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Workforce success for employees on the autism spectrum

Employment for individuals on the autism spectrum is an increasingly important societal issue. The unemployment rate for autistic individuals of working age is 31.6 per cent, which is over three times the rate of unemployment among people with a disability, and approximately six times that among people without a disability. Therefore, in 2017, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 2017 launched its Rise@DHHS program.

Rise@DHHS program

Rise@DHHS is an award-winning program created by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with autism non-profit social enterprise Specialisterne Australia, as the State Government’s first attempt to provide leadership in its own employment practices by employing people on the autism spectrum. This pilot program has been evaluated by a team of researchers from La Trobe’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) and LBS. The full report can be downloaded here.

Lead author Dr Rebecca Flower, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at OTARC, noted “The traditional job interview is a common barrier for people with autism, who may communicate differently to non-autistic people. Candidates in the Rise@DHHS program were given a chance to showcase their skills in a supportive environment, as opposed to talking about them.”

The results

The research report summarises in-depth interviews with the eight people on the autism spectrum who were hired for the pilot program, as well as surveys and focus groups with co-workers and managers. The research identified the most successful aspects of the Rise@DHHS program, including changes to the recruitment, selection, and onboarding processes. Furthermore, focus groups with existing DHHS employees indicated that the program has had a positive impact on themselves as individuals, stating they felt like they had grown personally through their involvement with the initiative and were now mindful of things like clarity in communication.  

The impact of employment on individuals

Most importantly, the research demonstrates the tremendous impact that employment has for individuals with autism. Prior to working as a Rise@DHHS employee, Adam Walton had spent long periods of time either unemployed, or in short-term, casual roles. When discussing the program, he noted:

“It’s been a lifechanging experience for me, being able to have a routine and more structure in my life. I feel like I’m finally contributing to society. I don’t feel like I’m a burden.”

Rise@DHHS employee Adam

Recommendations

The researchers identified several recommendations, including that workplaces need to prioritise diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. “The findings of this research align nicely with other studies, showing that it’s really all about understanding autism, supportive management, and including people. This is a great thing, not only for individuals with autism, but for the companies employing them,” Dr Flower said.

LBS researcher and study co-author Dr Jennifer Spoor points out that “employing people with autism often requires only small changes to management practices, such as making communication clear or being flexible about sound or lighting in the workplace, which often benefits all employees.”

 

Funding for the research was provided by DHHS and by an Engagement Income Growth Grant from LTU's School of Psychology and Public Health.
More information on the program and the research can be found in the OTARC report here. You might also like LTU News’ article Workforce success for autistic employees.

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3

The relationship between health and sustainable development is based on the premise that human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life, in harmony with nature. It further recognizes that the goals of sustainable development can only be achieved in the absence of a high prevalence of debilitating diseases, while recognising that health gains for the whole population requires poverty eradication.

The facts

Significant strides have been made in improving health outcomes and life expectancy, however, people are still suffering needlessly from preventable diseases, and too many are dying prematurely. Progress has been uneven, both between and within countries. There is a 31-year gap between the countries with the shortest and longest life expectancies. At least 400 million people have no basic healthcare. More than one of every three women have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their life. And, did you know that every 2 seconds someone aged 30 to 70 years dies prematurely from noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer? (United Nations Development Program, 2019).

The focus of SDG 3

Overcoming disease and ill health will require concerted and sustained efforts, focusing on population groups and regions that have been neglected. The specific focus of sustainable development goal 3 is on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health; infectious disease and non-communicable diseases, and; more efficient funding and access to health systems (UN Knowledge Platform, 2019). The targets related to this SDG seek to address some key areas such as:

  • Maternal and new born mortality
  • HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, Hepatitis B and waterborne diseases
  • Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease
  • Suicide prevention, and mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Road traffic injuries
  • Family planning
  • Hazardous chemicals and pollution
  • Tobacco control
  • Vaccines and medicines access
  • Universal health coverage

All the while strengthening the institutions, structures and workforces that deliver these outcomes.

