Appreciative Inquiry, Business Innovation and the SDGs – A winning combination

For the first time in September 2017 Business School Lausanne designed a case study course that used the UN Global Goals as a lens for students to take a step closer to business innovation in their community, exploring companies that are both profitable and doing good in the world.

In Part 1 of the course students needed to research a company they believe are doing work related to the SDGs. The students job was to help the company to uncover and reveal an important story that has happened to them related to a recent project where clearly “good for the world” was created, sometimes even unintentionally.

To find out whether their discovery was valid, they had a wealth of information available to them on the Aim2Flourish platform regarding the sustainable development goals and corporate innovation. Once a company and a contact person had been identified, students reached out through the power of our professional networks to connect, explain their intention, and set up an in-person interview with the specific business leader. The interview was prepared beforehand in class using the appreciative inquiry method. Based on the information interview and their additional research, students then wrote their stories and we went through a few rounds of revisions before submitting them to the AIM2Flourish platform. From the outset students knew they were part of a competition for the most innovative stories and that there was a possibility that their story would be chosen the following year as one of the best-of-the-best stories.

Early April I received a message from Aim2Flourish requesting confirmation that all the information in one of the stories written by a student was valid. I reached out to the company in question and liaised with the press department, made some modifications and on April 16, 2018  was advised that the story written by Karim Albekov had been awarded one of the 17 Flourish Prizes, based on the Promoting Gender Equity story he had written about the organization: IKEA.

This business’ story was selected as one of the 17 best stories exemplifying how business is a positive force for good and demonstrating progress towards the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) published on the AIM2Flourish platform in 2018.

AIM2Flourish is a UN-supported global learning initiative where students discover and celebrate untold stories about business innovations for good, using the 17 SDGs as a lens. AIM2Flourish is an initiative of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management – Case Western Reserve University.

Please join me in congratulating Karim Albekov for this excellent accomplishment and to all the other students who submitted their stories;  Alexandros Katsidonis,  Anna Iskanderova, Arsen Amanbayev, Lisa Foffano and Ana Cristina Junquira Ottoni. Give them all a big round of applause at graduation this summer for being the first to try and the first to succeed!

This year, Aim2Flourish will celebrate all of their 2018 Flourish Prize winners in a week-long, virtual celebration from May 7-11. During this time Aim2Flourish will host a global, multi-day celebration via our social channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, and Zoom Video Conference with the hashtag #FlourishPrizes2018.

 

Author:

Nadene Canning, BSL Professor

 

Good humour and collective intelligence – BSL Empowering Inclusion in Business

BSL was delighted to welcome a great group of professionals from the corporate world, women’s associations, and people with regards to the situation of inclusion and diversity in business. Professors Nadene Canning and Natalie Wilkins facilitated the event with the help of yours truly, Mary Mayenfisch.

The mood was good; the wish to work together in a constructive way was impressive.  The outcomes will become clear as we move towards a work world that is more inclusive. Governance, leadership and Talent management were the subjects treated as we felt that these issues lie at the heart of the problem.

We appreciated the presence of such an experienced group of people at our event, those of you who joined us on the beginning of this journey to educate and ensure a fairer workspace.

Many thanks to the “Advance Women in Swiss Business” organization- we appreciated your support and presence.

Watch this space – the journey has begun!

See more pictures of the event here.

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Author: Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin, BCL, LL.M, Solicitor
marymayenfish

A Woman of Substance – Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden

Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden paid a visit to Business School Lausanne recently and what a treat that was! Ms Jorden addressed a group of students, alumni, staff and faculty and gave her version of what business should think about and look like.

Continue reading

The Economic Empowerment of Women in the Post 2015 Development Agenda? Why not?

The OECD defines economic empowerment as “the capacity of women and men to participate in, contribute to and benefit from growth processes in ways that recognize the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth. Economic empowerment” says the OECD “increases women’s access to economic resources and opportunities including jobs, financial services, property and other productive assets, skills development and market information.” Continue reading

United Nations Global Summit Conference – The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) September 2013

Well, here I am again and I am still talking about the United Nations Global Compact meeting that took place in New York from the 18th to the 20th September, 2013[i]. Why am I still talking about this summit you might ask?

Simply because so many things happened there but I haven’t seen much media coverage – it’s a real shame!  One of the most stimulating conferences I attended, in the company of Freda Miriklis, International President of the Business and Professional Women[ii] , concerned the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and the role of women in business and in the world. Continue reading

Governments and business can and must work together!

UN Global Compact

Architects of a Better World – the United Nations Global Compact meeting in New York – September, 18-20, 2013

In September 2000, world leaders from governments came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets – with a deadline of 2015 – that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).[1]

The MDGs aim was to half extreme poverty, to stop spread of HIV/AIDS and to provide universal primary education. The target date for the achievement of all these goals was 2015 and all the world’s countries and leading development institutions signed up. Continue reading