October 22-27, 2009

The 2009 PhD Sustainability Academy is an annual event of the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) hosted by the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, in collaboration with the Network for Business Sustainability and the oikos Foundation for Economy and Ecology, with financial support from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

The PhD Sustainability Academy promotes high-impact scholarship in sustainability, with a focus on multidisciplinary thinking and practice. It offers an experientially rich environment to help nurture and advance research and teaching capabilities and to encourage a broad-based, future-looking dialogue engaging academics, teachers and practicing thought leaders across different domains of sustainability.

The theme of the 2009 academy was Design for Sustainability - we explored how issues, capabilities, practices, organizations, markets and institutions can be (re)designed to promote more socially and environmentally responsible practices.
The five day event brought together 15 doctoral scholars from leading Canadian and global doctoral programs for intensive workshops with the 2009 PhD Sustainability faculty:

Johanna Mair, IESE Business School, University of Navarra

Saras Sarasvathy, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Jim Walsh, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Oana Branzei, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario (Host)

The event featured fire-side chats with Tima Bansal, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and Executive Director of the Network for Business Sustainability and Mike Lenox, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and Founding Member, Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability.

Arlene Gould, Strategic Director for Ontario's Design Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC) and Executive Board Member for Sustainable Buildings Canada offered a workshop on design for sustainability. Siamak Hariri, Founding Partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects, introduced the sustainable concept for the new Ivey building.

The program also included panels and site visits to dialogue with practicing thought leaders, a field trip and a case teaching workshop.

A $500 best-paper award, sponsored by the Research Network for Business Sustainability was awarded to Simona Giorgi, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, for her work on Wild by design? Agency, framing, and joint action mobilization for ecosystem restoration in Chicago.

"The PhD Sustainability Academy was an incredible experience consisting of intensive workshops on our research-in-progress issues with outstanding faculty working hard to push us forward on our research topics, interaction with practitioners working on sustainability issues, field trips and case writing discussions. This type of setting allowed us to build a support network with remarkable peers from all over the world. What was also remarkable was the genuine commitment made by the faculty to provide support beyond the days we spent together […] to see us succeed in the years to come."
Lára Jóhannsdóttir, PhD Candidate, University of Iceland