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Future Corporate Leaders Mix Business With Charity

March 12, 2001

Fifty of the world’s top technology students are on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, taking part in the Global Tech Leaders Symposium.

The students, from 15 countries, are studying at some of the world’s leading technology universities and are taking part in the International Corporate Leaders Programme, now in its second year.

Their four-day symposium on Waiheke includes seminars on globalisation and other management and business trends, designed to prepare the students for leadership roles in the corporations of the future.

But the programme doesn’t just emphasise commercial success. Community service is a compulsory component of the programme, reflecting a philosophy that future corporate leaders must be concerned with community and social progress as well.

The students began their stay in New Zealand on Saturday, March 10, by spending a day with eight volunteer groups to whom they have supplied a range of new technology.

An equivalent of $125,000 dollars has been raised, comprising cash donations from the students, the value of time and expertise donated, and the value of computers donated by IBM New Zealand, a sponsor of the project.

This has equipped all eight community projects with new computers and software, as well as desks and chairs. In addition, the students have created databases, websites or other computer systems for the volunteer groups.

The community projects benefiting for the programme are, in Auckland: the Auckland Volunteer Centre, United Way of Greater Auckland, Youthline, Avondale Intermediate School’s Homework Centre, the Big Buddy Programme, Te Whare Rangimarie boys home, and the Project K Trust. In Hamilton, a team of students has been assisting the Hamilton Budget Advisory Trust.

The International Corporate Leaders Programme includes students from Arizona State University, Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and the Waikato Management School at the University of Waikato.

A feature of the International Corporate Leaders programme is that its students specialise in entrepreneurship and business skills, as well as their technical specialty.

Waikato Management Schools Executive Director of Executive Education Tony Richardson said that the symposium was precisely the kind of event New Zealand needed to be plugged into to foster a knowledge economy.

“Knowledge industries thrive on communities of interest – and these are global communities,” he said.

In addition to the fifty students, industry participants from the US, Australia and New Zealand are attending the symposium, sponsored by their companies to improve their technology management skills.


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