“In ten years, no one will be talking about sustainability and corporate strategy because sustainability will be an automatic part of every corporate strategy. Managers will no longer think about sustainability as a separate issue, rather sustainability will be a part of every corporation’s DNA and every manager’s decision-making process.” -Eric Lowitt
This was the bold prediction that Eric Lowitt made during a recent talk in the Boston campus’s World of Ideas Lecture series. Lowitt, an author and consultant, spoke about his latest book, The Future of Value, which demonstrates that companies who take CSR seriously are very successfully making sustainability part of their competitive edge. Companies who put sustainability at the center of their planning reap surprising and tangible rewards, Lowitt argues—rewards that prove that sustainability strategies can satisfy even the toughest corporate stakeholders. During the question and answer period, he thoughtfully responded to a series of hard questions from students regarding promoting, implementing, and assessing CSR initiatives around the world. In addition, he gave the audience a brief preview of his next book. Throughout the evening, it became increasingly clear that seeing business issues through the CSR lens can lead to financially-beneficial innovations that would otherwise have been overlooked.
Lowitt was just one of eight lecturers in the World of Ideas Lecture Series this past year. WILS brought guest speakers to the Boston campus for lunchtime or evening lectures on topics that built upon students’ coursework and connected students with current trends and ideas in the business world. Through WILS, students heard about current business issues from the perspectives of many different stakeholders: consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, public relations professionals, board members, investors, law enforcement officials, traders, and intellectual property lawyers.
The final talk in the series will be taking place this week when Boston hosts Preecha Muenprasertdee, President of Chia Tai Conti Group, speaking on the topic of “Doing Business in China.” Chia Tai Conti Group is a joint venture between Thailand’s Chareon Pokphand Group and the United States’ Continental Grain Co., Ltd. The company has its main office located in Shenzhen, China, and has a total of 7 animal feed manufacturing facilities located in Shenzhen, Shantou, Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Guangdong. With 20 years of experience in China, and an additional 13 years working in countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Portugal, Preecha Muenprasertdee not only has a very extensive knowledge of conducting business in China, but also has the qualities that Hult seeks to cultivate in its students—those of a true global manager.
Article written by Katherine Stebbins McCaffrey, Assistant Dean at Hult’s Boston campus.