It’s late March as I write this, and like many of you, Wharton Magazine (and the rest of Penn) has moved to remote work in response to COVID-19. Reacting to breaking news is a challenge when you publish twice a year, and no story has evolved faster than the worldwide spread of coronavirus. While we could crash articles about the pandemic into this issue, they would likely be outdated before the ink was dry. So we encourage you to follow us on social media and read our digital exclusives at whartonmagazine.com—along with Knowledge@Wharton and the School’s website—for coverage of the crisis and how to navigate these uncertain times.
Turning to the stories featured here, it’s arguable that no Wharton alumnus has more influence on our society than Sundar Pichai WG02, CEO of Google and Alphabet. Our wide-ranging Q&A covers his career, data privacy, the future of AI, and much more. We catch up with some of the Wharton-powered startups highlighted in past editions of our Watchlist section, including Allbirds, the eco-friendly shoe company led by Joey Zwillinger WG10, who shares insights into building a $1.4 billion business in just a few years. You’ll also hear from Wharton faculty and alumni who weigh in on a different sort of global concern — adapting to the economic impacts of climate change.
Consider this issue a brief distraction from the drumbeat of hourly news and life’s pressing realities. Let the magazine — as an extension of Wharton and its worldwide alumni network — serve to bring you the comfort that comes from your community. Wishing you good health and happiness in knowing that better days are ahead.
Published as “Editor’s Letter” in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Wharton Magazine.