Bula and Auf Wiedersehen

Happy fall break! The past two weeks went by super quickly, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already block break! Yesterday I spent the whole day at the US Climate Action Center for the US Business Showcase, a full-day event that brought together corporate leaders from many iconic U.S. brands to explore their efforts to help decarbonize the American economy. We heard from sustainability executives from Mars Inc., Citibank, Microsoft, Walmart (CC alumna Katherine Neebe) and many other companies. At the conclusion of the Showcase, we had our final class gathering at the evening reception. It was great to be able to network and learn from CC parents and alumni and hear from our classmates about their favorite parts of COP23. Some of the highlights from the class were seeing insightful panels, hearing new perspectives, participating in protests, and seeing celebrities.

Today, everyone in the class went separate directions. Some returned home for Thanksgiving, while others stayed in Europe to travel for the rest of fall break. I spent the day exploring Bonn and Cologne, seeing things that I hadn’t had the time for previously. I went to the Kunstmuseum, a modern art museum located just a block away from the Bula Zone. The museum had an extensive collection of Rhenish Expressionism and post-war German art, as well as a fascinating contemporary exhibition. I also walked through Rheinaue Park which surrounds the COP23 venue. The park is full of art and educational exhibits about various environmental issues.

A contemporary exhibit at Kunstmuseum Bonn
Some environmental art pieces in the park.

Tomorrow my classmate Kelly Nguyen and I will travel to Berlin to continue studying environmental economics through a slightly different lens. With support from the Keller Family Venture Grant, we are traveling to Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels to explore the rise of “ecopreneurship,” environmental entrepreneurship, in western Europe. With the base of knowledge we have acquired at COP23 about types of supportive regulation, mechanisms of capital investment, and innovative business models, we are excited to continue to explore this important issue. Of course I’ll need a couple days to catch up on sleep first though!

It’s been an incredible 2 weeks at COP23 thanks to our dedicated, caring, well-connected professor who has helped us to make the most of this unique experience. On behalf of EC385, I’d like to thank Mark Smith for supporting us and making this experience possible.

Bula & Auf Wiedersehen!

Cole S. ‘20