Industry, business school, non-government organisation, trade union… The line-up for the first International Conference on Business-Social Partnership: Beyond Philanthropy, to be hosted by the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, is both diverse (75 speakers, no less) and dynamic (the goal being collaboration between government, business and society).
Delegates for the four-day meet, starting December 4, will descend on the Joka campus from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, South Africa, Bangladesh, besides various parts of India. It will carry forward Agenda 21 of the Johannesburg Earth Summit’s Global Action Plan 2002, stressing the need for forging ties between and strengthening the role of major groups from various socio-economic sectors.
“The theme of the conference is of considerable contemporary relevance. At the same time, it is something that has always been central to the IIMC way of looking at management,” said Amitava Bose, former director IIMC and chairman of the Conference Organising Committee on Thursday. He also emphasised the role of educational institutes as catalysts in promoting partnerships between various groups.
Conference convener Sunita Singh Sengupta said: “We feel strongly that this conference will act as a springboard for building a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable world.”
Highlighting the importance of the event, IIMC dean Rabin Ganguly said: “In tune with the evolving business philosophy of the time, the focus will be on building partnerships between key stake-holders in the development process and exploring collective strategies to translate their social responsibilities into more meaningful involvement.”
The sub-themes for the conference include Globalisation and National Development, the Human Aspect of Globalisation, Global Business and Cultural Integration, Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Corporate Citizenship, Business-NGO in Global Partnership Process, New Stakeholder Orientation For Business-Social Partnership…
Anup Sinha, in his message for the conference, summed it up: “Corporate philosophy has to be substantially altered if the world is to survive in harmony.”
Speakers include J.J. Irani, director, Tata Sons; Lorenzo Sacconi, director, Centre for Ethics Law & Economics, Italy; Anant G. Nadkarni of the Tata Group; Rajen Mehrotra, senior specialist on Employers’ Activities for South Asia, ILO, New Delhi; Morten Ougaard, Centre for Corporate Values and Responsibility, Copenhagen Business School; S. Sivakumar of ITC Limited; David Birch, director, Corporate Citizenship Research Unit, Deakin University, Australia, and Carol (Keri) B. Luly, senior policy adviser on US-Asia Environmental Partnership, USA.
Intuc will be represented by Sanjeev Reddy, while Chittabrata Majumdar will hold the Citu flag aloft at the conference, backed by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).