For the fifth year running, Ashesi's Competitive Strategy class organized the annual Great Debate. The debate provides a platform for members of the class to engage intellectually on topics that affect the corporate world. This year's theme was Driving sustainability in a world of volatility, complexity and uncertainty: Unilever Ghana’s Approach.
Leading up to the debate, the class hosted Clarence Nartey, former Marketing Director of Unilever Ghana to speak on the role of the corporate world in ensuring sustainability.
"Business growth and sustainability can coexist," he said. "It should not be one at the expense of the other. Sustainability is about simple actions that produce big results and should be part of the business growth model of any company."
He further shared insights into how global leading brands like Unilever incorporate and practice sustainability.
“Brands in today's world that are becoming differentiated as leaders are not just doing so functionally and emotionally, but also they are the brands that have a social purpose,” Mr. Nartey explained. “They understand that they are part of an ecosystem so they address issues to become more useful to the consumer."
The Great Debate
Later in the day, Vodafone Ghana sponsored the debate between the two cohorts of the class. Speaking for the motion, The social responsibility of a business is to increase its profit, were Jasmine Nguyen ‘17, Adwoba Bota ‘17 and Sabelo Dube ‘18 while the other cohort, against the motion, was represented by Kingsley Agyekum '17,Wilhemina Dadzie '17 and Cyril Quao '17.
After an exciting set of rounds, the team against the motion was adjudged the winner. Both teams received prizes from Vodafone.
"Both teams raised great points in arguing their case,” said Nana Darkwa Asiedu, Market Analyst for Vodafone Ghana Youth Team. “Hopefully if we can project such debates and conversations on a national level, corporations in Ghana will be able to benefit from the knowledge shared and incorporate them into their objectives and initiatives.”
“It is ethically relevant that businesses do not deny future generations the opportunity to take care of themselves,” said Mr. Anthony Ebo Spio, Head of the Business Administration Department. “The whole idea of ensuring that the environment is not depleted is an ethical issue, and therefore in inculcating in our students a sense of ethics, it is necessary to guide them to engage in conversations like this.”