October 13, 2006

Case Western Reserve University to Host Three Days of Discussion and Idea-sharing at the Business as an Agent of World Benefit Global Forum

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Case Western Reserve University will host three days of discussion and idea-sharing at the Business as an Agent of World Benefit Global Forum October 23–25.

The three-day conference, Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change, will unite the efforts of the UN Global Compact, the Academy of Management, and Case's Weatherhead School of Management.

Over 400 top business executives and management scholars from around the world will explore ways in which business can be a leading force in eradicating poverty, enhancing the environment, and advancing peace—while still prospering financially. An additional 3,000 participants worldwide are expected to join the forum via satellite and Internet links.

The forum will open with a written welcome message from Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, which will be read on Monday, October 23, at 8:30 a.m. by Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Office. Annan is unable to attend the forum due to world events.

This innovative event will bring corporate and thought leaders together in a unique setting to combine theory with practice as a means of developing actionable next steps for businesses seeking to respond to social issues like the environment, health and poverty while also making a profit.

Business can be a powerful force in achieving the world’s Millennium Development Goals. However, businesses need to focus on the bottom line for individual companies, and the economy as a whole, to thrive. Until recently, in the thinking of many people, a trade-off illusion existed; they believed that addressing societal problems meant giving away money. Today, leading businesses realize that all of the world’s problems can become business opportunities.

In addition, businesses increasingly realize that corporate citizenship is not a peripheral activity but rather a core element of their business strategy. Global corporate citizenship is the future of business. Business leaders and scholars who attend this forum are not people who need to be sold on the business case. Many, however, have more questions than answers. They want to learn how corporate citizenship can be leveraged strategically in their business.

Therefore, the forum will seek to answer some of those questions and create learning laboratories and action groups around those questions so that follow-up work after the forum can be done to continuously answer those questions. Scholars and business practitioners are coming together in this unique forum is to combine the strengths of each sector to create a living, learning action network.

Instead of one-way speaking, the forum will be different from other conferences because it will allow participants to spend the majority of their time in intimate dialogue. Innovative processes, which foster participative and interactive dialogue, such as Appreciative Inquiry, will allow participants to explore the business case for corporate social responsibility while developing solutions for implementing socially responsible activities.

For more information on the global forum, Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change, please visit http://www.bawbglobalforum.com.

Contact: Hallie Rich, BrownFlynn at 440.484.0100 x8 or hallier@brownflynn.com

Posted by: Heidi Cool, October 13, 2006 09:10 AM | News Topics: Events, HeadlinesMain, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives, Public Policy/Politics, Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.