Australia’s Voluntary National Review and SDG 3

On 15 July 2018, Australia released the Voluntary National Review (VNR), which details Australia’s implementation of the SDGs since their adoption in 2016.  The report addresses how Australia is performing against each of the goals and includes case studies of activities currently undertaken to achieve them. These activities include government initiatives and efforts from business, civil society, academia and youth. Australia’s Health 2016 summarises the key findings in relation to Australia’s performance against SDG 3:

 “While there are positive signs and progress on many fronts, it is clear that Australia is not healthy in every way, and some patterns and trends give cause for concern. Chronic diseases… are becoming increasingly common in Australia due to a population that is increasing and ageing, as well as to social and lifestyle changes… Presenting a broad picture of health status can mask the fact that some groups in our community are not faring as well, including people living in rural and remote areas, the lowest socioeconomic groups, Indigenous Australians and people living with disability.”

Australia – Building a healthy ecosystem

The Australian approach to this SDG is centred around the importance of healthy ecosystems and socio-economic factors to human health. For example, the Victorian Government, and particularly Parks Victoria, has worked closely with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and its member organisations to develop an integrated approach recognising the contribution of nature and parks to overall health and wellbeing, building on a message of “Healthy Parks, Healthy People”. Similarly, Government mental health programs are complemented by broad-based community initiatives such as beyondblue and QLife, a peer-supported telephone and web-based counselling and referral service for LGBTI people.

As a country, we also continue to make strides, and are a global leader in many areas of public health and medical research.  For example, through the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products and the development of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine.  Advances in technology may also assist with addressing health needs in rural and remote communities through the introduction of digital technology, including mobile health, online health records and telehealth systems.

Further, in addressing health challenges and ‘leaving no one behind’, a strategy has been introduced that focuses on reducing the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which is caused by a mix of social factors, risk factors and differences in access to appropriate health care. And in 2019, the Government announced a royal commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with a disability, following similar royal commissions which examined the abuse of vulnerable people, including institutional responses to child sex abuse and aged care facilities.

SDG Video

The third video in the SDG series starts with Professor Suzanne Young who gives a broad overview of the third sustainable development goal and its associated targets. Suzanne explains the Every Woman Every Child movement, the infectious disease points but also mentions the high number of premature deaths because of non-communicable diseases, the increase in road traffic deaths and the lack of physicians in about 40% of countries.

The second part of the video shows Dr Emma Seal, a research fellow from the Centre for Sport and Social Impact at La Trobe Business School. Emma researches the relationship between sport and sustainable development but also provides examples of the Sport for Development project funded by the Australian government, such as the Girls Empowerment through Cricket initiative. The project included girls between the ages of 12 and 18 in Papua New Guinea and consisted of cricket participation and education sessions focusing on key health issues impacting these girls.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

 

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:

Conducting an internship at Australia’s first online party marketplace

Georgia Le Vagueresse, an LBS student studying Event Management and Marketing, sat down with Business Newsroom to talk about her successful internship at Oh It’s Perfect; a platform for party planners to find, buy and sell lifestyle and party-related products and services.

Georgia attending an exclusive event at Sugar Republic as part of her internship

How did you get your internship?

Initially, I knew I’d have to do my own research and reach out to companies to find something unique and interesting. I was really picky on where I wanted to apply as I truly wanted an all-round experience and not simply be there to fetch a coffee for the employees I was working with.

I found Oh It’s Perfect and sent them an email asking if they had an internship available. I explained that I was studying a Bachelor of Event Management and Marketing, and within a week I got a response asking if I’d like an interview!

It is really beneficial to start looking for an internship early in your degree as it takes a while to look around and find companies. I found it better to find companies that I was interested in and email them directly, rather than looking for an advertisement on Seek for example.

What did your internship involve?

Oh It’s Perfect is an organisation that is run mostly on social media. We provide inspiration for our community of followers by reposting other people’s styled parties on the company’s Instagram page, whilst also writing up blog posts on these parties. This way people who are interested can see the process behind the party and also see the vendors who aided in styling the event. That, in turn, gets the vendors’ business. We also create our own content and style our own shoots to create our own party content to publish.

I was responsible for writing up blog posts about parties submitted to us, but also sending direct messages (DM’s) to people to see if they would like to be featured on our blog. I’d get about 4 blog posts published a week, whilst additionally partially managing the company’s Instagram account.

About a month into my internship I began writing bigger pieces, like doing the write up on our own styled shoots, and I began emailing companies that would like to be featured in our styled shoots. This included sponsors and collaborations with brands.

