Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB): Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change
A Global Forum that was convened by:
The Academy of Management, The United Nations Global Compact & Case Weatherhead School of Management
This was held October 22nd-25th at Case Western Reserve University and online uniting top business leaders and educators to focus on ways of doing business that are both profitable and succeed in addressing the world’s most pressing social needs.
I was extremely fortunate to be a part of this.
To hear prominent speakers like C.K. Prahlad (Prof - University of Michigan), Ray Andersen (CEO of Interface Inc.), Patrick Cescau (CEO Unilever) etc. and also interact with top leaders in business and education sector was an amazing experience. I wonder how many people at my age could have got such an opportunity!
Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface Inc. had an opening speech on the theme and also on how his organization is viewing sustainability. It was extremely interesting and amazing to hear that.
(Interface is one of the world's largest manufacturer of carpets and is focused on environmental sustainability)
Bobby Sager, Founding chairman, young Presidents Organization Peace Action Network had a great touching talk one of the evenings about how the YPO is working and he told something which highlights a completely different angle of seeing things.
"Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. But no one can count the apples in a seed."
Also, I was one of the facilitator along with 6 other ex / current AIESECers to facilitate sessions on paper - research conversations by different authors. To facilitate a bunch of professors and leading business people on this was a memorable experience!
Amongst that was facilitation of the topic of "New Metrics: Measuring our Many impacts" This was about triple bottom line research papers and one of them was by ASQ (American Society of Quality) who are putting forward their thoughts on a new ISO quality standard that should be in place by end of the year 2008 or early 2009.
The entire global forum agenda was based on Appreciative Inquiry and so in the design phase, I was in this group for seeing how can this work and thoughts around this. Extremely enriching and exciting to see how this is going to be taken forward. To be a part of actually designing this was a huge learning point.
Also Brodie had a speech on how do youth view this and views on how can educators play a role towards increasing the awareness around this. Everyone was in awe! :) It was excellent!
Overall, great ideas that were designed to be executed to understand CSR from different angles and also to see how different aspects of society are viewing and working on this.
Another exciting experience was to be at the Harvard club in New York to meet one of AIESEC US alumnus. Its a really cool place to be there. You need to be there to witness the atmosphere. Also interesting was to hear Dick Kramlich, who is one of the top venture capitalist in the country to hear his thoughts around entrepreneurship and venture capitalism for India and China. A lot to learn - I must say...
Things have been extremely hectic on this US trip - but has been very enlightening and interesting!