Hello, I’m John Wilson, the latest person to join the NIBE Board. It’s a great pleasure and honour to be joining this Board, given both the personnel already present and NIBE’s achievements to date.

Just to fill you in on my background, I am currently Professor of Business History at Newcastle Business School (NBS), Northumbria University. Until the end of May I was actually Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business & Law) at that august institution, leading a Faculty of over 330 academics and 20+ professional staff. Prior to that, I was Director of Newcastle University Business School, so I have a very good knowledge of management education and its drivers in this region.

Perhaps one of the reasons why I was invited to join the NIBE Board is that in both recent posts I have sponsored its activities, hosting seminars and providing some resource where possible. I was motivated to do this by my sincere commitment to inculcating a more ethical approach to the study of business, providing students with a more balanced range of educational opportunities.

I see it as a prime duty of business schools to ensure that the students who graduate are capable of pursuing a much more ethical approach to how they will contribute to the organizations that employ them. It has to be said that I am ‘pushing on an open door’ in this respect, because the current generation of students are acutely aware of issues such as climate crisis and the need to develop more sustainable strategies. At the same time, business schools must provide a flourishing environment in which these ideas can develop further and be implemented practically.

This is why at NBS especially we have embedded the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, building on the pioneering work of Professor Ron Beadle and Dr Alex Hope, amongst others. Our work has also attracted the attention of international names in this field, including the architect of the UN’s Goals, Paul Polman, who has several times visited NBS and given inspirational lectures. Apart from this work on the teaching front, our research reputation in this field is recognized as globally influential, contributing extensively to the further development of a more ethical approach to business.

As a member of the NIBE Board I intend to continue developing the University’s strong relationship with business ethics, working as a professor to influence research strategy and contribute extensively to regional and national debates about these subjects. Even though NIBE has made a terrific contribution to the debates, there is still much to do in order to ensure that an ethical approach becomes the norm in businesses of all sizes. I remain optimistic that by working together we can build on the very solid foundations we have all set in place.

John Wilson – Director NIBE