Rising Up for Sustainability

New Trends in the Green Economy


This session will look at market opportunities and challenges within the field of sustainability. Where are the growth sectors and how can entrepreneurs "do well by doing good." Both for-profit and non-profit approaches will be analyzed.

Robin Rather is an independent consultant specializing in market research and strategy for a range of business, non-profit and governmental clients and is a recognized advocate for sustainability and related policy issues. Her company, Collective Strength, is based in Austin. Rather has served as a lead consultant on projects that involve renewable energy strategies, water conservation, the future of healthcare, non-point source pollution, community values, citizens’ definitions of a healthy economy, and corporate trends. She also conducted one of the first major surveys of US sustainability experts on global trends and recently traveled to Beijing as part of a delegation meeting with environmental, academic and policy leaders in China. Ms. Rather previously held senior executive positions at leading market research firms including Director, International Data Corporation, Vice President, Intelliquest, Vice President, CMP Media and CEO of Mindwave Research. In these roles she frequently presented strategic recommendations to executives at Fortune 500 companies, and worked closely with national ad agencies on branding and messaging. Ms. Rather is an active community leader in Austin and is well known for her collaborative approach between business, environmental and social equity groups. She is a two-time chair of the non-profit policy group Liveable City, is a Vice President of Hill Country Conservancy and serves on the Envision Central Texas executive committee. She also serves on the Texas Advisory Board of Environmental Defense, the board of the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development and was a three-time chair of Austin’s leading environmental advocacy group.