International Trade Centre exec tells graduates the private sector can help level the global development playing field.
When Arancha Gonzalez, executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), addressed the 16th graduating class of The International University in Geneva (IUN) this summer she gave them three pieces of advice: first, to appreciate interdependence and interconnectivity in seeking innovative solutions; second, to work together in order to have the most comprehensive perspective on issues; and third, to value cooperation and partnerships. Gonzalez heads the UN organisation responsible for providing trade-related technical assistance. In that role ITC focuses on assisting small and medium enterprises to compete in international trade, providing business solutions to national and regional trade support organisations, and helping the private sector advocate on trade policy.
Her experience and advice will no doubt be beneficial to the class of 54 graduates who, between them, represented 23 nationalities. IUN prides itself on the diversity of its graduates, many of whom go on to careers with multinationals and organisations like ITC. In fact, some of the graduates whom Gonzalez addressed are already out there—another source of pride for the University (see “The Doctor Is In” below).
Gonzalez spoke of the “interdependency of issues such as poverty and climate change… job creation, access to health and education, empowerment of women and equality for all,” and advocated for trade as a major component in solutions to those problems. She called trade “a framework through which development and empowerment can be harnessed.”
“Trade, along with SMEs,” she said, “is effective in stimulating growth in all parts of developing economies and, therefore, levelling the playing field.” “The private sector, especially the ecosystem of SMEs, can be part of the solution to the global questions that we are grappling with. Equipping them with the tools to better understand and address climate change issues, empowerment priorities especially for women, and quality and employment standards will be a collective win for business and for the global commons.”
Gonzalez said she and ITC have been pushing for recognition of trade as a “means of implementation” for a sustainable future. Clearly these are the kinds of ideals she hopes IUN graduates will subscribe to in their careers.
Gonzalez shared the podium with Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies with products sold in over 190 countries. Both speakers received honorary degrees from The International University in Geneva.
Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) and Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) are part time research based programs in business and public administration with the aim to prepare business managers and future leaders. These degrees are academically rigorous and provide practical professional qualification. They are designed to enable participants to synthesize and develop professional practice, theoretical knowledge and reflexive capability.
A professional doctorate program assumes that the social and business world changes constantly and that modern business leaders and administrators need to encapsulate this continuous change. Through the interaction of theory and practice discourse these doctoral programs aim to empower business leaders and administrators to better understand and prepare themselves to address the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s business and public policy environment. It also aims to enhance individual capabilities to grasp new opportunities and to stride with confidence towards a better future for themselves, their organizations and communities at large. DBA and DPA, thus help in both personal and professional development. Many of the students work full time while pursuing the DBA or DPA. These degrees whilst being equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, are more appropriate to advance professional practice.
The cohort based Doctorate programs are collaboration between Plymouth University (www.plymouth.ac.uk) and the International University in Geneva (www.iun.ch) and are specifically designed so that participants can study while continuing to work full-time. The DBA and DPA degree is awarded by Plymouth University, one of the UK’s most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. The Sunday Times Guide 2011 has named Plymouth as one of the top three modern universities in the UK. The International University in Geneva is an accredited academic institution specializing in business education and has been ranked by Eduniversal.
Article by Peter Carson