Rutgers University will be at the forefront of preparing current and future business leaders for the increasing opportunities, expectations and demands associated with sustainable development and shared value creation, by launching the new Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation (RICSI). Founded by Rutgers graduate Gary M. Cohen, RC’80 and RBS’83, and supported by his intent to contribute $1 million to the Rutgers University Foundation for the establishment of this new institute, the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation will embed interdisciplinary coursework into the Rutgers Business School curriculum to prepare students to drive successful business results in sustainable organizations that are financially, environmentally and socially responsible.
RICSI founder Cohen is well recognized as a leader deeply experienced in working across the private, public and nonprofit sectors to achieve positive business and societal impact. He presently serves as Executive Vice President, Global Health for BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), one of the world’s largest medical technology companies. He also serves as President and board director of the BD Foundation, board director of the Perrigo Company, CDC Foundation and UNICEF USA, board co-chair of GBCHealth and board chair and founder of Together for Girls. Cohen previously served on the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities for Women and Children, and is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Network of Engaged Men Leaders.
“Throughout my career at BD I’ve had the privilege of working in a company that is purpose-driven, highly successful and strongly oriented towards achieving positive impact on society. I’ve learned through these experiences that creating positive social impact is not at odds with strong business performance, rather, it is a key enabler to the long-term success and sustainability of companies,” Cohen said. “The business sector has the potential to drive substantial progress in addressing many of the world’s most important problems, and external stakeholders including investors are demanding more of business leaders than at any time in the past. This is a perfect opportunity for Rutgers to advance these practices by preparing current and future business leaders for these important challenges. And it can be a pathway to a fulfilling, purpose-filled life for future business executives.”
“The business sector has the capacity to apply its expertise to some of the most pressing societal issues facing the world today,” said Robert Barchi, 20th president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “It is our job to equip future business leaders with not only the knowledge and skills to succeed in business, but also the mindset needed to be a force for positive change.”
The new Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation will feature a dedicated curriculum designed to prepare the next generation of business leaders to integrate socially and environmentally responsible practices and shared value creation into the core of their business operations and culture. Coursework will include classes on sustainable business management, developing ethical business models, social and green accounting, driving business opportunities through positive societal change, and ecological and behavioral economics.
Cohen, who previously served as a member of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees and on the board of advisors for Rutgers Business School, was named a distinguished alumnus by the Rutgers Graduate School of Management in 2005 and a Rutgers 250 Fellow in 2017.
While housed within Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the Institute for Corporate Social Innovation will collaborate closely with other schools in the university, including the New Jersey Medical School, the School of Public Affairs and Administration, the School of Public Health, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
“We are putting together a strong team of highly motivated business school faculty and working with other schools at Rutgers to instill corporate social innovation into our curriculum and classroom teaching,” said Rutgers Business School Dean Lei Lei. “The establishment of the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation will allow us to strengthen and sustain our goal of preparing students for leadership in these important competencies and practices.”
Rutgers University and the Rutgers Business School will build on Cohen’s intended contribution to establish the RICSI and sustain it into the future. This new institute is expected to generate substantial interest from the broad number of industries in New Jersey and nationwide, consistent with the trend of emphasizing the sustainability of business enterprises.
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