Partnering for impact on the SDGs: from local to global

A JCU Public seminar series

Cairns: Cairns Institute Lecture Theatre (D003-054)

Townsville: Science Place Lecture Theatre (142-111)

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address global challenges: poverty, inequality, climate, environmental change, prosperity, peace and justice.

In 2016, JCU became the first Australian university signatory to the SDGs. Through this commitment, JCU seeks to support and promote the principles of the SDGs through its research, teaching, and operations.

This seminar series seeks to demonstrate JCU’simpact on the SDGs from the local to the global. This series celebrates the applied research of JCU researchers and their external partners across Cairns, Townsville, the Wet Tropics, Northern Australia, and the Asia-Pacific. The 6-month program will include presentations on JCU’s large-scale projects led by senior researchers and our professorial team, and new and emergent projects being undertaken by PhD Candidates and Early Career Researchers.

Seminar 4 - The business of SDGs

4 - 5pm 29 July 2019

Presentation 1 - TBA
Professor Biman Prasad - Director, Fiji Institute of Applied Studies and Member of Parliament in Fiji

Professor Prasad is a highly recognised international scholar in the Asia Pacific, contributing significantly to the debates on social and economic development issues in the region.  He has been a Dean of the Business and Economics Faculty at the University of the South Pacific.  He is currently Director, Fiji Institute of Applied Studies and Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition National Federation Party in Fiji. His research interests include sustainable and inclusive economic development, food security and agricultural development, value chains, micro-businesses, gender and development, governance in development contexts, institutional constraints and organisational development, poverty, economic development and environmental sustainability (e.g. climate change, zonal development, renewable energy), social capital, and a range of social development issues.  He has published extensively on these issues in academic peer reviewed papers.   Professor Prasad is Associate Editor of the Journal of Fijian Studies and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pacific Studies.

Prof Prasad has undertaken research and consultancy projects for international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Food and Agricultural Organisation, the World Trade Organisation, Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and governments in the Pacific region.  Prof Prasad travelled extensively around the world to present keynote papers at many international conferences over the last several years. He has been a visiting Professor at Kagoshima University in Japan, Jawaharlal Nehru University in Indian and at Otago University in New Zealand. Professor Prasad has taught the WTO Regional Trade Policy Course for the Asia-Pacific region at the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.   He is an adjunct professor at a number of Universities in the Asia Pacific, including James Cook University, Griffith University and Punjabi University in India. He was a Steering Committee member of the AusAID report on the Pacific for 2009 and 2010.  He has been a member of key international networks such as Chair of Oceania Development Network and member of Global Development Networks and Pacific Research Network. He is currently a board member of the Global Development Network.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics and Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of the South, He also holds a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and Doctor of Philosophy in economics from the University of Queensland.

Presentation 2 - Employment Law for a sustainable future - Presenting from Townsville
Louise Floyd, Associate Professor of Law, College of Business, Law and Governance

How can there be a future if there is not sustainable employment? If people do not work, what is to be said of their identity and financial independence? If computers, artificial intelligence and the gig economy threaten the employability of man, what happens to man and the planet? If economies base themselves on employment solely in mining, then can environmental objectives be achieved? As developing economies seek to grow, how can jobs be developed so as to make the most of the third sector and responsible government tendering?

Presentation 3 - Role of private enterprise in achieving the SDGs
Luke Spiller, James Cook University, Brisbane

The capacity of the private sector to influence cultural change for good or ill is qualified by history. Those outcomes are determined by the role these actors choose to play within nation-states and how they engage with the international order. What is yet to be fully qualified is the effectiveness of a top down approach, a global administrator in effecting positive, sustainable development. Relying on a single institution  to administer order and drive sustainable development through incentivisation, mentorship or force is a big ask. The researcher argues that there is a group that has the greatest potential to influence change toward the achievement of multiple SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) within any nation. The educated business-class. The logic of this claim and the role of the international business school is the primary focus of this research. By studying the changing motivations of post-graduate business students from commencement to completion, exciting trends are emerging. A closer look at the factors influencing those changes are being identified. Additionally, observations on what will be needed to see students evolving  expectations align with study outcomes are explored. Finally, a model for the timing and selection of collaborative teams during studies is being developed at JCUB with the aim of seeing successful, home-country social entrepreneurship, driven by graduates whose visions align with the SDG’s.

Refreshments provided. All welcome.


Seminar 5 - 29 August - Urban planning and design for the SDGs

Seminar 6 - 26 September - Leadership for the SDGs