We believe that a better world is everyone’s business, and that everyone can contribute to the cause. As a premier research University, knowledge generation is where we excel. But more than just creation, with the help of students and faculty from across the University, we aspire to be a hub of research activity that leads to action and impacts society.
To engage and connect with the expertise available across the University, we established a series of monthly Lunchtime Conversations. These informal sessions are designed to be a place to share unique perspectives and knowledge on topics surrounding the intersection of business and the UN Global Goals. Ultimately, we see them as vehicles to drive research, curriculum, and policy action at the University.
Studying Honey Bee Health
The honey bee, a naturalized species of pollinator, is responsible for pollinating approximately $15 billion worth of crops annually in the US alone. As humans modify the natural landscape, understanding honey bees’ resource base and what makes their populations healthy is important economically and in terms of food security. If bees don’t thrive, neither do we.
In partnership with Fairfax County and Covanta, the Center’s Honey Bee Initiative has established 24 hives on a former landfill to assess the connections between honey bees and their local environment, specifically with regard to the pollen resources they use and contaminants that they might introduce to and accumulate within their hives.
This work will help us learn whether honey bee hives are sufficiently provisioned throughout the seasons and what sort of plants they rely on. It will also inform the degree to which heavy metal contamination is in their foraging range. This knowledge will help inform action that ensures continued health for this important pollinator species.
Measuring Corporate Contribution to Society
To articulate, define, and measure the stakeholder value being created by our public corporations, B4BW is creating and launching a Stakeholder Value Creation Index.
With an eye toward eventual publication and influencing industry leaders and policy makers, this index will provide a holistic, objective, and relevant set of measures that will assist both our students and faculty in their research and pedagogy. Whether they reside in business or academia, the next generation of change leaders must be able to apply knowledge and data gleaned from across all stakeholders of a business to inform and assess business decisions, corporate governance, and policy making.