Film, lecture to focus on conscious capitalism

GCU's student sustainability director Nicole Campillo is excited about the event featuring the documentary "Beyond Zero."

The inspiring messages of two prominent business leaders will be featured Monday at Grand Canyon University.

Both align with GCU’s goal of educating students to pursue their careers not only with money in mind but to focus on integrity and the greater good.

Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a $3.5 billion manufacturing technology and consulting company, will speak at 4 p.m. at Sunset Auditorium on how he changed the culture in his company by putting the needs of employees on par with shareholders.

Following a 5:30 p.m. networking event in GCU Arena with food and refreshments, the documentary “Beyond Zero” will be shown at 6:45 p.m. on the late Ray Anderson’s quest to transform his business by putting the needs of the planet on par with shareholders.

Interface Inc., a commercial flooring company with $1.2 billion in revenue, became a leader in sustainability. Last year, it reported that all its products are carbon neutral across their full lifecycle while it has implemented workplace strategies to support employee health and well-being.

“Bob’s message is love your people. Ray’s was, too,” said GCU Provost Dr. Randy Gibb.

Gibb, formerly the dean of the Colangelo College of Business, has championed their messages in GCU’s business courses for years under the credo of “conscious capitalism.”

Dr. Randy Gibb says Monday's event will showcase examples of conscious capitalism.

“What if every business was a healing organization?” he asked. “This fits right in with who we are: that business is a form of ministry. Business can elevate humanity.”

Gibb touts Chapman’s book, “Everybody Matters,” a simple title with a deep message to a company’s employees.

“Bob’s message is that everyone is a precious child. How would you want your child to be treated?” Gibb said.

And Anderson’s message to business leadership is that “one of the stakeholders should be the earth.”

How to create a sustainable company and remain competitive is the billion-dollar question.

“They did this because as a publicly traded company they generated revenue and created an abundance,” Gibb said. “That abundance allowed them to reinvest in technology. It’s an amazing story of Ray Anderson and his servant leadership.”

Students want to work for a company that treats people this way. They want to work for a company that has a purpose.

Dr. Randy Gibb, GCU Provost

The event is free to students, faculty and staff of GCU by signing up here for tickets.

“Free movie, free popcorn, why wouldn’t you go?” asked GCU student Nicole Campillo. “It’s more than just about sustainability, it’s a film to impact students, showing that choosing change is possible – a corporation going fully sustainable because they care about natural resources and they care about human resources.”

Campillo is closely tied to the subject as the sustainability director for Associated Students of GCU. She says there is too much unneeded stigma on sustainability.

“I don’t think it should just be for tree-hugger, crunchy granolas,” she said. “It should be more inclusive because everyone should care about the planet. On a Christian-based mission, we are called to steward the earth. So I don’t think business and sustainability should be mutually exclusive.”

She is hoping that the film is one more way to show students they should care and that it’s not an issue of the political left or right.

Care is the operative word for Monday night’s event.

Bob Chapman changed the culture at Barry-Wehmiller.

In 2017, Chapman was named one of Inc. magazine’s top CEOs by transforming Barry-Wehmiller’s outdated technology and weak financial position to new heights. He executed dozens of acquisitions while changing his management style to put people first, making team members feel valued and cared for. He speaks widely on the subject and shares it in his blog.

Anderson’s vision led to new conversations around environmentalism and business that reduces the impact on the planet, showcased in the film directed by Nathan Havey, a former master of ceremonies at TEDx GCU.

Anderson built Interface on the innovative concept of modular flooring before having an epiphany in the mid-1990s on the role of business and sustainability. He set aggressive goals to achieve zero waste to landfills, zero fossil-fuel energy and water use and zero greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty-five years later, the goal is beyond zero to products that actually store carbon.

The examples can inspire students in their career search.

“Students want to work for a company that treats people this way,” Gibb said. “They want to work for a company that has a purpose, that helps the community.”

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.


To go:

4 p.m. – Lecture by Bob Chapman, Sunset Auditorium.

5:45 p.m. – Networking in Arena and VIP event in Colangelo Museum with tacos, Pepsi drinks and popcorn.

6:45 p.m. – “Beyond Zero” documentary in GCU Arena, followed by discussion with film producer Nathan Havey, Interface’s Joey Shay and Bob Chapman.

Get free tickets here.


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Jesus taught his disciples, saying: "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

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