Developing Future Public Sector Leaders – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

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August 9th is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, a day to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous populations. This is particularly relevant this year as the theme for 2016 is “Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education”.

In June we featured examples from schools across Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the work that they are doing to engage Indigenous students and promote Indigenous businesses including an Aboriginal EMBA at Beedie School of Business; a programme to support Indigenous Entrepreneurs at Gustavson School of Business; the Indigenous Programmes Unit at University of New South Wales; contextualizing the MBA with an Indigenous focus at the University of Waikato; promoting accounting as a career choice with Indigenous students at Deaken University; and mentoring a new generation of Indigenous leaders at University of Wollongong.

Here we introduce another innovative programme focused on developing future Indigenous business leaders, La Trobe Business School in Australia’s partnership to develop future leaders in the Public sector. I spoke with Dr Suzanne Young, Head of the Department of Management and Marketing and Dr Geraldine Kennett, Professor of Practice, Department of Management & Marketing about their new programme.

What is the programme for public servants (provide an overview)

La Trobe Business School developed a new Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector) in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration of Australia (IPAA), and in consultation with the IPAA Indigenous Advisory Committee. Initially enrolling 32 Indigenous public servants, the course has now expanded to be a combination of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous public sector professionals learning together. The course takes 1.5 years full-time or 2 years part time.

This innovative course uses a partnership approach; the participants study leadership, entrepreneurial business planning, financial management and accounting with the University and public policy making with the Institute of Public Administration of Australia. The students develop a plan for an entrepreneurial business or policy idea in their first subject and then build on this plan in subsequent subjects, cumulating in ‘A Pitch’ to senior public sector leaders. This practical form of assessment builds their confidence to get strategic buy-in for their business and/or policy ideas. Many of the students have used their new learning and skills to achieve higher level positions in the public sector. Four students are also continuing their studies with the La Trobe University MBA programme in 2016.

As academics, we have gained knowledge about Indigenous culture and how to integrate social identity into learning styles which has enabled us to develop supportive pedagogy for teaching. Our course ensures that the learning outcomes support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the capacity to straddle their leadership obligations in the workplace as well as in the Indigenous community.

How did it come about?

In 2010 the Australian government highlighted the social, political and economic gap between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the community. The Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (2012) argues that improving higher education outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will contribute to nation-building and reduce Indigenous disadvantage.

The need for a postgraduate qualification for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants was seen as important in a study that IPAA Victoria commissioned with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The study highlighted the barriers to, and enablers of, career advancement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employed in the public sector, including the need for professional development opportunities. Indigenous public servants experience a higher turnover rate than their non-indigenous peers. The 2012-13 Australian Public Service found that 20.5% of indigenous employees left the APS after less than one year —almost four times the rate of non-indigenous employees (5.9%). This is another challenge the programme aims to tackle.

IPAA approached La Trobe Business School to develop and conduct a postgraduate course due to its expertise in providing higher education for Aboriginal people, its status as the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion Business school in Australia and the ability for regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants to continue their higher education at La Trobe University’s regional campuses. 

What have been some of the successes?

From the feedback loop it is clear that the project produces measurable impact for Indigenous peoples (including students and community), La Trobe University (including staff), IPAA, and the higher education sector.

Achievements to date include:

  • Initial enrolment of 32 students into the course
  • Strong retention rate with 22 students continuing into their 3rd subject
  • Employers contributing to student fees
  • Orientation programme and guidelines for delivery of Indigenous education
  • Second cohort of programme began in late 2015 consisting of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students
  • Students’ management skills enhanced in entrepreneurship and innovation, accounting and leadership
  • Students’ leadership skills enhanced in communication and team work
  • Peer and collaborative learning enhancing cross-cultural learning between students and staff and in the future between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students.
  • Four students progressing through to enrolment in the MBA

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students it provides an educational experience and improved educational outcomes and opportunities for employment and career advancement. A specific Indigenous course enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to bring their culture and identity into the learning experience, thereby making the teaching relevant for their needs. Also for Indigenous communities, it supports economic development, assists in closing the gap and provides mechanisms for breaking the cycle of Indigenous disadvantage.

Advice for other schools thinking of doing something similar?

It is important to develop and work in partnerships with those organisations and people in the community who are legitimately recognised with expertise by Indigenous peoples. It is also important to have orientation programs for teaching staff in Indigenous culture and nurturing this in the teaching environment. Flexibility of approach, and assessments that are meaningful and authentic to the Indigenous students are also important.

Next Steps for La Trobe in this area?

The course is now open for non-indigenous students as well to provide a culturally safe learning environment for students to be able to learn together. This enhances the learning of non-indigenous students who are all practising public servant professionals and so builds their knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the importance of culturally safe practices. This also provides an environment where cross cultural knowledge is exchanged and others’ perspectives are more fully understood

Indigenous Business Examples from New Zealand and Australia

Gilimbaa: “Our History. Our Story. Our Future” Reconciliation Australia Animation from Gilimbaa.

As businesses become more and more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.

In an attempt to share some new best practice examples, and continuing with June’s focus on Indigenous programmes, I asked a handful of faculty members about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that were started by Indigenous entrepreneurs as well as companies working with Indigenous communities. To finish off our month focusing on Indigenous business, here are some examples from Australia and New Zealand.

Rebecca Harcourt, Programme Manager, Indigenous Business Education, University of New South Wales Business School, Australia

Gilimbaa fuses many of the riches and celebrations embedded within Indigenous knowledge-storytelling within contemporary cultural practices- with exemplary graphic design and communications to bring all this to the global stage, such as exemplified in Queensland in 2014 when world international leaders, including President Barak Obama, gathered here for the G20.

Inside Policy is a group of exceptional and experienced female entrepreneurs who create innovative approaches to provide solutions to complex problems.

The team at 33 Creative delivers media communications and various associated projects with excellence, vibrancy and self-determination. Their approach helps drive transformation to empower & improve many of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Read more about Indigenous engagement at the University of New South Wales.

Barry Coates, Sustainability Programme Development, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand

Ngai Tahu Holdings is an intergenerational and Aotearoa New Zealand-focused investor that operates as an investor, asset owner and active manager of enterprises. At its heart, Ngai Tahu is a values-based business that relies on its people and its partners to generate long-term returns while respecting its traditions and the principle of kaitiakitanga – stewardship of natural resources.

