MBA for Life – Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management

prmeAs the business world and graduates career options change, a school’s alumni require new skills and knowledge to help them take on roles and responsibilities that require fresh insights and ideas. Willamette University responded to this need by developing a lifelong relationship with its alumni through the MBA for Life programme—a programme where graduates have access to the courses in the MBA curriculum throughout their careers. I spoke with Judy O’Neill, Associate Dean and Director of Admission at Atkinson Graduate School of Management about this programme.

What is Atkinson Graduate School of Management’s approach to sustainability, ethics and responsible leadership?
Our commitment to sustainability, ethics, and responsible leadership stem from our organisation’s mission, purpose and values—and thus are inherent in all that we do. The University motto is “not unto ourselves, alone, are we born.” Atkinson School believes that ethics and environmental responsibility are essential for social and financial well-being, and that sustainability encompasses the four “E’s” that influence long term success—environment, economics, education and equity. We believe, practice and teach that an organisation’s long-term success depends on a commitment to sustainable practices in all four “E’s,” ethics and responsible leadership. Every student at the Atkinson School experiences the unique differences and strong integrations between business, government and not-for-profit organisations, and emerge better prepared to lead and make decisions in a greater societal context. The required and elective MBA curriculum integrates ethics, responsible leadership and sustainability through cases, projects, class discussions, and professional development activities. This content is also evaluated as part of the student course evaluation process and course syllabi are reviewed for relevant content by the faculty lead curriculum committee.

What is the MBA for Life programme?
The MBA for Life programme provides alumni of Willamette University’s MBA programme the opportunity to return to the school and take MBA courses free of charge, for life. The programme encourages lifelong learning, a lifelong relationship with our alumni, and the opportunity for alumni to connect with and learn from faculty and fellow alumni across sectors and industries.

How does it work in practice?
MBA for Life participants may enroll in MBA courses offered by the Atkinson Graduate School of Management free of charge. Alumni who take advantage of this benefit commit to being fully engaged in classes in the same manner as current Willamette MBA students. Participants are expected to attend all class sessions and are graded according to the expectations outlined by the course instructor. Grades appear on the participant’s official academic transcript as post-MBA education. Registration is based on a space available basis.

Why did you introduce it?
The programme was developed as a direct result of conversations between the school’s administration and alumni. As our graduates advance in their careers and take on more responsibilities, they are looking for opportunities to continue their professional development and growth. The Atkinson School’s innovative curriculum and market-focused courses are an excellent fit for those making career transitions or seeking career advancement. The Willamette MBA for Life programme provides alumni the continuing education they desire, the opportunity to reconnect with our school, faculty and alumni, and an MBA investment that continues to deliver a return on investment for years to come. For the school, this programme supports and helps communicate our belief in lifelong learning and our commitment to a lifelong relationship with our alumni.

What benefits are you hoping will come from it?

For the school: Support our lifelong relationship with alumni through a programme designed to enhance their opportunity for lifelong learning and professional success.
For the alumni: Free access to lifelong educational opportunities that support the attainment of new knowledge, fresh insights, and new tools for personal and professional growth.
For the students: The MBA for Life builds the network of our current students and provides for rich course discussions.

What have been some of the challenges? Successes?
All Atkinson School programmes are high-touch, face-to-face, and experiential in nature. Thus, the MBA for Life programme takes a commitment of time and effort from the participant to engage in real Atkinson School academic/professional experience. Participants are taking real MBA courses with the same level of rigor, attendance and course requirements expected of current students. This commitment of time and effort can be an issue for some practicing professionals. In addition, some popular classes do not have seating capacity for MBA Life participants every semester because they have filled with current students who have first priority for registration. Lastly, the scope of alumni who can participate in our programme is limited by geography, because participants must attend courses in person.

