Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS
Article By
Professor Ken McPhail

Ken McPhail

Head of Alliance Manchester Business School

At the Frontier

Head of AMBS Professor Ken McPhail welcomes you to the latest issue.

As I remark in an interview marking my recent appointment as Head of School, it is essential that AMBS makes space for curiosity driven research to help tackle the world’s grand challenges.

I can think of few better examples of such curiosity than Paolo Quattrone’s work looking at how Nature can become better recognised as an active stakeholder, given that companies are currently not held accountable for the true cost to Nature of their activities.

When Paolo first began discussing these ideas, many years ago now, they largely fell on rather deaf ears. But as the climate emergency has accelerated so we have begun to see significant movement from regulatory authorities on the issue and traction within accounting bodies.

In this issue Paolo makes a passionate case for giving Nature a proper voice, thoughts echoed by Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the RSPB, who discusses how businesses must better encompass Nature in their decision-making, embed it in their strategy, and so boost the nature positive economy.

Jonatan Pinkse also picks up the climate challenge in his article, talking about how although net zero does mean grappling with the barriers to transition, it still represents a huge opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Geopolitical tensions

The climate emergency is far from the only grand challenge we face at the moment. Geopolitical tensions are as high as they have been for many years, and Peter Buckley, our new Professor of International Business, talks about the particular challenges this poses for multinationals today.

A specific challenge closer to home is how to build the long-term infrastructure that the UK needs. In the wake of the cancellation of the HS2 project north of Birmingham, Nuno Gil discusses how the old ways of measuring the value of big projects needs to end to avoid similar problems in the future.

Elsewhere in this issue we look at the need for greater recognition of the social and economic value of the foundational economy, while we also explore how staff networks can be better used to promote diversity strategies.

I can think of few better examples of such curiosity than Paolo Quattrone’s work looking at how Nature can become better recognised as an active stakeholder.

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