The 2015 Global Opportunities Conference: Business for a Better World will be held on Friday, April 10 at 9 am in the Plemmons Student Union.  The conference will explore the potential for innovative businesses to solve global social and environmental problems.

One serious problem in need of a solution is the lack of potable water in developing nations. At least one in six people worldwide lacks access to adequate amounts of safe water for drinking and hygiene, according to the UN statistics. This contributes to diarrhea, the leading cause of illness and death, and translates to 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.

Our keynote speaker is  Doc Hendley, the founder of Wine to Water. Doc was hailed as a CNN Hero of the Year in 2009.  He is a former bartender who founded Wine to Water, a not-for-profit that commits  funds raised through wine tastings to repair broken wells, install rain water harvesting tanks and other sanitation modalities to 250,000 people worldwide.  His efforts have saved thousands of lives.

Our morning speaker, Hannah Davis, is the founder and president of BANGS Shoes, a canvas footwear company that provides funds to entrepreneurs in 19 countries around the world including the US. She has become a recognized advocate for social entrepreneurship, having spoken at two TEDx events over the past 6 months.

There will be a panel discussion on the role of innovative business in solving social and environmental problems. Conference attendees can submit a question to the panel on-line for the opportunity to win a gift certificate to the Appalachian State University bookstore and a signed copy of Doc Hendley's book, "Wine to Water: A Bartender's Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World."

Appalachian students will share their experiences on College of Business study abroad programs in Belize working on a sustainable cacao farm, and in Costa Rica learning the dynamics of “fair trade” in the coffee industry as well as an Alternative Service Learning program partnering with Wine to Water in the Dominican Republic.

The conference is designed to engage faculty, students, and the local community in this important conversation.  Feel free to invite friends and colleagues. 

The 2015 Global Opportunities Conference is hosted by the Walker Collge of Business, with additional support from University College, the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department and James E. Holshouser Ethics. The conference and luncheon are free and open to the public, but registration is required.   


The annual Global Opportunities Conference highlights innovative and entrepreneurial ways of addressing global challenges. Our goal is to inspire students, faculty and the local community to use their knowledge and skills in the business of building a better world.


Organizer: Meredith Church Pipes
International Programs Coordinator
4051 Peacock Hall
Phone: 828-262-7727

QEP Global Learning