Since the programme inception in fall semester 2013, 22 alumni have completed course work through the MBA for Life programme, and one alum has completed 3 courses. The topics selected by alums spans the realm of courses we offer, from Lean Six Sigma to Public Policy, from Not-for-Profit Management to Fraud and Controls, from Product Planning to Managing Organizational Change, and from Enterprise Data Management to Principles of Management Consulting. Alumni are excited about the opportunity to expand their knowledge and stay in contact with the school. Faculty and current students appreciate the benefit of the experiences and input from alumni.


What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

Global delivery of an MBA for Life programme might be easier for programmes with a significant online component. Face-to-face programmes could consider other ways to engage alumni on a global basis. For example, we use our MBA Alumni Book Club, which is a virtual programme involving reading a book and participating in a call with the book’s author, to provide an option for lifelong learning for all alumni, regardless of geographic location. Another thing you might want to consider are the implications on both the alumni and the current students enrolled in the class in regard to whether the programme should be audit-based or require participants to meet the same requirements of currently enrolled students.

 

Partnering with Local Business Networks to Advance Sustainability on Campus and Beyond – ESPAE

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Developing partnerships with local business networks is an important way for schools to progress with their sustainability goals. ESPAE-ESPOL in Ecuador has developed over the past seven years a successful and ongoing partnership with local sustainability-focused business network CEMDES, the Ecuadorian chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) made up of the leading companies in Ecuador working on sustainability topics.

I recently had the chance to speak with Virginia Lasio, the Director at ESPAE as well as Ines Manzano, President of CEMDES Board, and Jimmy Andrade, CEMDES Executive Director who shared their experiences working together.

What is happening in Ecuador in the area of responsible leadership? 

There is no clarity on the concept of sustainability in Ecuador, and consequently, its applications are diverse here. It is often mistakenly associated only with environmental and/or social issues, while the economic growth and strategic development of business in our country lacks a vision of sustainability.

The National Institute for Statistics and Census (INEC) reports about 78% companies are non-compliant on local environmental standards. However, every day there is more awareness of the sustainability strategies and actions of international companies that act as role models to us. This is precisely one of the challenges of CEMDES, the Ecuadorian Chapter of WBCSD: to invite firms to abandon “the business as usual.” In achieving this goal, the role of academia is critical in helping to disseminate concepts, strategies, sustainability models, best practice cases, etc.

What are some of the leading companies in this area and why are they interesting?

Several Ecuadorian firms are advancing sustainability plans and projects at diverse stages of development. Pronaca, a leading Ecuadorian and export company in the agrifood industry has led a successful project to increase corn production by small farmers from 3 tons per hectare to 6.5 ton/ha on average, with some farmers reaching 11 tons/ha. The project has had a significant impact on the lives of the 1042 farms involved in the project, 64% of which were small farmers with less than 10 hectares of land.

Other companies of interest include San Carlos and Valdez (sugar mills), Ecuasal and La Fabril (edible oil, palm plantations, and biofuel projects), as well as Industrias Lacteas Toni, Holcim Ecuador and Syngenta.

What is the Cooperation Agreement you have with CEMDES?

ESPAE first signed the Cooperation Agreement in 2009. At the time we were relatively recent signatories of PRME and looking at ways to integrate the principles into our programmes and curriculum. Since it was not possible to introduce new courses or make major changes to the curriculum at the time, we decided to work in collaboration with CEMDES. The initial objective was to develop a Breakfast Seminar series on Sustainable Business Development that addressed mostly environmental issues, which the school does not currently include in its MBA programmes. The Breakfast Seminars are intended to engage faculty, students, and alumni—from across the University and not just the business school—as well as the business community. These events have been going regularly since then and 2015 marks our 7th year. Some of the most popular themes of our seminars recently, have been our sessions on inclusive economy as well as sustainable value chains and carbon footprints.

What kinds of lessons have you learnt through this partnership?

I believe that this joint activity in particular showed us that to take certain initiatives business looks for role models, and they are willing to learn from their peers. The cases presented at the Breakfast Series allow that interaction, discussion and learning. In addition, as a school we realised the importance of business/firms collaboration in the fulfillment of the PRME principles. We have learnt a lot from CEMDES and its members, which is helping us integrate PRME more across the school.

