UBC Net Impact Conference highlights diversity and sustainable business


The 11th annual UBC Net Impact Conference, co-sponsored by Sauder’s Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre, will explore the best methods for promoting sustainability in business, government and civil society.

Themed “Sustainability: Accelerating Impact,” more than 150 business students and professionals will attend the conference on April 19. "We see this as a great opportunity for students and business leaders to connect, and an opportunity for the sustainability community to grow," says Malcolm Smillie, Business Development Manager at the Business Career Centre, one of the conference's gold sponsors.

Four moderated panels and several presentations, followed by a networking reception, are all focused around the idea of progressing sustainability. One of the keynote speakers is Vancouver’s deputy city manager Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, organizer of the Greenest City Action Plan.

Held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the conference features a line-up of Sauder speakers, including Finance Professor Kai Li, Associate Professor James Tansey, Executive Director of the ISIS Research Centre, and Danielle Levine, Associate Director of Ch’nook. Also speaking will be UBC MBA student Annie Lambla, last year’s president of the UBC Net Impact chapter.

As part of the panel on diversity in business, Professor Li will address gender diversity on corporate boards and their impact on corporate decisions and governance practices.

“Female undergraduate students make up the majority of students at most universities. They make up more than 30 per cent of MBA students. However, they still only make up 10 per cent of executive directors, and less than one per cent of CEOs. There is a big gender gap,” she says.

Associate Professor Tansey will be bringing his expertise in the carbon economy to a panel devoted to the topic of energy. He will be joined by Levine on this panel who will provide a perspective on energy-related issues as they relate to B.C.’s and Canada’s Aboriginal communities.