The 5th International Conference on Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business held in Milan on the 6th and 7th October brought together practitioners and scholars from a wide range of disciplines and sectors from 29 countries around the world. The conference was coordinated by Dr Georgiana Grigore (CMC), Dr Alin Stancu (Bucharest University of Economic Studies) and Professor Elio Borgonovi (Bocconi University). The theme of the conference this year was CSR in the digital economy and papers presented ranged from studies of ‘slacktavism’; CSR and digital communications in independent restaurants; IT support for management control systems, changes in the oil industry in Norway, to the growth of mobile financial services in Pakistan. However, a recurring issue across many of the papers was sustainability and the need for businesses to reduce their impact on the environment. This question of sustainability was addressed directly by three of the four keynote speakers and the role of consumers and governments was also considered.
Denise Baden, Associate Professor at University of Southampton explored continuing confusion around definitions of CSR and suggested a way forward might be to drop the voluntary, ‘philanthropic’ element from the construct to focus more clearly on the obligations businesses have to meet in order to maintain their license to operate. Environmental issues took centre stage in Marco Frey’s – Director of the Institute of Management of Scuola Superiori di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna of Pisa – address which explored the UN Global Compact and the challenging goals nations and their citizens have been set to meet by 2030. Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen, Associate Professor at BI Norwegian School and Co-Director of BI Centre for Corporate Responsibility – looked at the ways governments and businesses can ‘nudge’ consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and waste. Offering some interesting examples such as how a small a charge for plastic bags dramatically reduced the number of bags used and thrown away, or encouraging greater use of public transport and bicycles by cutting the number of parking spaces at work could be much more effective than information campaigns. This opened a debate as to whether people simply shifted negative behaviour to other areas and whether governments should be focused more on reducing consumption and heading towards a low or no growth economy. There was also discussion, by Paolo D’Anselmi from University Rome Tor Vergate and others around the role of competition in helping achieve CSR goals where some disagreements emerged. These arguments tended to be between those in the tradition of Milton Friedman who would roll back the state, especially in southern European countries such as Greece and Italy, where waste and poor productivity were identified. Others pointed to problems with privatisation in countries like the UK where the costs to society such as lost employment rights and erosion of public services had been felt sharply by many.
The two days saw a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives from different countries and disciplines. Lead organisers Dr. Georgiana Grigore and Alin Stancu offered their thanks to Professor Ellio Borgonovi and others from Bocconi University for the warm welcome and support the conference participants received. The wonderful sights, sounds and tastes of this stylish, exciting city will be hard to match, so preparation for next year’s conference in Berlin have already begun.
Please find the final version of the ICSR 2016 Timetable
The venue of the conference is Bocconi University, Via Roentgen, 1 Milan.
Hope seeing you on Thursday and Friday for the conference.
The conference will take place at:
Via Roentgen, 1 Milan
rooms AS01, AS02, 3-B3-SR01
1. Introduce the panel at the start and each of the presenters in turn.
2. Each presenter has 15 minutes to complete their talk and 3 minutes for Q&A. Please ensure that presentations do not exceed that limit, so as to allow enough time for questions and discussion, and to ensure parity for all presenters. You will be given time reminders (5 mins, 2 mins) to display to the presenter which you can use.
3. Each panel must stick to time as we have limited break time. Tell the audience if we are reaching the end of time for the panel, so questioners and panelists know to keep any comments and questions short.
4. Please ask audience members asking questions to introduce themselves (name and affiliation).
5. Panel chairs are welcome to briefly summarise, link or compare/contrast the papers presented in order to facilitate inclusive discussion that engages all presenters.
6. If speakers have their presentations on a USB stick, then please ensure they upload to the PC desktop before the panel begins. In case of IT issues, please find the IT assistant present at the conference or a member of the organising committee.
Please familiarise yourselves with fire exits before convening the session.
We are now in the process of finalising the conference programme and proceedings. This is to remind you that the deadline for registration is 15 September 2016. If you want to be included in the conference, we urge you to register by this date.
Registration is now open here: https://paytool.unibocconi.it/buy/
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Marco Frey (PhD) is Director of the Institute of Management of Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna of Pisa and was born in 1961. He holds a degree in Economic and Social Sciences from the Bocconi University, Milan, in 1986 and in 2000 he was awarded the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship.
He is Full Professor of Economics and Business Management, leader of the Sustainability Management Research Group (SuM) at Sant'Anna School and Research Director at IEFE (Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy – Bocconi University, Milan).
Marco Frey is chairman of Global Compact Italian Foundation – which is a body of the United Nations – and National President of Cittadinanzattiva, a non-profit organization which promotes civic participation and the protection of citizens' rigths in Italy and Europe.
For further information please look here http://www.marcofrey.it/en/
Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen (PhD) is Associate Professor at BI Norwegian Business School. She holds a PhD in Leadership and Organization (BI Norwegian Business School), a Masters degree in Energy and Environmental Studies (Boston University) and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver). Ditlev-Simonsen has international and comprehensive business and organizational experience in the areas of corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship and environmental and ethical issues.
Previous work experience includes Project Manager, World Industry Council for the Environment, New York; Executive Officer, Norwegian Pollution Control Authority; Advisor, Kværner ASA and Vice President, Head of Community Contact, Storebrand ASA. She has varied board experience and was a board member of WWF-Norway (World Wide Fund for Nature) from 2002 – 2008. Ditlev-Simonsen is also Co-Director at the BI Centre for Corporate Responsibility www.bi.no/ccr.
Ditlev-Simonsen give speeches on CSR in different fora around the world, and teaches at Master and Executive level in Norway and China.
For further information please look here http://www.carolinedditlev-simonsen.com/
Denise Baden (PhD)is Associate Professor at University of Southampton. She followed her first degree in Politics with Economics, with several years in industry, then returned to academia to do a doctorate in psychology, which was awarded in 2002. Denise worked in the area of social psychology for 3 years, and then joined the Southampton Business School, University of Southampton as a lecturer in 2005, where she has been engaged in research and teaching in the areas of business ethics, sustainability, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility.
Current research interests are sustainability and SMEs and cross cultural comparisons of CSR practices in capitalist and socialist economies, centering particularly on Cuba. Dr Denise Baden has a particular passion for creating impact from her research activities. She is currently leading an ESRC grant into sustainability in the hairdressing sector and seeking innovative ways to disseminate her research on business models in Cuba via a musical project: Fidel the Musical!
For further information please look here https://www.sbs.ac.uk/academic-profiles/denise-baden#