Business and Climate Change, and More – Boston News
Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.
Is It Up To Business To Save the Planet? – MIT Sloan Ideas Made to Matter
The MIT Sloan Management Review recently hosted a debate between engineering professor and Center for Transportation and Logistics director Yossi Sheffi and Winston Eco-Strategies founder Andrew Winston. In which, the two discussed whether for-profit companies should have any obligations to reverse climate change.
Winston says, “There’s always been the easy wins: cutting energy, lighting, retrofits, manufacturing efficiencies, everything under ‘lean is green.’ But now you’ve got the entire clean economy, renewable energy area where it is now cheaper fundamentally to buy renewable energy than fossil fuels pretty much everywhere in the world.”
Sheffi counters that many businesses are doing the bare minimum because the cost in jobs, standard of living, and dislocation don’t “justify the means.” He argued that fast food chains, for instance, need to adopt firmer moral stances like banning burgers, but for major company’s like McDonald’s, it would be economic suicide.
You can read more from the interview here and check out the full video below.
Pushing Back on Hacks – Sawyer Business School Blog
Data breaches among American corporations (see: Equifax) have become so ubiquitous that they hardly make compelling news anymore. According to Sawyer Business School, “inadequate in-house expertise is the top reason [companies] are likely to have a data breach.”
Sawyer’s Information Systems and Operations Management (ISOM) department was developed in response to the emerging opportunities for cybersecurity professionals. ISOM Professor Benjamin Ngugi helped assemble a Cybersecurity Beanpot hackathon this past October to give students a chance to experience the challenges for themselves firsthand by earning $10,000 in scholarship money to hack a website called ShadowBank.
Ngugi says, “For students to be good, they need to really think like hackers. They need to understand some of the tools and techniques that cybercriminals use to really be good in protection. The piece that is missing is a real website that they can go and hack.”
Security Innovation CEO and President Ed Adams, whose software security company sponsored the hackathon, writes, “ShadowBank is a safe playground where people can come and practice offensive and defensive cybersecurity skills. The point is to make the site as real as possible so that people can become familiar with how to protect a site in the real world.”
With the career opportunities in cybersecurity projected to explode in the coming years, Ngugi wants every Sawyer student to have a foundation in the subject.
“Whether you’re in marketing, accounting, taxation, finance, or healthcare, you need to understand cybersecurity fundamentals, data privacy, and required compliance laws and regulations.”
You can read the full article here.
Insurers’ Nearly Invisible Negotiated Rates Can Dramatically Affect Health Care Prices – Questrom School of Business News
Questrom School of Business Professor Keith Ericson co-authored a new working paper that finds that the “rates that insurers negotiate with hospitals for specific procedures” has led to “significant variation in prices at different health care providers” for procedures like MRIs and hip replacements.
Ericson says, “[Until now] we didn’t know that there was a lot of variation between insurers’ [negotiated prices] at the same hospital. Many are concerned about hospitals being high priced versus low priced. But people should also be concerned about insurers being high-priced versus low-priced. We should think about price transparency options.”
Read the complete working paper “How Important is Price Variation Between Health Insurers?“ co-authored with Penn’s Stuart V. Craig and Northwestern’s Amanda Starc.
You can read more from the Questrom article here.