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ABIS New Year´s message from the Chair of the Board of Directors Baback Yazdani and the ABIS CEO Ivo Matser

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Dear business-academic network, 

We wish you a New Year of health, happiness, and prosperity. Last year, we all learned that “business as usual” and “taking for granted” do not exist anymore. The complexity of the world is becoming more visible than ever before. This sounds quite challenging, but it also opens new windows of opportunities.

For this reason, at ABIS we decided to invest in innovation on several levels. While we kept our traditions of our flagship events, the Knowledge Into Action Forum and the Annual Colloquium, we innovated on the formats and speaker diversity, offering interactive fishbowl sessions and giving young leaders the spotlight they deserve.

In terms of support in publishing your research, last year we not only finalized our special issue “Measuring Impact and Creating Change”, and initiated a new one on “Driving impact through responsible investing”, but we also kept working to publish a series of innovative “Sustainability Teaching Practices” that will be available to you later this year.

We also re-framed our EU funding involvement strategy. You can count on us to oversee dissemination and/or communication strategies, advise on the impact of your proposals and be part of advisory boards. In line with this, we offered a Horizon Europe Funding webinar series and took part in several consortia and proposals that will hopefully help ABIS to engage our members in exciting projects. We were also pleased to organize a hybrid Roundtable for Industry and Policy Makers for the ReTraCE project, that proved to be a success and immense help for the early-stage researchers involved.

We proudly delivered two relevant, tailor-made activities for our members: the Responsible Investing Summer Course with NN Investment Partners and the Creating Value Roundtable (2nd ed.) with Antwerp Management School, which led to the Corporate Approaches to Sustainable Value Creation Report.

We deep dived into the Scenario Exploration System foresight tool by re-introducing its use at the academic, business and policy levels, followed by monthly SES Taster sessions. We engaged with many enthusiasts who are integrating the tool into modules, courses, and projects in member institutions and beyond. We are now also offering trainings for interested facilitators. At the COP26 Climate Summit, the same tool has been used to open discussions on complex problems with multiple stakeholders and interests.

In 2021, we also launched a pilot Mentoring programme for early-stage-researchers. The interest among our network to be involved was remarkable and we can assure you to continue with this initiative in 2022.

We would also like to share a few other innovations from which we expect a high impact for our members and society. We will soon launch the ABIS Sustainability Hub, a network of individuals to share activities, best practices, failures, and knowledge about sustainability from various dimensions. We are also in the test stage of developing a business school management tool for the implementation of sustainability - the Sustainability Performance Improvement System. Based on a questionnaire, ABIS will create reports for the decision-makers in schools for their further sustainable developments, strategies, and priorities.

We trust that these innovative approaches and activities will be of value and will support all of us in bettering our impact on society. We look forward to engaging with you online or in person in 2022!

At your service.

Kind Regards,

Dr. Ivo Matser EMP, Chief Executive Officer

Prof. Baback Yazdani, Chair of the Board of Directors

Avenue Louise 231
1050 Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium

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