Miraka is a Māori-owned dairy company that reflects the cultural beliefs of its owners in the operations of its business. Miraka uses geothermal and sustainable energy to process milk from its local suppliers, with active programmes for composting and soil management, waste minimisation and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Luisa Lombardi, Senior Lecturer Accounting, and Barry Cooper, Associate Dean Industry Engagement and Partnership, Deakin University , Australia

First Nations Foundation is the only national Indigenous charity in Australia with a focus on financial wellbeing. Established in 2006 by a group of respected First Australian leaders, the Foundation focuses on assisting First Australians with money management, acting as a bridge between Indigenous people’s needs and the financial service industry as well as identifying and quantifying the financial needs and trends of First Nations people through research.

AIME (The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) is a dynamic educational program that is proven to support Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education at the same rate as all Australian students.

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative provides Aboriginal families living or in transit in Wathaurong’s traditional boundaries with assistance, increased and improved access to a range of culturally appropriate health, housing, education, employment and cultural services; contributes to improvements in community wellbeing; and builds the capacity of the community to control its own affairs and achieve self-determination.

Read more about about how Deakin is promoting accounting as a career choice with Indigenous students.

Debbie Roberts, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Stunnuz Clothing is a youthful streetwear fashion brand that is influenced by New Zealand culture. The business successes have been driven by passion for design, culture and youth. The journey of the business has opened many opportunities, national and internationally, and has a greater goal to further develop globally.

The Te Rau Aroha Omaio development project is a community owned and led enterprise that will bring to life the guiding principles of sustainable economic, environmental, social and cultural development through the systematic migration of 150 hectares of low-value maize growing into a truly sustainable enterprise linked to elite high-value food markets of the world.

The enterprise will aggregate together Maori owned traditional lands to create scale and use the world’s-best knowledge (including traditional knowledge), science and technology to integrate organic practices into the value chain and create more than 100 new full-time local jobs over five years.

Read more about University of Waikato’s work to contextualise the MBA with an Indigenous focus.

Mentoring a New Generation of Indigenous Leaders – Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience

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The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) is a dynamic educational programme that supports Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education. The goal is to increase high school graduation rates and university admission rates among Indigenous youth to bring them in line with the rates of all Australian students.
From 2015-16, 76 percent of AIME’s 533 Year 12 graduates transitioned to a university, employment or further education pathway. This exceeds the national non-Indigenous rate of 75 percent of 18-25 year-olds participating in post high-school education, training or employment, and the national Indigenous rate of 40 percent.

An independent evaluation by KPMG found that AIME contributed $38 million AUD to the Australian economy in 2012; that’s $7 in benefits generated for every $1 spent.
Business schools across Australia and their students are involved in the programme, including the University of Wollongong. I spoke with Brenden Newton, AIME Centre Manager at the University of Wollongong, and Steve Mitchell, an Indigenous Business Graduate and Mentor for AIME who is now working as Program Manager at AIME, about this successful initiative.
What is AIME and how did it come about?

Ten years ago, a young Indigenous student at the University of Sydney connected 25 Indigenous and non-Indigenous fellow students with 25 Indigenous high school students at Alexandria Park Community School. Little did they know that this would be the beginning of an organisation that has since connected more than 4864 Indigenous kids and 1923 university students across five states and territories in Australia. AIME is all about young people working with young people, and the kids responded.

AIME provides a structured educational programme for Indigenous kids to access throughout their high school experience. Students completing the programme are proven to finish school and transition through to university, training and employment at the same rate as every Australian child – effectively closing the gap in educational outcomes.

How does AIME work?

AIME has three delivery modes. First, the AIME Institute offers six different courses tailored for each specific high school year group, which provide launch pads for real life opportunities for the students to extend themselves through. For example, in the past, opportunities have included internships for artists, performance opportunities for musicians, ambassador programs and more. The content for the AIME Institute has been designed and developed by Indigenous young people since 2005 and is enhanced and improved each year thanks to input from our mentees and mentors. The delivery of the Institute modules is undertaken by trained Indigenous facilitators who are supported throughout the Institute program by AIME mentors, staff and a variety of special guests.

Second, the Tutor Squad programme features our trained university mentors who head out to local schools to provide free academic support for 15 sessions throughout Terms 2 and 3 of the high school year.

Thirdly, we offer one-on-one coaching, career support and post-school transition. We pride ourselves in getting to know the kids throughout their high school experience, so that when it comes to their senior years, we can provide the best possible advice, support and targeted opportunities for each Indigenous student to transition into university, employment or further training.

During the course of each of year, we work with our partners to source post-school opportunities for our mentees. We continue to stay formally connected to each mentee and provide mentoring support for the first 6 months of their university course, training or employment.

On the employment side of things, we have partnerships with some of Australia’s biggest employers who are committed to increasing Indigenous employment. Once we have wrapped up our six months of post-school support, we then offer mentees the chance to attend our Staff AIME Institute once a year for up to 5 years.  This gives them access to world-class learning and development from the likes of Google, Coke and the AIME Team.

We are currently in the process of developing our Alumni programme so AIME mentees and mentors can continue to support each other as a community throughout their lives.

How are business school students involved in AIME?

All across Australia, with every partner business school, each student has the opportunity to participate as a volunteer mentor with the programme. It is the individual business student’s decision to be involved. This is what makes the magic happen: people wanting to connect with other people to assist in a common cause.

Business school students can directly support the Year 12 students that we work with at AIME and share real life experiences of studying at university in the field of business. This firsthand knowledge is invaluable for AIME mentees as it’s coming from a person that they trust and admire. Priceless. Inspiring the next generation.

The non-Indigenous university students who participate in the programme have the opportunity to connect to Australia’s future leaders. They are gifted with a unique opportunity to engage hands-on with Indigenous Australia that provides focused leadership, communication and cultural training. AIME partners offer direct opportunities to AIME volunteers, as they perceive these graduates as people that they would like to employ.

In addition to this, the non-Indigenous participants gain a sense of community with the university. There is a select group of students who stand up and grab the opportunity to act as a mentor. These students become a part of a social network that is supportive on all levels. You could say that they even become a part of a wider family.

How has Wollongong been involved in this programme? 

The University of Wollongong (UOW) was the first university partner outside of the University of Sydney – where the program initially started in 2005. This partnership was formed in 2008 and has been a stronghold ever since. Wollongong was the start of AIME’s exponential growth. It could be said that if UOW and AIME were not a success, we may not be where we are today. The expansion to Wollongong gave AIME the belief and confidence that the model worked outside of Sydney to the point where we are now working across the nation with 18 university partners and 325 schools.

