ending as a senior executive.  Debra left HP in June of 2005 to catch her breath and focus on the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, environmental and social sustainability. She now spends much of her time building bridges building between corporations, government, non- profits, and academia, as she believes that these challenges are best tackled by weaving together the skills and influence of these diverse sectors. She is on the boards of the Skoll Foundation and Global Giving and the faculty of Sustainability. She advises a wide range of social ventures.


Leslie Chang
Leslie Chang is a senior with a major in Earth Systems and a minor in Creative Writing.  She is passionate about sustainable agriculture and food issues, and hopes to work in those fields after graduation. On campus, she is a member of the Stanford Farm Project, and also loves working with kids at EPATT (East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring). In her spare time she enjoys writing, hanging out at farmers markets, listening to the radio and podcasts, and getting free coffee samples from Trader Joe’s.

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