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#703: Brad Stevenson on Harnessing Insurance for Sustainability: The Premiums for the Planet Initiative

Brad Stevenson

Founder & CEO of Premiums for the Planet

Bard MBA candidate Damien Williamson speaks with Brad Stevenson, a lifelong activist, entrepreneur, and sustainability champion with over 30 years of experience in purpose-driven strategy, coaching, consulting, and facilitating programs for executives across various sectors.

Brad discusses his latest venture, “Premiums for the Planet,” a collective action movement aimed at leveraging the insurance industry for sustainability.

In this Episode

Brad’s Journey:

  • Brad shares his journey from a high school experience that shaped his worldview on racial diversity and privilege to his diverse career path.
  • He delves into his early work in diversity consulting, his strategic learning at the Boston Consulting Group, and his various roles in nonprofit consulting, media, global strategy, and movement building.
  • Brad’s eclectic journey led him to focus on sustainability in banking, which closely aligns with his current work.

Premiums for the Planet:

  • Brad explains that “Premiums for the Planet” addresses the powerful yet often overlooked influence of the insurance industry as a major money manager and decision-maker in what gets insured and how.
  • The initiative aims to redirect the industry’s power towards supporting global sustainability objectives and regenerative practices, contrasting the current trend where insurance investments often exacerbate climate-related problems.

The Insurance Industry’s Role:

  • Brad emphasizes the paradox where insurance companies protect assets on one hand while investing in activities that contribute to climate catastrophes on the other.
  • “Premiums for the Planet” seeks to transform insurers into a force that protects not just assets and people, but also the planet itself.

Damien Williamson MBA '24 began his sustainability journey at Bard’s MBA program in the fall of 2022. Prior to that he received his B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University, worked in finance, journalism, public relations, marketing, and eventually the nonprofit sector. He incorporates all his prior experience into his new role as Director of Communications for Premiums for the Planet, serving as a climate conscious, brand-savvy, and entrepreneurial marcomm and business development leader. He is also an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow and sustainability consultant for multiple Fortune 500 companies. His vision for a sustainable future encompasses an ethos of personal and corporate existence that takes into account the ecological, social, and economic ramifications of human action to insure that our planet and all the people it houses have the opportunity to enjoy indefinite prosperity.

Bard’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability cultivate leaders who break through existing systems, innovating solutions to critical social, environmental and economic challenges. 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class from M.S. in Environmental Policy degree at Bard CEP and the 10th graduating class from the Bard MBA in Sustainability program. The 2023 graduating MS EP, MS CSP, MEd and MBA classes will bring the Bard GPS alumni community to over 500!