GSB News

15 March 2004

GSB at UN Global Compact Forum

Jonathon Hanks, visiting senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Business, flew the flag for the school at the third annual UN Global Compact Learning Forum in Brazil in December. The GSB was one of only two African tertiary education institutions represented at the forum.

The annual event is an important component of the Global Compact, which was first proposed at the 1999 World Economic Forum by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and inaugurated in July 2000. The forum challenges business leaders to make globalisation work and incorporates nine basic principles including labour, human rights and the environment.

Roughly 250 business leaders, NGOs and academics converged on the city of Belo Horizonte for the event. Hanks presented a case study which examined some of the challenges that South African company Sasol has faced in implementing Principle 7 of the Global Compact, which states that companies should "support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges".

Making waves on international stage

The Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) project - run by the Centre for Leadership and Public Values (CLPV) - has been invited to take part in no less than five high-profile international conferences over the next 12 months.

The project, operating in Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe and funded by the Ford Foundation, endeavours to understand "community philanthropy".

Susan Wilkinson-Maposa, director of the BCP project, said that the research is important for the GSB as it will assist corporations to understand how low wealth communities utilise their own resources for their survival and development.

"This insight is intended to influence and inform the social policy and principles of corporations as well as their corporate social investment initiatives, in keeping with the triple bottom line endorsed by the King II report," she said.

"This project has the potential to allow the GSB to service business leaders in new ways, keeping pace with the changing face of business and the need to recognise that communities - people who provide your labour or buy your goods and services - are indeed a part of the business equation."

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