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10 November/ December 2014 BizEd headlines VIOLETKAI PA/TH I N KSTOCK headlines SUSTAINABILITY IS the way forward for businesses and nations, and collaboration is the key to sustain- ability. That was the underlying theme at the Renewing Business Education in Asia Conference held this sum- mer by 50+20, a group that brings together academics, practitioners, and policymakers to explore how man- agement education can create a better world. "Sustainability demands far more than the effort of an individual, an organization, or even one country, and the transformation of management education is a mara- thon journey," observed Edwin Cheng, dean of the Fac- ulty of Business at the Hong Kong Polytechnic Univer- sity, which organized the conference. "We fervently hope that the synergy between us brings real benefits to the joint pursuit of sustainabil- ity as time goes on." Katrin Muff, dean of the Business School Laus- anne in Switzerland, also stressed synergy and col- laboration as she spoke at the event. She said, "We need to stop competing for who is the best in the world, and start collaborat- ing in order to do the best for the world." She believes that business schools have three fundamental roles: Partnering on Sustainability to develop globally responsible lead- ers, to enable business organizations to serve the common good, and to engage in the transformation of business and the economy. To achieve these goals, she said, business schools must create collaborative spaces "where action learning and action research can realistically join forces." They also must encourage students and educators to work with all facets of soci- ety to address current issues, and they must set new and relevant benchmarks. Other speakers focused on the changes they see ahead if business is to become more sustainable. Andrew Savitz, presi- dent of Sustainable Business Strategies and author of The Triple Bottom Line, said, "Companies will need to find ways to create less harm and do more good." This requires a new way of thinking about economic growth and how it can be achieved in a world facing difficult environmental and social challenges. Savitz admitted that changing over to this new paradigm is "enormously complicated" and requires that "research be conducted, case studies written, curriculum devel- oped, and partnerships established. Business schools are essential to helping us make the changes that will be necessary." For more information about the conference or the 50+20 organization, visit hk/50_20asiaconference/. What do park benches have to do with global sustainability? The group 50+20 is com- mitted to collaboration, and it sees benches as collaborative spaces where people can sit, talk, and share ideas. In addition, the word "benchmarking" refers to setting standards for the best. Thus, the organization sees benches as a metaphor for collaboration at the highest levels—and if those benches are made of recycled material, the metaphor also encompasses sustainability. In collaboration with the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) and local designers, students from PolyU's Faculty of Business and School of Design created a set of eight benches from recycled and repurposed materials. The benches were used at the Renewing Business Education in Asia conference, then set up for permanent display on the PolyU campus to encourage stakeholders to co-create solutions for challenging problems. See the video at Bench Making Andrew Savitz Katrin Muff

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