What is the experience like as a mentor?

My experiences (Stephen Mitchell) of connecting with young people and inspiring them to be the best possible people they can be was and always will be the highlight of my university degree. The one thing that I looked forward to every week at university was going to AIME. I would even go out on a limb and say that AIME is the reason that I was lucky enough to graduate university. It was the motivation for me to complete my education and be a positive role model for the Indigenous kids in schools. There were several times in my university degree that I wanted to quit and walk away, but I would always think of the kids that I mentored and what would that mean to them. I had to show them that if I could do it, so could they. As an Indigenous man, it is my duty to inspire the next generation to be great: to be better than those before us because the platform has been set for greatness!

I honestly believe that AIME mentors get more out of the programme than the mentees do. Being a mentor pushed me to be the best person I could possibly be and shaped me into the person that I am today. AIME gave me a purpose! It gave me a sense of community, a sense of family, a sense of belonging to something more than a university cohort. My involvement with the programme has connected me with everyday people who are inspiring, encouraging and thought provoking.

What’s next?

Our mission and purpose is to reach 10,000 kids a year by 2018 and to see that every one of those kids transitions through to university, employment or further training at the same rate as other Australian children.

The 2018 goals for the organisation are:

  • Reach 10,000 kids & 3,000 mentors nationally
  • Be the best place to work in Australia
  • Have a proven impact
  • Build a robust and sustainable funding model
  • Be one of Australia’s coolest and most recognisable brands

AIME strengthens links between universities and high schools. We work to support teachers and parents to become more optimistic about tertiary education as a real option for their Indigenous students. At AIME, we help Australians to see Indigenous Australia as an opportunity, not an obligation. It is about giving everyday Australians the chance to have a meaningful connection with Indigenous Australia and build the idea that Indigenous can mean success.

How can business schools support Indigenous students?

Start by building positive relationships with the students; everything starts with relationships. I would suggest having a conversation with students and discussing their dreams and aspirations. Show an interest in the person, rather than the student. AIME has been built off the back of positive relationships: people working together for a common goal.

As a former business school graduate, one of the best parts of my degree, other than AIME, was being a part of a mentoring programme within the school. This was an informal mentoring programme where I was connected with a senior academics and often had the chance for informal and formal catch-ups. To this day, I still have a positive relationship with my mentor and still go to them for advice, even though I have graduated.

Promoting Accounting as a Career Choice with Indigenous Students – Deakin University, Australia

2015,DBS,Indigenous,Accounting, Business,Conferemce,RACV,Barry, Cooper,Mike,Ewing,Louisa,Lomabardi, Brian,martin,Deakin,students,

Of the more than 180,000 Australian professional accounting body members, only 30 professionally qualified accountants identify as Indigenous Australians. This is something that the team at Deakin University is trying to change. The Indigenous Higher Education @ Deakin Action Plan 2016-2020 builds on the long and successful history of education and research with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at Deakin University. Through their Institute of Koorie Education, Indigenous students are supported to complete business studies and undertake leadership roles in business and in accounting.

I had the chance to speak with Deakin University’s Dr. Luisa Lombardi, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting, and Associate Dean Industry Engagement and Partnerships Professor, Barry J Cooper, who are influencing the nation through their events and research activities.

What was/is the Indigenous Accounting and Business Conference and Indigenous Australian Accounting Project?

The inaugural Indigenous Accounting and Business conference was held in 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. This two-day conference brought together academics and professionals from across Australian universities and businesses. The conference, of which over 80% of the more than 30 panel speakers were Indigenous peoples, aimed at providing a means to better understand the barriers to entering business and the accounting profession. Partners included CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand as well as PwC, EY and KPMG. Panels were organized around the following topics: overseas Indigenous accounting associations; the role of education in Indigenous success; government policy for Indigenous economic development; Indigenous Australian accountants; governance and Indigenous organisations; strategies for meaningful employment of Indigenous peoples; reconciliation action plans; and Indigenous business success stories.

Why accounting?

There has traditionally been a general lack of awareness of the usefulness of accounting within Indigenous communities. One of the reasons for this is that the business of money is not seen as an Indigenous field. Although more and more Indigenous students are enrolling into university degrees, they are choosing fields such as medicine, law, education and nursing rather than accounting. A business degree, and more specifically, an accounting degree, can be a means to re-empowerindividuals and entire communities to regain control over their own finances.

Here is an article about Gresham Congoo, a consultant at PwC in Indigenous Consulting in Australia, who became the 30th Indigenous Australian to receive a professional accounting designation from the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

What were some of the key takeaways from the 2015 conference?

The key takeaways include the message that accounting and business skills in the hands of Indigenous peoples are a tool of empowerment and are arguably crucial for Indigenous success. Accounting and finance skills have traditionally been provided for Indigenous peoples by non-Indigenous peoples. Historically this has led to unfavourable outcomes for Indigenous peoples.

However, accounting and financial skills can be very positive and empowering when delivered ‘by’ Indigenous peoples as opposed to being delivered ‘for’ Indigenous peoples. Accounting and financial skills need to be delivered and used in a culturally competent and safe manner. As Mr. Russell Taylor, keynote speaker at the conference, stated, “In dealing with Indigenous peoples, professional competence is of absolute paramount importance. However, I would issue a challenge to the accounting profession and it is this: from an Indigenous perspective, cultural competence is just as important as professional competence!”

A key piece of feedback from conference attendees was that as a result of interactions at the conference and as Indigenous accountants, they now felt valued and supported for the journey they have taken to become a member of the accounting profession.

Recent research undertaken

Luisa Lombardi and Barry J Cooper were successful in receiving research funding from CPA Australia for a project titled: An investigation into the role of educators, employers and the accounting profession in providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to enter the field of accounting. A total of fifteen recommendations were made to provide strategies that aimed at addressing the barriers that have resulted in virtual exclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from the accounting profession.

CPA Australia responded to some of the strategies and examples of recommendations adopted, including the following:

  • Indigenous Accountants Australia (IAA) has now been established as a joint initiative of CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia New and Zealand. It now has its own dedicated website ( for networking with Indigenous students and graduates of accounting and business, employers and Indigenous communities.
  • Through the IAA, the accounting bodies are attempting to increase their engagement with Indigenous Centres at universities. The engagement involves Indigenous Relationship Managers promoting accounting as a desirable major in business studies courses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • A resource is to be developed for the IAA website, promoted through social media channels, and used and shared with Indigenous students and graduates that identifies the different pathways towards, and the benefits of, a professional designation with either of the accounting professional bodies. There are also plans for a mentoring program to be offered under the IAA. The insights and assistance of IAA’s Advisory Committee will be accessed to inform its development and implementation.

