Over this past year, tens of millions have lost jobs and businesses, and we have all been forced into isolation. We have also seen people across the world make countless sacrifices to protect each other. While much press attention has focused on the failure to wear masks by irresponsible politicians and some of their angry followers, the vast majority of individuals have paid tremendous costs to protect their family members, friends and neighbors. Lay this beside the dedication and heroism of front-line workers in health care, primary education, food and other services who put their lives at risk daily, and this collective care for each other in every city and town on this planet has been a win for the human side of humanity.
We need to keep this incredible feat in mind, as we also consider the other crises that this past year brought -- record-breaking fires, hurricanes, and storms that bring regions to a standstill; deepening challenges to democracy fueled by the unifying power of conspiracy theory; and ongoing revelations of brutal systemic racism. In 2020, we left the false stability of the 20th century firmly behind. The sustainability challenges we have been foreseeing are now with us and gathering force. In the years ahead, it is our responsibility to build businesses, create policies, and open minds to enable a just, and ultimately, finer future.
Thankfully, sustainability solutions have not taken a break throughout the pandemic. China committed to building a carbon neutral economy; Tesla surpassed Exxon in market value; solar and battery prices continued to plummet while GM committed to an all-electric fleet by 2035; American Democracy stepped back from the brink, with an increasing recognition of the need for big structural, political change; and parts of American society entered yet another period of reckoning with racial injustice. As the economy opens back up, there will be opportunities for you all to radically reimagine what business can accomplish.
At the Bard MBA, we came together as seamlessly as possible to move to an online format, and I want to deeply thank everyone for all the work that has gone into sustaining not just the quality of our education, but also the strength of our community. We also received the affirming year-end news that the Princeton Review had named Bard the #1 Green MBA, along with ranking the program among the top 10 for the Best MBAs for Nonprofit (alongside Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and Columbia). Going forward, I am confident that Bard graduates will be leaders not in a return to normal, but in building a better world.
We are happy to share the amazing work of our community over this last year and look forward to the work we are all doing to create a more just, sustainable future.
Eban Goodstein, Director, Bard MBA