The Entrepreneurs

Students and society urged to “unlearn” the purpose of business

  • Written by TREVOR WATSON | Director of Media The University of Sydney Business School

Universities must help students and the community more generally, to “unlearn” the traditional profit oriented purpose of business if the world is to have a sustainable future, according to a leading researcher at the University of Sydney Business School.

 

Associate Professor Dr Ranjit Voola, who has developed a postgraduate course called Poverty Alleviation and Profitability, says that the popular view that the role of business is to maximise shareholder value must change.

 

“In the future businesses will also have to consider social issues along with profit if we are to survive,” said Dr Voola. “Through their teaching, research and engagement, universities have a huge role to play when it comes to changing business and community perceptions.”

 

Dr Voola’s comments follow the publication of guidelines for tertiary institutions wishing to help implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

The guidelines have been published by the United Nations linked Sustainable Development Solutions Network which describes the UN goals, backed by member nations two years ago, as “one of the most ambitious and important global agreements in recent history”.

 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end poverty, encourage economic prosperity and ensure social inclusion, environmental sustainability, peace and good governance for all countries and all people by 2030.

 

“The SDGs cover a wide range of complex social, economic, and environmental challenges and addressing them will require transformations in how societies and economies function and how we interact with our planet,” the guidelines say. “Education, research, innovation and leadership will be essential in helping society address these challenges.”

 

Specifically, the document says that “universities, with their broad remit around the creation and dissemination of knowledge and their unique position within society, have a critical role to play in the achievement of the SDGs”.

 

The guidelines single out Dr Voola’s poverty alleviation and profitability course as an example of the kind of program that universities worldwide ought to consider.

 

The Guidelines describe the course as an exploration of poverty and the role of business in its alleviation.

 

“There are 4 billion people who live on less than $5 a day but only companies that rethink their business models from the traditional ‘low volume and high margins’ to ‘low margins and high volume’, will be able to address social issues ethically, as well as make profits,” says Dr Voola.

 

“The future belongs to the companies that rethink their single-minded drive for profit, and instead look to developing countries for opportunities to make money, while improving peoples’ lives,” he said.

 

The new guidelines also highlight the University of Sydney’s Business School’s involvement in Sydney’s annual Social Good Summit, which focuses on the efforts of business, not-for-profit organisations, government and civic society to implement the SDGs.

 

The Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, has welcomed the publication of the new university guidelines saying that a focus on the UN’s SDGs was in keeping with the School’s “business not as usual” approach.

 

“Business not as usual means challenging the status quo, challenging established norms, the things that people take for granted,” Professor Whitwell concluded. “It’s also about the School being an influential voice in the public policy debate and loudly proclaiming the importance of giving as much weight to people and planet as to profits.”

 

More Info        http://ap-unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/University-SDG-Guide_web.pdf


.

New Venture Institute named best univers…

NVI Director Matt Salier The New Venture Institute (NVI) at Flinders University has achieved global recognition by being named the ‘Top Challenger in the Asia-Pacific’ in the latest UBI World Benchmark...

Invert Robotics’ technology is enabling …

Invert Robotics technology demonstrated on a Boeing 767 UPSIDE-DOWN ROBOTS FROM “MIDDLE-EARTH” TO IMPROVE GLOBAL AVIATION SAFETY   From the small country that ‘punches above its weight’ in regard to innovation and...

Google Trends is the go-to for retail da…

While Nielsen is recognised as the world leader in retail data measurement, its data collection methodology leaves room for improvement, highlighted by recent Nielsen data which suggested amazon.com.au enjoyed a...

Poolwerx makes the top 500 US franchise …

Poolwerx has been ranked 183 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® list, just three years after the pool and spa care franchise entered the US market. Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien said since...

Microsoft moves into Sydney's new startu…

In a major coup for NSW, Microsoft will bring its world-renowned intensive program for start-ups to the new Sydney Startup Hub, making it one of only eight locations in the...

