As appeared in The Globe and Mail
Robert Helsley, dean of UBC Sauder School of Business, wholeheartedly believes that the business community can impart positive change on society. This belief is so strong, it was the foundation for the development of the business school’s new five-year strategic plan that kicked off last year, when Helsley was re-appointed as dean for another term.
The plan sees responsible leadership as a strong undercurrent in every aspect of the business school’s teachings both inside and outside the classroom, from programs like Sauder Social Entrepreneurship (SSE) Kenya, which sees undergrad and graduate students travel to Nairobi, Kenya to deliver business education courses to aspiring entrepreneurs; to offering courses on sustainability, ethics and philanthropy at all levels in the school; to the creation of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics. UBC Sauder has centered its identity on the concept of responsible leadership with a goal of building a more just, sustainable and responsible world for all.
"I think there is a growing realization that organizations, both private and public, can contribute to positive social change, and part of that comes from necessity," says Dean Helsley. "If you look at the big problems facing all of us today, like climate change, environmental protection and inequality… it doesn’t feel to me like governments are going to be able to solve these problems on their own."