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Sustainable Enterprise Professor spans the globe

New Professor of Sustainable Enterprise spans the globe

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA RELEASE - 3 October 2003

New Professor of Sustainable Enterprise spans the globe

http://www.management.ac.nz/news

An international research initiative launched by New Zealand's University of Waikato and Ireland's University of Limerick today has named Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, as Professor of Sustainable Enterprise spanning both institutions.

"When I talk about the role of business in making the world a better place I get my inspiration from two ideas working hand in hand: sustainability and enterprise," said Kevin Roberts.

"New Zealand's export-driven economy has everything to gain from researching and applying the principles of sustainable enterprise. This alliance creates a fantastic vehicle for Waikato's practice-based learnings in sustainable business to enrich Limerick and for Waikato Management School to benefit from the best Irish experience through its invigorated culture of innovation and economic development. The staff will benefit, the students will benefit, and business in each country will benefit."

Professor Donal Dineen, the Dean of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick, said Kevin Roberts' appointment does more than simply providing a high profile champion to promote the joint programme.

"It also provides our students and faculty with access to the chief executive of a very successful global company. Kevin's commitment to building links between business and education and research provides us with the spirit and vision we need, at the right time," said Donal Dineen.

Waikato Management School Dean, Professor Mike Pratt described Kevin Roberts' appointment as Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at both Waikato and Limerick as a rare double honour. "It reflects a unique partnership. Kevin Roberts' position is pivotal to making Sustainable Enterprise a topic that captures people's imagination. That's what Kevin does."

"We have a strong association of shared beliefs with Kevin and look forward to working with him to re-inspire and re-imagine not only New Zealand business, but business globally, to be a force for sustainable social, economic and environmental development."

"A key to our alliance with the University of Limerick is that we will be pushing each other into areas of research that wouldn't be possible if we had separate agendas. At the same time it's not a race because the field of sustainable enterprise hasn't been fully explored and genuinely lacks new ideas to better inform and transform business practice," said Mike Pratt.

"We expect enormous lessons to emerge from leveraging from our respective models. The Shannon and Limerick regions of Ireland have become a great incubator for enterprise. The Waikato region has equal potential."

"This is a vitally important project for investing the future shape of business in our two countries - and around the world - with a sense of purpose close to the heart of their communities," said Kevin Roberts.

"Companies that are focused solely on economic profit are increasingly running out of juice. No social and environmental measures equals no respect. The answers we need won't be found by academic and business people working separately. Finding the best ways to achieve economic, social and environmental prosperity is a joint venture."

"The entrepreneurs who think ahead one or two generations know what sustainability means. These are the enterprises that will take hard-edged risks to transform an idea into a business, and sustainable businesses into sustainable communities. This shifts the focus away from big corporates to small businesses, it spans developed and developing countries."

Kevin Roberts was previously a Senior Fellow at the University of Waikato and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University in 1998. He is the co-author of the influential business book Peak Performance (HarperCollins, 1998), with Professor Mike Pratt, Professor Clive Gilson and Dr Ed Weymes of Waikato Management School.

Waikato Management School offers a world-class education environment to more than 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students from more than 40 countries. The School has been granted more than $7 million to conduct research into a range of areas that will assist New Zealand's development.

* Today's announcement was also celebrated in New York at a gathering sponsored by the University of Limerick Foundation. Speakers included Kevin Roberts and Frank Doyle, Chairman of the Foundation.

* Representatives of the University of Limerick, including University President Roger Downer, will visit New Zealand early next month (4 November) when the Waikato Management School holds its first Forum on Sustainable Enterprise. The Forum will feature presentations from thought leaders in sustainable regional economic development from New Zealand and Ireland.

ENDS

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