Beyond the Breakfast Series, are there any additional links/partnerships that have been created because of this partnership?

Our cooperation agreement with CEMDES goes beyond organising the Breakfast Series, to developing activities of mutual benefit. We are now also members of CEMDES and I am a member of the CEMDES Board, which has been a great learning opportunity for both institutions.

Through our relationship with CEMDES we have been able to invite key speakers into the classroom. We collaborate on a series of three annual conferences facilitating the exchange of learning from good practices in sustainability, and we receive funding for events from past participants and business attendees of our joint events.

What is next for this partnership?

We have several new projects underway. We have developed a new Master’s in Sustainable Agribusiness, which was definitely influenced by this partnership. We are also currently working on an executive programme on sustainable value chains in collaboration with CEMDES. We are also planning on running a self-assessment on social responsibility practices with CEMDES to receive specialised advice for improvements.

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

Local business networks focused on sustainability are the perfect partner to develop initiatives in the PRME framework and strengthen links among business schools and firms. For us this has been a great learning experience.

 

 

Engaging with Local Government – Examples from Turkey, Brazil, Australia, US, UK and Latvia

RigaOver the past couple of years I have seen a significant increase in business school partnerships with government, and in particular local government. These partnerships are becoming more structured and focused, engaging not just faculty but students and staff, providing meaningful learning opportunities for students while contributing to moving the city’s sustainability strategies and policies forward. Here we feature a few such partnerships from Turkey, Brazil, Australia, US, UK and Latvia.

Yalova University in Turkey and the local Yalova Municipality recently signed an agreement to work more closely together. The local Municipality now funds and sponsors thesis projects related to issues of particular interest to the city. In Brazil, the National Service of Industrial Apprenticeship in Parana is working with the City of Curitiba, and a range of universities in the city to provide and share knowledge, innovative ideas and skills around how to create a more sustainable city. This provides an exciting opportunity for the university to connect students with planning and decision-making processes in sustainable urban management.

University of New South Wales in Australia signed a Sustainability Agreement with its local city council, Old Randwick City Council, one of the only continuing agreements of its kind between a local council and a university in Australia. The Agreement is intended to establish a formal working relationship between both organisations for the express purpose of progressing, sharing and collaborating on joint projects or initiatives intended to deliver key sustainability outcomes or changes of mutual benefit to both organisations, within or adjacent to the area comprising Randwick City. George Washington School of Business (GWSB) in the US partnered with the Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C. to provide consulting services, including a first of its kind project to research and develop an economic development strategy for the city of Washington. The months-long project resulted in a highly regarded economic development plan, developed by 17 MBA students under the guidance of GWSB faculty.

Several schools are also engaging with their local city councils around special, sustainability-focused events. For example Royal Holloway School of Management in the UK has taken over the hosting of the Commission for Sustainable London 2012 website. The Commission was an independent body that monitored and assured the sustainability of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games—the first of its kind for an Olympic Games. In Latvia, Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration participated in Riga European Capital of Culture events, which took place throughout 2014. The school joined forces with the city council and local organisations to prepare and participate in the events and activities of the year.

Bristol Business School in the UK is a key partner in Bristol European Green Capital 2015. Students and staff will be playing a role in a range of initiatives and events planned around the year. The University itself played an active role in securing the prestigious designation for the city. Students on Bristol’s Green Internship Scheme on placement at the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, which submitted the original proposal) supported the bid. The US Government has recently selected Berkeley-Haas Centre for Responsible Business to host one of four national dialogue sessions to help develop a National Action Plan for responsible practices by American corporations operating in other nations. The purpose is to spur robust discussions by stakeholders from business, labour and civil society.

 

Does your school have projects with your local government? Share your experiences in the comments below.

