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

Keynote speaker, Doc Hendley, shared his experiences as founder of 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. You can access Doc's keynote talk at:

Our morning speaker was Hannah Davis, 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. Hannah shared how being in the right place at the right time with the right idea can launch you into success.

There was a panel discussion on the role of innovative business in solving social and environmental problems and Appalachian students shared 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 2015 Global Opportunities Conference was hosted by the Walker College of Business, with additional support from University College, the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department and James E. Holshouser Ethics. 


The 2016 Global Opportunities Conference is scheduled for Friday, April 8th, 2016. Check back for more details as the date approaches.


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