Tuesday, April 17, 4:45PM
University Events Room
Glickman Family Library, 7th floor

Portland USM Campus (map)


Click here to RVSP to this event.

USM's Net Impact chapter supports this event.

John Rooks explores how business and the planet can benefit from a stronger understanding of authenticity. Modernity often requires a sense of "authenticity with proof" (think Obama's birth certificate). As business begins to integrate sustainability into operations, doing so in an authentic manner can produce surprising benefits. Conversely, integrating sustainability in inauthentic ways has the perverse effects of depressing the bottom line, eroding shareholder value and tarnishing reputations. This contrasts the popular logic of most so-called "green marketing." Mr. John Rooks warns of the "noble distractions" of sustainability as we explore the strategies, tactics and values of conducting authenticity audits of our businesses.


John Rooks is the author of the book More Than Promote - A Monkeywrencher's Guide to Authentic Marketing. He is a frequent speaker and writer about the intersection of sustainability, language and culture. Mr. Rooks writes a monthly column for Environmental Leader about the status of activating sustainability in modern business. In addition, John is the primary author of the 2008 Green Language Study - the industry's only catalogue of marketing language trends in sustainability (updated in 2010).

In 2003, Mr. Rooks founded The SOAP Group, a consulting firm that helps companies, organizations and governments understand, improve, communicate and own their impacts on the world. He blends cultural studies with business strategy to create new ways for companies to engage in sustainability. Husband to one and father of two, he nerds out on zombie movies.

The colloquium is sponsored by the
L.L. Bean/
Lee Surace Endowed Chair in Accounting.

USM Professor Jeffrey Gramlich was appointed the first L.L. Bean/Lee Surace Chair in Accounting in the USM School of Business in 2003. His appointment was made possible by a $1 million gift from L.L. Bean, Inc., its board chair, Leon Gorman, his wife Lisa, Jim and Maureen Gorman, and Tom Gorman, who established the chair in memory of L.L. Bean CFO Lee Surace '73, '81, who died in March of 2001. Surace was chair of the USM School of Business' Advisory Council and was a frequent guest lecturer.

The USM School of Business is accredited by the prestigious AACSB International. For students seeking the finest education and companies seeking the highest caliber talent, partnership, and educational opportunities, AACSB International accreditation is one of the most important affirmations of sustained quality in the word. For more information about School of Business programs, call 780-4020.

M President