What have been some of the challenges relating to the project/conference?

  • To continue raising consciousness in a positive, interesting and culturally safe way
  • To support the path for Indigenous peoples to enter business and accounting roles so that positive economic outcomes are achieved
  • It is evident that more research and support is needed to address the opportunities and challenges in a collaborative and meaningful way.

What is next?

The Indigenous Accounting and Business conference will run again this year on 26th and 27th October 2016 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. It should help further build relationships, provide an opportunity to share knowledge and explore strategies for building business and finance opportunities. We are also involved in continuing research that investigates the role that accounting can play in the economic empowerment of Indigenous peoples. By running the conference in a relational way with Indigenous peoples, we are demonstrating that cultural competence is paramount to professional competence. The conference is an exemplar of best practice in relational methodologies for Indigenous Australians.


Contextualising the MBA with an Indigenous Focus – University of Waikato New Zealand

Waikato graduation

The Waikato-Tainui MBA from the University of Waikato Management School, delivered in partnership with the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, aims to foster Māori values and Indigenous ways of doing business. Unlike other MBAs, the Waikato-Tainui MBA has been contextualised with an Indigenous focus within a supportive Māori environment at the College’s premises in Hopuhopu. It allows participants to explore real world business challenges that involve and are relevant to Indigenous business and industry. I spoke with Ed Weymes, Pro Vice Chancellor International of the University, about its innovative and award winning programme.

What role do Indigenous students/leaders/business currently play at Waikato?

The University of Waikato stands out from other universities because it embraces its strong Māori identity and heritage as key features of its distinctiveness. The Māori student and staff communities on campus are vibrant and welcoming, and there are many university programmes and activities that are dedicated to Māori student achievement and success. This is set to remain a high priority through the years ahead.

What is the Waikato-Tainui MBA and why did it come about?

Since 2011, we have delivered the Waikato-Tainui MBA in partnership with the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development. The driver for the development of this programme has been the aspiration for a greater number of Māori leaders well prepared to grapple with the challenges of global business. These future Māori leaders (participants) come from various iwi (tribal) organisations engaged in major commercial programmes as well as Māori-operated education, health and social service facilities in addition to small to medium sized businesses. The Waikato-Tainui MBA is based on the traditional campus-based Waikato MBA, delivered from the College’s Hopuhopu premises, and has been enhanced for relevance to Indigenous Māori. It has Māori teaching faculty, contextualised Māori content and primarily uses Māori case studies.

This programme prepares future Māori leaders to lead in an environment of complexity while preserving their unique culture and values. It has several key objectives:

  • To develop inspirational Māori leaders for the private and public sectors who are able to lead value creation and sustainable practices within their organisations;
  • To foster Indigenous ways of doing business that focus on collective benefit rather than individual benefit;
  • To facilitate a waananga (living and learning) environment that fosters cultural values;
  • To facilitate participants working collaboratively with each other and with Māori businesses; and
  • To meet the academic and professional requirements of the Waikato MBA.

What makes this programme unique?

The uniqueness of this programme is its mode of delivery. It is delivered in ‘waananga,’ or residential mode, from the College’s premises in a rich cultural environment that provides a holistic and collaborative atmosphere for participants, which is conducive to the way Māori learn. Participants meet every second weekendon Friday afternoons and Saturdays, similar to many other MBA programmes. However, in addition, whaanau (family) of the participants are invited to attend a number of events during the programme, allowing friendly and collective whaanau interaction.

A feature of this MBA is the International MBA Study Tour. Past international MBA study tours have seen participants travel to North America to nurture Waikato-Tainui tribal links with other Indigenous nations (e.g., Native American tribes) as well as to Asia to nurture closer ties with their Indigenous businesses and global economic communities. The study tour provides participants with global insights into doing business offshore within an Indigenous context.

Our faculty members are complemented by prominent guest speakers who provide the Indigenous context. Participants are also supported by a strong network of Māori MBA alumni, who are mentors for the programme, ensuring the distinctive Indigenous perspective is reinforced. All participants have access to a network of mentors who are MBA alumnus, ensuring the distinctive Māori/Indigenous perspective of this programme is aligned to the outcomes of the Waikato-Tainui MBA.

What have been some of the challenges? 

Contextualising the programme has been an evolutionary process. Initially, contextualisation within the Waikato-Tainui MBA was limited to the waananga style learning with guest presenters. Contextualisation was provided by using Māori case studies and guest presenters provided real life examples of how the various functions of management worked from a Māori World View, but it was more of an overlay, rather than embedded from the outside in. We were upfront about this with the initial cohort of participants, as we believed contextualisation was something that would evolve through delivery over subsequent intakes. We now have a number of papers that have been designed specifically for this programme, like, International Indigenous Business and Governance, Sustainability and Indigenous Business Development, for example. The aim is to have a programme that is fully contextualised with Māori and Indigenous frameworks and approaches embedded throughout delivery and curriculum.

Another challenge has been working through the funding of the waananga style of learning. It is more expensive than the traditional delivery mode, so how this is funded has been an ongoing challenge. We have also had challenges finding enough Māori academics to deliver the programme and have had to recruit academics and practitioners who can bring a Māori or Indigenous perspective from across New Zealand and Internationally.

What about successes? 

Many Waikato-Tainui MBA alumni are in highly powerful Indigenous, corporate and government roles. Promoted either during or after completing their qualification, they act as positive role models for Māori generally and lift the credibility of the brand of Māori business.

In 2011, the Waikato-Tainui MBA won the inaugural Association of MBA Innovation Award for developing a programme with a vision to bring Māori people, New Zealand, and the world together in order to support and advance Māori and Indigenous aspirations at local, national and international levels

How can business schools integrate Māori business topics and issues into their programmes? Why should they?

The relationships between the Māori and Pakeha (New Zealand European settlers) is now one with both cultures residing in harmony. However, the Pakeha culture is very “western,” vested in our Greek forefathers, while the Māori culture is more “Eastern,” with similarities to Confucianism and Dao. Both cultures respect the other and it is important that business achools and educational institutions ensure that their curriculum provides participants with an understanding of the differences.


