About the Course

(Rev Sep 16, 2014)

Public course description here.

HBS Learning Hub Course Overview (passworded) here

This course is designed for students who expect to be general managers or entrepreneurs in businesses which are particularly influenced by issues in energy, power, water, or other factors that engage natural resources and the environment. Students who anticipate careers in consulting, VC/PE, or investing in businesses touching these areas (including fossil and nuclear energy) will also find the course useful.

Educational Objectives

IB2E has two objectives. The first is to explore the tools of finance, strategy, and marketing as businesses decide how to respond to opportunities – and threats – in conventional energy, new energy, water, food, transit, and related areas. The second is to enhance technical knowledge as the foundation for assessing many of these topics. In addition, the impact on these businesses of regulations, incentives, public opinion, and disruptions to supply chains are explicitly considered.

Typical cases involve new methods and technologies like hydro fracturing, wafers, membranes and materials, or sensors and “big data,” or the deployment of innovative business models including optimization, collaborative consumption, and the circular economy. Firms range from startups to very large multinational corporations to investment firms, and from the environmentally dedicated to the environmentally noncommittal. Many firms are not primarily in the energy, water, power, agriculture, or similar businesses but rather experience cost or revenue problems stemming from pressures on these resources. Several not for profit organizations are also studied.

The course takes more of a business strategy and entrepreneurship approach than a policy approach. The course does not look deeply at macro issues in energy and geopolitics, nor extensively at corporate social responsibility. Current events in business, energy, environment, and Cleantech are frequently incorporated into class discussions.

Assumptions, Audience, Expectations

It is assumed that students in this course are already informed about and highly interested in issues relating to business, energy, and environment. Accordingly, this is not a survey course. It is also assumed that in addition to the entire HBS RC year (and FIELD 2 and FIELD 3), most students will be taking many several of the following courses in Q1 and Q23: Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise (BSSE); Entrepreneurial Finance; Energy and Geopolitics; and/or Leading the Global 1000.  We will build on those frameworks and not repeat them.

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