What an exciting time the month of October has been for the Weatherhead School! On October 22-25, we welcomed over 400 academic and business leaders from around the world to our School for the Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change Global Forum. Participants came from 37 countries to discuss how business and management education can address the world’s most pressing social issues of the 21st century. In addition, 1,000 people attended, virtually, through the internet.
During the Forum there was one workshop with a focus on Northeastern Ohio that I was particularly excited about. This interactive session featured several innovative projects that are generating environmental and economic impact for the NE Ohio region and beyond. These initiatives are defining the way our local community is leveraging both business and economic development opportunities to create a better future. During the workshop, participants heard from leaders in business, the non-profit sector and government about opportunities that are laying the foundation for achieving the vision for our region to become a “green city on a blue lake.”
On the final day of the Forum, participants broke into interactive groups and were asked to develop action steps to make the purpose of the Forum a reality.
The purpose of the Forum was:
* to unite the strengths of business with the Universally recognized values of the UN Global Compact and the world’s Millennium Development Goals which include the eradication of extreme poverty, restoring the environment, and building partnerships for peace and development;
* to directly challenge “the great tradeoff illusion” by exploring fresh research on why sustainable development is essential for successful contemporary business strategy and well being; and
* to re-envision management education as a major world player in transformational learning—to support management education in extending its immense influence to advance global corporate citizenship by transforming intellectual frameworks and attitudes, and thus the contributions of millions of current and future leaders.
Proposals ranged from How to Influence Media to Report on Sustainable Initiatives to Developing Collaboration with the Academy of Management and the U.N. Peace Corp.
The Weatherhead School was pleased to be a convener of this Forum with the UN Global Compact and Academy of Management in this important step in the right direction for business and management education. I look forward to reporting more outcomes from the Forum in the months ahead.
N. Mohan Reddy