Institute for Business in Society Welcomes New Executive Director, Joey Burton

The Institute for Business in Society is pleased to announce its new Executive Director, Joseph (Joey) Burton.

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Joey Burton, Executive Director

Burton arrives from the University of Chicago, where he led the research, operations and outreach efforts of two world-recognized centers over a span of 13 years. There, he served as executive director of the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics at the Law School and director of research and operations for the Center for Population Economics at the Chicago Booth School of Business.

Within these prior roles, Burton built multi-faceted research programs and increased the worldwide presence of these institutes by leveraging faculty research and thought leadership within the broader global discourse. Developing programs of this size and scope required strong engagement with faculty, students and alumni, as well as the ability to reach outside the institution into the larger business, policy, and economic sphere.

Burton’s talents and expertise will serve him well as he transitions to his new role here at the Institute for Business in Society. As Executive Director, he will be responsible for the institute’s overall strategy and administration, including engagement with key internal and external stakeholders. He will also lead the institute’s strategic vision, work with Darden leadership and faculty to develop and implement research and programs, and increase its network and awareness by elevating the platform for national and global conversations related to the impact of business in society.

Burton is passionate about promoting business as an answer to social questions. He looks forward to incorporating faculty and student work, alumni and employer goals, and research and outreach to highlight the ways Darden helps businesses and business leaders produce social benefits around the globe.

For more information, read the news release on the Darden website.

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Institute for Business in Society Introduces Mary Gentile, Creator and Director of Giving Voice to Values

The Institute for Business in Society recently welcomed educator and consultant, Mary Gentile, and her Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum to the Darden School. Below is an interview with Professor Gentile about GVV, its approach, and what makes it different from other Business Ethics programs.

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Professor Mary Gentile

Q: What is GVV?
A: GVV is an innovative approach to values-driven leadership development in business education and the workplace. Piloted in nearly a thousand schools, companies and other organizations on all seven continents and growing, the Giving Voice to Values curriculum offers practical exercises, cases, modules, scripts and teaching plans for handling a wide range of ethical conflicts in the workplace.

Drawing on the actual experience of business practitioners as well as social science and management research, GVV helps students, business leaders, employees, and other practitioners identify the many ways that individuals can and do voice their values in the workplace, and provides the opportunity to script and practice this voice in front of their peers.

Q: What Makes GVV Unique?
A:
Unlike many other Business Ethics curricula, GVV is not about persuading people to be more ethical. Rather, GVV starts from the premise that most of us already want to act on our values, but that we also want to feel that we have a reasonable chance of doing so effectively and successfully. This pedagogy and curriculum are about raising those odds.

Rather than a focus on ethical analysis, the GVV curriculum focuses on ethical implementation and asks the questions: “What if I were going to act on my values? What would I say and do? How could I be most effective?”

Q: Who Can Use GVV?
A:
 As noted above, to date, GVV has been piloted in nearly one thousand schools, companies, professional associations and other organizations on all seven continents and has an extensive network of thousands of contacts across the globe. Originally designed for use in graduate business school curricula, GVV has now moved well beyond that.

Whether you are a professor, student, corporate leader or practitioner in business, government, medicine or another field, Giving Voice to Values (GVV) provides the practical tools and skills needed to effectively voice and act on your values in the workplace.

Q: What do recent news events at companies like Volkswagon, Mylan and Wells Fargo tell us about why current approaches to business ethics don’t seem to be working?
A: The challenge appears to be not just one of recognizing ethical issues when they arise or learning to think them through–we are all practiced from toddler age with the skill of generating rationalizations for our choices. The challenge, rather, appears to be one of preparing managers for action: what do you do and say once you know what you think is right? Business ethics doesn’t spend enough time on that, unfortunately.

Q: What is it that so often stops us from acting on our values at work when we know what is right?
A: We all can generate a list of what makes this hard to do: we feel alone; we wonder if we’re being naïve; we wonder if we’re misinformed (or we want to believe that perhaps we are); we wonder if our boss will be receptive; we anticipate that we will encounter “push back” if we raise the issue and we don’t know what we’ll say when that happens; we worry about being ostracized or worse if we appear not to be a “team player.”

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Q: Briefly, what can individuals do differently to ensure that we speak up about and act on our values?
A: First of all, we can reflect on our own histories. In my experience, I have yet to encounter someone who cannot honestly say that they have never voiced and enacted their values at some point in their lives; but I’ve also never encountered someone who cannot think of a time when they failed to do so as well. So the point here is that we all are capable of both and the objective of my work is to help expand the skills, the comfort and the confidence so that we can voice our values more often and more effectively.

Once we take this perspective, it’s all about practice. The typical kinds of values conflicts we will encounter are often predictable. Because they are predictable, there is the opportunity to anticipate the “reasons and rationalizations” we will hear in defense of the conflicted practice, and to literally craft “scripts” and action plans, and practice delivering them with supportive peer coaches. Just as an athlete practices his or her moves to commit them to muscle memory, the point here is to make voicing/enacting our values – thoughtfully and effectively – the default position.