The Studio Ltd, NSW’s first Media and Cr…

Top media and entertainment industry powerhouses join forces for NSW’s first creative tech incubator     SYDNEY, 14th February 2018: The Studio Ltd, NSW’s first Media and Creative Tech incubator for the media, entertainment...

New Zealand retailer Foodstuffs to trial…

Auckland, New Zealand - New Zealanders will be the first in the world to trial new artificial intelligence technology that brings the checkout to the trolley when they shop for...

ANU and Intelledox Announce Strategic Ag…

Canberra, 13 February 2018: The Australian National University (ANU) and Intelledox, a global software provider focused on bringing digital transformation to everyday customer interactions across medium and large organisations, have...

Volantio Secures $2.6M Series B Financin…

Atlanta, GA. - February 12, 2018 - Volantio, a global leader in post-booking revenue and capacity optimization software for airlines, today announced a $2.6M funding round led by Ingleside...

Incubator support to help build globally…

Dozens of new Australian businesses will receive help to transform their ideas into globally competitive businesses as a result of the Turnbull Government’s Incubator Support initiative. The funding, which totals $1.78...

Creating opportunities for clean energy …

Origin is encouraging local Australian clean energy start-ups to apply for two pioneering accelerator programs that are offering both local and international support and opportunities.   Applications for Australia’s first clean energy...

Caltex Australia launches Slingshot acce…

Caltex is looking for the next gen of disruptive businesses for its Spark Accelerator Program  Caltex Australia, the nation’s leading transport and fuel supplier, is today launching Caltex Spark, a new innovation...

The Aussie entrepreneurs taking a bite o…

SMARTPHONE owners know the pain and frustration that comes with a broken or damaged device.  However, one innovative Sydney startup is taking away the stress of mobile phone repairs, recovering and...

Find-me appoints Rachel Boden as new CEO

Find-me Technologies, the creator of the Find-me Carers Watch, a wearable device to assist the elderly and those diagnosed with dementia, is preparing for rapid growth with the appointment of...

Teens can try careers before they buy wi…

Teenagers preparing to enter the workforce without a clear plan get to ‘try before they buy’ with Apprenticeship Careers Australia’s pre-apprenticeship and traineeship programs. The new, free, short courses give...

Investible pilot program sees Indigenous…

Indigenous Business Australia’s (IBA) national accelerator program, run by early stage investment group Investible, has helped nine early-stage indigenous startups turn their businesses into viable commercial enterprises.    The eight-week accelerator saw participants work with...

The Women's Business School announces Ac…

The Women’s Business School has been designed to support and increase the growth of scalable businesses run by women. Statistics show that women, particularly women from indigenous and multicultural...

5 Songs You Should Have On Your Road Tri…

If you plan on grabbing yourself a cheap campervan hire and hitting the open road with your friends, one of the best ways to pass the time is to have...

HOW TO STITCH UP YOUR FASHION LABEL SO Y…

Burleigh based fashion lawyer Julian Blanchard, who has worked with some of the biggest Australian fashion brands like Billabong and One Teaspoon, as well as emerging trend-setters like Byron Bay...

EXYRA: Eye protection

Microsoft and Apple know that looking at computer screens can affect your eyes and your mood. The proof lies in that fact that PCs, laptops, iPhones and the best smartphones...

5 Actionable Tips to Keep your Office De…

If you work in an office job, the chances are that you spend an average of eight hours a day at your desk. Well, that’s when you’re supposed to be...

Airtasker teams up with Coles for fast a…

Coles is teaming up with Australia’s largest local services marketplace Airtasker to trial a new fast and flexible grocery delivery offer for Sydney customers. The Airtasker Shop and Deliver service...

Planning on expanding your SME internati…

When expanding a business internationally there are 101 things to think about. Organising finances can often be the most confusing and stressful of these. With countless big banks and transfer...

Top 5 Reasons To Choose WordPress As You…

When it comes to building your own website, you’ll find a lot of options to make your pick from. But then again, with so many options at play, narrowing down...