Bentley University Global Business Ethics Symposium Explores Global Challenges and Possibilities of Stakeholder Engagement
Bentley University partnered with Euromed Management for the seventh annual Bentley Global Business Ethics Symposium on May 23, 2011 at the Euromed Management campus in Marseille, France. The program was presented by the Bentley Center for Business Ethics and Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, and sponsored by the State Street Foundation, the charitable grantmaking arm of State Street Corporation. Keynote speaker Richard Lacaille, global chief investment officer, State Street Global Advisors, addressed international academicians and corporate and civil society leaders to explore best practices and challenges in business ethics and ethics education. This year's event was also sponsored by the UN Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative.
The theme -- Stakeholder Engagement in Practice: Global Challenges, Possibilities, and Limitations - reflects the growing awareness of the critical nature of firm-stakeholder relationships.
"While most companies recognize the importance of managing these relationships, there are myriad challenges and questions we continue to face in identifying and engaging stakeholders, moving beyond a limited view of primary stakeholder groups, to understand the true nature of the problems and opportunities we are facing," says Tony Buono, professor of management and sociology and coordinator of the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility.
The symposium explored both the moral imperatives that the stakeholder model raises as well as the pragmatic realities of managing multifaceted relationships in a complex, every-changing environment.
"As we have done in the past, by bringing together representatives from the corporate, academic and civil society worlds, our intent is to stimulate a thoughtful dialogue around these critical issues," Buono notes.
The day-long series of panels and discussion directly confronted daunting challenges faced by top industry professionals and experts such as the parameter of stakeholder engagement; strategies for identifying and engaging stakeholders; benefits and challenges of stakeholder engagement; and thoughts about the future of managing stakeholder relations, including trends and governance challenges.
Academic panelists at the symposium represented Bentley University; École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne; Euromed Management; Green Mountain College; Rutgers University; Southern Methodist University; State University of New York (SUNY) System; University of Bath; University of Victoria; and University of Zurich.
Business panelists hailed from Adecco Groupe France; Alter Eco; Caux Round Table; CARE France; Comité 21; Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT); Conscious Capitalism Institute; E&H (des Enjeux et des Hommes); Fair Trade International (FLO); La Poste; Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO); La Tribune; Novethic; ORSE (Study Center for Corporate Social Responsibility); Primagaz; Seché Environnement; Sodexho; Utopies; UN Global Compact; and World Wildlife Federation-France.
For more information on the symposium and the leading experts at each panel, please go to http://alliance.bentley.edu/symposium.
Established in Memory of Timothy B. Harbert '76, Chairman and CEO of State Street Global Advisors and Trustee and Alumnus of Bentley University, the partnership unites business and higher education to build a strong ethical foundation from which to serve our many constituencies and communities.
STATE STREET CORPORATION is the world's leading provider of services to institutional investors. With offices in 25 countries and customers in more than 100 markets, we understand the importance of being a socially responsible community leader and ethical business partner. We are proud to collaborate with Bentley University in this important endeavor.
The STATE STREET FOUNDATION is the charitable grantmaking arm of State Street Corporation and provides funding for our strategic grantmaking program, our disaster relief emergency assistance fund and our Matching Gifts Program. Through our grantmaking program, the Foundation works to generate and sustain positive change in the communities where we operate. We do this by supporting charitable organizations that provide economically disadvantaged citizens with the skills they need to be successful. In 2009, State Street Foundation grants totaled US$15.8 million.
EUROMED MANAGEMENT is one of France's highest ranked business schools. With campuses in three countries and nearly a third of its 5,000 students coming from abroad, Euromed is increasingly present on the international scene. Through its bachelor's, master's and continued education programs, Euromed aims to create diversity and innovative thoughts and solutions. Euromed's dedication to sustainable development is increasingly expressed in the school's mission to train "responsible managers" and in its continuous reflection on the extent of our responsibility as educators. It is the school's belief that through diversity and pedagogy we can educate managers that will respect ethical issues and promote sustainable development. Students leaving Euromed are expected to graduate with a cross functional and clear vision, as well as a positive and constructive attitude.