Hellen López at the University of Vaasa, Finland

University visit for advancing sustainable international business practices

in English

My name is Hellen López, and I am a professor of the School of Management at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) in Lima, Perú. I visited the University of Vaasa in May. During my stay, I enjoyed a great weather, enriching activities, and meetings with colleagues from the Internationalisation team, School of Management and School of Marketing and Communications expanding and deepening connections between our universities It was wonderful to spend more time with colleagues in the School of Management with whom we coordinated different activities for further research and teaching among our universities.

My visit was part of a collaborative project “Education for sustainable internationalisation of a firm (ESGinMNC)” uniting PUCP and University of Vaasa for developing a COIL (Collaborative online learning)-based course on sustainability and a Double Degree at bachelor’s degree programme between the two universities. This project is coordinated by programme manager Ausrine Silenskyte and funded by the Finnish National Agency of Education.

The COIL-based course provided our students from Lima and Vaasa the opportunity to work together in teams to solve a solution to a real challenge of a business located in Vaasa region: Mirka. For five weeks, the students analysed different solutions to improve the sustainability of the value chain of Mirka using their learnings from the joint lectures provided by the international faculty and also while studying in their own home institutions in the courses “Social Management” (PUCP) and “Sustainability and Ethics in Business: ESG in MNCs” (University of Vaasa).

Hellen López and Ausrine Silenskyte
Hellen López and Aušrinė Šilenskytė

During my visit, I had the opportunity to deliver a lecture on business ethics practices and tools in the session which was closing the joint course for this year. I shared some cases that show the factors that influence the ethical conduct of firms expanding student understanding about the realities and sustainability-related problems outside the context of Europe. Together with our colleagues, we also selected the two teams that won a stipend to travel to and visit the partner University and headquarters of Mirka. I was delighted to see the COIL results in students’ presentations because they aligned with Mirka’s currently ongoing sustainability-oriented development projects and further expanded the pool of possible paths for company’s development. Inspired by this learning journey that students have experienced, we are already planning to run the joint course with a new challenge provided by Mirka again in March 2025.

To deepen the understanding about the case company and also brainstorm about further potential industry-academia projects together, Mirka and University of Vaasa colleagues arranged the workshop, in which I had the opportunity to share my current research about employee ownership and tell about my experiences from the international EU projects funded through the instruments that unite the EU and emerging markets to work together towards achieving sustainability globally.

I was also invited to present the chapter that I wrote with Guiselle Romero Lora (PUCP) about how podcasts can become an innovative educational tool to teach social sustainability by using the storytelling technique. In this chapter, we share the teaching approach and method used based on problem-based learning and the learning activities to design and use podcasts in classes. This chapter was a part of “The Palgrave Handbook of Social Sustainability in Business Education”, co-edited by Ausrine Silenskyte from University of Vaasa and colleagues. In this research and teaching café, we have met with other contributors to the handbook and exchanged writing and teaching experiences related to innovating education for social sustainability in different parts of the world.

It was a week full of learning and sharing ideas for continuing to work together, from our Business Schools to fostering the internationalisation of our students and professors. I am sure that this is only the beginning of a great adventure.


Hellen López
Professor of the School of Management

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Lima, Perú

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Verkkotoimitus - Visiting scholars – Vierailevat tutkijat