Q: What can organizations do to better protect themselves and their employees from ethical transgressions?
A: They can share stories of times when individuals have, in fact, voiced and enacted their values effectively. They can provide opportunities for employees to practice their scripts and to engage in peer coaching. Perhaps, most powerfully, leaders can share the stories of how they themselves found ways to think through and enact their values, not as self-serving tales of heroism, but as examples of how values conflicts are a very “normal” part of our organizational lives and need to be met with the same thoughtful, calm and focused attention we would bring to any other business decision.

Q: How can we build a network of allies — up and down the organizational chain of command — to share our ethical concerns?
A: By normalizing the experience of values conflicts in the workplace, we make them discussable. We start from the position that most of us would like to act on our values if we thought we could do so effectively, so this is less about preaching or judging and more about asking an interesting question about innovation and implementation: “WHAT IF you knew what you thought was right? How would you get it done, effectively?”

The way you show you’re smart and savvy in such a conversation is not by taking the cynical position, but rather by figuring out how to actually do what some might say is impossible. It becomes an ongoing skill-building endeavor and leadership practice.

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Q: You say in your book that “sometimes the most effective arguments we can craft in the service of our values are the ones we least expect.” What do you mean?
A: Part of the process of creating our values scripts entails identifying what’s at stake for everyone. In the process of doing this, we sometimes learn that what is motivating the other person is more easily addressed without going to a place of moral righteousness. The other person may simply be trying to protect themselves from criticism further up the line.

By acknowledging that, and trying to problem-solve with him or her, we can sometimes engage them in our efforts more easily than if we simply argued that their stance was “wrong.”

Q: Could you describe the experiences of individuals who acted on their values and how it turned out for them from your consulting practice or the research for your books?
A: Although there are never guarantees, my experiences talking to people and researching my books shows that people do sometimes find ways to voice and enact their values successfully and we can learn from their experiences. It’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all response, however. Senior executives have different pressures and different degrees of freedom than more junior employees. Additionally, it is essential to play to one’s individual strengths: the individual who sees herself as a risk-taker will do well to frame her actions as consistent with her typical style, while the individual who sees herself as more conservative or even fearful would want to frame voicing her values as the more cautious route. There are numerous examples of different approaches in the GVV book and the many GVV cases.

Q: Why is it more important than ever to address this issue now?
A: Values conflicts have always been with us. But given the scale and scope and pace of organizational action, just a few mistakes or failures can have longer lasting and farther reaching effects. At some level, we all read the papers and watch the news and know that something has to change.

Q: How did you first participate in developing the notion of Giving Voice to Values, how widely has it spread so far, and what kind of influence is it having?
A: I have been cooking up these ideas since my time at Harvard Business School in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the actual program grew out of research and consulting experiences in global management education over the past ten years or so.  GVV was originally launched by the Aspen Institute with the Yale School of Management, then housed at Babson College from 2009-2016, and is now hosted by the UVA Darden School of Business.

Now, I am excited to explore further applications of GVV at Darden  a top-ranked business school — to take it to the next level. Darden’s reputation as a pioneer in values-driven leadership development make it the ideal home for GVV. I believe that the GVV approach has the opportunity to transform business ethics and make it more effective at a time when this is direly needed, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

For more information on GVV, visit the Institute for Business in Society website. Learn more about Mary Gentile on the Darden School website.

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Meet the 2016 P3 Impact Award Finalists

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Our world is a dynamic, ever-evolving system of countries, economies, markets and people. In recent years, a rapidly expanding population and changing climate have presented a diverse and complex array of challenges in areas such as food security, public health and economic growth. Though daunting and expansive in scope, these challenges often prove to be the driving forces behind change and innovation.

Public-private partnerships (P3s) embody the creative and collaborative process needed to address these and many other critical issues of today. The P3 Impact Award, established by Concordia, the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, and the UVA Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society, seeks to recognize public-private partnerships that are improving communities and the world in the most powerful, effective ways. Around the globe, public-private partnerships are affecting meaningful change by developing innovative solutions. The applicants for the P3 Impact Award demonstrate the remarkable ways in which P3s are improving our world.

Concordia, the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, and the UVA Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society are proud to announce this year’s finalists for the 2016 P3 Impact Award. We look forward to announcing the winner at this year’s Concordia Summit on September 19-20 in New York City.

Energize the Chain

Millions of children die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases. The problem is not the availability of vaccines, but the inability to provide effective vaccines due to vulnerability of the vaccine cold chain. EtC recognizes that the key to building an effective supply chain lies in building public-private partnerships that leverage the strengths and capacities of existing systems, technologies and infrastructures—a sustainable and scalable solution. By creating public-private partnerships with major telecom companies, ministries of health, global health organizations, NGOs and other private sector industry partners, EtC strengthens and extends country-wide systems for delivery, storage, and refrigeration of vaccines and essential medicines. Our fundamental insight is to use the power, distribution, and connectivity available at remote cell phone towers to provide the energy, data, and communications necessary to maintain and monitor a robust cold chain, thereby strengthening and extending the health system to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations.

