Join us!
ABIS Annual Colloquium 2015
ABIS GlobalEventsABIS Annual Colloquium 2015

ABIS Annual Colloquium 2015

Global Sustainability Strategy: New models and approaches to achieve sustainable living

Inspired by the central theme of the World Expo 2015 in Milan, the 14th Annual Colloquium will address new philosophies and models for sustainable living.

Date 19-21 October 2015
Host SDA Bocconi School of Management
Venue SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
Focus New Models and Approaches to achieve Sustainable Living



Thematic Focus

Is it possible to ensure sufficient, good, healthy and sustainable food for all mankind?

This is the question that underpins the central theme of the World Expo 2015 in Milan.

The aim of the 14th ABIS Annual Colloquium is to be an integral part of the global dialogues around the theme of Expo 2015 - Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Hence, the title of the ABIS Colloquium is:

Global Sustainability Strategy: New models and approaches to achieve sustainable living.

The following thematic areas will be interwoven into the Colloquium's 2 day programme:

  • Sustainability and Sustainable Lifestyles in the 21st Century
  • Rethinking Core Concepts in Strategic Management for Sustainability
  • Innovation for Sustainability & Sustainable Living
  • Sustainability, Strategic Management and SMEs
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Public Policies and Strategies for Sustainability & Sustainable Living
  • New Strategies for Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations
  • Implications for Business Education
  • The Role of Brands in Driving Sustainability

Central Issues

The core issues of sustainable development have become a subject for global concern in recent years, which has been reflected in the field of strategic management. However, the unit of analysis in the field has predominantly been the multinational enterprise. A decade ago, the fundamental questions addressed how corporate strategy would evolve to include sustainability and responsibility – in itself, a relatively new field of enquiry.

Yet the aftermath of the financial and economic crises has highlighted an urgent need for new strategic management and decision-making models which nurture smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and deliver shared value for business and society. The same issues apply universally to MNCs, SMEs, government agencies, NGOs, and others. The challenge is how to empower and equip as many actors as possible to manage them going forward.

Thus, as in previous years, the 2015 Colloquium will leverage the ABIS model of corporate-academic partnership to focus on ways in which companies, business schools and universities, and other actors can collaborate more effectively to define and develop new frameworks in knowledge, talent and learning that contribute to lasting solutions.

Download the official Programme Brochure here.






Our Hosts



(All times local)



Download the official Programme Brochure here.



Registration & Coffee


 Welcome & Opening Remarks: Global Sustainability in Doctoral Training


 Plenary session: Sustainability, strategy and corporate performance


Coffee Break


Research Dialogue & Feedback Sessions







Research Dialogue & Feedback Sessions 




Coffee Break


Plenary session: Sustainability Issues in Management: a research agenda






 Annual General Assembly (For ABIS Partners / Members only)


Download the official Programme Brochure here.


Day 1 of the Colloquium is devoted to the future.  More specifically, it will feature evidence- and experience-backed perspectives from international thought leaders on the prospects, obstacles and potential game-changing approaches to achieve more sustainable economies, societies and living models in the years to come.  

The programme integrates a blend of formats to ensure that dialogue and exchange of ideas are central to the day. In parallel, it will lay down a foundation for Day 2, which has a more practical focus on identifying change scenarios.

Download the official Programme Brochure here.


20 October

Venue: Aula Magna - Via Gobbi, 5




Bruno Busacca, Dean, SDA Bocconi School of Management


Alfons Sauquet Rovira, President and Chair of the Board of Directors, ABIS



 Towards a Sustainable Future:

Developing Scenarios and Transition Pathways



Francesco Perrini, Full Professor and Colloquium Co-Chair, SDA Bocconi


Effective global responses to current and future sustainability challenges imply long-term vision and commitment, as well as a deep understanding of system dynamics and systemic change. In this opening session, two of the world’s leading thinkers will explore the possible parameters of a more sustainable future, and how we might catalyse a transformation of our current way of life to achieve it.


Opening Address

Mario Monti, President, Bocconi University


Keynote: System  Innovation and Sustainability Transitions: Dynamics and Strategic Implications

Frank Geels, Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability, Manchester Business School



Plenary Session


Defining Global Sustainability Strategy: 360˚ Perspectives


In response to the opening keynotes, the second session brings together a group of internationally respected leaders to discuss societal, market-based and political strategies to advance the global sustainability agenda, and how to overcome conventional barriers to progress and change.