Indigenous Engagement at University of New South Wales – Australia

Nura Gili, words from the language of the Eora Nation that mean ‘place’ and ‘fire/light’, respectively, is also the name of the Centre for Indigenous Programmes at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia. The University acknowledges and recognizes that their campuses are located on the traditional lands of three separate Aboriginal communities: the Bidigal people (Kensington campus), the Gadigal people (City campuses – UNSW Business School and UNSW Arts and Design) and the Ngunnawal people (UNSW Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra). UNSW Kensington is located near an 8000 year old campsite, a site that holds significance as a place for gathering, meeting, teaching and sharing.

At UNSW Business School, Indigenous Business programs are led by Rebecca Harcourt. She plays a pivotal role in supporting Indigenous students academically, personally and professionally and is a key broker of Indigenous engagement with the faculty and key external stakeholders as well as across. Recently, I spoke with Rebecca about UNSW Business School’s work around Indigenous business education.

What is Nura Gili and how did it come about?

Nura Gili is the Indigenous Programmes Unit at UNSW. In partnership with UNSW Faculties, including UNSW Business School, Nura Gili provides pathways for prospective Indigenous students to study in all UNSW faculties and programs. Nura Gili also provides a range of Indigenous student support services, tutorial and study spaces for enrolled students.

Furthermore, the unit houses Nura Gili’s Indigenous Studies programmes, academics, researchers and facilities for higher research degree students. All undergraduate and postgraduate Indigenous students at UNSW are welcome to use Nura Gili’s services, programmes and facilities.

What opportunities do Indigenous students have to enter UNSW Business School Programmes?

UNSW Australia Business Schools works closely with Nura Gili to offer a range of pathway business programmes designed to create an environment that welcomes and supports Indigenous students. In 2012, there were 49 Indigenous Commerce Alumni. In 2014, this rose to 60, including one PhD in Management. Potential Indigenous students have access to numerous programmes through Nura Gili. The Business Community Forums offer potential Indigenous students the chance to spend time at the school, meet current UNSW Business School Indigenous students, graduates, academic and professional staff as well as some of our industry partners.

The UNSW Indigenous Winter School is a one week aspirational   programme for Indigenous high school students in years 10, 11, and 12. Students spend three days at the business school to learn firsthand more about undergraduate degree programs, internships, and scholarships.The UNSW Indigenous Pre Programme in Business is a is a four week articulation program. This intensive residential preparatory course is designed to assist Indigenous Australians to develop the skills necessary to successfully complete studies in Business. The course surveys a range of business disciplines as well as study and learning skills. Also included is opportunity to apply your learning through case studies and industry site visits. Successful completion of the program can lead to direct entry into our Bachelor of Commerce or our University Preparation Program in Business.  The University Preparation Program in Business a is a one year program  that helps students bolster their academic skills and is designed for people who have potential, but are not yet be prepared for their first year of undergraduate study. Students who successfully complete The University Preparation Program can go on to complete an undergraduate business degree at UNSW Business School.

We also have a dedicated UNSW Business School Guide for Indigenous students.

How are Indigenous issues embedded across the business school curriculum?

Our focus is to provide students with the opportunity to engage with Indigenous perspectives from an asset-based approach: one that values the strengths and diversity of Indigenous peoples today living and working across their many nations in urban, regional and remote settings. Students are introduced to different models of business engagement with Indigenous people across First Nations in Australia, such as Jawun, Gilimbba and Supply Nation as well as international models. Students are encouraged to consider the different motivations of why and how industry engages with Indigenous people and to consider the cultural capital of knowledge and innovation as well as the financial and economic implications of the fourth bottom line – spirit and the beliefs and knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

A special case study was commissioned by Terri Janke that focuses on Indigenous engagement as well as cultural and intellectual property. This case study is incorporated into the teaching of the MBA.

In May 2013, we hosted and facilitated a consultation workshop with the UN Global Compact to provide input into the Business Reference Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That guide and specific case studies are being incorporated across courses in the faculty.

What other programmes would you like to highlight in this area?

Another key success is with AGSM Executive Education, part of UNSW Business School, which, together with the NSW Public Service Commission, has formed a partnership to facilitate career and leadership development for Aboriginal NSW Public Sector Employees who aspire to achieve leadership roles. Importantly, the development and delivery of this programme is done collaboratively with Aboriginal people who have experience in the NSW Public Sector and AGSM faculty.

The Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development Program (ACLDP), initiated in 2014, is a key initiative of the NSW Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy. In 2014 and 2015, the two inaugural ACLDP programs, each running over a 3 month period, brought together forty-six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior Executives from across the NSW public service. The continuation of this programme will contribute to the Premier’s priority to double the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in senior leadership roles in the government sector over the next ten years.

In 2016, an additional three ACLDP programmes are being held and by the end of 2016, these programmes will have over 100 alumni. Additionally, the ACDLP alumni accrue credit towards AGSM’s Certificate in Executive Management and Development (CEMD).

What have been some of your successes?

A good example of success can be seen in a film (see below) about a key networking event created by Sarah Hyland, a UNSW Business School Indigenous graduate, when she was working with Indigenous Accountants Australia. Sarah drew on her knowledge and experience throughout her time as an undergraduate student, including her leadership and engagement at our annual UNSW Business School Indigenous Community Forums

Many of our UNSW Business School Indigenous students and alumni’s engagement and ongoing successes are featured in articles here.

Any advice for other schools looking to put in place program/support for Indigenous students?

Relationships are key. Provide ongoing advocacy and support for all your Indigenous students and alumni throughout their studies so that they can engage in the many academic, mentoring and industry opportunities offered within your school and beyond. Work together across all institutions locally, nationally and overseas to build greater opportunities for Indigenous people to thrive.

Listen to and work closely with your Indigenous students and/or graduates and/or leaders and/or stakeholders across business, education, communities, corporations, government, media and not-for-profit sectors to ensure that you continue to respond and meet the needs of all our Indigenous business students and provide them with the confidence to take advantage of and choose from the best opportunities available.

Engage, commission, invest and employ from a diverse range of new and established Indigenous researchers, academics and/or professionals with credibility and growing expertise across your teaching and research programmes. We are just at the beginning of this journey and we all have much to learn and gain from.


Supporting Indigenous Entrepreneurs – Gustavson School of Business

In Canada, the Indigenous population is the fastest growing in the country. Through a succession of victories in high-profile Supreme Court decisions, First Nations in Canada have asserted their rights over their traditional territories, thus making business and government reliant upon a license to operate from First Nations when they wish to conduct business on their territories.

