Paul Hawken named keynote speaker for 2017 Colloquium on the Environment

October 17, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) announced that Paul Hawken will be the keynote speaker at the 2017 Colloquium on the Environment. The event will take place at 5 p.m. Nov. 14 at the State Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and activist who has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He is a sustainability thought leader who has spoken for the U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce, and several other organizations and government agencies around the globe.

"Paul Hawken has been at the forefront of business and the environment for decades,” said Tom Richard, IEE director. “His current leadership of Project Drawdown, supporting strategies to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, represents a solution-based approach that is both inspiring and essential."

Hawken is considered by many to be one of the most influential voices in the environmental movement and is widely known for being a lifelong business innovator. His work includes establishing successful environmentally conscious businesses and writing about the impact of commerce on the environment.

Among Hawken’s entrepreneurial successes is Erewhon Trading Company, one of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied on sustainable agriculture methods. His other businesses include Smith & Hawken, a retail company that was sold to Target in 2005, and OneSun solar, a company focused on economical solar energy.

He also is an accomplished author and editor, having written dozens of articles, op-eds and papers concerning business’s impact on the environment and its social and ethical obligations to the world. His writings have appeared in widely read publications such as the Harvard Business Review and the Boston Globe.

Hawken has published seven books — four of which are national best-sellers. His most recent book, “Drawdown,” is a product of Hawken’s recent endeavor as the executive director of Project Drawdown, a nonprofit exploring the possibility of reversing global warming.

As leader of Project Drawdown, Hawken helped establish 100 of the most substantive solutions to address climate change over the next 30 years. Among these solutions are installing rooftop solar panels and planning walkable cities.

Since 2004, the colloquium series has featured 11 environmental leaders, including Lisa Jackson of Apple, formerly of the EPA; Pulitzer Prize winner and “father of the biodiversity” E.O. Wilson; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

For more information and registration, visit

  • Paul Hawken

    Paul Hawken

    IMAGE: Paul Hawken
Last Updated September 27, 2019