Business as an Agent of World Benefit | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Business as an Agent of World Benefit

1.00 credit hours

The relationship between business and society, and the search for mutually beneficial advances between industry and the world's most pressing challenges, has become one of the defining issues of the 21st century. In every sector, immense entrepreneurial creativity is used to create a better world. Positive entrepreneurial energy is growing in direct proportion to the growing crises of our times. Industrial facilities and corporate buildings are being designed in ways that give back more clean energy than they use. Bottom-of-the-pyramid strategies and micro-enterprise models are helping to eradicate extreme poverty. Companies are designing supply chains that leave behind zero waste, only waste-as-food that becomes a cost-saving input for other industries. Powered by artificial intelligence, products and services are helping to solve social, health, and climate-related challenges. What research studies are documenting -including The Business of Building a Better World: The Leadership Revolution that is Changing Everything (Cooperrider and Selian, 2022. Berrett-Koehler), The Base of the Pyramid Promise (London, 2016. Stanford University Press), Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage (Laszlo and Zhexembayeva, 2011. Stanford University Press), Flourishing Enterprise (Laszlo et. al., 2014. Stanford University Press), Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire (Henderson, 2020. Public Affairs/Hachette)-is that, one-by-one, positive disruptions are erasing the false dichotomy embedded in the great trade-off illusion, the belief that firms must sacrifice financial performance if they choose to strategically address societal, environmental, and wellbeing challenges. It is in such a context that this MBA course explores one overarching proposition: that business, the motor of our society, has the opportunity to be the most positive and creative force on the planet, a force that contributes to the well-being of many as we transition to a sustainable world economy. Our search is for business as an agent of world benefit: what does it look like, where is it happening, what are the market, societal and leadership enablers, and what are the business results and value propositions involved? And most important: how does this help each of you, as MBA students, to become leaders in the managerial, executive, and entrepreneurial roles you will occupy; ready to win the future and succeed in a marketplace where doing well by doing good is fast becoming the new normal.

No Syllabus Available

Chris Laszlo (Spring 2023)

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