International Business Students Make Recommendations for Global Sustainability

Thursday, November 16, 2017

by Katie Smith '15

The Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Center for Business Ethics at Saint Joseph’s University presents its 2017 International Business Sustainability Competition on Monday, Nov. 20, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Mandeville Hall’s Wolfington Teletorium. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Management’s International Business program.

In its fourth year, the annual competition engages four groups of sophomore students, enrolled in Introduction to International Business, taught by Professor of Management John Neiva, Ph.D. Each team partners with an international student studying at SJU’s ELS Language Center to develop a proposed solution for an environmental sustainability or social welfare issue in that student’s country.

“Discovery-based learning helps students develop tacit cultural competence skills, and each semester the choice of which countries to study depends on the student population at ELS,” says Neiva. “This project allows my students to suggest a realistic solution to a given problem in the host nation, while also developing the cross-cultural awareness required to work with individuals from another country. For the ELS students, the project is a chance to participate in a task-oriented project about their home with native English speakers.”

Neiva encouraged students to suggest possible small-scale approaches to problem-solving that respect the host country’s culture, customs and institutions.

Over 18 student groups presented their proposals in Neiva de Figueiredo’s class, and the four best head to Monday’s competition. A panel of judges will evaluate each team to determine a winning proposal. The judges are:

  • Candice Lawton, associate director of Terracycle USA

  • Uli Muench, global vice president of Automotive Business Unit

  • Ryan Spies, sustainability and energy manager of Saint-Gobain Corporation

  • Raul Moreno, director of the ELS Language Center

“This competition is a valuable exercise that helps our students confront issues of ethics and sustainability in the real world,” says John McCall, Ph.D., director of the Arrupe Center and professor of philosophy and management. “It forces our SJU students to grapple with the issues through the eyes of students from other nations who have experienced those challenges firsthand — both integrating ethics into the curriculum and doing it in a way that engages students with the wider world.”

The competition is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided, and no RSVP is necessary.




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