CME Presents at World Conference

CME Presents at World Conference

Dr. Melody Jackson, Research Fellow, represented the Center for Management & Entrepreneurship at the 61st Annual World Conference for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) held on June 15-18, 2016.  Dr. Jackson’s session was among the few selected from over 250 competitive papers under the theme of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Society: Transforming Our World Together.  Focusing on the ways that entrepreneurship can work in concert with established goals for sustainable development, Dr Jackson’s article was titled Virtual Internships as Organizational Sustainable Action to Anthropogenic Climate Change.


Background for the theme of the conference rests in the notion that while it is recognized that changes would likely occur to our planet without human involvement, it is also understood that human choices are key drivers of adverse planetary changes. The choices we humans make can have a positive or negative impact on the planet we occupy.  Many believe that as a community, entrepreneurs can develop innovative approaches that could result in those positive impacts for the good of the planet and all who occupy it. 


Focusing on this issue of a better planet through entrepreneurial action, Dr. Jackson highlighted the position that every time a vehicle is taken off the road, less fossil fuels are consumed, and the resulting planetary impact is positive (Heede, 2014).  Small business decision makers were provided with the option of choosing virtual internships versus place-based internships as a likely avenue to reduce the demand for fossil fuels through the reduction of the need to drive to meet experiential learning objectives. As entrepreneurs alter traditional place-based job descriptions with telework, virtual tasks, and virtual teams the position held is that virtual internships are a reasonable addition to the human capital management mix.  


In addition to the issue of adopting virtual internships as a choice that could result in a positive planetary impact, attendees were also presented with the notion that a virtual internship could increase company visibility and exposure to potential new hires (Borgen, Butterfield, & Lalande 2013).  Research results presented by Dr. Jackson focused on the extent to which a virtual internship was perceived to be feasible with respect to industry as expressed by the over 200 respondents included in her study.



Borgen, W. A., Butterfield, L. D., & Lalande, V. (2013). “Career conversations in small- to

            medium-sized businesses: A competitive advantage,” Canadian Journal of Counseling

            and Psychotherapy, 47(2), 169-187


Heede, R. (2014). “Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil

            fuel and cement producers, 1854-2010,” Climate Change, 122, 229-241.



About the Author

Melody Jackson



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