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We're Turning into a Time of Hope. . .and Moving to a Time of Action, Says World-Renowned Economist Jeffrey D. Sachs During 2007 Bentley/TIME Leadership Forum:

April 25, 2007

 

"We are in a time when great frustration is turning into a time of hope and we are also moving to a time of action," said keynote speaker Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, speaking at the standing-room-only Bentley College 2007 Leadership Forum which this year focused on The Business of Healing our World.

The April 25 event, held on the Bentley campus in Waltham, Mass., was the third forum in a series as part of collaboration with TIME Magazine designed to spotlight critical issues in business ethics, leadership and social responsibility across a variety of industries.

During the event, 25 extraordinary high school students, who have already made a difference in their communities and beyond, were honored as finalists chosen from several hundred nominations for the Bentley Tomorrow25 international leadership competition. This year's winners hailed from around the world - from Turkey to Nebraska, from Nicaragua to Columbia, from Mexico to Massachusetts.

At one point, directing his remarks to the Tomorrow25 students as the leaders of tomorrow, Sachs said, "You're the ones who will have to fulfill some very deep hopes - the hope to build a world without poverty, without hunger and without disease. . .We desperately want a world at peace, a world that is not lived with an 'us versus them' mentality - and a world with a safe and sustainable environment."

Sachs pointed to many world problems that global leaders have committed to solve in this millennium, but said that action has not yet met the "millennium promise." For example, the number of diseases, such as Malaria, is preventable and treatable in developed countries. But Sachs says millions of children in developing countries do not have access to "basic technology" that could prevent and cure a disease such as Malaria.

"So 2-3 million children a year are dying from Malaria and dying on our watch," said Sachs, noting that there was cause for optimism if the popular Fox Television reality show, American Idol, was tackling the problem of Malaria and other issues in the Idol Gives Back campaign, for which viewers and corporations donate money to address social problems both in the U.S. and around the world in developing countries.

Throughout the day, The Business of Healing our World theme brought together an eclectic group of speakers and panelists who represented an especially broad range of experience and expertise. 

J. Terence Carleton '77, chairman of the Bentley Board of Trustees, and Edward J. McCarrick, worldwide president and publisher of TIME, offered the welcoming remarks to the large audience. McCarrick noted that it was "a great honor to collaborate with Bentley on the Leadership Forum and that The Business of Healing our World "is a theme very close to TIME's journalistic heart. . .we must all rise to the challenge and rise to it today," he said.

McCarrick introduced Rick Stengel who took over in May 2006 to become the 16th managing editor of TIME. Just before leading a question-and-answer session with Dr. Sachs, Stengel said, "Bentley's values and the values of TIME are so similar. . . TIME's part in healing and changing the world means that in addition to reporting the news, we have to lead people, to guide people."

A panel of experts included Vikram Akula, founder and CEO, SKS Microfinance; Dean Kamen, founder and president, DEKA Research and Development Company; the Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, M.D., co-pastor of the Bethel AME Church and co-founder of My Sisters' Keeper, Sudan; and David J. Refkin, director of sustainable development, TIME, Inc.

Moderated by Tony Buono, Bentley management professor and coordinator of the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, the four panelists discussed how businesses and organizations can take action to impact global challenges including economic development, environmental issues, and education.

The final morning keynote speaker, Jeffrey Swartz, president and CEO of Timberland, told a captivated audience that business should not be at odds with "doing the right thing. "We want to do justice as part of commerce," he said.

The luncheon keynote speaker, Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of the One Laptop Per Child nonprofit association, discussed the mission of the project which designs and manufactures a low-cost laptop that will be distributed in developing countries, especially where "just being in school is a treat," said Negroponte.

A computer gives a child access to the world with Google as the world's map: "This is no longer a dream but is now being executed," said Negroponte, who is on leave from MIT where he was co-founder and director of the MIT Media Lab.

The Tomorrow25 finalists were honored during the luncheon, lauded for demonstrating initiative and leadership in their schools, communities and organizations; and for showing good citizenship, ethical behavior, social responsibility and character.

 

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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