 

 

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Creating an Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research Network – University of Nottingham

SRN PhotoA growing number of research projects are falling under the broad topic of sustainability. How can a university facilitate stronger connections between these different projects across departments and fields throughout the university, and empower researchers already involved and interested in these topics?

A number of PhD students at the University of Nottingham created the Sustainability Research Network, a dynamic network of early career researchers from across disciplines, working on, or with an interest in sustainability, to create these connections. I spoke with Gabriela Gutierrez at the university, who provided more information about this innovative project.

What is the Sustainability Research Network?

The Sustainability Research Network (SRN) is a dynamic network of early career researchers at the University of Nottingham working on, or interested in sustainability. Today, the network comprises over 300 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, lecturers and other early career research staff from a broad range of disciplines across all faculties.

SRN exists to provide fora for interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration around sustainability across all disciplines, including but not limited to: Archaeology, Architecture and the Built Environment, Biology, Biomolecular Sciences, Bioscience, Business, Chemical Engineering and Mechanics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering/Technology, English, Geography, Horizon Digital Economy Research, Institute for Science and Society, Institute of Mental Health, Maths, Politics and Sociology. SRN aims to support early career researchers in their personal and professional development providing opportunities for networking, learning and enhancement of skills and employability; and to stimulate academic excellence in the field of sustainability through capacity building and knowledge exchange.

How did it come about?

SRN was established in late 2012 and launched in May 2013 by five PhD students looking to create more opportunities for early career researchers working on sustainability in different disciplines to meet each other. Prior to the launch of SRN there were few informal or formal opportunities for researchers interested in sustainability to meet one another and share ideas and expertise across disciplines. SRN is currently supported and driven by a committee of eight postgraduate and early career researchers and PhD students.

The Committee organises regular events, maintains communications channels and provides opportunities for networking and collaboration across all disciplines, schools and campuses.

What has the Network done so far?

To date, the Committee has organised various events involving many researchers within our network across disciplines. The launch event in May 2013 was attended by over forty researchers across more than twenty schools/departments. Subsequent events have included external speaker lecture sessions, early career researcher-led events in association with the graduate school, external visits, and informal networking events. SRN also provides communications channels for members to share news and opportunities, to seek information, to make connections and to discuss topics of interest.

All of these events provide opportunities for researchers to learn about other fields related to sustainability and to make connections with their own work, either by presenting their work (or an aspect of it), or through a lively and engaging discussion—developing ideas and forming relationships across the disciplines represented. Some events have specifically asked participants to reflect on the challenges and benefits of interdisciplinary research in sustainability around various topics and have resulted in lively and engaging discussions. These presentations have developed ideas and formed relationships across the disciplines represented.

We have enabled members to contribute to the University of Nottingham’s broader sustainability strategy and, in particular, to online learning initiatives. SRN members have facilitated the innovative Nottingham Open Online Course (NOOC) on sustainability, which introduces different disciplinary perspectives on sustainability to undergraduate and postgraduate students across the university. SRN members also facilitated ‘Sustainability, Society and You’, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) open to those outside of University of Nottingham, as well as the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility’s NOOC in Sustainable and Responsible Business.

What have been some of the challenges? Successes?

Members are students or postdocs at the university for on average three years. Due to the nature and timeline of the programme, we are confronted with a number of questions: Given the turnover, how can we encourage ownership of the network by members as well as the committee? Given the diversity of research on sustainability, and even the diversity of meanings of sustainability itself, what sorts of collaboration can we realistically attempt to foster within the limited time frame of potential SRN activities? How do we create a flexible structure that will enable interested individuals to collaborate on one-off events? How do we develop greater and more independent collaboration between SRN members, to take forward the network and contribute to organising future events? How do we develop links/affiliations with similar groups at other universities, as well as with our international campuses? These are some of the challenging questions that we have been trying to address.

