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Posted 4.18.06

Founded in 1936, the Academy of Management (AoM) is the oldest scholarly management association in the world. As a co-sponsor of the Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change, AoM will help ensure the highest caliber of intellectual capital will be brought to the conference. AoM President Thomas G. Cummings comments, "When we talk about exploring ways in which business can be a leading force in advancing the U.N.'s millennium goals, the knowledge our members bring to the table is indispensable. And indeed, we are making sure that the ‘best of the Academy' is included!" With over 16,000 members representing 94 nations, AoM clearly brings one of the world's brightest management scholar networks to the Global Forum.

Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change will unite the efforts of the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC), the AoM, and Weatherhead on October 23-25 in Cleveland. The Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit (B·A·W·B) is an integral partner with Case in its work to develop this exciting and unique Global Forum. The Forum will bring together over 400 UNGC members, government policy members, leading management scholars, and business executives from all over the world on the Case campus and another 3000 from satellite locations around the world.

The Global Forum provides a unique and exciting partnership opportunity for the UNGC, AoM, and Case, bringing the combined strengths of each to the conference. Speaking on behalf of AoM, Cummings notes, "Our name recognition generates interest in academic circles and our extensive reach into the pipeline of knowledge enables us to be a convener of an important forum such as this." Cummings believes partnering with UNGC will bring business executives, civil-society leaders and government policy makers from around the world under the UN banner; in addition, B·A·W·B and Case Western Reserve University will provide faculty and professionals to carry out the event at a strong academic and research institution.

Moreover, Cummings credits the individuals leading the conference with bringing the most important component of the conference together: the people. "Program chairs from each of the three organizations, Nancy Adler, representing the Academy and McGill University, David Cooperrider, representing Case and B·A·W·B, and Manual Escudero of the UNGC, together with an advisory board of esteemed academic, corporate, and organization leaders, bring tremendous abilities to create an event of this importance and scale," Cummings says.

There are a number of important goals for the conference including exploring ways in which businesses can financially prosper while simultaneously benefiting society and the environment. In addition to these overarching goals, AoM views the Forum as an exciting opportunity for their organization, "to raise the visibility of management research as an important contributor to solutions to the 21st century's most pressing global challenges," notes Cummings. Too often, academic research is criticized for not being practical or in tune with social and public concerns. "We are looking forward to showcasing the important work that our members do and providing an avenue for their research to make the impact in the world that it deserves," says Cummings. "We are also hoping that the Forum will surface a host of emerging world issues that will become the focus for our members' future research."

By partnering with the UNGC and Case, AoM is helping bring about tangible solutions to some of the 21st century's greatest challenges including extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and human conflict. Notes Cummings, "All of us-scholars, policy makers, and business executives-have come to realize that the world's problems are our own." Consequently, he believes the forces that shape the global future are dynamic and interconnected. "We cannot hope to understand and positively change them unless we work together to share our expertise and knowledge and to make informed choices that benefit us all," he says. "The Global Forum, resulting from the exciting partnership between three prestigious institutions, is certainly a step in the right direction."

By Leanne Shott, MBA Candidate 2007



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