No matter how disruptive COVID-19 has been, it has a few far-reaching lessons for humanity. One of the most poignant lessons, for me, is the vulnerability of existing systems and the fragility of all amidst continual disconnectedness. The best systems amount to nothing, without regard for the good of all. Similarly, the strongest of us is no better than a weakling, in the absence of concern for one another. What do town and gown have to do with COVID-19 and the emergent lessons for humanity?
In medieval times, it was commonplace for the academic community to be at daggers drawn with the people of the university’s domicile. The relationship of town and gown was largely adversarial and hardly collaborative. However, with time came a diminishing of the hostility between town and gown. Today, there is an increasing realisation that humanity is better off with the collaboration of town and gown. More than ever before, we need to forge closer ties between researchers and practitioners in all fields of human endeavour.
The gargantuan scale of challenges confronting mankind, including the vulnerability of existing economic, social, political and environmental systems, among others as well as the fragility of humanity amidst continual disconnectedness, imposes an obligation on researchers who yearn for the good of all to reach out to town. Responsible scholars who have an eye on impact and transformation of the less-than-satisfactory state of our economic, social, political and environmental systems have a duty to go to town in search of practitioners who are willing to cocreate practical insights that could lift humanity in various ways.
Africa’s social challenges constitute such a rich and important context, with added interest, novelty, and relevance to scholarly work that academic exploration of same could shape our existing theories and enrich scholarly dialog (George, 2015). However, addressing these challenges and Africa’s attainment of the SDGs by 2030 requires more meaningful integration of African voices and perspectives in a transdisciplinary and problem oriented research within the ﬁeld instead of existing scattered efforts by very few African scholars (Gasparatos et al., 2017).
Since I began my journey of self-discovery and personal development about eight years ago, I have been experiencing an increasing desire to apply myself for the good of all in all my endeavours. My odyssey, so far, has brought me to a stage where I’m a Doctorate of Business Administration candidate at Business School Lausanne, conducting research on how C-suite executives’ leadership fosters the advancement of Corporate Sustainability Performance (CSP) in Nigeria-based organisations.
Since the exigencies of the current Covid-19 pandemic limit face-to-face contacts, I would like to conduct online focus group discussions with C-suite executives to obtain a richer understanding of how C-suite executives provide leadership to advance CSP in Nigeria.
Hence, I solicit the help of C-suite executives of Nigeria-based organisations as participants in a series of online focus group discussions with C-suite executives, that will take about 90 minutes.
Interested participants who would like to provide valuable insights into this study and contribute to knowledge and practice of C-suite leadership of CSP advancement, should please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for us to work out the details and timing.
In conclusion, I appeal to C-suite executives in Nigeria: Let us join hands to cocreate practical insights on leadership for Corporate Sustainability Performance Advancement in Nigeria.
Gasparatos, A., Takeuchi, K., Elmqvist, T., Fukushi, K., Nagao, M., Swanepoel, F., Swilling, M., Trotter, D., & von Blottnitz, H. 2017. Sustainability science for meeting Africa’s challenges: setting the stage. Sustainability Science, 12(5): 635-640.
George, G. 2015. Expanding context to redefine theories: Africa in management research. Management and Organization Review, 11(1): 5-10.