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La Trobe Business School

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LBS’ United Nations PRME commitments

In 2007, during the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) were launched. Since then, PRME has become the largest organised relationship between the United Nations and business schools. LBS joined PRME quickly after its inception.

Last year LBS celebrated its tenth anniversary as a signatory to UN PRME. We also released our latest PRME report and we’re hosting the 2019 CR3+ Conference.

PRME’s mission

According to the UN Global Impact the mission of PRME is:

“To transform business and management education, research and thought leadership globally, while promoting awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals, and developing the responsible business leaders of tomorrow.”

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The PRME philosophy sits alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally adopted in Paris in 2015, as part of the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 SDGs balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The goals and targets provide a framework to stimulate action over the next years in areas of critical importance for the long-term sustainability of human society and the planet.

PRME report

LBS just released its latest PRME report (read it here). The report outlines the ongoing commitment to each of the six Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME):

  1. Purpose: Develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

  2. Values: Incorporate the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.

  3. Method: create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

  4. Research: Engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.

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

  6. Dialogue: Facilitate and support dialogue and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organisations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

CR3+ Conference

Besides our 10th year anniversary, and the release of our PRME report, LBS is also hosting the seventh edition of the CR3+ Conference in late 2019. CR3+ is a partnership between LBS, Audencia Business School (France), Hanken School of Economics (Finland) and ISAE Brazilian Business School (Brazil). The partnership builds on the schools’ involvement with PRME.

The topic of the CR3+ Conference is “Using Dialogue to Build Partnerships for Sustainability”. More information about this great conference can be found here.

If you want to know more about LBS’ involvement with PRME, please email Dr Swati Nagpal.

Research collaboration between LBS and Thuongmai University

Happy New Year! Our first article of 2019 is about Professor Simon Pervan‘s visit to the Thuongmai University, in Hanoi. He was there to discuss research collaboration and to deliver a presentation on future research focus in business, and the publication of academic research. The visit was hosted by Professor Hoang Viet Nguyen, who is the Head of Department of Research Administration. Professor Viet is overseeing a strong program in research development and he and Professor Pervan discussed opportunities for staff at both La Trobe Business School and Thuongmai to collaborate on future research projects.

 Stay tuned for more information about these opportunities.

Professor Simon Pervan giving a presentation at Thuongmai University

LBS students conducting successful Capstone Project

Students enrolled in LBS’ Master of Business Information Management and Systems (MBIMS) got the chance to work on a real-world project for the subject Business Intelligence Project Analysis and Design (BUS5BPD). Their task was to design a Digital Twin Inspection Tool project for the Australian Marine and Ship Services.

Even though the scenario was fictional, the industry partners were very real. Students had to design the Digital Twin Inspection Tool to be an inspection application for Deloitte, compatible with Apple technology. Both Deloitte and Apple have been closely involved with the subject through guest lectures but also by mentoring the teams.

Awards night

At the end of the semester LBS and Deloitte organised an awards night where the best five teams presented their project and received an award. Awards were handed out for the most complete design, the most innovative design, the very simple design and the most logical design.

Team Black Pearl presenting their design
Team The Sailors presenting their design

The next step

After designing the application during BUS5BDP, the award winning projects are going to be developed and tested during the subject Business Intelligence Project Implementation (BUS5BPI). Both subjects are so-called capstone subjects, and in this case, twin capstone MBIMS subjects. Capstone subjects provide the student with opportunities to demonstrate their capacity to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their degree and apply them to a real-world problem. Usually the industry partners are only involved in BUS5BDP, but both Deloitte and Apple have already indicated that they want to be part of BUS5BPI as well. If one or more Digital Twin Inspection Tool applications would be fully developed, tested and implemented, that would mean a unique outcome for a Capstone subject at La Trobe University.

LBS staff and students with Deloitte delegates

Watch this space next semester for updates!

