How a sustainable future relies on collective engagement.

Tima Bansal

Professor, Sustainability and Strategy, Ivey Business School
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Tima Bansal is an agent of change, even though she doesn’t see herself that way.

“Impact shouldn’t be about my impact on others – it should be reciprocal. It’s about engagement, where we’re working toward a common goal.” And as is often the case with Tima’s work, that common goal is focused on partnering with businesses to realize the tremendous good they can do for society.  

Tima is a professor of strategy and an internationally recognized researcher at Western University’s Ivey Business School. While she believes business can have a profound impact on a better future for the world, she also emphasizes that there must be a purpose to this transformation.

And for her, that purpose is grounded in sustainability.  

“What I really care about is stewarding natural resources in a way that they regenerate to meet society’s needs.” Tima says our handling of natural resources has led to a changing climate that currently threatens society with melting polar ice caps, rising oceans, and more dangerous storms.

“How do we prevent future risks? It’s about reimagining the future. Sustainable development is meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the needs of future generations.”

Tima

ʼs
Impact
Principles

  • A systems mindset is required to make sustainable change.
  • We need to reimagine the future and co-create it together.
  • When we start to see ourselves as an important link in the chain, impact becomes achievable.

To contribute to accomplishing this model, Tima led the development of the Ivey Business School’s Innovation North, which works with businesses from across sectors to drive change.

The goal? To help industries innovate for their own growth while conducting business in a way that respects the planet.

Recent Innovation North projects include working with the insurance industry on reimagining home insurance claims with an emphasis on sustainability, collaborating with the farming industry to improve soil health, and engaging the finance industry to develop an innovative financial instrument to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

“Innovation North’s aim is to promote innovation that aligns not just with corporate interests, but with the well-being of the global community and our natural environment. I believe we can achieve both.”  

“The term ‘sustainable development’ was only coined in 1987. When I entered business school and they asked me what I did, I had to whisper ‘sustainability.’ And now it’s vastly different because people understand sustainability, and I can now actually shout that I care about sustainability.”

And while the focus of her work is often with external businesses, she believes a better future starts with each one of us pursuing purposeful collaboration, today.

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