How did the internship enrich your student experience?

There are so many things I learned. I gained valuable knowledge in my writing skills. I heavily developed a professional persona in how I interact with other businesses, and learnt the legal requirements a business has to go through when collaborating with others. My internship revolved around the marketing side, in particular social media marketing, which has sparked more of an interest to this side of my studying, as well as wanting to pursuit additional study of social media marketing in the future.

What is your next step?

I will be continuing on with Oh It’s Perfect as the Deputy Editor while finishing up my degree in a year’s time. After that, I hope to further my studies, especially in social media marketing.

LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems

Over the last years, the agtech sector has taken off with a proliferation of agtech and foodtech accelerators and incubators across the country. Agtech will become increasingly important in driving Australia’s agricultural innovation but is the sector ready? Andrea Koch discusses how Australia can grow its own agriculture innovation ecosystem.

About Andrea

Andrea Koch is the Principal of Andrea Koch Agtech, an agricultural technology strategy, marketing and product development consultancy. Andrea is also a director with the National Farmers Federation Board and SproutX, Austalia’s first agtech accelerator.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and a Master of Sustainable Development and is from a fifth-generation Australian farming family. Her family background and varied career allow her to bring together farming and digital technology. She sees a future where digital technology underpins our farming sector being the most competitive and innovative in the world.

The rural versus the urban world

Australia has a unique agricultural research, development and extension system and Andrea sees a divide between what she describes as the ‘rural world’ and the ‘urban world’. On the one side there are users of on-farm technology – that is the farmers and the ‘ecosystem’ of rural suppliers, advisors and consultants. On the other side, are the investment and finance community, tech developers, urban based research institutions and the agri-political groups. These worlds are somewhat disconnected, and Andrea presents some of the changes that are required.

Please enjoy Andrea’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the 2019 LBS Innovation Series:

La Trobe is getting employability right

LBS researcher Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh examined the experience of graduates from China who returned to China to seek employment after completing tertiary education at La Trobe University. Her research found that students from China felt that having studied at La Trobe University made them more employable in China.

The first study

Jasvir conducted in-depth interviews with 19 Chinese alumni from La Trobe University who had returned to China to work. About 70 to 80% of Chinese international students studying in Australia return to their home country to seek employment opportunities (ICEF Monitor, 2016) and previous research has suggested that Chinese employers prefer local graduates. However, Jasvir’s study found that when it comes to having necessary work-ready skills such as leadership, communications and influencing skills, those who have spent some time studying in Australia have the upper hand.

Jasvir mentioned that the Chinese graduates she interviewed were “impressed with the level of investment Australian universities like La Trobe are making into developing international students’ employability skills through part-time work experiences at La Trobe or outside the campus, volunteering opportunities and internships.”

“Programs such as La Trobe’s Career Ready Advantage, designed with Australia’s leading employers to help develop more employable graduates, are clearly working”

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh

The interviewed graduates also said that having an overseas Masters’ degree was particularly beneficial when it came to getting jobs in China, and some had studied further to obtain chartered certification such as Chartered Professional Accounting.

The second study

Jasvir conducted a second study looking at the experience of international students studying in China, with a special focus on development of employability skills. Jasvir interviewed 30 international students, largely from Africa and Malaysia, who had studied at the highly-ranked Wuhan and Tsinghua universities in China. “While these two prestigious Chinese universities score high in terms of academic results, the students I interviewed recognised that content knowledge is not enough”, said Jasvir. Students were expected to find their own work placements and were given little support by the university support services. Thus, in contrast to Australian universities, the second study found that Chinese universities do not place much emphasis on developing employability skills of international students.

Producing employable graduates

Both of Jasvir’s studies have shown that Chinese universities need to increase their focus on helping domestic and international students develop the necessary skills required for entering the competitive and rapidly changing world of work. The good news is that La Trobe University is getting it right when it comes to producing employable graduates!

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh is an award-winning lecturer at the LBS’ Department of Management, Sport and Tourism. Jasvir has been researching on academic success, teaching and learning as well as employability issues relating to international students from Malaysia, Australia and China. Jasvir has received several top La Trobe University grants and has published in quality higher education journals as well as presented her work worldwide.

This blog was originally published by LTU News.

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2

After a prolonged decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise again. Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress (SDG Goals Report, 2018).

