Stephen Clarke, c.e.o. of W H Smith, is delivering the first lecture of a new Global Challenges course at the University of Edinburgh Business School next month.
In celebration of the retailer’s 225th anniversary, Clarke will speak on the changing nature of business in an uncertain and globalised world.
A new intake of undergraduates will hear about leading Britain’s oldest chain of stores and staying relevant in today’s market. The course addresses a number of areas including looking at the "winners and losers" of globalisation, the impact of climate change, the role of innovation, and the impact of digital disruptions like robotics on society, among other issues.
Mental health in the workplace is another topic students will be covering, an area W H Smith is also fundraising for as part of the 225th anniversary.
Clarke said: “I’m delighted to be launching the Global Challenges course in the year of our 225th anniversary, with a lecture on the unpredictable changes posed by a globalised world. The University of Edinburgh Business School is asking students to think as global citizens, a very welcome move given these skills are increasingly critical to organisations.”
Wendy Loretto, dean of the University of Edinburgh Business School, added: “We’re honoured that Stephen Clarke of W H Smith, a major leader in an industry under change, is sharing his experience with students as they embark on their journey through university. Encouraging students to play with the notion of ‘how to think’ rather than ‘what to think’ is part of this course’s mission; to develop global citizens who can navigate a complex and disruptive world.”