We have had many successes so far and a lot of support from senior stakeholders at the university. There are already more than 300 researchers in the network from at least 22 departments, and more than £2900 has been awarded to date to support the 13 events we have held since May 2012. Additionally we have been developing links with our other campuses in Malaysia and China. The network has been developing its communication channels as well, with email, Twitter (@SResearchNet), Facebook and a blog.

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

The significance of thinking strategically: From early on we contacted senior members of academic staff as well as other contacts across the university to let them know what we were trying to do, and to request their support. This has been helpful for overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, for raising the credibility of SRN, as well as creating opportunities to publicise the network and organise joint events.

The importance of listening to our members: The SRN has set up ways of getting members’ feedback and in response to that feedback we have organised different kinds of events across the university and with outside partners. Our events are structured to enable participants to meet lots of different people, with time available for discussion, and new perspectives and approaches introduced by external speakers.

Formal versus informal structure: We decided not to become an official university society. This would have secured us administrative support and funding opportunities, but SRN would then have had to adhere to an inflexible constitutional structure and would not have had the full independence that SRN currently enjoys. However, some level of formality is still required, for example having a named committee to ensure that responsibility is taken for driving the network, and we are currently considering the strategic advantage of having an advisory board of more senior staff members.

Set some time aside: Connecting both offline (face to face discussions) and online (email, google drive) is important—finding a good balance depends on the availability and working styles of the team. It is important to appreciate the variety of work falling under the umbrella of sustainability, and take the opportunity to learn about projects other people are working on.

Develop skills: There is a broad range of useful skills, experiences and knowledge that each committee member, and also network member, brings to the network, and it is important to realise their personal and professional development motivations for involvement. It has not just been about what we already knew how to do, but what we were willing to learn and what could be beneficial to us in the future.

Not to underestimate the time commitment required to set up an initiative like this: There are a huge number of tasks to keep up with. We do not have tightly defined roles for committee members, rather we are flexible and individuals are able to take a back seat for short periods when data collection, thesis writing or job interviews need to be put first, during which time the rest of the team takes the lead.

For more information on the Sustainability Research Network at the University of Nottingham visit http://sresearchnet.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Showcasing and Inspiring Action – UK and Ireland Edition

UK/Ireland Inspirational GuideAs of June 2014, 48 business schools in the UK and Ireland, out of a total number of around 110 in the region, have signed up to PRME. These schools have joined forces in creating the regional PRME Chapter UK & Ireland. In order to bring together their common experiences, inspire more action in their schools and encourage other schools in the region to implement PRME, they recently launched the Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME UK & Ireland Edition.

Seventeen business schools contributed to the guide, which is divided into three main areas: examining the values and mission for the school, developing centres and outreach initiatives embedding the values of PRME, and developing programmes in research and learning and teaching. Each case story focuses on a particular programme, project or activity that the institution has implemented, and provides an overview of the particular challenges faced, an explanation of the actions taken in relation to those challenges, what were the results, and advice and ideas for other signatories.

I spoke with Alan Murray from Winchester Business School, co-editor of the guide, about putting this collection together and their experiences and lessons learnt.

Why did the UK & Ireland Chapter decide to put together an inspirational guide?

As one of the first Established Chapters, and being conscious of our status as having one of the highest proportions regionally of PRME signatory schools, we wanted to put a regional spin on the PRME Inspirational Guides (see here editions 1 and 2). We also wanted to highlight some of the very innovative initiatives being undertaken in the UK and Ireland in the field of sustainability education and community involvement.

How did you put it together?

We have a good working relationship with the publishers, Greenleaf, having a number of individual members of the Chapter already part of editorial teams compiling edited editions on Poverty and Gender, as well as being authors with Greenleaf in their own right. Greenleaf was very supportive of the idea, and when the PRME office gave us their sanction, all that was left was to get the Chapter members in. Initially we put out a call, but followed that up with a theme at the first Chapter symposium, held at Winchester Business School in April 2014. At this meeting we hatched an ambitious plan to compile and edit the book in 4 months, to allow a launch at the British Academy of Management meeting in Belfast in September 2014. We asked for volunteers to be part of the editorial team and devised a schema to review and return chapters in double quick time. And we succeeded!