Letizia Moratti,Co-Founder, The San Patrignano Foundation

Janos Pastzor,  Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, UN

Sergio Piazzi, Secretary General, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean

Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE Policy Center & Former Director, UNEP



Doug Baillie, Chief HR Officer, Unilever & Advisory Board Chair, ABIS



Coffee Break


 Venue: Velodromo - Piazza Sraffa, 13 - Rooms N03, N04, N05


Master Classes


The Colloquium Master Classes enable participants to engage in a more focused Q&A and debate with our speakers from the opening sessions, as well as a select number of senior respondents. These sessions will be dialogue-based, without presentations, and will lay further foundations for the afternoon’s corporate dialogues (on future models of sustainable living).


Master Class I (Room N03):


Transforming Markets & Economies

Master Class II (Room N04):


Scenarios & Transition Pathways for Sustainable Futures

Master Class III (Room N06):


Building Consensus for Global Action


Letizia Moratti

Co-Founder, San Patrignano Foundation & Former Mayor of Milan


Christina Scocchia

CEO, L’Oréal Italy


Cédric Beacher

General rapporteur, The Positive Economy Index, Movement for a Positive Economy


Domenico Arcuri

CEO, Invitalia

Moderator: Malcolm McIntosh

Writer and Educator



Maurizio Zollo

Full Professor of Strategy and Sustainability, Bocconi University


Frank Geels

Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability, Manchester Business School


Doug Baillie

Chief HR Officer, Unilever & Advisory Board Chair, ABIS


Moderator: Simon Pickard

Director International Programmes, ABIS




Sergio Piazzi

Secretary General, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean


 Rajendra Shende

Chairman TERRE Policy Center & Former Director, UNEP


Roberto Barbieri

Managing Director, Oxfam Italia


Moderator: Elio Borgonovi

Full Professor of Public Management, Bocconi University





Venue: Velodromo - Piazza Sraffa, 13 -Rooms N06, N07



Future Models for Sustainable Living: Part I

Corporate Leaders’ Perspectives on 2020 and Beyond


In these sessions, leading executives will be asked to reflect on emerging dynamics for systemic change within four domains of global sustainability: energy, mobility, food, and urbanisation, and what these mean for their company and sector.

Beyond the short- and longer-term business challenges and opportunities these paradigm shifts present, speakers will also consider the knowledge and education priorities for their next generation of leaders to thrive in a new era for sustainable business, and the implications for business schools and universities. 




Ernesto Ciorra

Head of Innovation and Sustainability, ENEL


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma

CEO, Founder and Leader of The Initiative MAMA-LIGHT for Sustainable Energy, AbzeSolar S.A.


Patrizia Rutigliano

Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Communication, Snam


Giovanni Valotti

President, A2A and Utilitalia


Moderator: Matteo Di Castelnuovo 

Director of the Master in Green Management, Energy and CSR (MaGER), Università Bocconi 







Alessandra Perrazzelli

Board Member, Azienda Trasporti Milanesi 


Christof Ehrhart

Executive VP Corporate Communications & Responsibility, Deutsche Post DHL Group


Didier Hamon

Secrétaire Général du groupe Aéroports de Paris





Moderator: Mark Esposito 

Professor of Business and Economics at Grenoble Ecole de Management and Harvard University's Division of Continuing Education 




Future Models of Sustainable Living: Part II




Renato Grottola

Chief Strategy & M&A Officer, DNV GL Group


Andrea Illy

CEO, Illycaffè


Stefano Pogutz

Chair of the CEMS-MIM Facility Group "Business and the Environment", Bocconi University



Moderator: Antonio Tencati 

Associate Professor of Management, University of Brescia 





 Jean-Pierre De Kesel

Chief Sustainability Officer, Recticel


Peter Lacy

Global Managing Director Strategy - Sustainability Services, Accenture


Paolo Santi

Lead, MIT Fraunhofer Ambient Mobility & Senior Researcher, Institute of Informatics and Telematrics of the National Research Council 


Moderator: Marco Frey 

Director of the Institute of Management, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa and Chairman of Global Compact Italian Foundation 



Coffee Break

Venue: Velodromo - Piazza Sraffa, 13 - Rooms N03, N04, N05, N06, N07



Insight Workshops: Part I (For details, please download the official Brochure)

Latest Knowledge and Ideas from the World of Research


In the first of two identical sessions bridging Days One and Two, participants are invited to attend one of four parallel tracks devoted to a dimension of the central conference theme.

