The 2007-2008 Devlin Lecture
More than two billions humans live in poverty (less than $2/day per capita income). Most live in developing areas. International businesses operate in many of these areas, extracting and harvesting natural resources, sourcing goods and services from local producers, manufacturing, and selling. In what ways have these international businesses acted to reduce and/or aggravate the problems of poverty at the bottom of the global economic pyramid? What can we learn from their experiences -- both their accomplishments and missed opportunities? What differences have they and can they make?
Dr. Frederick Bird has recently assumed the position of Research Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo . Previously, he was Professor of Religious Studies at Concordia University , where he held a Concordia University Research Chair in Comparative Ethics. He is the author or co-author of a number of books in business ethics, including Good Management (1991), The Muted Conscience: Moral Silence and the Practice of Ethics in Business (1996), International Businesses and the Challenge of Poverty in the Developing World (2004), International Business and Dilemmas of Development (2004), and Just Business Practices in a Diverse and Developing World (2006). Between 1999 and 2006, he directed an international team of researchers examining the practices of international businesses in developing areas in 20 countries.