Our 4th EMBA Cohort was scheduled to take the Business Ethics and Sustainability module during their classes from 1st to 3rd February with Dr Alison Stowell, Senior Lecturer Of Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).
During this trip to Accra, Dr Stowell facilitated a Breakfast Seminar on 31st January, 2019 at the Golden Tulip Hotel which brought current and prospective MBA students, as well as professionals from different industries together.
At the seminar, which had the theme 'Loopy Management: For a sustainable future, businesses must go round in circles', Dr Stowell stressed on the importance of ethical leadership and businesses thinking outside the box, and coming up with new and exciting ways to recycle and limit.
After her presentation, the attendees were given an exercise which provided further insights into and foresights about the challenges businesses and organisations face trying to shift away from extractive industry practices to models of circularity. During this exercise these attendees brought together their experiences from different industries and backgrounds and tasked to discuss and share their findings and conclusions with the other groups.
Each group then nominated a representative to give a summary of their discussions, which are outlined below:
• Group 1 used the textile industry as the main focus of their discussions since one of the members had worked in this industry for several years. This group explored the idea of reusing textiles to make scattered pillows, curtains and artwork.
• Representatives from Group 2 spoke about their discussions on various technological products and how they could be reused. An interesting suggestion was that production companies could incorporate a system whereby people return old products such as mobile phones and laptops, and upgrade to newer models at a discounted rate. The companies would then recycle the old products.
• Group 3 shared a summary of their discussions on how to recycle cardboard boxes into furniture and other items for use in the household. They looked at these from two angles – individuals doing it themselves, and logistics companies doing this on a much larger scale
• The discussions that took place in Group 4 were centred around plastic waste and what some local companies are doing to recycle them. They stressed on the importance of teaching people to recycle, and seeing this as a community activity rather than a singular person or organisations' responsibility.
This seminar encouraged attendees to become mindful of and start thinking about loopy management and circular economy. It also allowed them to think of and share practical ideas of how to reuse some products we use in our everyday lives.
Alison Stowell's research interests focus on social and organisational responses to the challenges of waste. Her specific areas of interest include: Organisation and management responses, waste policy, negotiating values attributed to waste and waste as a particular type of work. Although, for the past 10 years her preoccupation has focused on electronic waste (e-waste e.g. computers, laptops, mobile telephones etc), her curiosity relates to most forms. She currently teaches different modules at the undergraduate and postgraduate level in Lancaster University, UK.