How was the response?

The response was very positive and we received more submissions than we expected given the time frame. You will see from the range of activities covered that some very exciting initiatives have been developed and schools were keen to inform the Chapter signatories and the wider UK and Ireland business school community of their endeavors.

Any advice for other Chapters that might be interested in doing the same?

Yes – allow more time! A good team of editors, all of whom are willing to commit time and effort is essential! The team at Greenleaf are brilliant and they can help sort out most issues.

What’s next now for the Chapter (related to how the guide will be used or more generally)?

We are going to send out a copy to the Dean of every school in the UK and Ireland that has not signed up to PRME, to showcase the activities of schools within our community and highlight the benefits to be gained being part of that community.

 

What you can expect to find in the Inspirational Guide

1. An examination of the values and mission for the school

Strathclyde Business School shares their experiences in creating their Management Development programme, intended to provide an intellectual and experiential spine to their undergraduate degrees. Newcastle University Business School discusses the PRME agenda and how it can add value to its stakeholders, as well as discussing their research agendas on gender equality and the PRME Working Group on Gender Equality.

2. Developing centres and outreach initiatives embedding the values of PRME

Lancaster University Management School shares their experiences re-launching their Leadership Centre. Winchester Business School and University of Huddersfield Business School both explore their lessons learnt around creating new centres focused on sustainability related topics, and integrating PRME into their programmes and centres.

Kemmy School of Business shares their experiences in establishing both a centre as well as a new programme on Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Bournemouth University Business School and Hertfordshire Business School share their approaches to engaging students in local projects through experiential learning. Finally, Glasgow Caledonian University shares their work on how to tackle the issue of widening access to higher education.

3. Developing programmes in research and learning, and teaching

Coventry University Business School, UCD School of Business, Winchester University, and Bradford University School of Management all share their diverse experiences in developing new modules in research and learning, and teaching. University of Huddersfield Business School outlines how they use group work to improve critical thinking skills, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School shares how they use field trips to bring their classroom messages across, and Durham University Business School challenges students to use their skills in real-life situations. Henley Business School presents their MA in Leadership, which uses innovative teaching technologies, and Aston’s Business School shares lessons from developing its MSc in Social Responsibility and Sustainability. Glasgow Caledonian University outlines how they reviewed their curriculum to reflect PRME values.

The Future Corporation – A Student’s Perspective (Part 2)

The 2014 LEAD Symposium held late last year by UN Global Compact and PRME, challenged participants to sketch a vision of The Future Corporation, identifying key characteristics of what the sustainable corporation could and should look like in the future. They looked to provide a beacon for the transition of the global business community that is already underway, fuelled by deeper integration of sustainability into strategies and operations.

Students at leading business schools around the world were invited to contribute their thoughts in writing, as to what the Future Corporation will look like, to be shared with UN Global Compact LEAD companies during the event. Here is a selection of their thoughts.