With 60 billion Canadian dollars in projects planned and underway in the Northwest of British Columbia Canada, there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to help deliver these projects. In particular, businesses are eager to partner with Indigenous-owned businesses in a whole range of industries from tourism, to forestry, to mining, to energy, to training, to name but a few.

In order to help Indigenous communities in the area develop their entrepreneurial skills, the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business offers, in partnership with the Tribal Resource Investment Corporation (TRICORP), the North West Canadian Aboriginal Entrepreneur programme. I spoke with Heather Ranson, Associate Director at Gustavson’s Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation, and Dr. Matt Murphy,  about this award winning initiative.

What is the Northwest Aboriginal Canadians Entrepreneurs programme?

The Northwest Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (NW-ACE) programme is a collaborative effort between indigenous communities served by Tribal Resource Investment Corporation, regional and provincial governments and the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business to bring first class entrepreneurial learning to the Indigenous people of Northwest British Columbia (BC). The primary aim of the programme is to enhance the self-sufficiency and full economic participation of Indigenous people in the many exciting projects underway in their traditional territories by helping prospective entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses.

The programme includes a 6-week modular skill-based curriculum aimed at developing entrepreneurial expertise, followed by a 12-week Entrepreneurial Mentorship. Interested candidates apply by sending a letter of interest and are selected by TRICORP, the funding partner.

How did this programme come about?

The philosophy guiding the programme is founded on the belief that perhaps the NW-ACE can – in some small way – reverse the damage done to First Nation communities through colonisation. NW-ACE used this philosophy to guide the following three implementation strategies:

  • To ensure that the Indigenous communities served through TRICORP own and control the programme, the intellectual property and the trademarks for the NW-ACE programme. If the university were to own the curriculum for the programme, it would just be another example of colonialism.
  • To take the university to the Indigenous community rather than expect the Indigenous participants to travel to the university. The parents of many of the participants in the NW-ACE programme are from the generation of Indigenous Canadians who were taken from their communities and shipped off to residential schools. This programme should not be associated with the deep pain inflicted by a colonial approach of residential schooling, but should rather attempt to reverse it.
  • To enable Indigenous people in the Northwest to become full peer-to-peer partners in the Canadian economy as business owners, rather than just employees. The ideal prospective Indigenous participant would already have a skillset that can be leveraged to start a business that would ultimately become a supplier to one or more of the various corporations driving the development projects in Northwestern BC.

NW-ACE is a collaboration between several partners. How does this collaboration work?

The success of the NW-ACE programme is only possible through extensive collaboration that spans regions, communities, institutions and faculties, including:

  • 28 professors, administrators and business professionals from the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, Faculty of Education, Office of Indigenous Affairs, Executive Programmes and others at the University of Victoria
  • 6 representatives from Tribal Resources Investment Corporation, an Aboriginal Capital Corporation
  • 25 Indigenous communities, 13 urban centres, and 9 First Nations spanning a geographic area of over 600,000 square kilometers in Northwest BC
  • 15 representatives from the private sector economy
  • 4 representatives from Service Canada, a branch of the Federal government
  • 2 post-secondary institutions (University of Victoria and Northwest Community College)

NW-ACE is a non-credit programme, although, students can receive credit for the course through North West Community College. However, most students take the programme to start their entrepreneurial endeavours.

The relationship between our school and the funding partner is critical.  Gustavson does not “own” the material taught in class, the funder does.  This gives them control and helps build Gustavson’s credibility when we go into a new community.

What challenges have you faced? 

The major challenge of this programme is to get entrepreneurs up and running a business in such a short time.  Some students need to finish apprenticeships, some need to conduct further market research and some are up and running shortly after the programme.  For students who need additional support after the programme, an alumni programme is in place as well as a mentorship programme.

What has been the impact of the initiative?

Out of 91 graduates from the first 6 cohorts of the NW-ACE programme, 21 have started new businesses. Four additional cohorts with a total of 63 participants will graduate ready to launch their businesses in the Fall 2016.

While we typically measure our impact in the number of businesses started, there are other impacts as well.  Some of our students have gone on to further their education, which will assist them in their ventures further down the line.  Others have had important self-realisations and pivoted their business ideas to better capitalise on their talents.  Some of the softer impacts have been developing a strong relationship between business in northern communities, TRICORP and Gustavson.  Also, students’ self-confidence and ability to develop ides into business plans are also stronger.

How can business schools integrate Indigenous business topics into their programmes?

Understanding the interests and issues of First Nations will help us prepare future generations as this part of the population gains a larger voice. Indeed, by working with Indigenous communities now, we can support them to have a stronger voice.

At Gustavson we work with First Nation communities to bring them into the classroom. For example, Patrick Kelly, a member of the Leq:amel First Nations and consultant and adviser in this space, is part of the Dean’s International Advisory Board, helping direct the strategy of the school and advising on issues important to Indigenous students and the community. He spends time with our MBA students, to help them understand the Indigenous perspective on business in dedicated classes and professional development sessions.

We regularly consider issues that come up in popular media and help students understand what that means for business. A good example of this is the three classes we spend in the BCom programme on Human Rights and the importance of free, prior and informed consent that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) outlines as critical in relationships with Indigenous communities. As the Canadian government is currently working to implement UNDRIP, and many Canadian firms impact Indigenous communities, this topic in particular, will become even more important for business in the future.

We also bring our students out to visit and support First Nation business projects. Professor Matt Murphy has taken MBA students to visit the T’Sou-ke Nation’s solar community project, which powers a First Nation on southern Vancouver Island. Dr. Murphy is also working with a group of MBA students who are designing plans for T’Sou-ke Nation to commercialise their clean-energy model.

Do you have any other programmes supporting Indigenous business/leaders?

University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business in Canada welcomes Indigenous students into all of their business degree programmes. Since Indigenous students that enter these programmes do not have to self-identify as such at any time during their education, the school doesn’t have statistics on the number or proportion of participation of Indigenous students in these courses. Our Executive Programmes are actively engaged in a variety of programmes in communities with local Indigenous Partners including Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP), Service Canada and the Provincial Government. We also have an Executive Programme on Indigenous Business with Universidad ESAN in Peru to deliver a community relations programme to twenty-one post-graduate students. These students are already working within community relations in Peru — primarily in the mining sector. They come to British Columbia for a week in order to understand consultation and stakeholder negotiation with extractive industries. The students also have the opportunity to meet with the Kamloops Indian Band, the New Afton mining company in Kamloops and the Tsleil-Waututh in Vancouver.

