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Leadership for a Sustainable Future
ABIS GlobalEventsLeadership for a Sustainable Future

Leadership for a Sustainable Future

Business-Academic Collaboration on the UN SDGs for Long-Term Success

16th ABIS Annual Colloquium | Brussels | 15-16 November 2017

Date 15-16 November 2017
Host ABIS - The Academy of Business in Society
Venue MCE Conference and Business Centre
Focus Business-Academic Partnerships for the UN SDGs

Event Programme

Download the Official Programme.

 

Eventbrite - Leadership for a Sustainable Future: Business-Academic Collaboration on the UN SDGs for Long-Term Success

 


 

Speakers

Programme

(All times local)

 

 

12:30 – 13:30

REGISTRATION

13:30 – 14:00

CONFERENCE OPENING

Welcome from Alfons Sauquet Rovira – Chairman, ABIS

14:00 – 14:40

KEYNOTE SPEECH: DELIVERING THE UN SDGs - A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSINESS AND SOCIETY

The UN SDGs provide a vision for humanity and a powerful agenda for improving our world. From a business perspective, they offer the chance to develop innovative solutions that create real value for all stakeholders. Implementing the SDGs will open up new business opportunities, build competitive advantage, strengthen supply chain resilience, help talent recruitment and retention, build trust within investors and other stakeholders and generate sustainable value for consumers and society. Aligning corporate strategies with the SDGs will require changes to the way we do business, our approach to education and responsible and inclusive leadership. It will also require a renewed focus on impactful partnerships among stakeholders. In this context, business-academic collaboration can make a unique contribution.

14:40 – 16:00

 

OPENING PANEL: PARTNERING WITH ACADEMIA - A STRATEGIC CHOICE FOR COMPANIES

Partnering up with academia will form a key part of the strategic support for corporate leaders in pursuing the UN SDGs. Businesses can tap into the academic knowledge and capabilities and together with universities they can develop and implement more sustainable business strategies. What are the key criteria for an impactful collaboration? How can we innovate current partnership approaches? How can this lead to more sustainable long-term business performance?  

16:00 – 16:30

COFFEE BREAK & NETWORKING

16:30 – 17:30

INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: CAPACITY BUILDING THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS

How can partnerships strengthen strategic human capabilities? How can these drive sustainable business innovation?

 

Session A:   The Future Board – Stewardship for Sustainable Success

The ABIS-Mazars “Future Board” initiative (2016-2017) identified a range of strategic challenges and organizational pressures faces by boards of directors in their vital stewardship role. What are the key strategic challenges that board faces while their companies are adapting to the SDGs? How can business schools help? What partnerships and models can be built to support the role of boards? What opportunities can this bring?

Session B:  SDG Impact through Leadership and Talent Development – New Skills, Mindsets And Capabilities Needed

Building on the ABIS Global Talent Forum, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and ABIS’ worked together on a new initiative on “Building leaders for long-term business performance”. Participants to the study will reflect on: what are the skills, mindsets and capabilities needed in an increasingly complex business environment?  How to integrate long-term social, environmental and economic goals into leadership and people development functions?

Session C: SDG Impact through Investment - The Role for Investors

Investors and banks have the potential to generate considerable impact through the investments of their clients. How banks and investors contribute to the implementation of SDGs? How to tie financial results with long-term societal and environmental impact? What are the selection criteria for companies and partners?

17:30 – 17:45

SHORT BREAK & ROOM CHANGE

17:45 – 18:30

KEYNOTE SPEECH: SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS AND DEVELOPMENT – CAN THE SDGS BECOME A REAL GLOBAL GAME CHANGER?  

The SDGs set the international development agenda until 2030. It is a comprehensive framework to help to address the major social, environmental and economic problems facing humanity. But can the SDGs really transform markets and societies in all parts of the world? How can corporate and academic institutions contribute to this process in a more meaningful and effective way?

