The 4th edition of the International Sustainability Conference, hosted by Lagos Business School (LBS), First Bank Sustainability Centre took place today, Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
The conference themed “Business as Catalyst for Sustainable Development” had in attendance various leaders from different sectors of the Nigerian economy, discuss ways in which businesses can contribute to the social development, social progress and economic growth of the community or environment.
In his opening remarks, Dr Chris Ogbechie, Head, Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, LBS, spoke on the significance of businesses having a tenable impact on the society. “Businesses should provide a significant net positive return for society at large, this is because they have enormous opportunities to use their skills and their expertise to shape and solve society problems” he said.
In the keynote address titled: “Business as a Partner in Achieving Sustainable Development”, Mutiu Sunmonu, Chairman, Julius Berger Nigeria, explained how businesses can contribute to the sustainable development of the society, in order to eradicate poverty. “Sustainable development is anything that can contribute to the long term goal of the society, and human endeavor in a balanced way. Businesses need to help in raising the voices of the poor, the legislative houses must speak up for the poor and start a call of action for them in order to completely eradicate poverty” he said.
Speaking on the concept of the creation of innovative business models for the promotion of sustainable development, Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre, PAU stressed on the ways in which the poor or less privileged promote innovative thinking. “Do not treat poor people like they are the victims because a lot of innovation comes from the grass root levels, they are the ones that let you see things you cannot see” he said.
The conference came to an end with a plenary session, discussing the various ways private sector strategies, facilitate and promote sustainable growth.