Where you have come from and what do you teach?
I am a professor at the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario in Canada, where I teach business strategy and sustainability courses to undergraduates, graduates and executives. One of the favorite courses I teach, ‘Corporations and Society’, tackles fundamental issues about the evolving role that businesses play in modern society. I am also the Director of the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre, and much of my research focuses on the energy sector, which is a significant part of the Canadian economy.
What interested you in the Erskine Programme/Why did you want to come to UC?
One of my professors at Berkeley was David Teece, who is a UC alumnus, so I had heard a lot of positive things from him about New Zealand and Christchurch. Although he lives mainly in California, he still maintains strong connections with New Zealand and UC, and his accent is still unmistakably Kiwi. I actually learnt about the Erskine Programme from a faculty member in the science department at my university who had had an Erskine position several years ago, and he couldn’t praise it highly enough. The Business School at UC has world-class faculty in sustainability and management, so the prospect of visiting for an extended period was extremely appealing.
Guy with two of his children, Alexander and Georgina, enjoying the natural beauty of Riccarton Bush
What have you been doing at UC?
I am co-teaching undergraduate and MBA courses on business sustainability topics along with my host, Professor Michaela Balzarova. We each bring our own perspectives to the material (mine being economics), so the courses are a real fusion of expertise. We are having fun teaching the classes together and I think (hope) the students are benefiting from our individual approaches and contributions.
I am also developing a joint paper on solar power in New Zealand, and am finishing up several papers on energy regulation. There are a lot of academic seminars and lectures happening around campus so I’ve taken the opportunity to explore outside my own discipline – the debate on “Tyranny and Crises of Democracy: What we can learn from Antiquity”, chaired by Peter Field, Dean of Arts, and the lecture by Dame Carol Robinson on “What’s Really Inside your Medicine Cabinet?” were both excellent events with high quality speakers.
What have you most enjoyed about your time here at UC/Christchurch?
It’s hard to know where to begin. Hanging out on Friday afternoons at the staff club – one of the most charming and congenial university clubs I have visited – chatting with other staff and Erskine visitors. Meeting so many welcoming new people on and off campus. Exploring Christchurch and the surrounding area with the family at weekends – the botanical gardens, Canterbury museum, Rollicking Gelato, Sumner beach, fireworks at Hagley Park, Akaroa. We have also enjoyed a day trip picnicking at Castle Hill and wading through Cave Spring. A highlight so far has been driving over the mountains and trekking in the rain up to Franz Joseph Glacier (though I think the kids would have preferred the Margaret Mahy playground). The kids are enjoying their time at school where they have been welcomed by students and teachers.
I have to thank the Erksine Program staff and my faculty host, Professor Balzarova, for being exceptionally helpful and hospitable, and making the transition to UC and Christchurch as smooth as possible. This has played a large part in making the experience so rewarding and enjoyable.