Bill Drayton is a social entrepreneur with a long record of founding organizations and public service. As a student, he founded organizations ranging from Yale Legislative Services to Harvard’s Ashoka Table, an inter-disciplinary weekly forum in the social sciences. After graduation from Harvard, he received an M.A. from Balliol College in Oxford University. In 1970, he graduated from Yale Law School. After working at McKinsey & Company, he taught at Stanford Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. From 1977 to 1981, while serving the Carter Administration as Assistant Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, he launched emissions trading (the basis of Kyoto) among other reforms. He launched Ashoka in 1981. He used the stipend received when elected a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 to devote himself fully to Ashoka. Bill is Ashoka’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer. He is also chair of three other organizations; Youth Venture, Community Greens, and Get America Working! Bill has won numerous awards and honors throughout his career. In 2005, he was selected one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. Other awards include the Yale Law School’s highest alumni honor, the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Award International; and the National Academy of Public Administration National Public Service Award. As one of three members of the Leadership Team, his special responsibilities are leadership of the new group entrepreneurship and social financial services programs as well as staff search and marketing functions.
Exploring the Link between Unemployment & Climate Change
In his article for MIT Press's Innovations Journal, Bill Drayton explains the connection between unemployment and climate change. Entitled “Engage People, Retire Things,” Drayton’s essay explains the profound connection between combating the employment crisis and fighting climate change: labor and non-labor inputs to business (such as natural resources, energy and land) are substitutes. The less labor developed economies use, the more resources and energy they use, and the more greenhouse gases they emit.
Drayton argues that changing perverse incentives in the tax code that reward natural resource exploitation and penalize hiring would dramatically increase job creation and dramatically cut GHG emissions by correcting the current imbalance in which non-labor production factors, including burning fossil fuels, predominate at the expense of labor utilization.