What’s next?

We plan to expand our First Nations programmes to more communities across the country, partnering with other universities to expand our reach. Also, our BCom programme is consulting with other faculties on campus to understand how we can better attract Indigenous students to the programme, and support them while they learn with us.

Executive Programme is continuously launching new programmes led by Dr. Brent Mainprize with our partner TRICORP, such as expanding the entrepreneurs programmes across Canada and creating a social media and website training programme that will allow communities to take ownership in the design and implementation of their websites and social media. Other projects are also in the works!


This post is part of a special month featuring examples of business programmes in Canada, Australia and New Zealand focused on Indigenous Peoples. For more visit

Shaping Future Indigenous Business Leadership – Beedie School of Business

Since 2010, the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Canada has gone from having very few Indigenous students and paying little attention to Indigenous issues in its curriculum to having a lively programme that welcomes Indigenous leaders and others interested in doing business with Indigenous communities. Today, it has an Executive MBA programme focuses on  Indigenous business development and relations between businesses and Indigenous communities. In addition, it has developed travel study programmes and classes intended to introduce MBA students to issues involved in building relations with  Indigenous communities. A team of people, led by the programme director and founder, Mark Selman, has designed the programme and built a community of leaders that is quickly growing both in size and influence.

I spoke with Mark Selman, about the EMBA, why business schools should embed Indigenous issues into the curriculum and some of the challenges that the programme faces.

What is the Aboriginal EMBA (ABL)

The EMBA ABL is a version of the regular EMBA that is focused on issues of concern to Indigenous Peoples. Thus, it deals with efforts of Indigenous nations to develop economic and business activities as well as understand the interactions between business and Indigenous communities/nations. Along the way, it covers most of the core content usually included in an MBA programme, but with a focus on how it applies in an Indigenous context.

Like other EMBA programmes, the ABL programme builds on the experience of its students, people who have been in leadership positions for Indigenous governments, businesses, service organisations and community groups, as well as experienced managers. The programme is open to both  Indigenous and non- Indigenous students.

Why was it launched?

The programme was launched because we had seen that there were many  Indigenous leaders who had had a lot of leadership experience, but lacked some of the tools and knowledge that are commonly taught in business schools at the graduate level. Given that  Indigenous businesses are growing quickly and that many Nations are controlling significant assets, the Beedie School of Business thought there should be a way to make this kind of education available to Indigenous leaders. In addition, many businesses are finding that having strong relations with  Indigenous nations is a critical factor in terms of their success.

What have been some of the challenges?

There are lots of challenges. Many Indigenous leaders have had bad or mixed experiences with educational institutions and are suspicious about whether mainstream institutions can respond adequately to their needs. It is a challenge for some instructors who are good teachers and know their subject matter but may not understand Indigenous issues and contexts. While this challenge exists, many have been excited by the opportunity to learn.

Also, the programme operates within the existing framework of the EMBA and with the same schedule of fees. This means that the programme is quite expensive ($54,000) for some of the students who want to take it. Finally, different students want different things. Some are very concerned about whether the standards are as high and the content is the same as other EMBA programmes. Others are more concerned that the programme responds to and respects Indigenous interests. So some people are concerned that we put too much focus on using Indigenous cases and just want to study business; others think we should focus only on Indigenous cases. Of course, we try to maintain a balance.

What about some of the successes? 

Our successes are our students. Seventeen of the 23 people from the first intake have graduated and we expect 4 more to graduate over the summer. The second cohort is larger and we are recruiting for the third cohort, which currently stands at more than twice as many acceptances as we had at this stage in our last recruiting cycle. We expect to need to increase the frequency of offerings to meet demand.

More specifically, we have seen people turn ideas that they developed in the programme into real opportunities for themselves, for the organisations they work in and for their communities. One is a Member of Parliament. Two are leading new initiatives on behalf of multiple Nations. We believe that we are developing a community of leaders with links across the country. The networks of connections they built through the programme will be a big part of what makes them successful. 

How can business schools integrate Aboriginal business topics and issues into their programmes? Why should they?

Senior executives I speak with tell me that of all the issues they have to deal with, the most challenging and the one they spend the most time on is community relations and, specifically, Indigenous relations. While this may be obvious in the case of, say, a pipeline company, I have also heard it from financial institutions, land developers and many others. The issue of reconciliation, and how we as a country can move forward, is obviously moving to the top of many agendas. Thinkers such as John Ralston Saul have argued that Indigenous influence on Canada as a whole is much deeper and more profound than most non- Indigenous people have realised. Yet, the gap in terms of education, incomes, and health of Indigenous peoples is still huge and unacceptable. All Canadians need to understand these issues better and business schools can help future and current leaders understand and manage these relationships as well as provide tools that will help Indigenous people be more successful.

It is not that difficult to embed these topics into the curriculum as long as there are people who are willing to study, learn and listen to these issues. Eventually,  Indigenous people will be better represented in institutions such as Universities. In the meantime, it is important for others to step up and make space for these topics and make sure that institutions are more welcoming to  Indigenous students and others who can help them be more responsive to people who have been left out of key discussions and have been prevented from gaining access to key intellectual resources.

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

I recently spoke to leaders at an institution that made a special effort to recruit Indigenous people into their business programmes and then watched helplessly as few of succeeded. That’s not the way to do it. Institutions need to cultivate relations with  Indigenous leaders who can help them adjust to the needs of Indigenous students. They need to look at everything, from whether the look and feel of their physical spaces shows respect for  Indigenous cultures to whether they have appropriate resources that focus on Indigenous topics to whether they know enough to be able to show respect to the different Indigenous cultures of potential students.

Second, it is important to aim high. Some strong Indigenous applicants have been shortchanged by previous institutions and have gaps in their academic background and skills. On the other hand, many have experienced a wide range of very challenging situations and bring huge amounts of accumulated wisdom borne of having to deal with many and varied challenges. The net result is that classes can be conducted at a very high level, even if some students are struggling with specific aspects of academic writing or accounting. No one wants to come to a watered- down or second-rate programme, so institutions need to recruit their best and hardest working faculty to teach in these kinds of programmes.

