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Occupy Lombard! Asper Business School takes the ’occupy‘ challenge
Posted Monday, December 12, 2011 1:51 PM
 
NEWS
 
On Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9, the I.H. Asper School of Business will host two interactive public forums on economic inequality and business.

With the backdrop of current public debate about economic inequality, these forums will focus on the relationship between businesses and societal inequality — the basis for the “Occupy” movement.

The public forums will feature panels of experts speaking on the issue “What is ‘Occupy’ and how should business respond?” The panels will be followed by a moderated discussion with the audience.

The first panel takes place December 8, beginning at 5:00 p.m., at the U of M’s James W. Burns Executive Education Centre on Lombard Avenue in downtown Winnipeg. This forum is designed for business professionals and tailored for a downtown audience.

Panelists for the Lombard forum will be Art DeFehr, president and CEO, Palliser Furniture, Alan Freeman, economist, Michael Benarroch, dean, Asper School of Business at the U of M, and Hari Bapuji, Asper School of Business. The panel is moderated by Reg Litz, Asper School of Business.

A second panel takes place on Friday, December 9, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Fort Garry Campus. This forum is expected to attract students and staff from across the University of Manitoba.

Panelists for the Fort Garry forum will be Brent Bailey, Winnipeg Foundation, Art DeFehr, president and CEO, Palliser Furniture, David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor, U of M, Radhika Desai, political studies at U of M and Hari Bapuji. The second panel will also be moderated by Reg Litz.

U of M Asper School of Business may be the first business school in Canada to take up the challenge after Paul Shrivastava, director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, writing in the Montreal Gazette last month, observed that the Occupy Wall Street movement questions core principles governing modern corporations — principles ostensibly taught by PSE institutions.

Business schools should also question their own complicity in training flawed corporate leaders, stated Shrivastava.

Typical MBA programs skim over business ethics, despite being the training ground of corporate leaders, Shrivastava writes; most business schools teach the art of making money and fail to explore fair corporate governance.

He called it a wake-up call for business schools.

Michael Benarroch, dean of the Asper School of Business said that he is pleased that the event has been organized.

“Business schools need to be more responsive to the negative effects of the growing income gap between the rich and poor. It is our hope that this panel discussion will trigger a wider discussion within the business community,” he said.
 
For more information, contact:
Mariianne Mays Wiebe
Editor, The Bulletin
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bulletin@umanitoba.ca
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