ISID’s Executive Education Program: Practical lessons in business

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012

Phil Oxhorn (left) and Robin McLay at the ISID's conference on resource extraction industries in March. / Photo: Owen Egan.

By Carly Grossman

McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) and the law firm of Fasken Martineau have teamed up to launch their new Executive Education Certificate Program in Corporate Social Responsibility.

The five-day intensive program, entitled Corporate Social Responsibility: Creating Value Through Collaborative Sustainable Development, will be held at McGill’s downtown campus during the second week of November and will focus on preparing participants to work in this emerging field. The already sold-out session with a growing wait list, is intended for professionals in the private and public sectors, including those who work for international organizations, consulting companies, nongovernmental and community organizations.

“ISID is pleased to announce this new program delivered through this unique partnership with Fasken Martineau,” said Phil Oxhorn, founding Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development. “We welcome this active collaboration and are confident it will have important benefits for both organizations as well as offering business representatives, NGO’s and public officials practical solutions to some of today’s most pressing development challenges.”

As he explains, the program is designed to introduce participants to leading-edge thinking and practical applications of CSR, as well as to enable them to learn and work directly with key leaders from other types of organizations.

One of those key leaders and a member of this session’s impressive teaching team is Kevin O’Callaghan, the Vancouver-based Partner and co-chair of Fasken Martineau’s Corporate Social responsibility Group. O’Callaghan adds that both the public and private sector are confronted with mounting pressure to integrate economic, environmental and social issues and simultaneously, to deliver increasing value to their stakeholders.

“Businesses are increasingly faced with responsibilities to develop CSR programs and initiatives and this new training course will describe best practices and provide both a legal and practical understanding of this evolving field,” explains O’Callaghan, who says this new certificate program aims to give participants the skills and strategies to better prepare themselves within their respective organizations.

Needless to say, due to the high demand of their first session, plans are already underway to host the second in the series in April 2013 in Capetown, South Africa. This comes on the heels of ISID’s other successful course in their burgeoning Executive Education Program, which focuses primarily on international development work.

Designed for individuals who are interested in working overseas or pursuing careers in international development, ISID’s Executive Program in International Development is ideal for people looking to manage a major career transition into this realm, as well as those who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and understanding of important global issues and trends.

The four-day program includes an introduction to international development theories, concepts, approaches, and policy frameworks relating to international development taught by some of North America’s leading academics and practitioners. It also includes insights into how best to leverage one’s existing skills and expertise to pursue work opportunities, including post-program support to develop tailor-made work plans and ongoing mentorship. While the courses are non-credit, participants receive a Certificate of Completion from the Institute.

The first in this series was held in Montreal in October 2011 and ISID’s Executive Director Robin McLay says it too exceeded any and all expectations.

“We originally planned for 20 seats, but before we knew it, more than 40 were sold,” says McLay, who admits that some had tried to deter him with warnings that registration is typically low for similar executive programs. Just the opposite happened.

The Institute recently held its second Program, this time in Vancouver, and plans are underway to host new ones in Rome (March 2013) and Johannesburg (May 2013).

McLay says the Program continues to attract a diverse group and participants have included CEOs of corporations, government officials, and participants from as far away as the Middle East, West Africa and Europe. And with a teaching team that has included the likes of David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, representatives from CIDA and an impressive array of professors from ISID, the upcoming programs promise more exciting line-ups.

“We are always looking for more outreach opportunities,” says McLay, who credits Oxhorn’s strong vision and mandate of creating research and teaching with relevance and impact. “This Program is something real and tangible.”

To learn more about the ISID, go here.

Please contact Justin Miletti to be placed on the wait-list and for information regarding future offerings.

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