Published May 6, 2019
Professor Ian O. Williamson—Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington—has been appointed to the Viclink Board.
Ian is a member of the University’s Senior Leadership Team, participating in all strategy development and implementation activities for the University, in addition to managing the Victoria Business School.
A globally recognised expert in the area of human resource management, Ian has carried out award winning research with leading organisations in over 25 countries, helping them to develop and implement innovations needed to support organisational growth.
“I hope that my experiences can help Viclink identify ways in which we can support the creation and scaling of New Zealand ventures,” he says.
Recognising the important role that culture plays in shaping how leaders think about innovation and commercialisation, Ian says he wants to see New Zealand start-ups think big: “New businesses need to think globally from day one.”
A passionate educator, Ian has been recognised for his innovative approaches to business education, and has developed and taught programmes on entrepreneurship in multiple countries. He says he sees commercialisation as a way to identify and then execute an idea in a sustainable manner.
“Without commercialisation, an idea may die and never realise its potential impact,” he says. “This is a loss for both the individual who created the idea, and the community which supported the development of the individual up until that point.”
Prior to joining Victoria University of Wellington in 2017, Ian served on the faculties of the Melbourne Business School (Australia), Rutgers Business School (USA), the Zurich Institute of Business Education (Switzerland), the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and Institut Teknologi Bandung (Indonesia). He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) and a bachelor’s degree in business from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio USA).
With this international experience and outlook, it’s no surprise that Ian values New Zealand’s connection to the most successful economic region in the world—the dynamic Asia Pacific. “I’m excited to see Viclink engaging more and more with the region to realise the opportunities that are present.”
Closer to home, Ian says he considers the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp and the investment fund initiatives that Viclink has developed as truly world-class activities that promise to be “practices that others around the world can learn from.”
When asked how Viclink adds value to the University, Ian is quick to reply. “Ideally a university should help identify talented individuals in a community, develop them so they can refine their ideas, and then support them to convert their ideas into tangible activities that have a positive impact on their communities. Viclink plays a critical and valuable role in this last phase.”