Hunger facts

With soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity rapidly degrading and climate change putting more pressure on the resources we depend on, many people, especially in rural areas, can no longer make ends meet. According to the United Nations, 1 in 9 people in the world today (815 million) are undernourished, the majority of those in hunger live in developing countries, and Asia is the continent with the hungriest people (two thirds of the total). Poor nutrition causes nearly half of the deaths in children under five, which translates into 3.1 million children each year.

 According to the World Bank, the world will need to produce at least 50% more food than we currently do in order to feed 9 billion people by 2050. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) links hunger and food security to development:

“In food – the way it is grown, produced, consumed, traded, transported, stored and marketed – lies the fundamental connection between people and the planet, and the path to inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”

UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation

Ending hunger by 2030

Sustainable Development Goal 2 – zero hunger – aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. The targets associated with this SDG relate to ending hunger, achieving food security, improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. Since food is at the core of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 2 is connected to other SDGs such as no poverty, good health & wellbeing, clean water & sanitation, affordable & clean energy, climate action, life below water and life on land. These interconnections call for a global response to hunger and food security that includes multiple stakeholders and multi-level governance structures. It requires capacity development at all levels, and investment in research, technology and innovation to mitigate some of the potential negative trade-offs between the SDGs and strengthen the synergistic effects. 

Some of the organisations that are working hard fighting hunger are World Food Programme, the World Bank Group and International  Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The World Food Programme is the leading humanitarian organization that works towards a world of Zero Hunger. They deliver food assistance in emergencies and work with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

The World Bank Group invests in agriculture and rural development to boost food production and nutrition by encouraging climate-smart farming techniques, restoring degraded farmland, but also by breeding more resilient and nutritious crops, and improving supply chains for reducing food losses. The IFAD focuses exclusively on rural poverty reduction, working with poor rural populations in developing countries.

A focus on Australia

Hunger is not only an issue for developing countries. In Australia, it is estimated that two million Australians rely on some form of food relief, which roughly equates to one in ten Australians. Of these, there is a skew towards regional Australia, low-income earners and pensioners, and children make up approximately 22% of this category (Foodbank Hunger Report, 2018). 

Agriculture is a significant sector of the Australian economy and provides enough food to feed 80 million people, while also providing 93% of the nation’s food supply. The challenge for Australia’s, and the world’s agriculture, is to become more productive and more resilient in order to tackle the interconnected challenges of poverty, hunger and climate change. At the other end of the spectrum, food waste is a growing wicked problem that Australia has to tackle.  While organisations such as Food Bank, SecondBite and OzHarvest have made significant strides in salvaging food and offering food relief, food waste continues to cost the Australian economy close to $20 billion a year. In addition to the cost to the economy, food waste has cost implications in a number of areas, including loss of water and energy, greenhouse gas emissions and of course, hunger (Department of Environment and Energy, 2017).

SDG Video

The second video in the SDG series features Donna Burnett and Dr Tim Clune from the La Trobe Business School. Donna focuses on the problems of hunger and food security, the SDG’s and emphasises the shift in thinking that is necessary to reach the zero-hunger goal. The video discusses the ways businesses negatively impact food security, but also explains what businesses can do. Ultimately, Tim talks about the issues around climate change, how to build the capacity to enable resilient and sustainable agribusiness systems for the future.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:

The future trajectory of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is one of the younger disciplines in education and one of the fastest growing disciplines. With this in mind, our Professor of Entrepreneurship Alex Maritz has done research into where the discipline is at and where it is going. He looked at challenges the discipline is facing, but also how entrepreneurship is taught in Australia.

Entrepreneurship – The facts

Let’s start with some figures. The 2017/18 Australian National Report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) overall states a positive climate of the entrepreneurial activity in Australia.

  • 12% of the Australian adult population (18–64 years old) actively engaged in entrepreneurial activities
    • This equates to 1.8 million early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Australia’s profile of start-up activity (TEA) is particularly strong in the senior age groups.
  • Informal investment is strong in Australia, with the prevalence of business angels at about 4% of the population.
    • This equates to about 0.6 million informal investors financing entrepreneurial ventures in Australia.
  • Of the 1.8 million Australians engaged in starting new businesses, 38 percent or 690,000 were women.
    • This is high compared to other 24 developed economies included in the study.

