(L-R) Mr Alex Hannant, Co-Director of the Yunus Centre, Professor Brad Jackson, Professor Steve Kempster and Adjunct Professor Rod Welford. (Photo supplied)

The Industry 4:0 revolution will substantially change business and society. The opportunity provided by this revolution is not just simply a matter of improving either productivity or profitability; rather it can enable a substantial transformation of business in society. 

On Thursday 28 November, the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation joined with the Griffith Centre for Sustainable Enterprise to host Professor Steve Kempster from Lancaster University (UK) to present a seminar on “Digital transformation through realising good dividends”.  He drew on a number of the ideas that have been developed in his recent book, Good Dividends: Responsible Leadership Through Purpose (Kempster, Maak and Parry, 2019).  

Professor Brad Jackson noted “In this highly engaging seminar, Steve outlined the concept of ‘Good Dividends’, a theory of business that fundamentally re-examines what we mean by ‘value’, how we measure it and how we generate wealth from it.”

The Good Dividends approach provides a regenerative system in which increasing business value and social impact become strategic imperatives that are articulated and implemented in an integrated whole.

“Steve delivered an inspiring presentation on the importance of regenerative SDGs.”

Rather than highlighting issues of sustainability to limit harm (and growth) and try to persuade business to do some good, the regenerative system of Good Dividends seeks to redefine growth by integrating communities, societies and environments as sources of capital from which a dividend can be yielded as part of value generation.

Participants were highly engaged throughout the presentation.

Through a case study of the ‘Made Smarter’ program which is currently being rolled out as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, Steve demonstrated how digital transformations are being made by manufacturing SMEs by drawing upon the good dividends system. 

Professor Kempster argued that ‘The Industry 4:0 revolution needs to be framed to serve society and to address the grand challenges that face us.’  His presentation showed how business schools can make tangible contributions to this task.

On the following day, Steve gave a seminar on ‘Responsible Leadership Through Purpose’ to the alumni of BSI’s Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management that has been delivered to City of Gold Coast for the past three years.