Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Oxford University Alumni told Responsible Leaders Must Have Integrity

PM Browne speaking at the Said Business School at Oxford University

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told the 2023 graduating class of the Said Business School of the University of Oxford that anyone seeking to become a responsible leader must have integrity, courage, vision, innovation, and accountability. Added to these characteristics, Browne said they must be transparent and resilient.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister delivered the feature address at the Convocation Ceremony of the Said Business School of the University of Oxford.

The Said Business School of the University of Oxford was formally founded in 1996, through a generous donation from businessman and philanthropist, Wafic Said. 

He told the students that to be a responsible leader, that person should set the vision and organizational objectives, while ensuring that the ethical values and moral culture of the institution are aligned with good governance principles; recognizing that good governance is good business.

“Today, I speak on the subject of responsible leadership, not only from the theoretical aspects but will also share some practical examples of leadership, from the perspective of the leadership of Antigua and Barbuda – a small island state in the Caribbean, facing significant challenges in the global community

“As alumni of one of the most celebrated schools on the planet, each of you has been trained to be responsible leaders to serve your community, your country, and all of human civilization.  You were trained as a committed global force for good; to provide solutions to resolve problems facing our planet, including the current economic and climate crises, conflicts and security threats including cyber security threats, among others,” Browne said

Responsible leadership is about service to humanity, according to PM Browne, which he said recognizes the interconnectedness of the different stakeholders of people, organizations, and society; while balancing the moral, ethical, and normative obligations among stakeholders. 

“Ultimately, leaders must seek to be transformative in their performance, to create positive impact for the long-term growth and sustainability of the institution; that is responsible leadership, compared to simply maintaining the status core,” PM Browne added.  

The prime minister also spoke to the students on the issue of transformative leadership, saying that it has revolutionized societies and our planet, resulting in the contemporary Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.  

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has seen the advancement of information communication technologies (ICTs), resulting in increased interconnectivity, smart automation, and overall digitalization of our societies.   I am duty-bound to remind you that these advances were not driven by leaders who maintain the status quo, but by transformational leaders,” he said

Meanwhile, digitalization, which according to Browne is the use of digital technologies, has resulted in the transformation of business models to digital businesses, providing increased opportunities and new revenue and value-producing opportunities, he told the students

“Virtually all contemporary businesses comprise some form of digitalization for increased productivity and value-added digital services that could be monetized and delivered virtually without the need for physical premises” according to the prime minister

Since according to him, digitalization will be embedded in the fabric of virtually every job thereby, accounting for most of the new jobs created in the future; with careers in exciting areas including cyber security, analytics, gaming, digital marketing, designing, social media management, political strategy, etc.  

“The most exciting area of digitalization is still in its infancy; that is Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is fast becoming a mainstream concept with the generative chat box, Chat GPT, that has taken the world by storm.  Generative AI has potential implications for responsible leadership and could result in serious geo-political implications.  It is projected that AI will be far more impactful than previous technological advancements,” he said

He also said to the students that AI’s unique characteristics utilizing the power of computer algorithms will impact all aspects of development, including biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, politics, and creative arts. 

However, he said there are serious downside risks associated with the potential misuse of AI to generate misinformation and disinformation, which could challenge our traditional foundations of global peace and security. 

“This will necessitate the need for a strong regulatory framework to proactively curb, or eliminate the use of this exciting technology for nefarious purposes. Early adopters of AI in their planning and decision-making processes will certainly benefit from increased competitive advantage and AI is likely to shift the balance of power between nations who develop and control the technology,” he explained

Adding, “currently, AI is seen as a strategic priority, and tens of billions of dollars are being invested by private sector technology firms and nation-states, especially the USA and China.  It was reported in September 2017, that Vladimir Putin told a group of students that whoever becomes the ruler of AI will Become the ruler of the world.”  

Browne spoke prosperity into the future of the Oxford alumni, saying that, leaders, artisans, and professionals who are early adopters of artificial intelligence; quite like the Oxford students, will obtain a competitive advantage over their competitors. 

“Future sustained competitive advantage is unlikely to be achieved without the adoption and application of AI. As I indicated before, AI is not properly regulated at this time and comes with certain threats.  The technology could be easily misused and could challenge the integrity of leaders. This reinforces the need for responsible leadership with integrity and self-regulating standards to avoid misuse of the technology,” he added

A typical example is, AI could be used to generate misinformation and disinformation to achieve political influence at home and abroad. Also, it could give large technological companies that control their oligopolistic space, more power than nation-states.  

“Despite these challenges, responsible leadership and regulations can ensure that AI is utilized as a force for good to take human civilization to the next level of progress and development; that is; industrialization 5.0.  Innovation and creativity are crucial aspects of responsible leadership and are driven by vision; that is, the ability to plan with wisdom and, or imagination for a sustainably better future,” he added.

He ended his speech by admonishing students that it is the creativity, that is, the inventiveness and the new ideas, methods, and products of innovation, that have resulted in the various industrial revolutions; transitioning the global economy from an agrarian one a couple hundred years ago, to a service dominated global economy today.  

PM Browne also paid tribute to Wafic Said, the founder of the Business School, who according to Browne is responsible for the transformative power of education and investment in talent has left an indelible mark.

Today, the School offers 15-degree programs, a full suite of in-person Open Enrolment courses, a wide range of online Open Enrolment courses, and works with several companies and governments around the world. 

It is also a provider of management education and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top business schools.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous National

    Integrity, accountability and transparency are exactly what is lacking in him!

    Reply

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