MTV Shuga Campaign

MTV Shuga is a public-private partnership with MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Government of Nigeria and Elton John AIDS Foundation and Cardno. As a ground-breaking 360-degree transmedia demand creation campaign, MTV Shuga aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people ages 15-24. The campaign includes an award-winning TV series encompassing innovative radio, digital, social media, mobile elements and a youth-driven peer education model. Its focus areas include HIV testing, multiple concurrent partners, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, transactional sex, negotiating safe sex, choosing when to have sex, living with HIV, stigmatization of people living with HIV, HIV disclosure, supporting friends living with HIV, gender-based violence and family planning.

Project Nurture

Millions of smallholder farmers across Africa struggle to escape poverty. At the same time, food and beverage companies in the region can’t always source the agricultural products they need. Project Nurture– a partnership between the global nonprofit TechnoServe, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company–sought to address both these problems by integrating mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda into the local Coca-Cola supply chain. This met the company’s business objectives while providing a steady market and greater incomes for the farmers. In total, Project Nurture worked with 54,000 farmers (nearly a third of them women), training them to enhance the quality and quantity of their fruit, helping them strengthen or create over 1,000 farmer business groups and connecting them with other markets such as local processors, wholesalers and regional exporters. As a result, Coca-Cola was able to produce a locally-sourced fruit juice in East Africa for the first time, reducing time and costs over the long run– while farmers’ incomes more than doubled, increasing by an average of 142%.

SAPARM: Satellite Assisted Pastoral Resource Management

Every day, millions of African pastoralists live on the verge of survival, searching for green pasture for their animals in the face of extreme drought and climate change. With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and Google, PCI provides maps generated by satellite data to pastoralists to help them find grazing land. The Satellite Assisted Pastoralist Resource Management (SAPARM) program brings local communities, the governments of Tanzania and Ethiopia, the World Food Programme, and Hoefsloot Spatial Solutions together to help millions of pastoralists improve their ability to continuously pinpoint adequate grazing land. Automatically updated every 10 days, grazing maps are generated using community knowledge digitized and integrated with satellite derived vegetation data, and distributed to pastoralists to improve their herd management and migration decision-making. In the first year, herd deaths were cut in half, and last year, Phase 2 of SAPARM was launched to expand in several communities, impacting over one million people in both Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Sustainable Living Beyond Borders- Transforming Lives via Health and Wellness

In emerging countries such as Pakistan, a large number of individuals work informally in corporate value chains and have been subjected to abuse, labor exploitation, poor, unsanitary working conditions, and low wages. In collaboration with NAYA JEEVAN, Unilever has enrolled thousands of participants into “Sustainable Living Beyond Borders.” By involving both employers and beneficiaries, this initiative  leverages economies of scale, cost-sharing, and existing distribution platforms. Through its collaboration with Unilever, NAYA JEEVAN has successfully jumpstarted a movement to provide a humane, healthy working environment for informal workers, ensuring that they and their families are protected under a health and wellness program with 24/7 unlimited access to family doctors and counselors.

Learn more about the P3 Impact Award and finalists at Darden Ideas to Action.

 

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2016 Business and Economic Resilience Conference: Helping Post Start-Up, Virginia-Based Companies Scale and Grow

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CREATING GROWTH AND RESILIENCE IN BUSINESS
Helping local, post start-up companies scale and grow

A day of problem-solving, practical toolkits and networking for organizations looking to take their business to the next level

June 23, 2016
UVA Darden School of Business

So you’ve survived the startup phase of your business. How do you now scale and grow?

At this conference, faculty from the UVA Darden School of Business and industry experts will assist small and medium-sized Virginia business owners in exploring the scaling phase of entrepreneurship. Participants will learn from peer companies, panelists, Darden Professor Ed Hess, author of Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesses, as well as keynote speaker John Bassett, author of Making It in America: A 12-Point Plan for Growing Your Business and Keeping Jobs at Home.

Hosted by the Institute for Business in Society, this conference will include panel discussions, networking sessions and a hands-on workshop to provide support and tools to entrepreneurial business leaders. We will address growth across various business functions, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Financing
  • HR and Payroll
  • International Trade
  • Marketing and Sales

Attendees will participate in a hands-on workshop with Professor Ed Hess and receive a complimentary copy of his book, Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesseswhich addresses the top ten business growth challenges and how to overcome them.

For an overview of the agenda, please click here.

Registration

While there is no charge to attend this conference, registration is required and by invitation-only. For more information, please contact us at IBiS@darden.virginia.edu.

This conference is presented in collaboration with the Darden Center for Global Initiatives and Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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Top Leaders, Students Discuss Global Challenges in Second Year of UVA Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows Program

Cross-sector leadership means being able to predict how those from other disciplines will approach a problem, understanding why they approach it that way, and being able to inform strategic decisions with knowledge of those other disciplines, according to Morgan Lingar, a graduate student fellow participating in the University of Virginia Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows (TSL) program.

The TSL program recently concluded its second year, offering graduate student fellows like Lingar a deep examination of the growing need for multi-sector collaboration. This year, the program brought eight high-level guest speakers from the fields of business, government, nonprofit and education to the University for a series of dialogues with students exploring modern challenges facing today’s global leaders.

