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Business of Humanity® Conference

Energizing Human and Economic Development:
Leveraging the Power of DC Technology

On April 7-9, 2016, the Business of Humanity® (BoH) Project hosted a conference in Pittsburgh, PA that focused on the topic of “Energizing Human and Economic Development: Leveraging the Power of DC Technology.” The 60-plus attendees included local and global thought leaders from colleges and universities, non-profits, corporations, foundations, and government institutions.

The Business of Humanity® Project is based on and seeks to demonstrate the proposition that companies that incorporate social responsibility as an integral part of their business models have the potential to perform better than companies whose Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities are funded by after-tax profits, and certainly better than companies that consciously or unconsciously ignore CSR.

The BoH proposition has gained much traction. Elements of the proposition have been championed by management gurus such as Michael Porter, C. K. Prahalad and Jeffrey Pfeffer, and by leading and successful companies such as Unilever, Arvind and Dow Chemical. The Project has received generous and continuing support from university, federal government, and foundation sources. It has progressed through the research, case study, theory, and MBA course development phases.

The April 2016 conference discussed the DC-HEART (Direct Current for Humanity, Energy and Regional Transformation) Initiative of the BoH project, which demonstrates that the use of green, locally generated, efficient and technologically disruptive DC power can be used to revitalize low-income communities. The Initiative has built an independent solar-powered DC micro grid in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It is also designing and will be building a “community-in-a-box,” which is a shipping container with solar-powered computers for education, an Internet connection, telemedicine, and water purification that will be designed for rural communities in the United States and in countries such as India and Haiti.

View the conference agenda

Conference Keynote Speakers and Panelists

The conference featured a number of leading experts in business, engineering, and the social sciences, both from industry and leading academic institutions.

View the speakers and panelists

Conference Video Highlights

The conference included a number of thought-provoking presentations from leading speakers from academia and industry.

View the video clips

Action Plan Generated at Conference

At the concluding plenary session on the last day of the conference, participants developed and affirmed the 2016—2018 Plan for the BoH Project and its DC-HEART Initiative.

View the action plan

The Business of Humanity® Project team would like to thank everyone who donated their time, energy and expertise in order to make this conference a success! It was inspiring for us to see and hear the innovative ideas that were generated throughout the conference events and we look forward to working with you as we move forward with future projects. Please click below to view photos from the conference activities at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Mervis Hall (University of Pittsburgh), the Grand Concourse, and the Frick Fine Arts Building (University of Pittsburgh).

Please click below to view photos from the conference activities at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Mervis Hall (University of Pittsburgh), the Grand Concourse, and the Frick Fine Arts Building (University of Pittsburgh).

Business of Humanity Conference - Energizing Human and Economic Development: Leveraging the Power of DC Technology

Sponsored By:

The University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, Swanson School of Engineering, and The Year of the Humanities in the University


Partners:

The city of Pittsburgh, URA, I&P, IIW