On Thursday June 27th the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit presented to a State Department-sponsored international visitor delegation hosted by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs. The group was composed of 11 visitors and two State Department liaisons from multiple countries who were in the United States to examine corporate ethics and transparency and accountability in the private sector. The group was a part of the United States Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. The objectives of the program included examining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and their impacts, exploring business strategies that ensure sustainability for all stakeholders, and understanding networks of partnerships, including businesses, to ensure integrity. Participants in the group ranged from academics and researchers to CEOs and Program Directors.
Megan Buchter presented information about the Fowler Center, our guiding principles (including an introduction to Appreciative Inquiry), and our main programs. Then the group engaged in a lively discussion with Dr. Chris Laszlo, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, about what sustainable value means for a company. Dr. Laszlo discussed the UN Global Goals and how corporations can use the targets under the 17 Goals as metrics for successful sustainability strategies. He also presented the group with information about businesses moving from "doing less harm" and essentially being "less un-sustainable" to businesses doing good and truly acting as agents of world benefit. Dr. Laszlo used examples of business as an agent of world benefit from the AIM2Flourish.com website where there are over 2,000 stories of positive business innovations for global good.
Thank you to the Cleveland Council on World Affairs for bring your group to the Fowler Center and for allowing us the privilege of such an engaging conversation.
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