Third, it is critical to realise that programmes that address Indigenous concerns and the concerns of businesses working with Indigenous communities are going to be multi-cultural and intercultural. There are seven different major language groups of First Nations in British Columbia alone, and many more across the country. So, a class of Indigenous people, with a few non-Indigenous people with interest in the field thrown in, is highly multicultural. Understanding this and making it a rich learning environment is part of being able to make this kind of programme work.


This post is part of a special month featuring examples of business programmes in Canada, Australia and New Zealand focused on Indigenous Peoples. For more visit


Indigenous Peoples and Management Education – June Special Feature


Graduates of Advanced Management Programme at Ch’nook Indigenous Business Education

There are more than 370 million indigenous peoples living around the world in over 90 countries. They occupy 20 per cent of the world’s land surface and take care of 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. Most of the Sustainable Development Goals and associated targets impact, and are impacted by, indigenous people.

But Indigenous issues, businesses and students are severely underrepresented in business schools both in terms of the number of Indigenous students attending and businesses featured as well as Indigenous issues discussed.

Increasingly schools are putting in place programmes aimed at recruiting and supporting Indigenous students and businesses. Demand is growing from Indigenous and non-Indigenous students as well as from the business sector, which is looking to hire and collaborate with Indigenous business leaders.

In order to highlight these examples and the important role that business schools play, throughout the month of June we feature examples of how business schools are putting a focus on Indigenous business, in particular focusing on three countries: New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Who is an Indigenous person?

There is no single definition as to who an Indigenous person is, however, there are several criteria used to identify these groups. The first is self-identification. According to the International Labour Organization, “self identify as Indigenous or tribal shall be regarded as a fundamental criterion for determining the groups.” The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Resource Kit on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues provides some additional guidance for identifying Indigenous peoples. For the three countries we will focus on this month, the Indigenous peoples include:

  • Canada: First Nations, Inuit and Metis – In 2011,3% (1,400,695 people) were Aboriginal, a number that is increasing yearly. The largest numbers are in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Saskatchewan and most of the population of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – In 2011, 3% (668,900) of the populations was Aboriginal, a number that is increasing yearly. The largest populations are in the states of New South Wales and Queensland.
  • New Zealand: Maori – In 2013, the Maori population was estimated at being 812,000. Another 692,000 identify as Maori descendants and another 100,000 people of Maori ancestry are living in Australia.

Aboriginal peoples have very different pasts and presents and I encourage you to explore the links above for more information.

Additional resources on the topic

There are several resources that can be used in the classroom to introduce students to Indigenous peoples and their role in sustainable development as well as in business.

An infographic prepared by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN provides a good overview of Indigenous people and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007 and establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.

The Global Compact Reference Guide for Business on UN Declaration of Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples provides a resource to help business to better understand, respect, and support the rights of Indigenous peoples by illustrating how these rights are relevant to business activities. There is also a Practical Supplement to the Guide that provides a compilation of case studies and business practices intended to raise awareness of the corporate responsibility to respect Indigenous peoples’ rights and the opportunity to support these rights.

The Global Compact also prepared a Good Practice Note – Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and the Role of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) – that provides background on the history of FPIC, the business case for obtaining FPIC and discusses emerging practices that support FPIC. For more resources offered to companies, listen to their Webinar on Emerging Trends, New Tools and Resources.

A new book, Indigenous Aspirations and Rights: The Case for Responsible Business and Management, to be published by Greenleaf in 2017, will focus on an Indigenous point of view regarding business practices,indigenous desires and rights gleaned from case studies (whether successful or unsuccessful) present ongoing and unresolved issues, and best practices for respect, cooperation, and collaboration. Some signatories also have textbooks published on the topic including;

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on 9 August every year.

Note: This list of resources will be updated throughout the month based on feedback so please send your resources ( or @gweybrecht) and check back regularly.

17 Resources for 17 Goals – Part 2 of 2

There are a growing number of excellent resources around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, many of which can be used in the classroom and to inspire activities or partnerships within University and Business School campuses. Here are a range of different international resources that can be used to engage in, and raise awareness of the 17 SDGs. Part 1 featured resources for Goals 1-9 and part 2 features resources for Goals 10 through to 17. If you are developing your own resources and would like to share these more broadly please share them here.


SDG 10: This past month the UN briefing on migration explored how stereotypes around migrants as troublemakers need to change to properly recognise their important role as contributors. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 150 million migrant workers worldwide and that they contribute around 6.7 trillion to the global economy, significant in particular because they account for only 3.4% of the world population. This will be further discussed at the upcoming Meeting on International Migration, the United Nation Forum on Population and through the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration which is currently in development.

SDG 11: C40 Cities is a group of 90 of the world’s greatest cities focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing he health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.. Their Finance Facility is sharing a number of best practice reports about cities around the world and their efforts towards reaching the SDGs. The most recently is around how to finance sustainable urban infrastructure and another looks at Bogota’s Quinto Centenario Project which has been part of the cities transformation into a cycling paradise.

SDG 12: As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven”. These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF). The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. VNRs can be accessed online here.

SDG 13: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established by 194 governments to support actions on limiting or reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Working within the framework of UNFCCC, the Fund is a central mechanism for catalyzing climate finance at international and national levels. It intends to raise $100 billion per year by 2020.

SDG 14: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided $17 billion in grants and mobilized $88 billion in additional financing for more than 4,000 projects. The GEF has become an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector to address global environmental issues.

SDG 15
: For International Day of Forests on March 21st, a special short documentary film called TARA Alpinia nigra was released which looks closely at how India’s non timber forest products and its access rights by indigenous peoples and other traditional forest-dwelling marginal groups. The film looks at 10 tribal villages , capturing the voices of vulnerable tribal groups dependent on forested landscapes for livelihoods. The film had support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. The UN Forum on Forests will hold its 13th session at the UN in New York on 7-11 May.

SDG 16: UN Environment just launched a global report called “Making Waves: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development”. The report is a culmination of four years of research and insights. It summarises progress made in aligning the financial system with sustainable development and reflects on the lessons that can be learned from their approach and what still needs to be done. The report is in English but executive summaries are available in a number of other languages.

SDG 17: This year’s edition of the UN Global Compact-Accenture Strategy CEO Study, the world’s largest program of CEO research on sustainability, focuses on transforming partnerships for the SDGs. The report incorporates insights from interviews with UN leaders and their private sector counterparts, survey of UN agency heads, and data gathering from across more than 35 entities across the UN system. Among these, 85% believe that cross-sector partnerships are critical to enable business to help achieve the SDGs.


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