Business schools in discussions at Davos

World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland

Leading business school faculty look to share their insights, advise others and lead important conversations with decision-makers around the world. One of the opportunities to do this is at Davos in Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting. 

INSEAD, for instance, will once again partner with InTent to lead crucial conversations at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Tent on 17 January 2024.

Aligning with the theme of the 54th WEF, which will focus on exploring the opportunities enabled by new technologies and their implications on decision-making and global partnerships, INSEAD will be steering a live Virtual Reality (VR) session titled “From CSR Programmes to Strategic Corporate Impact: A virtual reality experience to transform supply chains in Ghana.”

The session is hosted by the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society (HGIBS) and features INSEAD Dean Francisco Veloso and Professor Amitava Chattopadhyay.

‘Amidst the transformative power of technology and the evolving landscape of global partnerships, INSEAD is taking a leading role in responsible management education,” says Dean Veloso. “Attending the World Economic Forum presents an unparalleled opportunity to engage with global leaders. Our aim is to showcase cutting-edge research and innovative pedagogical teaching methods that can inform global business efforts and expedite positive change. We are thrilled to lead these important dialogues.’

In this workshop, how businesses can concurrently pursue societal and commercial goals will be explored through an immersive virtual reality experience around a CSR programme – AAK’s Kolo Nafaso programme for better shea sourcing. The virtual reality experience will send participants to rural Ghana, where shea collectors (women earning <$1.00/day) live and work, and put them in the perspective of AAK, the largest buyer of raw shea in the world.

Participants will be invited to:

  1. Identify the challenges the shea collectors face.
  2. Explore how the CSR programme impacts the shea collectors’ lives.
  3. Suggest how to scale the programme beyond the limits of the CSR budget.

The core dilemma explored will be:  How can AAK escape from the shackles of time-bound projects and limited CSR budgets? How can they embed societal outcomes in the value chain to create sustainable impact at scale?

Professor Amitava Chattopadhyay says: ‘Supply chains provide significant opportunities for positive impact for most companies. I am excited to lead an experiential workshop in the SDG Tent on what we can learn from how a company transformed its supply chain in Ghana.’

The INSEAD-XR team will also be in the lobby of the Derby Hotel from 16-18 January to share how VR technologies create a sustainable and impactful new reality in growing future global leaders.

Dean Francisco Veloso will also participate in the Responsible Business Education session led by the Financial Times on 15 January at 3 p.m., hosted in the SDG Tent.

Last year, Imperial College Business School held a series of events on the theme of Cohesive Leadership in Digital Transformation – architecting or engineering transformation for optimal outcomes and defining a new role for technology to deliver on the promise.

After all, it’s world stages like Davos where business school voices deserve to be showcased.

For additional insights, trends and perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), visit the conversation here.