Creating Sustainable Business Practices from the Inside Out

Global Leadership Summit 2019

On April 24, 2019, nearly 200 students and community members attended the second annual Global Leadership Summit, an event aimed at exploring ways to enact responsible and sustainable change in one’s career. Guests attended sessions focused on the increasingly important intersection of global business and sustainability. Concurrent sessions included Business Addressing Environmental Programs, Innovative Partnerships, Microsoft Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Innovation in Global Health, Sustainable Supply Chains, and a special session detailing how to Have an Impact on Your Career, co-led by Sally Jewell, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Each year, the Global Leadership Summit is supported by Foster’s Global Business Center but organized by a dedicated and driven student leadership team. Putting on the event helps students gain valuable experience and ensures that topics are relevant and timely to current student interest. A few of this year’s student leaders detail their experience below

A Note from the Planning Committee

In designing the Global Leadership Summit, our mission was to bring people together and cultivate an environment where we could learn from each other. What we didn’t expect is that this is exactly what we had created the second we started planning. The Global Leadership Summit planning committee was composed of unique individuals with a common motivation to do good. In our nine months of collaborating, it was our common push to inspire impact that drove us to highlight our differences in the speakers and the format of the event. Despite our challenges catering to our individual aspirations, having to cut through ambiguity, and having to define what the event was even going to be, the most valuable part of our Global Leadership Summit was the process of bringing it to you. Without our engaged attendees, inspiring speakers, irreplaceable faculty advisers, and driven planning committee members, there would have been nothing. For an amazing event, wonderful interactions, and a life-changing process, we thank you all.

Ben Weymiller

Business Administration (CISB & OCSM) and Chinese ’19

Learning from Women Using Business to Address the Environment

The Global Leadership Summit gifted me with the experience of planning a meaningful event from its conception to reflection. I had the best team with which to brainstorm ideas and coordinate logistics. Perhaps the most meaningful experience was the opportunity to moderate my own panel. I had the honor of talking with Leah Turino from Union Bank of Switzerland, Katie Secrist from Sustainable Business Consulting, and Jessie Martin from Earth Economics. I look up to all three of them so much. We talked about how businesses moving toward sustainable practices will no longer be trendy or a fun add-on, it will become a requirement to run a successful business. We connected the work Earth Economics does quantifying the value of our environment to the work Sustainable Business Consulting does communicating this value to their clients and the importance of Union Bank of Switzerland encouraging their clients to invest in this future. And the icing on this cake was hearing this all from incredible female role models leading their organizations to make an impact.

Emily Menz

Economics and Environmental Studies ’19

Global Leadership Summit: Moving Towards Positive Business 

Putting together the Global Leadership Summit is a step toward addressing the changing landscape of positive and purposeful business, a notion that is gaining momentum and increasing in volume. My motivation in getting involved as a co-organizer in this summit was because I believe that business has an agency to drive purposeful change. The more I did my speaker research, the more tangible this idea seemed. Pulling this summit together involved curating the content, conducting research about the speakers, the topic, but most importantly connecting what we learned in class with real cases and pulling that together into 50-minutes of panel content.

Being involved in organizing this summit has given me the opportunity to work, connect and learn from practitioners and experts from corporations, non-profits and academia. It was like designing the theme of our own case study and speaking directly to actors of that case study. My main takeaways:

First, our desire to create a positive impact is not confined by our job title, because creating a purposeful career is a frame of mind that can be embedded into our actions beyond our job title. So, you are a consultant in one of the big four firms and you want to create a positive impact? Great. What actions can you take to change the organization from within to be more impactful? What do you do outside of your 9-5 work hours?

Second, is that today no organization or discipline operates in a silo. A tactic to forge partnerships is to stay curious. After all, we are often only experts within the boundary of our discipline. We may not have the toolkit or expertise to tackle a problem at hand, but someone else might.

Ultimately, being involved as the one of the co-organizers of this summit has given me more confidence to address the imminent global challenges we will face in the future and take charge in creating my impactful career.

Nabilla Gunawan

International Studies ’19

The Global Leadership Summit is supported by the Global Business Center in partnership with the Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) Program and the Campus Sustainability Fund.