Social Robot Matilda is a big hit in classrooms

LBS researcher Dr  Seyed Mohammed SadeghKhaksar was recently interviewed by Channel 9 News Melbourne on his research with social robot Matilda.

Matilda

Matilda was originally co-created by LBS’ Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovations (RECCSI) in partnership with Japan’s NEC Corporation and Kyoto University. Matilda is a communication robot with emotional intelligence. Matilda can recognise human voices and faces, detect emotions, read and recite text, dance and play music. It can read a person’s feelings by the tone in their voice and interact accordingly. Matilda was previously used successfully in aged care research. Early this year, RECCSI teamed up with Waratah Special Developmental School to trial Matilda as a classroom companion.

Matilda in the classroom

The current research aims to investigate how social robots like Matilda can emotionally and socially engage students with special needs (e.g. children with autism), enable them with personalised services and empower them to live more independently in classrooms. Matilda’s personalised services could be used to create a more effective teaching environment and provide tailored support to teachers and students. Dr Khaksar is the Research Project Manager and said that “this study is about assisting both teachers and students, especially those who have special needs, who face particular challenges in their learning environments.”

According to Dr Khaksar, the results are positive. “As soon as the kids see Matilda in the classroom, their faces light up and they become more interested and engaged”. Matilda is patient, non-judgemental and interactive which allows students to form a bond with it. “The robot can speak to students, read and act out characters in books, as well as set tasks. But it can also tirelessly repeat things hundreds of times if necessary”. Matilda is not only enabling students to develop better communication, but also social and cognitive skills.

Social Innovation

RECCSI Research Manager and Associate Professor Debbie Chu said this type of technology is in high demand. “La Trobe is at the forefront in creating solutions for social innovation. Our hope is that La Trobe’s robotic technology, which delivers emotional assistance and companionship over physical services, will be employed widely across Australia”.

Watch the interview: here

Some information in this blog was originally published by LTU News

LBS’ success at the LTU Awards 2018

Several LBS staff have been recognised for their excellent teaching and research during the La Trobe University Staff Awards 2018.

Teaching and Learning Awards

Two staff members received a citation for outstanding contributions to student learning. Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh received the citation for transforming a university-wide subject, Leadership: What Matters (MGT3LWM), to inspire leadership capacities in undergraduate third year students.

Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh

Dr Petrus Usmanij received a citation for providing innovative learning and teaching of real business context in capstone subjects through experiential learning and real-life problem solving.

Dr Petrus Usmanij

Research Excellence Awards

Dr Daswin De Silva received the Excellence in Research Award (Mid-Career Researcher). The award is in recognition of Daswin’s outstanding contribution to La Trobe University through his work in the La Trobe Business School contributing to digital disruption, significant research income, high impact, collaborative publications and research supervision and leadership.

Dr Daswin De Silva

LBS congratulates Jasvir, Petrus and Daswin on their impressive achievements!

LBS students presenting at Industry Day

The subject Experiential Learning Project (BUS3ELP) allows students in Management, Marketing, Tourism, Hospitality and Events to work with companies for 120 hours during the semester in an internship role. At the end of the semester an Industry Day is held when students present their report to their fellow students and their supervisors.

Student Elise McLean worked for Victorian Tourism Industry Council. Her supervisor was Kate Rickwood, who is a La Trobe Business School alumni holding a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality).

Student Riana Larosa worked for Backpacker World Travel under the supervision of Chloe Carter.

Below is a group photo of BUS3ELP students and some industry supervisors on the Industry Day.

LBS Students organised successful events for charity

In the Bachelor of Business (Event Management) third year students develop strategic and operational plans for a community event in Semester 1 as part of the Event Planning subject (THS3EOP). Then, in semester 2 they have the opportunity to stage their event during the subject Event Project (THS3SCE).

This year, two groups decided to stage their events and managed to raise over $3,000 for Cancer Council Victoria and Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision. Both events are great examples of LBS’ dynamic learning-focused environment that focuses on being innovative, responsible and engaged.

