According to the University of Virginia’s newspaper, The Daily Progress, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration has prepared a new web-based game that will allow students to make ethical choices as they step into the role of a company chief executive. Called BizHero, the web-based game runs on PCs or tablets. It’s structured around several in-game modules — operations, community, human resources, marketing and finance. The player will face issues such as where to allocate funds: a decision to direct more funding toward production means the company’s marketing message might not get disseminated. Not directing enough funding to HR might lead to corporate corruption. “We wanted to create a complex enough world to try to [strategize],” said Darden professor Bobby Parmar, who created BizHero along with Fred Telegdy, a Darden digital curriculum manager. UVa Innovation selected BizHero as one of 10 proof-of-concept projects to participate in a six-month-long crowd-funding initiative.
What a Gaia
Blogger Guy Lane reports that the Gaia Hypothesis just turned 40. In 1973 scientist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis first pitched the the hypothesis, which contends that earth’s living systems (the biosphere) behave like a controlling ‘super-organism’ that tweaks the chemistry of the ocean and the atmosphere to keep conditions suited to its requirements. Gaia is why we are still here, after three billion years of life on Earth. Meanwhile, the biosphere is being chopped down, fished-out, poisoned and dug-up by the humans; and this raises the following questions: Where do the humans fit into this Gaia picture ? And would Gaia be better off without us? Test your knowledge with the Gaia Theory by going to quiz.www.uptospeed.info/gaia-theory/
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) has recognized 25 finalists for its 14th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. The awards program honors businesses for their significant positive impacts in communities around the world.
“This year’s finalists help solve our world’s greatest challenges through business ingenuity, compassion, and collaboration,” said BCLC Executive Director Marc DeCourcey. “It’s an honor to showcase these programs and bring awareness to the impact of businesses in communities.” Awards will be presented in eight categories:
- Best Corporate Steward honors companies with overall values, operational practices, and stakeholder strategies that exemplify “shared value.” This year’s finalists are Capital One Financial Corporation, Office Depot Foundation, UPS, and Tata Consultancy Services.
- Best Commitment to Education Program recognizes initiatives to improve educational outcomes for students. Finalists this year are 3M, Marriott International (The Ritz- Carlton Hotel Company, LLC), and Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Best Community Improvement Program recognizes strategic work to improve local communities. This year’s finalists are ITT Exelis, PMFTC Inc., and Transamerica.
- Best Disaster Response & Community Resilience Programrecognizes companies for responding to disasters and creating more resilient communities. This year’s finalists are Allstate, IBM, and Xylem.
- Best Economic Empowerment Program recognizes work to empower individuals through financial inclusion and
- business empowerment initiatives. This year’s finalists are Citi, UPS, and Walmart.
- Best Environmental Stewardship Program recognizes accomplishments in addressing environmental issues. This year’s finalists are Coca-Cola de Ecuador S.A., Hilton Worldwide, and Lockheed Martin.
- Best Health and Wellness Program recognizes efforts to improve the health and wellness of employees or communities. This year’s finalists are: The Dow Chemical Company, Health Care Service Corporation, and Merck
- Best Partnership, created in 2006 as the first “people’s choice” award in corporate citizenship, honors excellence in business-nonprofit collaboration. This year’s finalists are Citi with Financial Aid U, Capital One Financial Corporation with Junior Achievement USA, and The Dow Chemical Company with MyHandicap.
Winners for all categories except Best Partnership are selected by a panel of corporate responsibility stakeholders and experts. The Best Partnership winner is selected by the public through an online voting process. Individuals can vote for their favorite business-nonprofit collaboration now through October 15 at bclc.uschamber.com/vote. Winners in each category will be announced on November 21 at a ceremony hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien in Washington, D.C.
Energy Management Up
Ammir Gill, writing on energymethods.com, reports that Verdantix recently published a study that looked at a variety of global organizations and analyzed their energy efficiency solutions. Verdantix found that more organizations are beginning to research and invest in a variety of energy management solutions, such as energy management software. Some of the main reasons why these organizations are evaluating alternatives are due to rising energy prices, but more importantly, due to increasing amount of energy legislation and penalties. However, many organizations are still very hesitant about investing into various energy management solutions due to the lack of quantifiable benefits as well as being unable to calculate a return on their investment. However, a variety articles and case studies indicate that sustainability and investing in an energy management system has been profitable.
Best Economic Empowerment Program recognizes work to empower individuals through financial inclusion and