The distinguished speakers engaged graduate student fellows from the Darden School of Business, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and School of Law throughout the year for a series of interactive conversations that spanned public, private and social sector issues. Discussions included topics such as:

  • Bridging the interests of government and the private and social sectors to address international cybersecurity threats.
  • Forming public-private partnerships to help rebuild the United States’ failing infrastructure.
  • Addressing gaps between health care access and delivery through the Affordable Care Act.
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Caryl Stern speaks with TSL students

“Not only did we gain insight into how these leaders resolve hard problems by listening to them share their experiences, we were also awarded once-in-a lifetime opportunities to question these leaders about the choices they made during the course of implementing their solutions,” said Nicole Sarrine, a student fellow from the Law School. Allie Delano Bateman, a student from the Batten School, added, “The speakers would pose difficult challenges and questions and ask us to try to answer them.”

Each speaker covered different topics, personal experiences and leadership examples, but common themes emerged throughout the year-long program. Across the board, the leaders discussed the importance of stakeholder engagement and maintaining cross-sector perspectives during decision making, while mentoring the students on responsible leadership.

While Christopher Valentino, director of strategy for the Cyber Division of Northrop Grumman Information Systems, discussed cybersecurity and Frederick W. Werner, group president of design and consulting services at AECOM, explored the challenges of building a 21st century transportation infrastructure, both leaders touched on the importance of leveraging and engaging all experts and stakeholders involved in a strategic decision.

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Dean Beardsley hosts a session with TSL students at his home on the UVA Lawn

This theme was echoed by Darden Dean Scott Beardsley during his mid-year session with the fellows. During a case study discussion on deregulation of the global telecom industry, he challenged the students to view each issue from the perspective of business representatives, government officials, consumers, workers, unions and other involved interest groups.

“First, you need to figure out, who are all the stakeholders?” said Beardsley. “Next, you need to consider what do all those stakeholders care about?”

Reflecting on discussions with Beardsley and other speakers, Batten student Joshua Ogburn said, “I now have a better a framework for understanding the stakeholders to consider, the various opinions they may hold and strategies for viewing a situation from the perspective of each stakeholder. It is easy to only think of an issue from one’s own perspective, but this exercise helped me realize the benefits of taking a much wider view.”

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Franklin Raines meets with TSL students after his discussion session

Franklin Raines, retired chairman and CEO of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) led a discussion on creating laws and regulations that lead to desired outcomes for each sector, as well as society as a whole, using scenarios such as consumer privacy, pharmaceutical research and data mining by internet companies. Virginia House of Delegates Democratic Leader David Toscano further demonstrated the importance of a cross-sector perspective in policy making while leading a discussion on business and social implications of the Affordable Care Act.

Harriet Tregoning, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shared how HUD is spurring investment and building more resilient communities through the formation of public-private partnerships.

“As I reflect on the lessons gleaned from our various speakers, the importance of a cross-sector perspective is especially evident and seems to have been the underpinning of each leader’s success,” Darden student Emma Causey (Class of 2016) said.

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Ignacia Moreno enjoys a lunch conversation with UVA students

UNICEF USA President and CEO Caryl Stern highlighted the importance of building strong and diverse leadership teams to spur innovation and problem-solving. Ignacia Moreno, former assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and current CEO and principal of The iMoreno Group, gave multiple examples of how cross-sector leadership requires a mutual respect for what each party brings to the table.

“At the beginning of the program, our thinking was narrow in the sense that the law students spotted the legal issues, the business students focused on industry concerns and the public policy students pointed out the social problems,” Sarrine said. “But as the program progressed, I found myself no longer putting myself solely in the ‘lawyer’s box’ and instead thinking in a much broader manner that incorporated what I was learning from my colleagues and from our speakers.”

Darden student Cameron Cutro (Class of 2016) noted the wide-ranging, long-term responsibilities of multi-sector leadership. “A strong sense of cross-sector leadership requires being intentional about how you approach relationships and problems and knowing that your actions will define not just you, but potentially your company or entire sector.”

The TSL program is a cross-university initiative that brings together prominent leaders with students and faculty from the university’s Darden School, Batten School and School of Law. Through these interactions, the student fellows gain first-hand insights into how these leaders critically analyze complex decisions, including those that cross financial, ethical, economic, political, policy, legal and other spheres.

Now entering its third year, the success of the TSL program can be seen in the increasing demand for its 24 available slots (eight from each school). Applications for the third-year cohort increased more than 40% from the two prior years.

The program is administered by the Darden School’s Institute for Business in Society and facilitated by faculty across the three schools.

This article originally appeared on the Darden School of Business website.

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An Interview with Former Tri-Sector Leadership Fellow Rhett Ricard

As branding consultant and thought leader Simon Mainwaring once said:

“We need to develop and disseminate an entirely new paradigm and practice of collaboration that supersedes the traditional silos that have divided governments, philanthropies and private enterprises for decades and replace it with networks of partnerships working together to create a globally prosperous society.”

Partnerships and collaboration across sectors have become the way of the future (as well as the present). And if multisector collaboration is to be the way of the future, we need to prepare tomorrow’s leaders to problem-solve and lead with a cross-sector perspective.