There are some concerns as well. The fear of failure is slightly above the average of developed economies and youth entrepreneurship is lacking. Also, there is a high discontinuation rate of entrepreneurial activity in Australia, which provides an opportunistic platform for entrepreneurship education.

Challenges

Below are some of the challenges that entrepreneurship education is facing.

Trajectory 1: Why teach entrepreneurship?

The question is often whether entrepreneurship can be taught. According to Alex it certainly can be. Entrepreneurship education is about learning how to minimise risks to fail, which lowers the above-mentioned fear of failure, a great barrier to start a business. Interestingly, Universities of Australia mentions that more than four in five start-up founders in Australia are university graduates.

Trajectory 2: What is taught in entrepreneurship?

Teachers of entrepreneurship often speak from their own experiences, the risk associated with that is that their teaching is too much skewed towards their own expertise. A finance expert teaching entrepreneurship has a different take on entrepreneurship education than someone with a psychology background for example. This challenge can be tackled by viewing entrepreneurship as a process – from starting a business to exiting a business – and aligning a suite of subjects and courses to that process.

Trajectory 3: How to teach entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship education is about experiential learning, which is different from the traditional ways of delivering content such as lectures and tutorials. The move towards online learning also has shown to be a challenge. Entrepreneurship educators need to collaborate and network with other successful entrepreneurship educators, enhancing the scholarship of learning and teaching. These educators have to also update their knowledge and skills on the latest start-up nuances, such as blockchain, digital transformation and lean business models.

Trajectory 4: Outcomes of teaching Entrepreneurship

The only way to measure if people become entrepreneurs when they finish their degree, is their intention and efficacy to become successful entrepreneurs. In addition, entrepreneurs create employment versus seeking employment, adding not only to economic outcomes but social solutions.

Trajectory 5: Research in entrepreneurship

There are only two high tier entrepreneurship journals. Research in entrepreneurship has the aim to inform practice, but practitioners generally do not read academic research. Publications therefore should preferably happen in journals or magazines read by practitioners. The Harvard business Review is an example for this discipline to publish, although not an entrepreneurship focused journal.

Empowerment and transformation

Finally, entrepreneurial universities are not created overnight. According to Alex, if entrepreneurship is not one of the pillars or a strategic intent of the university, the discipline will not flourish. It has to be embedded into the entire university.  

Entrepreneurship education at LBS

The La Trobe Business School is in a transformative stage of entrepreneurship education, with recent research by Alex and Dr Quan Nguyen placing emphasis on the importance of empowerment and sustainable action to enhance the entrepreneurial university. LBS is one of the leading Australian higher education institutions in entrepreneurship education, evidenced by significant entrepreneurship ecosystems, leadership in entrepreneurship, active and impactful global partnerships, significant knowledge transfer, professors of practice, a successful incubator and associated university wide entrepreneurial initiatives.

Prof Alex Maritz with various staff members of the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Marketing

LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?

Disruptive technology is changing our daily lives and agriculture is not immune from this digital wave. Allan McCallum discusses whether we should see this new technology as a threat or embrace it as an opportunity.

About Allan

Allan is Chairman of Cann Group Limited, Australia’s first licensed/permitted grower of medicinal cannabis in Australia. Allan has led and been part of the team that instituted privatisation of the grain industry storage, handling and transport sector, (Vicgrain/ Graincorp) and the merging of regional based fertiliser businesses that became a global leader in explosives (Incitec Pivot). Via his work with Tassal, which is now a world leader in sustainable salmon production, Allan has been active in the restructure of the Tasmanian salmon industry.

Agtech

Agtech is an often used definition for various technology used in the agricultural industry. According to Start Up Australia, Agtech refers to the collection of digital technologies that provide the agricultural industry with the tools, data and knowledge to make more informed and timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability.

Allan uses Cann Group Limited as a case study that shows that embracing agtech set then on a path to building a world-class Australian business in the emerging medicinal cannabis industry. He also focuses on the challenge of how to bring an agribusiness concept to market from a start-up to listing on the ASX in a period of rapid disruption.

