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Global initiative to boost sustainable business

Media release
Friday 3 October 2003

Waikato Management School
The University of Waikato

University of Waikato announces global initiative to boost sustainable business & enterprise

The University of Waikato Management School’s leadership in sustainable business education has been lifted to a new level with the announcement today of a strategic alliance with Ireland’s University of Limerick - internationally acclaimed for its enterprise development programmes.

Waikato Management School Dean, Professor Mike Pratt and University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Bryan Gould, have been working on the alliance with the Irish university over several months as a platform for promoting the role of business in sustainable economic development.

“I am excited by the bond that will develop from this alliance and its collaborative programme of research. I’m especially pleased that we are starting out with a key position in place through securing Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, as Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at both universities,” said Bryan Gould.

“Kevin Roberts has been a Senior Fellow with the Waikato Management School now for several years and has made a significant contribution. In addition to co-authoring the book Peak Performance with leading academics in the business school, he has been instrumental in developing the School’s global reputation.

“Kevin is an astute businessman who continues to push the boundaries of business theory and practice. The fact he also holds the post of CEO-in-Residence at Cambridge University’s Judge Institute of Management and has guest lectured at the Stanford Business School is another indication of the high regard he is held in and how fortunate we are to have Kevin working with us,” said Bryan Gould.

Professor Roger Downer, University of Limerick Vice-Chancellor, said the programme in Sustainable Enterprise signifies a demonstration of leadership in addressing a major global issue.

“We are proud to be associated with an initiative that is centred on creating real and lasting socio-economic development. By promoting and facilitating responsible enterprise our ultimate goal is to provide solutions that will alleviate world poverty,” he said.

“This alliance brings together two diverse business themes that directly reflect faculty interests at Limerick and Waikato and demonstrates the ability of universities located on opposite ends of the planet to work together. The appointment of Kevin Roberts at both universities provides an excellent model for productive interaction between business and the academy,” said Roger Downer.

“Education is a fundamental force for enterprise creation, particularly in the case of small and medium sized businesses. Our universities are located in the heartland of important regions and we’re both making significant contributions to establishing sustainable enterprise as a priority for our national futures. The potential for exploring successful models for sustainable business growth from our experience in Ireland and your experience in New Zealand is exciting,” he said.

Waikato Management School Dean, Professor Mike Pratt said the alliance with the University of Limerick will increase the amount and quality of research in the emerging field of sustainable enterprise.

“There is a big gap in the volume and quality of research into systems of sustainable enterprise specifically tied back to regional development. Our alliance with the University of Limerick will target that gap locally and globally, in both developed and developing countries,” said Mike Pratt.

“The alliance with the University of Limerick will contribute significantly to ensuring our thinking and research on sustainable enterprise is world-leading. It is a relationship that will be based on the shared focus we have in New Zealand and Ireland on how to build sustainable regional economies based on enterprises that draw strength from their communities.”

“The New Zealand business environment and our social well-being is built on small and medium sized companies. This alliance is about giving those businesses access to practical research that will increase their prospects for building profitable ventures from one generation to the next.”

“As the project unfolds we will benefit from a unique research base to inform the development of policy, teaching programmes and practical sustainable enterprise action plans and workshops for communities.”

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.

- 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.


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