Now more than ever, today’s and tomorrow’s leaders need to understand how the public, private and social sectors operate, and how to work with – and across – each of these spheres to create value and have impact.

That’s exactly the kind of thinking that led to the creation of the University of Virginia’s Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows (TSL) program.

The Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows program is a cross-university effort designed to explore effective, responsible leadership and the importance of multi-disciplinary perspectives in decision-making. The program brings together prominent, high-impact leaders with competitively-selected graduate student fellows and faculty from UVA’s Darden School of Business, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and School of Law for a series of informal conversations and interactive exchanges.

Within the fellowship, a series of accomplished leaders facilitate interactive discussions with the students, based on their own personal leadership experiences. Through their interactions, the fellows gain first-hand insights into how these leaders holistically and critically analyze complex policy and practical considerations. Together, the speakers and students examine relevant “Tri-Sector” (public, private and social sector) issues, which involve a host of complex financial, economic, political and legal considerations.

The TSL program is administered by the Institute for Business in Society and facilitated by faculty across all three schools.

Each year, the fellowship selects eight students from each of the three schools. Now finishing its second year, the TSL program has 24 former fellows (soon to be 48) who are working within business, law, public policy, government and politics, education and the non-profit sectors.

We recently interviewed one former fellow, Rhett Ricard (UVA Law School, ’15), to find out more about his current role within the field of law.

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Can you describe your current title and position? What is the nature of your work?

I work as a judicial clerk for Judge Henry M. Herlong Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. I assist the judge in all operations of the court and the cases that come before us.

Is there such a thing as a “typical” work day in your current role? Can you describe some of the activities you might do, decisions you might make and issues you might encounter?

My main duties include researching legal issues, evaluating arguments from the litigants, advising the judge on the law and its application to the particular facts before us, recommending an opinion and writing his orders and opinions.

Can you describe an instance or example when you used skills or lessons learned from the Tri-Sector Leadership (TSL) Fellows program within your new role?

The TSL program honed my skills in evaluating arguments, which is absolutely critical in my job. Further, it provided me with a broader understanding of different contexts that could be present in a lawsuit, such as in the employer-employee relationship or an agency dispute with a corporation.

 

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What are some of the major challenges our world currently faces, and what do you feel is the value of today’s leaders having Tri-Sector knowledge and experience in helping to address those challenges?

Our world faces a variety of issues, ranging from economic issues (e.g. uncertain financial markets, massive state debt) to political issues (e.g. the rise of non-state terrorist organizations). To solve these problems, it requires a tri-sector solution, one that makes business and policy sense and one that is legal and can be realistically achieved by public and private entities. The value of our leaders having tri-sector knowledge and experience is that these tri-sector solutions are much more likely to be realized and accomplished than if our leaders do not recognize the need for this kind of thinking.

What advice would you give to future Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows entering the program?

Perhaps the most important concept this program gave me is the incredible value in tri-sector thinking and obtaining buy-in from stakeholders in all three sectors. Inevitably, you will be able to understand and appreciate the basics of this concept when you participate in the program, so the best piece of advice from here would be to challenge yourself continually and constantly to think in a tri-sector fashion. It is a frame of mind, and the more you deliberately think in such a fashion, the more likely you are to develop tri-sector solutions that our world desperately needs.

For more information about the Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows program, visit the Institute for Business in Society’s website.

 

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P3 Impact Award Recognizes Leading Public-Private Partnerships That Improve Communities and the World

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Professor Mary Margaret Frank Presents P3 Impact Award at the Concordia Summit

2016 Award Applications Now Open

The U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, Concordia and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society have opened applications for the third annual P3 Impact Award, which honors exemplary public-private partnerships (P3s) from around the world.

The P3 Impact Award was created by the three partners in 2014 to recognize P3s that are improving communities and the world in impactful ways. It aims to share and advance best practices in P3s, and encourage the creation and scaling of the P3 model worldwide. Finalists from 2014 and 2015 were highlighted in special issues of the Darden School’s Ideas to Action  publication.

The 2014 winner was CocoaLink, a partnership between The Hershey Company, the Ghana Cocoa Board, and the World Cocoa Foundation, which seeks to use mobile technology to give cocoa farmers more access to information and improved farming techniques.

The 2015 winner was the TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef, a partnership between the Government of the Philippines, USAID, and Microsoft to use an innovative technology to extend Internet access to remote coastal communities to support government efforts to register fisherfolk and sustainably manage the nation’s fisheries.

2015 P3 Impact Winners on Stage

2015 P3 Impact Award Winner at the Concordia Summit

The winning partnership of the 2016 competition will be announced at the Concordia Summit in New York City from September 19-20, 2016 and receive a full scholarship for a weeklong Darden Executive Education course. The finalists will again be featured in a special issue of the Darden School’s Ideas to Action publication, promoted through the partners’ websites, and recognized throughout the Summit.

Applications are being accepted until April 4, 2016, and will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges.  Judges will review the applications based on the partnership’s measurable impacts, economic and social benefits, innovation, financial effectiveness, and scalability. The finalists will be selected and notified in June.

