Summary of project proposal:
The societal problems we face transcend sectors and disciplines, and while businesses and organizations are well-positioned to solve them, they need responsible leadership. Unfortunately, the future situations students will find themselves in are ambiguous and difficult; determining what’s best for all stakeholders is challenging. The solution is not simply teaching students about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, but it also entails giving them hands-on experiences with creative problem-solving about leading responsibly.
This is why we four students, Ben Weymiller, Emily Menz, Nabilla Gunawan, and Ricky Perry with support from the Global Business Center and Foster’s Certificate of International Studies in Business program (CISB), have formed a planning committee for the Global Leadership Summit on April 24th. Its purpose is to convene a campus-wide dialogue on CSR and sustainability in different sectors, and provide practical creative problem-solving experiences for students. A campus that doesn’t speak to these issues in a sustained and comprehensive way is letting its own students down by not properly preparing them for a present and future that demands, if not depends on, greater social responsibility and sustainability in leadership.
The Summit will focus on responsible leadership in socially-responsible business, public health, cross-sector collaboration, and cultivating change in your future career, all in a global context. Through its workshop and panel format, the Summit will provide a space for UW students, the Seattle community, and other curious learners of the Pacific Northwest to engage with real-world cases and discussions on topics related to leading responsibly and sustainably in the world. The element of leadership we believe most fundamental to enacting change is the willingness to learn from everyone and everything, and help others do the same. In the end, the mission of our summit is about helping students become hands-on learners in the field of CSR and sustainability so that when they face ambiguous situations or companies with dubious corporate governance, they can act responsibly and teach others to do the same.
Briefly explanation of how the project will meet the requirements and preferences of the CSF:
- Environmental Impact
This kind of public education can have huge implications for how our students come to act mindfully as future leaders, to unite a more and more ideologically polarized world. Students going into public policy, research, business, and health organizations can catalyze change in their roles that help mitigate and heal our environment. With responsible leaders in our government, corporations, and research institutes, these entities can be more easily enlisted in improving community health, green tech innovation, and ending global hunger. Moreover, students who attend the summit and get involved with environmentally-minded RSOs as a result of mingling at the reception or working together in the workshops will go on to strengthen their RSO’s projects and create a more sustainable campus.
- Student Leadership & Involvement
Any project or change that has progressed in history surely hasn’t come about through one person. Teamwork is a prerequisite for achieving lasting change and is a product of its members’ willingness to serve, learn, and lead. The Summit’s primary student leaders are Ben Weymiller from the Certificate of International Studies in Business program, Nabilla Gunawan from Net Impact UW, Emily Menz from ReThink UW, and Ricky Perry from Husky Global Affairs. Surrounding these individuals are the members of their RSOs and the programs they represent. It is our belief that the summit’s success rests on the involvement of students from all disciplines on campus. It was a student’s idea that bore the idea for this summit just last year, and it has been student energy and consultation that has evolved the idea to its present state, a tradition that will surely carry on in the years to come.
- Education, Outreach, & Behavior Change
The Summit will quite possibly be students’ first step in engaging with and discussing sustainability and social responsibility in a global context. The Summit offers the very practical experiences that teach students, hands-on, how to become learners in complex and sensitive fields so that when they face ambiguous situations they can act responsibly and teach others to learn how to do the same. The strategies and experience developed through this project will thus continue to help students in serving their communities.
Several learning goals the planning committee has for the students that attend the Summit are to:
- Grow students’ awareness of ethical and healthy business and environmental considerations in an international context through experience and practical application
- Build students’ creative problem-solving ability through cases and discussions that span different cultures and national contexts
- Connect students from different backgrounds to different RSOs and campus organizations that strive to continue the conversation through real-world applications
Collaborating with diverse groups at UW and leveraging cultural and ideological differences is important to producing an event that serves the many sub-communities in our world. The planning committee’s members came together in part because they believe they can conduct outreach and engage with UW’s diverse sub-communities and RSOs, and in doing so, make this less of a one-off event, and more of a catalyst for change.
Changing behavior is difficult; we are, after all, creatures of habit. Notwithstanding this, the Summit seeks to take students down one step of the way in a learning process of how to effectively advocate and express their ideas for sustainability and social responsibility. Each student will bring their own background and beliefs to the event, and all we can hope is to spark a conversation with them and encourage them to continue it the next day and the day after that.
- Feasibility, Accountability, & Sustainability
Each planning committee member has experience with outreach, large event planning, and a familiarity with the Summit’s key concepts of social responsibility and sustainability in global leadership. Be it through planning the Global Health Business Case Competition, or curating insightful and engaging speakers for club meetings, it is our collective experience that has guided and will continue to guide our efforts and ambitions for the Summit.
While we each hold each other accountable for our commitments and action items, we still have regular check-ins with our mentors at the Global Business Center (Theresa Maloney), and Certificate of International Business program (Deanna Fryhle), with Theresa being our main contact helping with logistics and administrative support. We also look forward to working closely with CSF staff if awarded a small grant in order to ensure funds are used properly, as well as to share any ideas on how to improve the Summit or post-event efforts.
Institutionalizing the Summit and its values is the very task students who attend our discussions and Summit will be charged with when they go on to advocate for responsible leadership in their own organizations. This being the second year the Summit has been held, it was the vision of the first student planning committee to institutionalize this event for generations of students to come. After bringing this event back and creating infrastructure for it to continue, the goal of this year’s planning committee is to adapt the way the Summit is planned allowing for the content to be curated specifically around the present needs of the student body for any given year
Estimated Project Budget
Total Planned Expenses: $2,640
Non-Food Related Expenses: $840
- Venue Fee ($140)
- 6 Poster boards (2 for advertising,41 for day-of-event details) ($210)
- Catering of Food and Drink for 150 people ($1800)
- Parking permits for speakers ($100)
- 20 color tabloids ($150)
- Student photographer ($90)
- Digital advertisements (150)
- Student Planning Committee Meeting Timeline (Thursdays 10:30 -11:30)
- Weekly from 10/24 to day of the event
- Advisor Planning Committee Check-in Meeting Timeline (Thursdays 12:00-1:00)
- Weekly to biweekly from 10/24 to day of the event
- End of November - First wave of reaching out to speakers
- End of January - Solidify Speaker list
- Present - Finalize speaker list and event format, supplement weaker panels with UW subject matter experts
- 3/20 - Finalize logo and promo materials
- Listserv blurbs, quarter sheets, full-size posters (print and digital)
- 4/1 - Finalize Facebook event page and make public
- 4/5 - Increase Outreach Efforts
- Share and promote the event on Facebook
- Deliver quarter-sheet handouts to advising offices and desks
- Contact school listservs (GBC, JSIS, etc)
- Connect with points of contact on other campuses
- 4/1 - Add RSVP google form to Facebook event and promo materials
- 4/15 - Finalize Volunteer List
- Set-up, Room Leads, Clean-up
- 4/24 - Global Leadership Summit (Manage Day-of Logistics)
- 4/29 - Send out Feedback surveys to Volunteers, Participants, and Speakers
- 5/2 - Planning Committee Meeting to assess efforts and determine a path forward for next year