Hall on winning Patagonia Case Competition team
The competition, in partnership with the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business, invites graduate students from interdisciplinary backgrounds to help Patagonia address an issue chosen by the hiking and outdoors equipment company. Patagonia targets about 40 MBA programs, especially those with agricultural elements; in fact, while most teams have MBA members, many also have graduate students in the sciences.
This year’s problem was broad: How can Patagonia scale regenerative organic agriculture practices? Regenerative agriculture is farming and grazing practices that rebuild organic matter in soil and restore degraded soil biodiversity — “one of the most important ways to tackle climate change,” says Phil Graves, managing director at Patagonia, “especially now that the United States has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords.”
Four members — Serena Pozza, Chris Martin, Nikola Alexandre, and Nathan Hall — were joint-degree MBA and Master of Engineering Management candidates. The sixth teammate, Emily Oldfield, has a Ph.D. in soil ecology from the Yale Forestry School.