For the purpose of the application, public-private partnerships are defined as any cross-sector collaboration that features public, private, nongovernmental, or nonprofit organizations that address societal problems. Full criteria and application instructions can be found on the P3 Impact Award website.

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An Interview with Former Tri-Sector Leadership Fellow, Mint Kanokrat Namasondhi

Mint Kanokrat Manasondhi (Darden) Twitter Graphic #1What do some of our world’s most complex problems have in common? (Think natural disaster relief or global climate change, for example). For starters, these types of challenges cannot be adequately addressed without engaging and collaborating across multiple sectors – government, business and non-profit – solving them, together. This means that today’s and tomorrow’s leaders need to understand how each of these sectors operate, and how to work with – and across – each of these spheres, to create value and have impact.

That’s exactly the kind of thinking that led to the creation of the University of Virginia’s Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows (TSL) program.

The Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows program is a pan-university effort designed to explore effective, responsible leadership and the importance of multi-disciplinary perspective in decision-making. The program brings together prominent, high-impact leaders with competitively-selected graduate student fellows and faculty from UVA’s Darden School of Business, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and School of Law for a series of informal conversations and interactive exchanges.

Within the fellowship, a series of accomplished leaders facilitate interactive discussions, based on their own personal leadership experiences, with the students. Through their interactions, the fellows gain first-hand insights into how these leaders holistically and critically analyze complex policy and practical considerations. Together, the speakers and students examine relevant “Tri-Sector” (public, private and social sector) issues, which involve a host of complex financial, economic, political and legal considerations.

The TSL program is administered by the Institute for Business in Society and facilitated by faculty across all three schools.

Each year, the fellowship selects eight students from each of the three schools. Now in its second year, the TSL program has 24 former fellows who are working within business, law, public policy, government and politics, education and the non-profit sectors. We recently interviewed one former Darden School fellow, Mint Kanokrat Namasondhi, to find out more about her current role within the banking industry.

Can you describe your current title and position? What is the nature of your work?

I work as a senior officer in corporate banking at Krung Thai Bank PCL, the largest lender by assets and deposits in Thailand (as of Q1, 2015). My role is to take care of logistics and hospitality for large corporations such as shipping companies, airlines and hotels that are listed in The Stock Exchange of Thailand.

My work requires both quantitative proficiency – such as financial analysis and financial modeling – and people skills when it comes to working with clients, legal firms and internal departments. In addition to understanding the clients, I also need to spot opportunities, design integrated and customized financial solutions, analyze credit, assess and mitigate risks and offer impressive experiences for the clients.

Is there such a thing as a “typical” work day in your current role? Can you describe some of the activities you might do, decisions you might make and issues you might encounter?

For me, every day is about problem solving – problems of various topics, with several parties.

  • For the clients: to structure customized financial solutions, offer high-quality advice and fulfill their requests.
  • For the bank: to assess risks, design risk-mitigation methods and weigh returns of each deal to decide whether the bank shall “accept” or “reject” that deal.
  • For related parties: to find the best resolutions acceptable for all major parties – such as clients, bankers, the risk committee and legal advisors. These groups normally have different, or even conflicting, points of view and interests, so the goal is to ensure that all parties can move forward with the deal together.

Mint Kanokrat Namasondhi

Can you describe an instance or example when you used skills or lessons learned from the TSL program within your new role?

The success of my new role depends on working with many parties with different viewpoints, interests, and perspectives. When groups or individuals make assumptions or have negative attitudes, this can create hindrances to working together.

For example, at the bank, the checks and balances system unintentionally cultivates negative stereotypical images that the client owners and the risk teams have towards each other. Some client owners might think that the risk teams would look for risk-free deals and turn down almost all the deals; while the risk teams might think that the client owners would put forth huge effort to convince the committee and get the deals approved, regardless of the risk levels. Both parties usually think that it is impossible for them to work together. But in fact, both parties can collaborate while still checking and balancing each other in order to benefit the bank and the clients.

Nowadays, more people from both sides have already realized the benefits of working together, instead of against each other. However, not everyone can convince those who still want to work against each other that the benefits of cooperation are greater for everyone involved.

Having an awareness of differences, patience and willingness to listen, open attitudes towards resolving conflicts and a spirit of cooperation are some key lessons I learned from the TSL program. These lessons enable me to anticipate and avoid stereotype-related challenges and foster an atmosphere of understanding and possibility. I try to achieve this by building alliances, demonstrating how collaboration works and benefits everyone, and inviting more and more people to join us.

“Although TSL program mainly focuses on the intersection of business, law and public policy, the lessons and experience you will learn are life-changing and lifelong.”

What are some of the major challenges our world currently faces, and what do you feel is the value of today’s leaders having Tri-Sector knowledge and experience in helping to address those challenges?

I think having a mindset that is prone to believing stereotypes and thinking certain tasks are impossible are major challenges for our world. Theses challenges separate people with “conceptual prisons” and block people’s creativity. They discourage people from making an effort to at least try to use their brainpower and think about the problems they are facing. They push people to work alone, head in different directions and later conflict with other people.

Tri-Sector knowledge will help today’s leaders deal with these challenges. It reminds leaders to be aware of their potential biases, to be tolerant and open to differences and to believe in the possibility of working together with so-called “conflicting” stakeholders. This knowledge helps tear down separation and misunderstanding, promote synergy and bring people in your community and society to the next level together. This knowledge is what the majority of people lack, forget, or pay little attention to.

Mint Kanokrat Namasondhi shoulder up shot

Learning to better manage complexity

What advice would you give to future Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows entering the program?  

In thinking of advice I would give to future TSL fellows, I am reminded of a Zen story in Robin S. Sharma’s book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which advises: “Empty the water in your glass, and you will surprisingly find so much more possibility in your life.” Just like an overflowing cup of tea, most people are too full of their own knowledge, ideas and beliefs to open themselves up and learn new perspectives in life. To empty the water in your glass is, therefore, to let go of what you think you know and open yourself to new possibilities which you have never thought about.

Although TSL program mainly focuses on the intersection of business, law and public policy, the lessons and experience you will learn are life-changing and lifelong. The world is different and diverse, not only in terms of languages and cultures, but also in terms of thoughts, politics, business, lifestyles, beliefs, responsibility, interests, and so on. The more this world becomes complex, the more the TSL program becomes valuable to you, to those who know you and to those who work with you.

For more information about the Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows program, visit the Institute for Business in Society’s website.

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This Year’s P3 Impact Award Finalists Illustrate How Public-Private Partnerships Are Improving Our World

 

P3 Impact Award logo

Our world – and its challenges – are becoming increasingly more complex. From global warming and hunger to water scarcity and beyond, our planet faces critical issues that call for businesses, government and non-profits to solve them – together.

With this in mind, Concordia, the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships and the UVA Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society created the P3 Impact Award, to recognize public-private partnerships (P3s) that are improving communities and the world in the most impactful ways. In addition to honoring model partnerships, the competition provides thought leadership, promotes best practices, and generates a database of information relevant to P3s.

Now in the second year of this award, we are thrilled to announce this year’s finalists for the 2015 P3 Impact Award. We look forward to announcing the winner at this year’s Concordia Summit on October 2nd in New York City.

The five 2015 P3 Impact Award finalists are:

TechnoServe logo 2       PartnersFoodSolutions logo  USAID Logo

Partners in Food Solutions Partnership

Nearly two-thirds of the workforce in sub-Saharan Africa earn a living from agriculture, but many struggle to escape poverty due to a lack of stable, profitable markets. At the same time, one quarter of the region’s people suffers from undernourishment. Recognizing that local food processors can meet both the market needs of farmers and the nutrition needs of the population, TechnoServe, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Partners in Food Solutions established a partnership to build the capacity of these enterprises. Through an innovative technology platform, the partnership matches the world-class expertise of leading food companies (General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM and Bühler) with the needs of food processors in East Africa. Operating in five countries, the partnership has resulted in market opportunities for 700,000 smallholder farmers, the sale of over 15,000 MT of therapeutic food, $2.6 million in financing, and hundreds of new jobs.

The Nature Conservancy Logo     Dow logo

The Nature Conservancy – The Dow Chemical Company Collaboration

Nature provides benefits like clean air and water – often called ecosystem services – upon which everyone depends. However, these benefits are often not considered when companies make business decisions. Recognizing this, The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) partnered to help Dow and the business community realize, value, and incorporate nature into business decisions, strategies, and goals. Focusing initially on several large pilot projects and now moving to integrating nature into all business decisions at Dow, the Collaboration has developed methods and tools, like the Ecosystem Services Identification and Inventory (ESII) tool, to quantify the benefits of aligning business and conservation goals. By sharing lessons learned and best practices with the wider business community, the Collaboration expects that companies and governments alike will undertake more substantial investment in nature.

RAIN Logo without bracelet       WSUP logo rectangle

CC_TCCAF_Logo

Madagascar: Implementing Improved Water and Sanitation Services to Low-Income Communities

Shortage of safe, reliable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services inhibits economic development, particularly in low-income areas. Utility providers often lack proven and sustainable models, and thus local communities suffer from inconsistent and unreliable service. To address this issue, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) worked with leading NGO Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and other partners to improve water access for 6 million people in Africa by the end of 2020 through TCCAF’s flagship water access program, the Replenish African Initiative (RAIN). By engaging communities and utilities and thus building local capacity, the partners are able to develop pro-poor WASH services in a market-driven and financially sustainable way. Already operational in five African countries, this collaborative approach promises to have far-reaching impacts on economic growth and stability across Africa.

       USAID Logo     Microsfoft Logo

TV White Space Supported Fisherfolk Registration in the Danajon Reef

A public-private partnership between Microsoft, USAID and the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is piloting, for the first time in the Philippines, a new technology that taps unused television broadcast frequencies (or “TV white space”) to extend high-speed, wireless Internet access to remote parts of the Philippines.  Under this partnership, USAID is testing the use of TV white space to enable a mobile, online system to formally register fisherfolk in Bohol province. Fisherfolk registration is a key step toward sustainable fisheries management, and it allows fisherfolk to access vital government services, including health care, insurance, and poverty alleviation funds. Since TV white space connectivity was established in April 2014, over 16,000 fisherfolk have been registered in the pilot municipalities, with 4,000 of those registrants exclusively registered through TV white space technology. Government counterparts have begun to use this new registration data to design and deploy better fisheries management interventions. Further, more than 3,000 schoolchildren in 20 schools now have Internet access via TV white space, and when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol in October 2013, the technology was the only available means of communication for post-disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts.

