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Professor Stuart Hart is one of the world's top authorities on the implications of sustainable development and environmentalism for business strategy. Before coming to the Johnson School, he taught strategic management and founded both the Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE) at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Corporate Environmental Management Program (CEMP) at the University of Michigan.
Since joining the Cornell community, Hart has developed an innovative idea of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) as an incubator for "Green Leap." He started with a discussion of the current economic crisis stating we won't recover, we will "reset."
This reset will be in terms of next generation technology and shift in market approaches. First, there are two emerging sets of "clean technologies" driving markets and economic development: "Green Giant" technologies are characterized by large-scale, top-down approaches, such as big-wind farms; "Little Green" technologies are small-scale, bottom-up, such as house-hold scale. Future market focus could be on market opportunities for the largest segment of the population with very limited annual earnings: rural and poor. This theory is known as the Base of the Pyramid (BoP).
Hart defined "Green Leap" as an example of radical innovation to "reset" the economy through targeting the Base of the Pyramid with a leap to incubate green technologies, suggesting CCE could be a "Green Leap" incubator for NYS rural and poor urban communities.