Georgia Bettoli, Annabelle Gniel, Jacob Sellenger and Ashtyn Williams raised money for Cancer Council Victoria by organising a 90s Trivia Night. Jarrod Clarke, Georgia Harding, Antoinette Nonis and Christina Wang ran a Movie night with pizza & raffle to raise money for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision.

The 90s Trivia Night

Organisers of the Movie night with pizza & raffle

The following video was recorded during the fundraising event for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision. Watch it below.

Meet our new Adjunct Professor Phil Dolan

LBS is delighted to announce that Phil Dolan has been appointed as Adjunct Professor in the Business School. Phil is currently an Angel Investor, providing capital for start-ups. Prior to that he was Head of Investment Research at Macquarie Bank, Director of the Applied Finance Centre at Macquarie University, Dean of the Business School at UWA and Acting PVC of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce at La Trobe University.

Business Newsroom sat down with Phil to talk about his latest appointment.

Welcome Phil! What brings you to LBS?

During my time as Acting Pro Vice Chancellor for the College of ASSC, I had the opportunity to observe the La Trobe Business School firsthand. I was very impressed with every aspect of the School’s operations, its faculty, its course offerings, and its industry links.

What are you bringing to LBS?

In terms of background, before my time in academia I spent 14 years working in the finance industry, at Macquarie Bank. While there, I was primarily responsible for overseeing the research activity of the Bank’s investment management arm, and I regularly interacted with finance academics and was a regular hirer of graduates from finance programs. My academic background has been primarily in Business Schools, most recently as Dean of the UWA Business School. Now that I have relocated to Melbourne, I am keen to be involved further at La Trobe.

How will you approach your role as adjunct professor?

I spent 7 years at Macquarie University, overseeing their Masters in Applied Finance program, the largest of its kind in the world (1,200 students). I taught in the program for some years, and would welcome the opportunity to get back in the classroom.

I am very supportive of the trend to expose students to teachers who combine academic and industry experience, and I look forward to contributing in this way to LBS.

LBS alumni receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award

Last week, three La Trobe Business School alumni were honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Award: leading economist, Bronwyn Curtis OBE; ASX 50 business leader, James Fazzino; and co-founder of Thankyou Group, Jarryd Burns.

La Trobe University has only awarded 82 of its 200,000 graduates with this prestigious award that celebrates significant accomplishments that La Trobe graduates have made in their personal and professional lives.

LBS’ 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

  • Bronwyn Curtis OBE graduated from La Trobe with a Bachelor of Economics. Bronwyn is a leading economist whose career spans both global financial markets and media. She has risen to the top of her field in one of the most competitive financial environments in the world, and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Business Economics in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Formerly the Head of Global Research at HSBC, Ms Curtis is now a Non-Executive Director at the UK’s Office of Budget Responsibility, and received an Honorary Doctorate from La Trobe University in 2017.
  • James Fazzino is a respected ASX 50 business leader with an enduring commitment to business sustainability and care for the community. He is the Chair of Manufacturing Australia, a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at La Trobe University, an Adjunct Professor to the La Trobe Business School, and a member of the University’s Make The Difference Campaign Cabinet. Before leading Australian company Incitec Pivot Ltd into the global market, James secured a Bachelor of Economics from La Trobe.
  • Jarryd Burns was awarded the Young Achiever Award. Jarryd is a recent graduate from LBS, having received his Bachelor of Business/Financial Management in 2010. Jarryd is the co-founder of the Thankyou Group, a social enterprise. In 2008, while still studying at La Trobe University, Jarryd along with friends Daniel Flynn and Justine Flynn launched Thankyou, an organisation that commits 100 per cent of the profit from their consumer products to help end global poverty. Their range includes water and personal care products that fund safe water and toilets and a baby range that funds safe births and healthcare. In ten years, they’ve given over $5.8 million to fund programs for people in need in 20 countries.
LBS congratulates Brownyn, James and Jarryd with their award!