18:30 – 22:00

NETWORKING DRINKS AND DINNER

 

08:45 – 09:00

OPENING REMARKS

09:00 – 09:55

 

FORESIGHT SESSION: RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PARTNERSHIPS TO IMPLEMENT THE SDGS

Science, technology, and innovation are important drivers and means of implementation of the SDGs. Supporting and endorsing partnerships in the field, especially between business and academia, is essential. The session will focus on:

  • How important are the SDGs for the EU Research and Innovation agenda?
  • Why collaboration in science and innovation – across borders, across disciplines, across sectors – is needed to tackle the SDGs and how to support it?
  • What are the benefits of supporting open science and data?
  • What are some of the approaches for business model innovation to support the SDGs?
  • What is the role of research and innovation in realizing the SDGs?

09:55 – 10:00

ROOM CHANGE

10:00 – 11:00

INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: ADVANCING SDG RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

What are some of the enablers that business-academic collaboration could focus to develop SDG-relevant research and innovation?

 

Session A: Open Data and Open Science for the SDGs

 Open data and open science are essential to achieving the SDGs. Removing barriers to access, use and share data leads to better science and enables businesses to improve and innovate. Why do we need access to data, research and factual evidence? What are the key challenges and opportunities? How can businesses access, use, analyze and provide data? How to develop data capabilities? What are some examples of open data initiatives bringing social, economic and environmental benefits?

Session B: Business Model Innovation for the SDGs

The achievement of the SDGs raises the need for innovative business models that integrate social and environmental goals. What does the emergence of circular economy, digitally-enabled business models, social entrepreneurship and the like mean to businesses? How to combine profitable business growth with positive impact on the planet and society? How can business and academia collaborate to develop innovative business models and practices?

Session C: Interdisciplinary research approaches for the SDGs

The UN SDGs’ grand challenges cut across industries and disciplines. What are the key challenges and opportunities of collaboration across disciplines and sectors? Why do we need integrated and trans-disciplinary approach to research and innovation?

 

11:00 – 11:30

COFFEE BREAK

11:30 – 12:25

PLENARY - PARTNERSHIPS FOR BETTER EDUCATION AND LEARNING IN THE SDG ERA

Business school education is an integral part for generating the innovation necessary to achieve the SDGs. How can partnerships between universities and businesses change current approaches to business education? How can they help students develop the right skills in an era of digitalization and disruption? How to help future leaders to be more agile and aware of socio-ecological issues?

12:25 – 12:30

ROOM CHANGE

12:30 – 13:30

INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: DRIVING CHANGE IN BUSINESS EDUCATION TOWARDS THE SDGs

Three parallel dialogues will explore areas where business-academic collaboration could focus on for developing SDG-relevant business education.                  

 

Session A: Embracing the Millennial Challenge – A Source of Organizational Transformation?

The Millennial Generation places increasing emphasis on future employers’ sustainability performance, the opportunity to have a positive impact in their careers, and on more meaningful learning journeys. How can companies and business schools adapt current management processes, policies and development models to respond to millennial expectations? Can addressing such a challenge contribute to strengthening business schools and companies’ contribution to the SDGs?

Session B: Digital Innovation & Challenge-based Education

The unprecedented power and reach of the internet enables major companies to crowdsource innovation – and where better to start than through communities of bright, sustainability-minded students in leading business schools and universities? How can new partnership models fuel corporate sustainability innovation?

Session C: Redefining the Business Curriculum for the UN SDG era

In October 2016, ABIS and WBCSD opened a new dialogue between CEOs and Deans of business schools about the need for a new framework for business education with material sustainability issues at its heart. Is there alignment between business and academia on what kind of education to equip graduates with? How can industry and academia engage more effectively in this process?

13:30 – 14:30

NETWORKING LUNCH & POSTER MARKETPLACE: BUSINESS-ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Large-scale poster session to display success stories around sustainability-based partnerships. The posters will be on display throughout the conference.

14:30 – 15:25

PANEL SESSION: Measuring Impact and Progress – New Collaboration Models for Better Research and Data Analytics

Measuring progress on the SDGs will increase accountability and actual impact. How can we best measure performance, impact and contributions to the SDGs?. How can business and academia work together more effectively to model, collect, analyse, interpret, and authenticate wider societal impacts of corporate SDG initiatives?

