The Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business is one of the organizers of the upcoming NBS workshop to be hosted in Vienna and online from 12-15 July 2021. The workshop goal is for leaders of sustainability centers to work collectively toward not just reacting to a "new normal", but proactively leading their business schools in shaping it.
The upcoming NBS workshop is co-hosted by the Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) at the University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication.
The workshop is an initiative of the Sustainability Centres Community (SCC), managed by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS). Since 2012, the SCC has brought together leaders of sustainability/responsibility centres from business schools and universities around the world to discuss shared challenges and opportunities.
Designing the Business Sustainability Centre of the future
The business school community is awakening to the importance of sustainable development. As COVID-19, climate change and social movements affect companies, the relevance of sustainability to business school curricula becomes clearer. Additionally, an increasing number of sustainability-themed journal special issues and conferences are driving scholarship.
The shifting social and environmental reality can mean a pivotal role for business school sustainability centres and their mission of driving sustainability in their institutions and in the broader business community. The 2021 Sustainability Centres Community (SCC) Workshop will engage sustainability centre leaders in imagining and operationalizing a desirable future.
The workshop goal is for leaders of sustainability centres to work collectively toward not just reacting to a "new normal", but proactively leading their business schools in shaping it.
Three plenary events
This process will be framed through three plenary events on three consecutive days.
- The 13 July plenary will ask centre leaders to imagine probable and desirable futures for sustainability centres. Participants will discuss the major disruptions they confront and the future they hope to create. This conversation will evoke our collective imagination of the future we seek.
- The 14 July plenary will shift the focus to designing the business sustainability centre of the future. Centre leaders will work through the barriers and opportunity sets involved in unlocking that desired future.
- In the 15 July plenary, centre leaders will share their own personal challenges and successes, through a collective problem solving and solutioning process. This process will be framed through three plenary events on three consecutive days.
The plenary events will be complemented and reinforced by numerous break-out sessions on the first and second day, led by members of sustainability centres. These sessions will address centre challenges and opportunities related to research, teaching, and outreach, allowing for more focused, intimate dialogue. Recognizing that structure brings value, but that serendipity is also essential, we will complement planned sessions with considerable networking time.
Multi-sector dialogue day
For inspiration, SCC directors are also invited to the ‘Multi-Sector Dialogue Day’ on 12 July. The day’s theme is "Radical change vs. more of the same". Innovative thinkers from the communities of practice and research will open up dialogue on vital contemporary issues from human rights to the role of small businesses and even art in advancing sustainability. This discussion will seed the next days of the workshop, opening up new insights into the future of sustainability centres.