 

Information in this blog was originally published by LTU News 

Teaching excellence recognised with LTSU Teaching Award

Eshan Arya has been awarded the LTSU Teaching Award 2018. Eshan came to Australia from India and started at La Trobe College  (previously La Trobe Melbourne). He continued studying at La Trobe University and completed a Bachelor in Economics and a Master in International Relations with Honours. He currently is close to completing his PhD at LTU. Business Newsroom sat down with Eshan to ask him about his LTU journey, his teaching career at LBS, and of course the LTSU Teaching Award.

 

Eshan receiving the LTSU Teaching Award 2018

 

Congratulations with the LTSU Teaching Award 2018! Can you tell us a little bit more about the award?

The LTSU (La Trobe University Student Union) Teaching Award aims to recognise an academic who has shown exceptional dedication to the student learning experience. Nominations are judged by a selection panel and then, if enough nominations are received, the top five nominees put to an online poll for students to vote. The nominee with the most votes is assessed as the winner.

What is it about your teaching that students love?

I think my students nominated me because I always strive to understand their perspective and do not generalise the overall student community. While I adhere to the rules and regulations, I truly try to understand what each individual is going through in their lives and why their actions are focussed in certain directions.

I am known as a tough marker and have never shown any favouritism and yet my students have been nominating me for three years in a row – this could be for a variety of reasons. I believe apart from innovative teaching, bringing in industry examples, simplifying concepts, getting perks to the classroom and having deep knowledge in the subject, there are other traits that students’ value more which I strive to develop in myself. These traits refer to maintaining a bias free environment in the classroom which is non-judgemental and respectful towards differing opinions. Maintaining a bully free classroom, encouraging students to embrace multiculturalism and to learn from diversity around them.

Apart from business studies and concepts I groom my students to think outside of the box, to respect diverse lifestyle choices of their peers and not to engage in any form of sexism or discriminatory ideas or behaviour. I also challenge my students to push their own boundaries rather than comparing them with their peers. I also go out of the way to answer their doubts and provide them a constructive feedback. I believe the key in my teaching is having a genuine respect for all individuals and their lives and not treating them as a commodity.

Tell us a bit about your longstanding LTU journey

I started my journey in Australia as a student with La Trobe College (LTC). I did a pathway diploma program as my previous degrees were in Physics/Science from India, and I was shifting to business studies. At LTC I met very skilled and student centric teachers. Their approachable nature, knowledge in the subject area along with an engaging teaching style not only harboured my keenness in business studies, but also laid the foundations of my own teaching style later.

Upon finishing the program, I completed my Bachelor in Economics and Master in International Relations with Honours at LTU.  As a student at LTU, I was particularly impressed with the teaching style of Dr. Jan Libich, Dr. David Walker, Dr. Daniel Bray, Dr. Rosemarie Edillon and Dr. Tim Thornton who showed exceptional innovative teaching styles that inspired me. I find the teaching style of my colleague Pablo Ahumada very inspirational too.

I started teaching economics in 2011/12. My lecturers remembered me as a star student: I was best in class, won three Dean’s commendation awards and three La Trobe Gold awards. This definitely worked in my favour when I was looking for teaching opportunities.

Dr. David Walker, Dr. Bret Slade and Dr. Rosemarie Edillon were my first employers. I’m very grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to teach. They believed in me, even though I had no prior teaching experience. I have taught various subjects: States Security & International Relations, Modern World Economy, Business in a Globalised World, Interpersonal skills & conflict management, Foundations of Management, Business Foundations, Big Ideas in Business and Organisational Change & Development. Currently I am teaching various bachelor and master subjects.

You have definitely built a great teaching portfolio at LBS. Besides your PhD and teaching, do you have time for other things?

Besides teaching at LTU, I teach Maths and English to High school students of refugee backgrounds for multiple city councils as a volunteer. I also teach Karate. As a 6th Dan Black Belt I teach Karate and Kickboxing to youth at risk under a special youth engagement program of my local city council.

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