Each session will feature three short presentations of latest insights from the international research community, with time included for Q&A with the presenter and wider feedback from the audience.



Close of Day One



Venue: Museo Diocesano Corso di Porta Ticinese, 95 Milano

Optional: Guided Visit to the Museo Diocesano


Gala Dinner

Guest Speaker: Jacques Attali

President of Positive Planet & Positive Economy Forum


 Download the official Programme Brochure here.





Day 2 is largely about the participants taking ownership of the debate and working together in facilitated groups to define evidence- and experience-based scenarios for inspiring organizational change around different dimensions of sustainability. 

In line with ABIS’ mission, it is structured around two parallel, interlinked themes: Knowledge & Education. The thought leadership and new ideas will come from Colloquium delegates. They will be supported in Day 2 sessions by a clear process and experienced moderators.

Download the official Programme Brochure here.


21 October

Venue: Velodromo - Piazza Sraffa, 13 - Rooms N03, N04, N05, N06, 03


Insight Workshops: Part II (For details, please download the official Brochure)

Latest Knowledge and Ideas from the World of Research 

As per the final session of Day One, participants will again have the choice of four parallel tracks to hear – and respond to – latest insights from the global sustainability research world.



Coffee Break


Transition from the Velodromo to Aula Magna Building


Venue: Aula Magna - Via Gobbi, 5 


Keynote Address 

How Innovations in Knowledge Sharing & Learning Models

Can Enhance Corporate Sustainability


Andrew King

Professor of Business Administration, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

Founder, the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS)



Setting the Stage for the Afternoon Programme


Jens Meyer

Director General, CEDEP & Member of the Board of Directors, ABIS


Before and after lunch, the audience will split into multiple teams of approx. 10 participants for two scenario workshop sessions. These emphasise interactive dialogue and exchange of insights around different dimensions of sustainability and strategy being put into practice – both in companies and in business schools / corporate learning environments. In this short preparatory session, ABIS Board Member Jens Meyer will explain the format, guidelines and objectives through to the end of the conference.



Scenario Workshops Session 1



Purpose: The first workshop serves to identify a series of evidence- and experience-based insights with respect to a range of themes around sustainability and strategy. See below for an indicative list of topics.

Format: The teams will initially share “worst” and “best” experiences (not perceived practices) and seek to identify commonalities across each category. On this basis, each team will develop practical / empirical principles, which will serve as guiding or boundary conditions for innovation and organisational change. The principles will be displayed in “slogan or tagline” format outside of the workshop spaces, and will subsequently inform discussions in Session II.


Indicative Themes:

  • Increasing organizational resilience to global sustainability trends
  • Assessing the impact of sustainability on brand equity
  • Making the business case for sustainability to the CFO
  • Informing and supporting smart industry policy, regulation and governance
  • Managing open & disruptive innovation  (from systems to products)
  • Driving sustainability through value and supply chains
  • Sustainability in the global luxury goods sector
  • Innovating in talent development (frameworks, policies and curricula)
  • Developing new learning and education models
  • Building effective multi-stakeholder partnerships (between business, academia, policy and / or society)






Scenario Workshops Session 2 



On the basis of the empirical cases and principles discussed in Session I, the teams are invited to drill deeper into the ‘red threads’ that connect successful innovation and change scenarios within companies and business schools.

Individual teams will be tasked with identifying 2-3 potential ‘remedies’ or ‘nudges’ for organisational change to share with the rest of the Colloquium audience. These are expected to have direct practical relevance for the business and academic worlds, and will be showcased in the closing session as a draft ‘agenda for action’ going forward.



Coffee Break



Closing Session & Presentation of Change Scenarios



Conference Close & Farewell Drinks Reception


Download the official Programme Brochure here.




Official Programme Brochure

Download the official Programme Brochure here.






Avenue Louise 231
1050 Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium

Contact us
+32 (0)491 63 67 53 Privacy
Website by Brainlane
Website by Brainlane