Lesley Gillespie (CACC Director), Dr. Stewart Gill (Masters, Queen’s College), Professor Joanne Tompkins (Australian Research Council), Zac Hatzantonis (PwC), Misha Ketchel (The Conversation), Dr Tim Gravelle (University of Melbourne) and Erik Denison (CACC Melbourne Committee)
How to build bridges and take down the silo walls that separate academics from the business community was the topic of lively discussion at the most recent event hosted by the CACC’s Melbourne Committee.
One of the strengths of the CACC is to foster connections for business and trade. The Building Bridges event went one step further in an effort to include the world of academia in these important connections.
Hosted by Master of Queens College, Professor Stewart Gill, OAM, academics and business leaders came together to discuss how the two could improve the ways in which they could work together. Further details on each of the panelists can be found here.
“It’s terrific that Canada is able to lead the way…and that the CACC is bringing the two sectors together to look at how we inform one another and, how we help one another,” said Professor Gill.
Throughout the course of the discussion it was very clear: both the business sector and academia are very willing to work together.
They key theme of how to build the bridge between academia and business is ‘relationships’.
Professor Joanne Tompkins spoke about the importance of “brokering relationships”, effectively meeting a range of people with whom to get to know and in time exchange ideas.
Agreeing with Professor Tompkins was Zac Hatzantonis, Partner with PwC, “Our firm’s purpose is to build trust in solving complex problems. Having partnerships in place with experts means that we can collaborate instantly and prepare our reports within the time lines that we are given.”
Dr Tim Gravelle who has straddled the corporate world and academia also spoke about the importance of personal networks. Having reached out to academics in the USA whilst he was working for Gallup in Canada he highlighted the importance of having international networks as well.
Event moderator, researcher, former journalist and CACC member Erik Dennison said, “We know from the research that having relationships is critical to collaboration. Academics work in research so how do they build those relationships? Being Canadian or having Canadian connections is a pretty good starting point to collaboration, talking and building a network.”
When it comes to creating one’s network, Misha Ketchel encourages academics to “get out there anyway that you can.” The academics who stand out for him are those who “wrote blogs and who are genuinely interested in sharing their ideas. Engagement is sharing of ideas.”
Erik concluded the event in summing up, “Be passionate about what you’re sharing and how you’re sharing it.”
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