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Leaders from academia and business join UN in drafting principles for responsible business education


More than 400 business leaders and educators from around the world met in Cleveland/Ohio for a international forum titled “Business as an Agent of World Benefit – Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change”.

The three-day conference was co-convened by The Academy of Management, the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and the United Nations Global Compact. The goal of the Forum was to develop new ways for business to address the world’s most pressing needs while also making a profit. In addition to attendees in Cleveland, several thousand participants from 37 countries joined the the BAWB Virtual Forum, an online platform providing live coverage from the event.

Keynote speakers included Professors C. K. Prahalad and Stuart Hall, Lafarge Chairman Bertrand Collomb, Unilever CEO Patrick Cescau, Ken Smith, President of the Academy of Management. Opening the Forum, Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell delivered a statement from the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, stressing the important role of the academic sector in sustaining the momentum of the corporate responsibility movement.

A key outcome of the forum was the agreement among representatives from major academic institutions and initiatives, including the Academy of Management, the British Academy of Management, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the European Foundation for Management Development, the European Academy of Business in Society, and the Global Responsible Leadership Initiative, to begin the process of drafting Principles for Responsible Business Education (PRBE). The Principles, inspired by the UNGC Principles, will serve as a framework for action of the academic world as a strategic partner in the advancement of good corporate citizenship worldwide.