Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

UNB's David Foord takes the lead in digital sustainability

Author: Faculty of Management

Posted on Oct 25, 2023

Category: Faculty Highlights

David Ford

In a ground-breaking initiative aimed at advancing digital adoption and transformation in New Brunswick, the McKenna Fellows program has appointed Dr. David Foord as its inaugural Wilson-McKenna Fellow in Digital Sustainability. With the backing of Mike and Jane Wilson, this fellowship focuses on the role of technology as an enabler for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) progress.

Established within the University of New Brunswick's McKenna Institute, the Wilson-McKenna Fellowship, aims to foster collaboration between industry, academia, and government. By providing financial support to a dedicated researcher, the program seeks to accelerate sustainability, digital adoption and transformation in the province.

In this new role, Foord will be responsible for teaching, researching, and providing service in the area of digital sustainability, all through the lens of ESG. Foord says he is enthusiastic about enhancing the ESG focus in his research. It adds to an ongoing project in collaboration with the Smart Grid and Innovation Network (SGIN), supported by Natural Resources Canada's Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program. This research is benchmarking the transition to net zero in the Canadian electric power industry, a significant element of ESG.

Additionally, he is committed to enhance the way students at UNB approach ESG. He plans to design and deliver new courses on digital ESG for both BBA and MBA programs.

Foord’s role also includes the development of a "Digital Sustainability Expert-in-Residence" program. This initiative will bring experts to the campus who have deep knowledge of innovations and practices associated with ESG through a digital lens and will offer an industry perspective that will aid in curriculum development, applied learning, case study work, and provide invaluable mentorship related to ESG for students.

As a member of the business administration area in the faculty of management, Foord teaches innovation and entrepreneurship in the BBA and MBA programs and conducts a reading course on sociotechnical transitions for thesis and dissertation students. His research work is diverse, spanning histories of industries such as upper limb powered prosthetics, carbon black, electric power, and science, technology, and innovation policy. He is the recipient of the UNB Student Union Red Award for Teaching Excellence (2021), UNB Teaching Scholar Award (2022), UNB Merit Award (2022) and Faculty of Management Excellence in Research Award, 2016-2022 (2023).

With the appointment of David Foord as the inaugural Wilson-McKenna Fellow in Digital Sustainability, the University of New Brunswick is taking a significant step forward in the realm of digital sustainability. Foord's vision and commitment to advancing ESG through technology and education promise to make a lasting impact, not only within the university but also throughout the New Brunswick community.

Photo: Dr. David Foord is the inaugural Wilson-McKenna Fellow in Digital Sustainability.