May 2012Innovation

Wharton | San Francisco: A New Space for Knowledge

wharton san francisco

In January, Wharton | San Francisco expanded into a dramatic new sustainably renovated space in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district.

Located in the historic Hills Brothers Coffee factory, Wharton | San Francisco is home to the Wharton Executive MBA program, and to an expanding portfolio of Wharton Executive Education programs. In addition to facilitating the growth of these programs, the move to a larger space allows for increased activity by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, and more public events that showcase Wharton, its faculty, and its students and alumni.

The new campus’ 150-seat classroom and its two 75-seat classrooms deliver the leading-edge technology that is a hallmark of the Wharton School. State-of-the-art videoconferencing capabilities allow participants to achieve an unprecedented level of interactive, real-time outreach and engagement with the business community in the United States and abroad.

Like the programs at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus, executive education programs at Wharton | San Francisco are designed to facilitate the formation of close professional and personal networks. Wharton | San Francisco’s executive participants attend classes, study, and dine together — regular interactions that foster a tightly knit community. “Wharton | San Francisco embodies the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of the Wharton School in one of the world’s most vibrant cities,” says Julienne Gherardi, Wharton’s director of western region business development.

First-time visitors to the campus will be awed by its breathtaking views of the Bay Bridge. “People step off the elevator and just say ‘wow’ when they see the view from the new space,” says Martin Hackett, managing director of open enrollment programs at Wharton Executive Education. The dining room’s sweeping panorama of the bridge is unfailingly inspirational. The lobby space was designed with an emphasis on comfortable, attractive spaces for informal meetings. Even the tree-lined courtyard outside enhances the campus feeling and promotes socializing and networking among students and participants.

As part of Wharton’s commitment to sustainability, the school is pursuing LEED Gold certification for the renovated campus. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party green building rating system that verifies adherence to strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The campus is located in a transit-rich part of San Francisco and has exceptional recycling and composting practices: over 78 percent of waste gets diverted from landfills.

Locavores, vegetarians, and foodies of all types will feel at home: sustainable California cuisine is on the menu at Wharton | San Francisco. The café features food and beverages that are produced seasonally and within 100 miles of the site; hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and dairy; vegetarian-fed beef; certified humane eggs and fish; and Fair Trade and certified organic coffee. Entrees, sauces, salads, roasted meats, stocks, baked goods, and vegetables are prepared from scratch daily, without any trans fats, peanut oil, or MSG. Delicious vegetarian options are always on the menu.

Participants have found that they appreciate Wharton San Francisco’s sustainable practices as well as its proximity to the rich technology and innovation resources of Silicon Valley. Already, clients like the NFL have relied on Wharton | San Francisco for custom programs that deliver immediate business impact. Upcoming open enrollment programs at Wharton | San Francisco include The Leadership Edge, a program for emerging leaders, Business Sustainability Leadership, and a program specially designed for financial services professionals.

For more information about Wharton Executive Education programs in San Francisco and to see a video about the new campus, please visit: