5. Partnerships

Section 5: Partnerships


Principle 5 | Partnership: We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and jointly explore effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

The Business School strongly values our relationships with industry and government and engages in many ways with partners to inform industry practice, public debate and policy, and to address social and environmental challenges.

Our academics foster mutually beneficial linkages and partnerships with key end-users to inform research. Industry sponsors and partners come from all sectors of the economy and include the Australian Human Rights Commission, Safe Work Australia, the Fair Work Commission, Australian Charities & Not-for-Profits Commission, the Farrell Family Foundation, the Tokyo Foundation, First Nations Foundation (national Indigenous financial foundation) and the World Bank Group, whose mission is “to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way”.

The Business School Advisory Council, an external, expert and experienced group of industry practitioners provides advice to ensure our programs and courses are relevant to today’s changing business environment. The Council’s 45 members are leaders in industry and government and actively engaged and committed to ensuring the Business School realises its vision of becoming a leading centre for business education and research in the Asia-Pacific region.

Business School students are also highly engaged in partnership activities through student societies and competitions. Our clubs and societies offer students excellent opportunities to network with Business School staff, alumni and industry connections to gain the experience and leadership skills they need when entering the workplace. Of the 21+ Business School student societies, several focus on areas such as microfinance, investing for charity, consultancy and social enterprise. Competitions such as the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum (see Section 5.4), provide students opportunities to apply their skills and creativity to real challenges and to experience success in using data analytics for social good.

5.1 UNSW Networks

UNSW engages actively in networks that reflect the UN’s principles of responsible management education and the values of international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact. These include the following.

  • Universitas 21 – a culturally diverse network which “empowers students and staff from 27 world-class universities to share excellence, collaborate across borders and nurture international knowledge exchange.” UNSW is also a signatory to the Universitas 21 Statement on Sustainability.
  • Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), which “bring together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to collaborate on effective solutions to 21st century challenges. … [including] natural hazards and disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence and the future of work, the Pacific Ocean, and labour mobility.”
  • Global Alliance of Technological Universities (GlobalTech), a network of the world’s top technological universities which “aims to address global societal issues to which science and technology could be their solution. These issues include biomedicine and health care, sustainability and global environmental change, security of energy, water and food supplies, security, and changing demographics/ population.”
  • PLuS Alliance, “which combines the strengths of three leading research universities on three continents – Arizona State University, King’s College London and the UNSW Sydney – to solve global challenges around health, social justice, sustainability, technology and innovation. The PLuS Alliance will also work to increase access to world-class higher education in high-need areas through tailored, innovative digital technologies and will offer educational programs focused on global issues so that individuals are better prepared to join a workforce that increasingly operates across cultures and borders.”
  • Closer to home, the NUW Alliance, which sees UNSW with the Universities of Newcastle and Wollongong exploring “some of the short and long term challenges impacting NSW to generate benefits for the State as well as the Australian economy”. NUW is “committed to delivering research excellence, innovation and impact, and importantly, equality of access to higher education, regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status”.

5.2 Partnerships Through Research

5.2.1. CEPAR

As reported in Section 4.2, the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) is a unique partnership between academia, government and industry, committed to delivering solutions to one of the major economic and social challenges of the 21st century: population aging.

In December 2018, CEPAR director, Professor John Piggott, was selected to lead a task force helping G20 nations decide how they will cope with ageing populations. The Task Force on Aging Population and its Economic Impact and Immigration will focus on “policy measures and actions aimed at sustaining inclusive economic growth and well-functioning socioeconomic systems which provide social security to all people. The role of labour migration to alleviate the impact of declining labour forces and working populations will also be explored in the context of well-designed immigration policies that will support aging societies.” (Source: t20japan.org)

The Task Force one of ten groups set up to deal with challenges faced by the G20 countries and beyond. Discussions will be co-chaired by Professor Piggott and representatives from the Asian Development Bank Institute and the Korea Development Institute, among others.

5.2.2 IRRC

Industrial Relations Research Centre (IRRC – see Section 4.4) Associate Professor P N (Raja) Junankar has fostered international partnerships on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability in his role as member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of The Economic and Labour Relations Review, the International Review of Applied Economics, the Australian Journal of Labour Economy, and the International Journal of Development Issues.

In 2017 Raja was elected as a Fellow of the Global Labour Organization. In terms of research impact, he has consistently been listed in the top 10% of authors on SSRN by all-time downloads. In 2017, he collaborated with Professor Piotr Zuk, University of Wroclaw and Centre for Civil Rights and Democracy Research, Poland in applying for Polish Government research funding on labour migration under globalisation.

5.3 Partnerships in Program Development

5.3.1 Emerging Indigenous Executive Leadership Program

The Emerging Indigenous Executive Leadership Program (EIELP) is a ground-breaking initiative focussing on developing the next generation of Indigenous leaders. It is designed to break the diversity ‘glass ceiling’ and bring more Indigenous Australians into the C-suite. Launched in 2017, the program was originally developed by the National Australia Bank in partnership with AGSM, with strong support from Richmond Football Club, Crown Resorts, AFL, Broadspectrum, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the Australian Government Department of Human Services and Reconciliation Australia.

The nine-month program is delivered by the AGSM and offers a variety of experiential learning activities online and face-to-face in Melbourne, Sydney and Uluru. Participants engage with strategic thinking, leadership and identity, innovation, personal effectiveness and communicating with influence. In 2017, “15 emerging leaders graduated from the EIELP. Several have been promoted and all have action plans for career advancement”, said Nick Wailes, Deputy Dean and Director of AGSM. “The AGSM, along with our corporate partners are committed to developing the leadership potential of Indigenous Australians.”

5.3.2 AGSM Aboriginal Career & Leadership Program

The tenth cohort of the Aboriginal Career & Leadership Program (ACLDP) commenced in early 2019. In partnership with the NSW Public Service Commission, AGSM designed the program four years ago and Professor Mark Rose and AGSM faculty deliver the three-module program to middle management, NSW public servants. Underpinned by the framework of ‘walking in two worlds’, the program was created to support the NSW Premier’s priority of doubling the number of senior Aboriginal public servants by 2025, and now with 240 alumni, the ACLDP is being credited as a key reason that this NSW State Premier’s Priority will be achieved.

5.3.3 Walan Mayinygu Youth Program

An example of cross institutional collaboration commenced with an initiative of Associate Professor Michelle Evans whilst at Charles Sturt University. Walan Mayinygu was a full week program (‘pop up hub’) of business workshops and masterclasses for current or aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs in regional locations across NSW, including Albury, Dubbo, Port Macquarie and Lismore.

Rebeca Harcourt, Program Manager Indigenous Business Education at the Business School, was commissioned to design and facilitate the Walan Mayinygu Youth Program and she subsequently engaged Liam Ridgeway, Indigenous Entrepreneur cofounder of NGNY & Indigitek; and Ashley Finegan and Shaun Wright, Indigenous Business School students. In each pop-up hub, the Youth Program offered a multi layered component for school-aged Indigenous students from years 5 through to year 12, introducing entrepreneurship with a focus on bringing young people’s innovative and creative ideas to life. The program featured an introduction to entrepreneurship, guest talks from successful Indigenous entrepreneurs, networking activities, role plays, yarning circles and students pitching their innovative business ideas to a panel of judges at the end of the day.

Walan Mayinygu Youth Program

5.3.4 Leadership for Purpose Executive Education Program

The Not-For-Profit sector is one of Australia’s most important sectors socially, culturally and economically. It is one of the largest employers (1.3 million) and contributes approximately 8% of Australian GDP (CSI 2017). Investing in the leaders of this sector is critical, yet there is significant underinvestment in capacity building. Accordingly, Centre for Social Impact (see Section 4.2) was commissioned by The Ian Potter Foundation (IPF) to develop a program for the NFP sector.

CSI worked alongside collaborating partners Sidney Myer Fund (SMF), the Myer Foundation (TMF), the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), and the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF), to develop a year-long leadership program – the Leadership for Purpose Executive Education program.

The year-long program aims to build the capacity and effectiveness of the NFP sector through a targeted leadership program for NFP CEOs. The year-long program combines retreats, executive coaching, a sabbatical period, executive networking, and step-up leader support. This environment, coupled with the content mix, offers a distinct point of difference to other leadership courses on the market. Content includes areas such as self-leadership, building leadership cultures, adaptive leadership, the power of story-telling, navigating politics, mission and strategy, applied systems thinking and leading beyond the organisation. An agile teaching method will be used so content can be adapted to meet needs.

5.4 Students in Partnerships

5.4.1 Information Systems students win Social Innovation Competition

A team of four UNSW students, which included three from the School of Information Systems & Technology Management, pitched at the annual Hitachi Social Innovation Forum, 2018. They joined the conversation on how data analytics can be leveraged for social good, keeping our cities safe.

Over the course of 48 hours the team developed a facial recognition app proof of concept – ‘Samaritan’. Using publicly available data and social media streams the app is designed to find persons of interest in high population areas. With growing concerns of public safety ranging from losing a child in a crowd to terror monitoring, the team focused on how we can use public tools and open source data to aid authorities.

Against a number of teams with considerable research and development in their pipeline, the UNSW team presented in front of a huge crowd at the Hilton and were elated to take first place as well as an opportunity to develop the proof of concept further.

The Winning Team (from left) Ilasha Prabhu, Elysee Ng, Andrew Snow and Pennie Li

5.4.2 Indigenous Product Sprint

The Business School’s philosophy and practice continues to build on the latest approaches and activities that develop our Indigenous students “capabilities to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society”. We draw on a growing community of practice that includes business forums, conferences, pathway articulation programs into undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, alumni networks, professional development and research outcomes.

For example, Indigenous Product Sprint (Indisprint), was a 2.5-day design thinking product sprint developed by the Business School, the Faculty of Built Environment and the UNSW Founders program. Held in November 2018, Indisprint brought together students from the Business School and Built Environment to explore the health challenge of diabetes currently facing Indigenous Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost four times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to have diabetes or pre-diabetes, with 13% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population self-identifying as having diabetes.

The 20 participating UG and PG students formed into teams and were supported by mentors to create wearable technology for early detection of diabetes. Winners received ongoing mentor support from the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre and $1,000 in materials from the Business School. Their innovations will be adopted by the Indigenous community within the Sydney Metropolitan area.

Students at Indisprint, UNSW Innovation Centre Sept. 2018

5.4.3 Pro-Rathon – Sponsored by JDRF Australia

The Business School’s Graduate Student Association hosted a Pro-Rathon case competition in Semester 2 2018, sponsored by JDRF Australia a not-for-profit supporter of type 1 diabetes research (JDRF is a leading global organisation funding type 1 diabetes research). Over 30 students participated and were mentored by JDRF staff and UNSW alumni. The event was supported by MCIC, the Maker Space and Westpac.