  • “Smart manufacturing is revolutionising drastically and plays a key role in almost every sector of the industry including information, technology, or human ingenuity.” Daryna Kosse, Audencia Nantes School of Management, France
  • “To start a collaborative relationship with governments and other organisations and creating activities, products, policies and services designed with the vision of a healthier market, being profitable while creating a much more fair business environment for everyone.” Maria Santamaria Hernandez, Audencia Nantes School of Management, France
  • “Businesses will pay serious attention to environmental impact analysis before the inception of any business operation.” – Shashank Bhat, Audencia Nantes School of Management, France
  • “Transparent, non-financial reporting will be fundamental where firms not only highlight accomplishments but also disclose negative information.” Jessie Recchia, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland
  • “Companies certainly have an influence on the world around us, but it may be current business students that have to alter the business model and include a comprehensive corporate responsibility strategy.” – Samuel Vadera, University of Guelph, Canada
  • “The Future Corporation will revolve around a co-creation platform where employees will be involved in the organisational process as well as product development and customers will be able to easily access company information in order to make informed decisions. It will be focused on developing the BOP [Base of the Pyramid] market.” – Andrea Speer & Andrew Bontempo, University of Guelph, Canada
  • “Future Corporations should open up their line of communication with each other, sharing ideas to improve the overall efficiency of the industry and allow growth in research and development.” Michael Alford, Kelly Labbett, Sharon Lee, Katerhine-Ann Mair, Emily Quinn, and Connor Trendov, University of Guelph, Canada
  • “In the future we will see more corporations overtaking the GDP of small and medium countries as well as a realisation of just how much power they have.” Andrew Via, University of Guelph, Canada
  • A future corporation will “create products that are fully recyclable throughout their life span, produce less waste, are carbon neutral and use resources more efficiently. All aspects of the supply chain will be transparent. Customers will be able to pay as their needs grow, to customise their products, and prices will reflect the true price of a product in terms of environmental impact.” Milan Mladenovic, University of Guelph, Canada
  • “The Future Corporation is dynamic. It is aware of critical changes and potential risks that might impact the business and the community and anticipates them by being creative and experimenting with new ways to do business while creating social value.” Ana Amira Castenada Abreu, Nottingham University Business School, United Kingdom
  • “By working with local SME’s worldwide The Future Corporation will be helping to empower local community. Training people within the local community to work with new skill sets and tools will help them create long-term business success on their own with relatively little external help.” – Camilla Norlem Carlsund Samsing, Nottingham University Business School, United Kingdom
  • “The Future Corporation will lend its expertise not only to refining its core business model, making it simultaneously more sustainable and more competitive, but also to development-focused partnerships where that specific expertise can be utilised.” Isla Farley, Nottingham University Business School, United Kingdom
  • “Corporate sustainability must hold a strong language and rhetoric across the board so the Future Corporation can replicate this into written documents, policy and reports, unifying companies across the globe into talking the same language.” Nicholas Andreson-Pearce, Nottingham University Business School, United Kingdom
  • “The Future Corporation will not be a follower, but a bold trendsetter. Innovation and creativity will be encouraged and supported, and highly valued in the future employees. There will be spaces designed for stimulating of creative ideas and headquarter buildings will be designed in a way that reflects transparency and cooperation.” – Liva Lejniece, Pforzheim University, Germany
  • “Human capital will become the most important capital stock, even surpassing financial stock.” Patricia Valdes and Edurne Inigo, Deusto Business School, Spain
  • “Being transparent is essential as a business. This leads to increase in profit and performance as it encourages employees to get involved in the process of making a product.” Fahad Albalooshi, University of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

To read the full texts submitted by these students visit here.

The Future Corporation – A Student’s Perspective (Part 1)

The 2014 LEAD Symposium held late last year by the UN Global Compact and PRME, challenged participants to sketch a vision of The Future Corporation, identifying key characteristics of what the sustainable corporation could and should look like in the future. They looked to provide a beacon for the transition of the global business community that is already underway, fuelled by deeper integration of sustainability into strategies and operations.

Students at leading business schools around the world were invited to contribute their thoughts as to what the Future Corporation will look like through a short essay. Twenty-seven videos were submitted from Turkey, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Colombia and the United Kingdom. A montage of the videos was showing during the Symposium and can be accessed here.

This year’s winner was Kamil Majeed from Sabanci University in Turkey

Kailash Ahuja and the student team from Pforzheim University in Germany (Honorable Mention)

Rahul Vincent Kachhap from Nottingham University in the UK (Honorable Mention)

Sandra Choma from ISAE/FGV in Brazil (Honorable Mention)

Leonardo Boesche from ISAE/FGV in Brazil (Honorable Mention)

Miguel Torres from Universidad Externado in Colombia (Honorable Mention)

For more on the outcomes of The Future Corporation Symposium including video recordings of the event click here.

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