Impact For Good
This year’s edition of the Dean’s Report is the last of three connected reports. The first stressed engagement, the second innovation and this one impact. We approached the reports this way because engagement, innovation and impact exist as a chain of dependent elements. Break one link and the others fall away.
While all three work together, impact is the most important of them. We build relationships with alumni, donors and other members in our community in the hope that our engagement will lead to innovations that produce impact. If our partnerships, as well as the new ideas that flow from them, don’t result in impact, our engagement is simply conversation, our innovation merely invention.
Impact for inspiration, evaluation, motivation—and to be relevant
Considered in this light, impact means three things to us at the Telfer School. First, it is a source of inspiration. Impact is the animating spirit of all our activities. Second, it is a method of evaluation. We support new approaches that we deem to have an impact and adjust accordingly those we believe could have greater impact. Again, new ideas and products that don’t serve useful purposes aren’t innovations. And third, impact is a motivator. When we make an impact, we feel great as individuals and as an institution, encouraging us to achieve even more.
I would go even one step further and stress the importance of impact for good. It’s not enough to make businesses more profitable. We strive to improve the quality of people’s lives, of businesses and organizations, and of communities. Through our teaching, research and service, we want our school to be a relevant and positive force in the life of our city, province and country—indeed, the world. While we aspire to this broad ambition implicitly whenever we engage, I state this fact explicitly so that everyone at the Telfer School, as well as our current and prospective partners, can take it from the back of their minds and move it to the front.
Impact for good explicitly and everyday
Making this move is important. Our school must continue to put impact for good front of mind and use this explicit awareness to produce more thought leaders, nurture more entrepreneurs, create even more new knowledge and influence how it’s applied in courses, programs and actual businesses. This past year, I’ve seen the impact for good our school is having on students, faculty members and researchers, as well as professions, organizations and communities.
We’ve transformed how students learn. The changes we’ve made to deliver the Telfer MBA and our Master of Business in Complex Project Leadership are prime examples. Our graduate program in complex project leadership includes projects that enable students to accelerate and enhance what they learn. Our MBA program includes technological elements so that students can do more advanced work within the program and get more out of it.
We’ve invested in globalization. Our Executive MBA is proof. We now have a higher level of engagement from client organizations, with many clients traveling with the EMBA teams, given the substantiated measurable output from our candidates on the engagement. We plan these projects for eight months, and then students take part in them for a week. The projects are designed to help companies from our region go global, which helps them grow and gives our students valuable experience.
We’ve generated greater knowledge on a range of fronts. Pension plans, family enterprises, behaviour in workplaces, and women in leadership positions are just four areas in which our faculty members, researchers and students have expanded and enriched what the world knows.
We’ve fostered experiential learning. The remarkable success again this year of our Enactus uOttawa team, led by Telfer students, is an excellent example of how we’ve taken learning outside the traditional classroom environment. Our Enactus team spearheads multiple social entrepreneurship projects locally and in Canada’s North. One of them is The Growcer, which enables northerners to use large, specially designed containers to grow vegetables year round. Enactus students also manage the Legacy Conference, Canada’s largest student led entrepreneurship conference.
We’ve supported scholarships and strategic priorities. Our scholarships allow us to assist Telfer students when they participate in international exchanges and allow us to bring students from diverse backgrounds and experiences into our school. Giving these students financial support enables them to earn degrees they would be otherwise unable to finish, and then go on to make an impact for good in their own ways.
Impact for 50 years
The year ahead marks our school’s fiftieth anniversary. We’ll celebrate in many ways, but we will also showcase the impact the School is having on all fronts. Stay tuned for details. Even more importantly, get involved in our commemoration festivities. We have much impact for good to celebrate and much more to achieve in the months and years to come!
o Engagement with our stakeholders provides the basis for innovation at Telfer. Innovation in our programs and research creates world-class impact in our communities. Impact enables us to achieve our school’s mission. Learn more about these 3 themes »