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Knowledge Into Action Festival
ABIS GlobalEventsKnowledge Into Action Festival

Knowledge Into Action Festival

How can business organizations, leaders and educators harness knowledge to take responsible actions?

Date 27 - 29 April 2021
Host ABIS - The Academy of Business in Society
Venue Online - ZOOM Meetings
Focus Knowledge Into Action FESTIVAL

Nearly all individuals and organizations on the planet have become painfully aware of the limits of our current socio-economic system. The private sector, in particular, has been under the spotlight as a potential deal breaker or deal maker. On one hand, there is a growing attention, interest and commitment in the business community in alternative ways of doing business that respect and value the wellbeing of people and planet – testified by net zero commitments, the uptake of Circular Economy and new business models as well as the momentum in standardizing sustainability reporting etc. On the other, there are also signs that this is not enough. Despite the lockdowns and economic slowdown, CO2 emissions already raised above the December 2019 high. Data from the World Benchmarking Alliance, set up by the UN Foundation to evaluate companies’ commitment to the SDGs, show that almost no companies in the world are actually on the path in delivering on their commitments around the SDGs [1]. Despite the emergence of a more stakeholder-based capitalism, shareholders do not shy away to take firm action in companies who do not manage to “strike the right balance between shareholder value creation and sustainability” (Bluebell Capital letter to Danone Board of Directors).

We invite you on a 3-days journey to uncover:

  • Is there a real shift towards value-centred business and economy?
  • How can it look like?
  • What kind of skills, competences and learning paradigms does this require?

On Day 1, we will start by taking stock and sensing into the shifts that are happening. On Day 2, we will take a more reflective stance and allow the young generation to lead us to their vision of the future. Finally, on Day 3, the discussion will evolve into a collaborative action-oriented definition of the paradigm shifts required in education and organizational learning to support the economic transformation.

    [1] ABIS-AMS Value Creation Roundtable 2021


    Knowlege Into Action Festival



    (All times local)


    27 April (Day 1) 

    What business and economy is emerging?

    28 April (Day 2)

    The future leads the way

    29 April (Day 3) 

    New learning paradigms

    14:00 – 14:15

    Opening and Introduction

    • Karolina Sobczak - Knowledge Manager, ABIS
    • Ivo Matser - CEO, ABIS & Vice President, IEDC - Bled School of Management

    14:00 – 14:15

    Warm up and introduction

    14:00 – 14:15

    Warm up and introduction

    14:15 – 15:30

    Panel Discussion 1

    Emerging business models and economic systems

    The opening session of the Festival will acknowledge and look at some developments and possibilities opened up by sustainable business models, circular economy practices as well as the calls for alternative economic systems such as inclusive or stakeholder capitalism, which aim at creating more responsible business action. We will also consider how such evolution will be impacted by the challenges of the post-Covid recovery and social distress.


    • Louise Scott - Vice President of R&D, Natura &Co & Avon
    • Marc de Wit - Director of Strategic Alliances, The Circle Economy
    • Marcello Palazzi - Global Ambassador, B Lab
    • Doug Lynam - Partner, LongView Asset Management & Member, Council for Inclusive Capitalism
    • Moderator: Alexia Perversi - Director Global Sustainability Services, Mazars

    14:15 – 15:30

    Panel Discussion 2

    What is the future calling for?

    The central session of the event will put the spotlight on young leaders - whom we at ABIS call movers -, who will necessarily be the protagonists and true actors of economic transformation. They will share what they are calling for from their perspective. We will all learn from them about their vision and needs for a value-centred, pluralistic, inclusive and sustainability-driven education, business models and economic system.


    • Francisco Rodrigues - President, JE Global
    • Sophie Charrois - International President, Oikos
    • Monika Skadborg - Board Member, European Youth Forum
    • Kamila Camilo - Partner, Impact Beyond & Davos Lab Taskforce Member, WEF
    • Moderator: Baback Yazdani - Professor and Executive Dean, Nottingham Business School, NTU & Chair of the Board of Directors, ABIS

    14:15 – 15:30

    Panel Discussion 3

    What do businesses and business schools need to learn?

    The new business models and economic systems that need to deal with increasingly complex human society, social divides, and environmental challenges require new mindsets and competences. This last panel will reflect on what these could be and how businesses and business schools can become innovative and learning organizations to navigate new waters.


    • Mette Morsing - Head of PRME, UN Global Compact 
    • Njeri Mwagiru - Senior Futurist, University of Stellenbosch Business School
    • Eva Pomeroy - Social Innovator in Residence, Concordia University & Core Team Member, Presencing Institute
    • Moderator: Ivo Matser - CEO, ABIS & Vice President, IEDC - Bled School of Management

    15:30 – 15:45 Break 

    15:45 – 17:00

    Interactive Session 1

    Emerging models, cases and reflections

    Fishbowl discussion

    The conversation will build on the previous session and we would like it to zoom in on concrete sustainability initiatives and business model innovations. The format will allow any and all participants who are willing to share their perspective and examples to actively contribute to the knowledge base on emerging, more sustainable and value-centered models.

    15:45 – 17:30

    Interactive Session 2

    Exploring sustainable futures through the Scenario Exploration System

    In this session, participants will engage in an interactive, dynamic learning experience nurturing their foresight skills, systemic thinking and understanding of sustainability. We will use the innovative gaming methodology of the Scenario Exploration System (SES) of the European Commission. It will help you explore how different stakeholders can react and influence societal trends, while discovering alternative sustainable future possibilities.

    Places are limited to allow for the best organization.

    15:45 – 17:00

    Interactive Session 3

    Co-creation session

    The session aims to harness the learnings from the event as well as next steps together.



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