Dr. Vanden Bergh came to UVM in the fall of 2000 after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy and an MBA. Prior to academia, he worked in banking in Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Dr. Vanden Bergh’s areas of research include: firm strategy in the political environment and the effects of political institutions on business investment. For the past several years Dr. Vanden Bergh has been exploring issues in the energy sector including an exploration of how the political environment affects investment in renewable energy. Dr. Vanden Bergh was instrumental in designing the new Sustainable Innovation MBA curriculum. He teaches two courses for the Sustainable Innovation MBA program including a course on Business Sustainability & Public Policy.
What do you enjoy about teaching in The Sustainable Innovation MBA program?
The diversity of backgrounds of the students really contributes to engaging conversations in class.
What surprises you the most about the students?
Each year, I am surprised again by the student’s level of passion for solving super challenging problems. I think this level passion helps students to manage the intensity of the SI-MBA program and to maintain energy throughout the year.
While there’s a great deal to learn in your course, what’s the single biggest idea or concept you hope students take away to use in their business careers?
Think deeply about choices. Important business and/or public policy decisions involve both benefits and costs, and to fully understand these requires careful analysis.
What’s your media diet like lately? What are you reading, listening to, streaming, or watching?
I just finished reading Becoming Nicole by Amy Nutt and am reading two other books, Deep Work by Cal Newport and The Third Pillar by Raghuram Rajan. These days, two of my favorite podcasts are “Stay Tuned” with Preet Bharara and “After Hours” with Youngme Moon, Mihir Desai and Felix Oberholzer-Gee.
What do you do for fun when you’re not in the classroom?
When the snow flies, I ski (nordic and alpine) and snow shoe. Other times of the year, I like hiking, mountain biking and gravel-road biking. For passive viewing entertainment, I love to watch premier league and champions league soccer.
Be humble about your views/opinions and be open to hearing and understanding alternative perspectives. I find my own thinking is not well developed unless I can explain the argument of a person with a different perspective.