15:30 – 16:30

CALL FOR ACTION & AWARDS CEREMONY

A key part of this year’s Annual Colloquium is its award ceremony, where ABIS under the patronage of Viscount Etienne Davignon will award ABIS members who have successfully contributed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals through business-academic partnerships.

16:30 – 17:00

CLOSING REMARKS

17:00 – 19:00

DRINKS RECEPTION

ABIS RESEARCH WORKSHOP - 15 NOVEMBER 2017

09:00

 

 

 

 

 

11:00

 

RESEARCH WORKSHOP ON THE SDGs

Prior to the official start of our event, we are hosting a number of research workshops dedicated to our Special Issue with Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society. The audience will hear from selected participants about their research on the topic of “Governing SDGs: From Universal Agenda to Local Action”.

Download the Call for Papers

 

 

2050 SCENARIO EXPLORATION WORKSHOP 

In addition to the research workshop, the morning will feature an interactive scenario exploration workshop on achieving sustainable lifestyles by European Commission representatives. The session draws on resources developed through our EU-InnovatE project which received funding from the European Commission. ABIS members will receive a free copy of the scenario exploration tool at the day of the event.

 

 


 

Registration

 


 

Sponsor

 


 

Represented Organisations

 


 

Context

Since their adoption in 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a vision for the world and a positive agenda to ensure future prosperity by addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. From a business perspective, they not only offer the chance to develop innovative solutions but also create real value for all stakeholders. Implementing the SDGs will open up new business opportunities, build competitive advantage, strengthen supply chain resilience, help talent recruitment and retention, build investor and stakeholder trust and generate sustainable value for consumers and society.

With a great majority of businesses already adopting and engaging with the SDGs, there is the potential to unlock US$12tn in business savings and revenues by 2030 (Business and Sustainable Development Commission, 2017). However, there continues to be a need to identify the right tools to do so, whether that directly relates to business strategy and innovation, leadership practices or finding the right talent or assessing business impact against the SDGs.

Against this backdrop, we believe that companies can tap into the academic knowledge and capabilities and - together with universities as their strategic partners - develop leadership and new business strategies to ensure long-term value creation.

Join us for dialogues and interactive sessions on:

  • The benefits for businesses of partnering up with academia
  • Leadership skills, mindsets and capabilities to achieve the SDGs
  • Building capacities for sustainable business innovation
  • Harnessing science and technology collaboration to implement the SDGs
  • Leveraging new approaches to business education to develop the necessary skills and competencies
  • Measuring progress and impact on the SDGs

 

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Logistics

Download our Logistics Guide

 


 

ABIS Award

Under the patronage of Count Etienne Davignon – Belgian Minister of State & Honorary Advisory Board Chairman of ABIS – we will award the best project/initiative that has successfully contributed to the UN SDGs through a business-academic partnership.

Submitted projects or initiatives should be clear about which of the targets under the UN SDGs they contribute to as well as outline the nature of their business-academic partnership.

Important Dates

  • October 10, 2017 – 1 page abstract to be submitted to marco.matrisciano@abis-global.org
  • October 15, 2017 – feedback and acceptance finalized 

 

Download the Call for Initiatives

Call for Papers

For our Special Issue with Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, we welcome high-quality submissions which advance our knowledge on relevant topics related to SDGs. The special issue does not favour any special theoretical perspectives or methodological approaches and is open to conceptual as well as empirical contributions. 

The objective of this Special Issue is to explore the various manifestations and usages of SDGs across organisations, sectors, and national borders. SDGs can be addressed from a number of different perspectives, ranging from the negotiations leading up to the formulation of the global themes to the individual sensemaking and sensegiving processes at the local level. In particular, we welcome contributions cutting across levels (micro, meso, macro) and/or perspectives (governance making, taking and breaking), as academic research is often biased towards one-level/one-perspective analyses of organizational phenomena.

Guest Editors 

  • Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, Copenhagen Business School
  • Manuela Brusoni, SDA Bocconi School of Management
  • Joan Fontrodona, IESE Business School
  • Ivo Matser, ISM University of Management and Economics
  • Alfons Sauquet, ESADE

 

Download the Call for Papers






 

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