In a speech November 13 at the University of Michigan, Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, announced the company is forming a “Transformation Advisory Council” of senior Ford executives and outside sustainability thought-leaders to work together on exploring solutions to society’s sustainability challenges.

“This is the start of a world-class group of innovative thinkers who will help propel us along the road to sustainability,” Bill Ford said as he announced the council. “Ford has a long heritage of environmental innovation, and a renewed commitment to finding solutions that work for everyone. We also recognize that it will take a collective effort to resolve these issues, and we plan to be a proactive participant in that dialogue.”

Bill Ford announced the council’s formation as he presented the seventh annual Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability, which the University of Michigan hosts to invite internationally recognized experts to speak on critical issues of sustainability. His lecture became the latest in a series that has included addresses from such notable thought-leaders as former Vice President Al Gore and former BP chief executive officer Lord John Browne. The lecture series honors Michigan resident Peter M. Wege for his contributions to the university’s Center for Sustainable Systems and to the environmental field.

Bill Ford said the Transformation Advisory Council’s initial outside members will include:

  • Amory Lovins, the well-known thinker on resource use and the future of business and society. Lovins is chairman and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
  • Paul Hawken, an environmentalist, entrepreneur and best-selling author who has dedicated his life to sustainability issues and the relationship between business and the environment.
  • Peter Senge, one of the world’s leading authorities on systems thinking and organizational learning. Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning.