The first International Conference on Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business was held at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies on the 22-23 October 2012 and gathered more than 60 participants from seven countries in the world (Romania, UK, Italy, Austria, Macedonia, Philippines and India). The purpose of the conference was to create a networking opportunity for both researchers and practitioners to discuss recent insights on socially responsible practices in the non- and for-profit sector.
Although academic in nature, representatives in the business environment delivered case studies on sustainability practices and reflected on the challenges and opportunities that corporate social responsibility brings in different industries. The keynote offered by Paolo D`Anselmi from University Rome Tor Vergata in the first day of the conference, brought a message of self-reliance, that is consolidated on the awareness that business “is the carrier of positive values in society and has untapped social resources”.
On the second day of the conference the panel of practitioners brought together Corporate Communications Managers from L`Oreal Romania and Unilever South Central Europe and a CSR consultant. The panel set up the foundation for a debate about internal and external CSR communication, designing CSR projects, understanding different aspects of CSR in order to operationalize it in different strategic environments and ways to develop a sustainable business. More than 50 papers were presented during the conference on themes ranging from CSR communication or CSR initiatives to sustainability and business ethics.
The conference ended with a keynote offered by Dr Diana Luck who is a consultant, researcher and senior lecturer in Integrated Marketing Communications at LondonMetropolitanBusinessSchool. She firmly believes that businesses have an obligation to relevant stakeholders and society in general. She talked about the benefits that a company can obtain from designing and implementing CSR practices.