US GLobal Development Lab logo   Village Capital logo

U.S. Global Development Lab Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative & VilCap Investments: Catalyzing Investment to Democratize Global Entrepreneurship

The private sector has significant potential to accelerate development outcomes by investing in businesses that address social or environmental issues. However, less than 10 percent of such impact investments is committed to seed-stage or venture-stage businesses, creating a “pioneer gap.” A critical reason for this gap is that investment funds rely on management fees to operate and thus have an incentive to raise large funds with high minimum investment amounts. As a result, seed- and venture-stage businesses cannot offer the return needed to properly resource their teams, and fall outside the target investment criteria for these funds. To solve this issue, the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative at USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab and VilCap Investments formed a public-private partnership to build an investment vehicle to unlock private capital for seed-stage impact investments. Utilizing Village Capital’s peer-review model and a market-rate management fee, VilCap Investments has helped create 2,530 jobs, generate $5.6 million in revenues, and raise a $25.2 million in additional capital.

Additional information about the about the P3 Impact Award is available at the Institute for Business in Society, Concordia and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships.

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Lessons We Can Learn From Resilient Businesses: BandyWorks

Any successful investor in the stock market knows that weathering the ups and downs of Wall Street requires a diverse stock portfolio to create long-term viability.

As with the stock market, diversification in business– more specifically, establishing a diverse external network – is a critical factor in building resilience. No company is an island, and smart organizations weave a web of partners with whom they can collaborate to accomplish objectives and overcome obstacles.

Whether facing regulation changes, financial constraints or environmental influences, businesses that develop strong networks at the local, regional, national and global levels will be better positioned for success. This is a concept that Virginia-based company BandyWorks fully understands and embraces.

This spring, the Darden School Institute for Business in Society hosted the 2015 Business and Economic Resilience Conference to learn from Virginia companies that have demonstrated resilience successfully and to share these lessons with other local businesses. During the conference, BandyWorks CEO Tom Bandy participated in a panel discussion to share his experience and expertise in building a resilient business.

BandyWorks

Our team is serious about giving back to the community and becoming involved in different organizations and causes. We work with local chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations.” — Tom Bandy, CEO, BandyWorks

Tom Bandy Closeup

BandyWorks CEO Tom Bandy was a panelist at the 2015 Business & Economic Resilience Conference held at the Darden School of Business

Petersburg-based BandyWorks provides business intelligence technology to high-growth companies that operate in multiple locations. By analyzing existing data sources to create reports, dashboards and alerts, they enable business owners and managers to achieve high performance while reducing the stress of overwhelming data. BandyWorks utilized the best of its solutions to create its new ‘Quick Data’ product to facilitate companies’ ability to manage key performance indicators.

Despite the rapid pace of change and innovation required to stay competitive in this quickly evolving industry, BandyWorks is located in and continues to prioritize community leadership in the Petersburg region. Company staff and owners are actively involved in local chamber of commerce, university and other nonprofit organizations that help to promote individual job skill creation, as well as economic vitality.

Chair-elect for the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, CEO Tom Bandy also heads the chamber’s Economic Vitality group responsible for encouraging more businesses and visitors to come to Old Towne Petersburg. They work closely with Petersburg administrators to promote local events and raise the area’s profile through social media, and are currently establishing a small-business seed fund to encourage new businesses to launch in Petersburg.

Faculty Insight by Professor Gregory Fairchild

In one sense, BandyWorks is a firm that epitomizes the trend toward globalization. Utilizing staff on two continents, Tom Bandy and his team of software developers create customized solutions for businesses. At the same time, the firm has its roots in the local environment.

Greg Cropped

Professor Greg Fairchild leads a discussion at the 2015 Business & Economic Resilience Conference

Bandy, who has chosen to base his global firm in a transitioning area in the historic center of Petersburg, recognizes that connections with a broad base of institutions — local, regional, national and global — is critical. The firm builds support and engagement through a diverse set of networks. A second element is accountability. The products BandyWorks develops assist their clients in accurately capturing their progress on critical goals and milestones. BandyWorks cascades this accountability mindset into all that its employees do as a team — personally, professionally and institutionally. Broad networks provide the firm with diversification that can help smooth ups and downs of the market. Strong relations and accountability provide a “glue” that holds things together.

Greg Fairchild is the E. Thayer Bigelow Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and academic director of Darden’s Institute for Business in Society. His research focuses on studying business models and public policy issues in the field of community development finance. His work has been cited by many, including Inc. Magazine, The Economist, National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

To learn more about business resilience, read the full report, Ideas to Action Special Edition: Business and Economic Resilience; What Virginia Businesses Can Teach Us.

 

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