Harnessing Small Business Climate Action in Canada
***Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances that this event has been cancelled***
Max Bell School McConnell Visiting Scholar Ndidi Nwuneli will be joined in conversation with two leading professors at McGill, Dror Etzion and Laurette Dubé, who will share insights from their research on leveraging social science, digital tools, ecosystem solutions and convergences to accelerate climate action among Canadian small businesses with lessons for the rest of the world.
Prof. Dror Etzion
Dror Etzion is an associate professor of strategy and organizations at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, and an associate member of the Bieler School of the Environment. He joined McGill in 2004 after receiving his PhD from IESE Business School in Barcelona.
Dror’s research interests are centered on the resolution of grand challenges. Currently, he is exploring the role of inclusive efforts to promote sustainability transitions. Through his research, he argues that emergent initiatives increase the recruitment of diverse stakeholders, foster creativity, and yield impactful social and environmental outcomes.
At McGill, Dror teaches about strategy and sustainability at the Executive, PhD, MBA and undergraduate levels. Prior to his academic career, he worked in the Israeli high-tech sector, and as a consultant in the sustainability space.
Prof. Laurette Dubé
Originally trained as a nutritionist, with graduate degrees in finances (MBA), marketing (MPS), and behavioral decision making/consumer psychology (PhD), Laurette Dubé is Full Professor and holds the James McGill Chair of consumer and lifestyle psychology and marketing at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University. Dr. Dubé’s lifetime research interest bears on the study of affects, behavioral economics, and neurobehavioral processes underlying consumption, lifestyle, and health behavior. Her translational research examines how such knowledge can inspire more effective behavioral change and ecosystem transformation.
Dr. Dubé is also the founding chair and scientific director of the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), a unique initiative to push the boundaries of disciplinary and complexity sciences to help individuals, communities, businesses, social enterprises, and governments to tackle, better than has been possible thus far, the most pressing societal and economic problems facing the world that lies at the nexus between agriculture, health and wealth production, consumption and distribution. With a strong focus on harnessing the power of business as a catalyst for real-world change, the MCCHE operates through collaboration of private sector organizations with NGO/social enterprises, policy makers and academics at community, state, national and global levels to elaborate whole-of-Society solutions that promote convergence through local and systemic changes. Behavioral economics, decision neuroscience, spatial-temporal statistics, and computational systems science models are at the core of real time learning enabled by this transdisciplinary research action approach.
Beyond books and scientific publications in the leading scientific journals of her field, including Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Management Information System Quarterly and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, her transdiciplinary work has been presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Her work has been covered in general audience and business publications such as Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Economist.
Dr. Dubé received the YMCA Women of Distinction Award for the social sciences in 2011 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on social innovation, African agriculture and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and youth development. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant. She is the Max Bell School of Public Policy's McConnell Visiting Scholar for 2021-2022.
Mrs. Nwuneli started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in Chicago, New York, and Johannesburg. She returned to Nigeria in 2000 to serve as the pioneer executive director of FATE Foundation, supporting young entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. In 2002, she established LEAP Africa to inspire, empower, and equip a new cadre of principled, disciplined, and dynamic young leaders in Africa. In the same year, she established NIA to support female university students in Nigeria to achieve their highest potential.
Over the past 13 years, she has focused exclusively on transforming the African agriculture and nutrition landscape. Through her work as the co-founder and Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, she has partnered with a range of private and public sector organizations to implement ecosystem solutions in the African agriculture and food landscapes. As the co-founder of AACE Foods, which produces a range of packaged spices, seasonings, and cereals for local and international markets, Mrs. Nwuneli has propelled the growth of a catalytic business. As the founder of Nourishing Africa, a digital home for food and agriculture entrepreneurs operating on the African Continent, she is accelerating the growth of the ecosystem and supporting entrepreneurs in 35 African countries. Her latest start-up—Changing Narratives Africa—is building bridges by showcasing the Continent’s contributions to the global food ecosystem and scaling proudly African food and beverage brands.
Nwuneli serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), AGRA, Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Heineken), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, Fairfax Africa Holdings Canada, Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Netherlands, and the African Philanthropy Forum. She previously served on the Boards of Nestle Nigeria Plc., the World Vegetable Center and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Nwuneli was recognized as a Young Global Leader and a Schwab Social Innovator by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor from the Nigerian Government. She was listed as one of the 20 Power African Women by Forbes, on the 2019 100 Most Influential Africans List by New African Magazine and was a Harvard Business School 2021 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Honoree. She is a TED Global speaker.
Nwuneli is the author of "Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact," and "Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses," both published by Routledge. She is also the author of “Working for God in the Marketplace.”
She holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow.