For Ivey Professor Tima Bansal, receiving an honorary doctorate from Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam at an upcoming ceremony is not just an honour, but a sign of increasing recognition that sustainable business practices can make a difference.
"This honorary doctorate signals the importance that business schools and businesses, more generally, are placing on sustainability in business," she said.
This will be the third honorary doctorate for Bansal, who is a professor of General Management, Sustainability, and Strategy. Bansal also has honorary doctorates from the University of Hamburg and the Université de Montréal.
Building sustainable connections between academia and industry
Bansal will be recognized on November 23 at VU Amsterdam’s 143rd anniversary ceremony, which is fittingly themed The Power of Hidden Networks. VU Amsterdam cites that Bansal knows better than anyone how to build sustainable networks between academia and the business world. The honour recognizes Bansal’s contributions to education, research, and practice in fostering business sustainability, particularly her efforts to bring academia and industry together to advance sustainability.
That work includes founding and leading Innovation North (formerly the Innovation Learning Lab), which collaborates with large enterprises to co-create a sustainability-focused approach to innovation. It also includes founding the Network for Business Sustainability, a non-profit that advances sustainable development through knowledge-sharing across an international community of business leaders, scholars, students, and policy-makers.
Pioneering sustainability education
Bansal is known for her leadership in shaping sustainability within business schools. She spearheaded sustainability curriculum at Ivey, making the School a pioneer in that area. She also founded and led Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV) for many years. The BSV Centre is one of the first sustainability centres in a business school globally. Bansal is currently Chair of the Board of Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a United Nations initiative aiming to advance business schools’ commitment to sustainability in research and curriculum.
She has also received significant accolades for her scholarship. Among her many awards, Bansal holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability and the Hellmuth Prize from Western University and she is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Academy of Management.