From left to right: Marie-Pierre Herve (McGill MBA and Product Manager L’Oréal), Annie Chau (McGill MBA and Senior Financial Analyst, PrinCorp Wealth Advisors), Prof Karel Stanz (University of Pretoria), Emma Bambrick (McGill Honours Student in International Economic Development) and Thomas Weber (McGill MBA and Master’s Student in Sound Engineering).
The 5 Hot Cities of the World Tour is a novel and ground-breaking course offered by McGill University in Canada’s Desautels Faculty of Management, which brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones, right into the hotbeds of economics, commerce, culture, finance, and national competitiveness.
According to the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, the Hot Cities Tour is the shortest course offered by McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, but surely ranks among the most intense and rewarding courses. Founded in 1906, the Desautels Faculty of Management has been hailed as a top international business school by the Financial Times, BusinessWeek, Le Figaro and America Economia.
On 16 February 2012, Prof Karl Moore and 37 undergraduate and MBA students, who were selected by an independent panel, headed to South Africa to meet top business, government and community leaders in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
For the second year in a row, the students use social media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to post daily videos and blogs on their website (http://payitforward.mcgill.ca) to raise awareness of efforts to break the cycle of poverty in the townships of Port Elizabeth.
The Desautels students aim to raise a total of $20 000 through individual donations and corporate sponsorship by 1 March 2012 and to create awareness among at least 10 000 Canadians for this cause. All funds raised will be donated to the Ubuntu Education Fund, a non-profit organisation in Port Elizabeth that provides health and educational support to orphaned and vulnerable children in the area. This innovative fundraising enterprise captures this generation’s ability to use the power of social media to spread a positive message and to make a difference.
Prof Karel Stanz, Head of UP’s Department of Human Resource Management and a former visiting professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill in 2010, joined the Hot Cities group on their Johannesburg and Pretoria leg.
As part of their academic experience they visited the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), where discussions from an academic perspective on South Africa’s economy took place with GIBS students.
The students also visited the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, where the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof E Buch, the CEO of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr E Kenoshiand and Dr Flavia Senkubuge gave them insight into the health systems and challenges in South Africa.
The visiting students were also treated to an inspirational speech by Prof Henry Grimbeek on the City of Tshwane’s involvement in the 2010 World Cup, as well as a traditional South African spitbraai at the Loftus Versfeld stadium.
They concluded the Pretoria leg with a guided tour of the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria before leaving for Cape Town.