Please enjoy Allan’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the 2019 LBS Innovation Series:

Meet our new Adjunct Professor Alan Farley

LBS is delighted to announce that professor Alan Farley has been appointed as Adjunct Professor in the La Trobe Business School. Alan has a long and distinguished career in Australian universities, as diverse as Director of Teaching and Learning and Chief Financial Officer, including PVC (Planning and Finance), Assistant Provost, Executive Dean, Head of Department and Associate Dean (Education).

Alan’s original training is in Economics, Econometrics and Management Science but most of his teaching career was spent in Accounting and Finance departments. His research effort is extensive and diverse. He has published in leading international journals across the fields of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Accounting, Finance, and Management Science.

His work with industry has supported his research. Alan is the only Australian academic to make the final of an international competition to recognise the world’s best implementation of Management Science in a given year for work done with Kodak Australia. He has held positions outside universities such as president of the Australian Council for Online and Distance Education, member of the Victorian Admission Centre Management Committee, Australian University Quality Authority auditor and member of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority Panel of Experts.

Business Newsroom asked Alan what he is bringing to LBS and how he’ll be approaching his role as adjunct professor:

My key attributes that will benefit the La Trobe Business School are my knowledge of the Australian Higher Education sector and my breadth of expertise, with special emphasis on knowledge in quantitative research methodology.
As an Adjunct Professor I will be available for consultation with research students and staff and will present workshops on quantitative research techniques. I will also undertake joint research with staff from the School.

LBS welcomes Alan on board!

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1

In the last 20 years, do you think that the proportion of people living in extreme poverty worldwide has almost doubled, remained more or less the same, or almost halved? Think you know the answer? Take the gapminder quiz here.

Poverty facts

Although the gapminder quiz shows us that a lot of progress has been made, several of us are still rather ignorant about the ‘good news’ facts, and there continues to be a lot of work to be done. About 736 million people still live on less than US $1.90 and day. Many of them lack adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Rapid economic growth in countries such as China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been uneven. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men due to unequal paid work opportunities, education and property (UNDP, 2019). 

Ending poverty by 2030

SDG 1 sets the ambitious target to end poverty in all its forms by 2030, as part of the UN’s Global Goals/SDG agenda. Poverty eradication is central to the Global Goals, and achievement of all Goals is closely tied to the achievement of Goal 1. Poverty impedes the full participation of people in society and the economy. A society free from poverty is more peaceful, stable, innovative and equal (SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019).

From a Business School perspective, we have a responsibility to ensure that future business leaders take the responsibility to prevent and address human and labour rights violations, and identify and avoid practices that perpetuate poverty traps. All companies are linked to global poverty, particularly through their supply chains, and have a responsibility to work towards eliminating negative impacts to the Goal. A useful tool for assessing such impacts is the UN Global Compact’s Poverty Footprint Tool. The UN Global Compact has also developed a Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs, which serves as a useful guide on how business can engage with and address the SDGs in their principled approach to SDG action. 

SDG Video

The first video in the SDG series was produced by our CR3+ Partner Audencia Business School from Nantes, France.  In the video, Dr Céline Louche discusses the sustainable development goal in depth, looking at the definition of poverty, the different perspectives to poverty (need-focused and people-focused) and the consequences of poverty; social exclusion, poor mental and physical health, and unfair working conditions. Céline also explains the targets of SDG 1, such as eradicating extreme poverty, implementing social protection systems and building resilience to climate-related extreme events, and the role of businesses in reaching these targets. The video finishes with an interview with Victoria Mandefield, an Audencia student and founder of the social enterprise “Soliguide” – a multimodal platform providing homeless people and refugees with helpful information.

Please enjoy the presentation:

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

Get involved!

As a PRME Champion School, LBS has access to several Working Groups made up of a global pool of like-minded researchers on the various SDG themes.  There is a PRME Working Group on SDG 1- Poverty, whose aim is to challenge business education to advocate for the integration of poverty-related discussions into all levels of management education worldwide. Their vision is grounded in the belief that:

  • Poverty is a legitimate topic for discussion and research in schools of business and management.
  • Business should be a catalyst for innovative, profitable and responsible approaches to poverty reduction.
  • Multiple stakeholder engagement is needed for innovative curriculum development.

To find out more, or join the working group please visit the UN PRME website (here).

You can also submit a paper on a topic related to SDG 1 to the CR3+ Conference that LBS is hosting from 24-25 October 2019, along with our CR3+ partners.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:

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