THIBODAUX, La. — The Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit will recognize four Nicholls State University business students with an AIM2Flourish Prize this October for their report on the impact of artificial oyster beds on the coast.
Otto Candies, Jenna Covington, Bryan Taylor and Ivan Prejean reported on the inventive practices of ORA Estuaries. The New Orleans-based company designs and installs concrete skeletons near oyster beds. The oyster beds use it as a foundation to build stronger reefs. Their report received the 2021 AIM2Flourish Prize for Global Life: Life Under Water.
“Throughout the course of the project, I was able to learn more about the long-term effects of coastal erosion, as well as how companies such as ORA Estuaries are working to combat it,” Covington said. “With these companies taking action, we are working towards improving water quality for life below water.”
The Fowler Center will honor all 17 honorees during the virtual Fifth Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit in October.
“It feels amazing to have our work recognized at this level,” Candies said. “Hopefully, it can bring to light the work that ORA Estuaries is doing and gain more momentum to keep doing the great work to help restore and rebuild our coast.”
Sponsored by the United Nations, AIM2Flourish Prizes highlight stories that embody “how business is a positive force for good.” Seventeen award winners were selected from 585 submitted stories.
The initiative challenges applicants to pursue stories of industry innovation aligning with the UN’s 17 Global Goals by using appreciative inquiry. This method approaches evaluation by concentrating on what works instead of what does not.
“The world is changing and businesses need to maintain accountability to stakeholders beyond generating profits,” said Dr. Chris Castille, assistant professor of management. “This project exposes students to this idea that businesses need to do good by doing well.”
Dr. Castille said he requires the undergraduates in his Human Relations and Interpersonal Skills course to work toward an AIM2Flourish submission. Though not all projects get submitted, Dr. Castille said the project develops teamwork skills.
“Simply put, our students can compete on the world stage and win,” Dr. Castille said. “They can clearly find small yet novel innovations created by local businesses that make the world a better place.”
The Fowler Center is based at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
For more information on Nicholls Management, visit nicholls.edu/business/management.