EMBA IBL students engage with industry and community leadersOct 01, 2015
Some of Canada’s most respected leaders of extractive resource companies and First Nations communities attended the Beedie School of Business on September 29 to impart leadership insights upon the students of the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership.
Now in its second cohort, the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership (EMBA IBL) is Canada’s only Executive MBA in North America focused on Indigenous Business and Leadership. Like all programs at the Beedie School of Business, the program utilizes an experiential learning ethos, focusing on real-world cases to prepare students for the complex realities of business relating to Indigenous peoples.
Recently, relations between First Nations and resource companies have become regular front-page news and are a major topic of discussion in boardrooms and council meetings across the country. Court decisions, international agreements and evolving practices mean that the issues and challenges are constantly in flux, both for corporate leaders and First Nations.
In light of these trends, instructors at the Beedie School of Business took the opportunity to bring the world into the classroom, inviting four prominent leaders to share their experience and insights with the EMBA IBL students.
Throughout the day the EMBA IBL students engaged with Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Brent Bergeron, executive vice-president of Goldcorp, Robert Gallagher, CEO of New Gold, and Anne Giardini, former director of Weyerhaeuser, now Chancellor of Simon Fraser University.
SFU adjunct professor Glenn Sigurdson, and Jessica Bratty, Senior Associate at the Global Energy, Minerals and Markets (GEMM) Dialogue Series, recruited the guest speakers and planned the session, which allowed the students to meet in small groups with the leaders.
Through this format, the students were able to to interview the leaders candidly about how they had succeeded in making breakthrough agreements, and setting new standards for developing constructive relations for the benefit of both businesses and communities. The class then came together to reflect on key insights of both class members and the guest speakers.
According to Mark Selman, program director of the EMBA IBL, the structure of the day was a perfect illustration of the School’s experiential learning philosophy. “The experience in leadership that these professionals have to offer our students is unsurpassed, and extremely relevant to the teaching within the EMBA IBL program,” said Selman.
“The Beedie School of Business has a long history of engagement with both industry and Indigenous communities, and prides itself on an ethos of experiential learning. Our students benefited greatly from connecting with these respected leaders, and the level of discussion between the guests and the students was inspiring to behold.”
For more information on the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership, visit beedie.sfu.ca/EMBA-Indigenous-Business-Leadership/