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Enterprise forum: Irish university leaders arrive

Irish university leaders arrive for Sustainable Enterprise Forum

Leading academics from the University of Limerick, Ireland, have arrived in New Zealand for a Forum on Sustainable Enterprise being held by Waikato Management School tomorrow (Tuesday 4 November).

The visitors include Limerick University Vice Chancellor Professor Roger Downer, Professor Donal Dineen, Dean of the internationally acclaimed Kemmy Business School, and Kevin Thompstone, CEO of Shannon Development, Ireland’s only dedicated regional development company.

“This week marks the beginning of Waikato’s strategic research alliance with Limerick which we announced last month,” said Waikato Management School Dean Professor Mike Pratt.

“This is an exciting and important initiative by the two universities and we’re delighted we can begin the process of combining our expertise in enterprise development and sustainable business so quickly.”

Professor Pratt said the relationship with the University of Limerick brought significant synergies – both universities had strong academic and research programmes focused on developing enterprise and raising the quality of life in their regions. “This week we will learn directly from the Irish experience of regional enterprise development and share successful New Zealand experiences.”

The Waikato Management School’s Sustainable Enterprise Forum has attracted almost 200 New Zealand delegates from a broad range of organisations in the commercial and government sectors.

Keynote speakers include: Alison Dalziel, Department of PM and Cabinet; Mike Underhill, Chair of Business 2 Hamilton; Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi; Rick Christie, Chair of the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board; Neil Richardson, Chair of FRST; Denis O’Reilly, Community Advocate; and Professor Tamati Reedy, Pro Vice Chancellor Maori of Waikato University.

The Forum aims to create a shared understanding of the concept of sustainable enterprise and its central role in regional development. Participants will take away a practical action plan for sustainable enterprise development in their communities.

“We hope this will be the beginning of an ongoing conversation about how sustainable enterprise can contribute to the wealth and well-being of people, organisations and society in New Zealand,” Professor Pratt said.

The one-day Forum will conclude with a presentation of community enterprise projects by Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Waikato – a team of almost 50 business and non-business majors from the University.

Team members – including presenters Dileepa Fonseka, Stuart Cook, Genevieve De La Chaumette and Hayley Cross – recently returned from the SIFE World Cup in Mainz, Germany, where the team was ranked among the top five from 31 countries and became the first to ever reach the finals at their first World Cup attempt.

“These students have made a great contribution to sustainable enterprise both in Waikato and nationally through a number of successful community and school programmes promoting business skills. They provide a model for the future,” Professor Pratt said.

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