International Confrence on Business, Policy and Sustainability

We are forwarding this invitation on behalf of the Sustainability Platform who are looking forward to welcoming you at their international conference

Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 09:00 to Friday, June 17, 2016 - 16:15



We welcome you to join us on the 16 – 17 of June 2016 for the International Conference on Business, Policy and Sustainability at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The two-day conference, explores the theme of national and global policy, business and academic approaches to sustainability. We are delighted to announce that high profile speakers such as John Robinson (Nobel Prize recipient, University of Toronto), Connie Hedegaard (Former European Commissioner for Climate Action, KR Foundation), Edward Freeman (lead author on stakeholder theory), Dirk Matten (Professor of Strategy Hewlett-Packard Chair in CSR,York University), Gail Whiteman (World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Lancaster University) and Jonas Haertle (United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) are joining us to enliven the debate.
The purpose of the conference is therefore to provide a forum for high quality participants (scholars and practitioners) for discussion of current and possible interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability. The conference serves future knowledge exchange and collective research applications.

The conference is organized by the Academic Directors of the CBS Sustainability Platform, Professors Mette Morsing (IKL, CBS) and Stefano Ponte (DBP, CBS), Velux Professor of Corporate Sustainability, Jeremy Moon (IKL, CBS), Luisa Murphy and Lise Søstrøm (IKL, CBS). The Carlsbergfondet, The Velux Foundations, Danish Society for Education and Business (DSEB), Ministry of Higher Education and Science and Governing Responsible Business Research Environment are sponsors of this conference.


Call for Extended Abstracts

For the last 6 consecutive years, CBS has held an international conference on sustainability in June which is the most beautiful time of the year in Copenhagen. We sincerely hope that you will join us (again) this year to debate and discuss the direction and challenges related to the study and implementation of sustainability in organizations. We are delighted to invite you to submit an abstract of between 500 – 1000 words by March 15, 2016.
We welcome contributions evaluating or critically examining specific policy and/or business solutions to sustainability. Contributions may focus on organizations, institutions, networks, and/or multi-stakeholder initiatives with a global, transnational, national or regional focus. And they may cover environmental, social and/or economic aspects of sustainability. We welcome proposals providing new empirical findings, as well as those with more theoretical or conceptual angles. We particularly welcome abstracts that incorporate one of the following thematic approaches to sustainability:

1) Green Innovation and New Business Models
Discussions and challenges around the increasing problems of global warming, resource scarcity and environmental deterioration, which have a substantial and comprehensive impact on future business conditions, make Green Innovation and New Business Models particularly relevant.
Companies must develop strategies to mitigate risks from supply disruptions, social unrest, rising materials costs, and pressures from regulators, NGOs and the general public. The efficient use of resources is important for competition, and the need for sustainable production and resource use will open up new opportunities for innovations in technology, products, services and business models. Theories, frameworks and empirical evidence on the conditions and tools for promoting and managing sustainable innovation and business models, with a focus on environmental issues require exploration and analysis. How to align technological (and product and process) development and business model innovation, including market platforms and infrastructures is central to this discussion.

2) Sustainable Transitions in Developing and Emerging Economies
Developing and emerging economies (DEEs) are one of the main engines of contemporary growth in the global economy. They face massive transitions in economic, social and environmental terms. Exploration of (1) innovative approaches and North-South partnerships on technology co-production and transfer within clean-tech industries; (2) green innovation networks and capacity building in DEEs; (3) social entrepreneurship and social business models in DEEs; and (4) sustainability strategies of global firms that have implications in DEEs (Base- of-the-Pyramid markets, Sustainable Value Chains) help explain how business in these countries can contribute to sustainable growth.

3) Governing Sustainability
There has been a recent flourish of the private governance of sustainability initiatives. Private actors, such as business firms and civil society groups, have created numerous initiatives addressing pressing social and environmental problems, both at the national and transnational levels. Some of these are strictly private; others are collaborative efforts with the public sector. Corporate codes of conduct, public-private partnership agreements, labeling schemes, and standard setting by multi- stakeholder initiatives, with a focus on (1) legitimacy and accountability processes and strategies related to private sustainability governance; (2) the effectiveness and impact of sustainability initiatives; (3) the dynamics of the relationship between hard and soft law; (4) the influence of the state on private sustainability governance; and (5) the organization of sustainability management in transnational firms should be examined in this context.

4) Communicative Dimensions of Sustainability
Focus is on the communicative construction of sustainability across a variety of interests and stakeholders. Organizations are traditionally understood as instrumental spaces for managers to produce products and processes towards a more sustainable society. However, increasingly organizations appear as social and moral spaces where the meaning and role of sustainability is communicatively negotiated and co-constructed and no definite agreement seems to be achieved across publics.
This development poses new challenges for business in their continuous work to appear as legitimate participants vis á vis civil society, the political system and other organizational/corporate actors. Emphasis is on (1) how communication of sustainability has become a strategic tool for managers working in business, NGOs and policy-making, (2) how traditional and social media play an important role in mediating issues of sustainability across publics, (3) how marketing and branding of sustainability influences consumption and public opinion, and (4) how different forms of political and corporate communication (via persuasion, facts, dialogue, etc.) about sustainability raise questions about the democratic models that underpin sustainability discourses. Against this backdrop, exploration across disciplines of the role and meaning of communication in a broad sense for the development of sustainability is highlighted.

5) Corporate Governance and Leadership for Sustainability Strategy
Managerial behavior and performances related to responsibility in corporations, with a particular interest in how managers and leaders in firms relate to and behave vis á vis expectations to corporate sustainability strategies, policies and action. Discussions that engage with how responsibility issues play a role in shaping systems and models of corporate governance and leadership and, conversely, how different models impact corporate responsibility and performances are engaged here. Emphasis is placed on introducing the concept of to what extent responsibility brings demands for new management competences and management models into the management debate. Exploration of the relationships between sustainability and corporate performances with (1) board of director characteristics; (2) corporate ownership structures; (3) shareholder activism; (4) leadership approaches; (5) ethical considerations regarding corporate governance and leadership; and (6) comparisons of corporate governance and leadership approaches in a Scandinavian context vis-à-vis other global contexts.

6) Sustainability in the Post-Growth Economy
Sustainability in the Post-Growth Economy starts from the realization that the era of perpetual economic growth may be over. Ideas and images of what a sustainable post-growth economy might look like. The purpose of such effort is to transform the end of growth from being the cause of social, economic and ecological depredation into being an opportunity for the creation of new forms of economic organization that do not rest upon the condition of growth. This challenge is approached by starting to rethink some fundamental economic concepts from the perspective of a post-growth economy: What is a company? What is work? What is leadership? What is money? What is consumption? What is a market? And what is in fact economic growth? These questions can be approached theoretically, by looking into assumptions rooted in the paradigm of growth capitalism, and empirically – by studying actual practices of alternative economic organization.

7) Sustainability in a Scandinavian Context
Scandinavian firms are widely considered global sustainability leaders and are disproportionately well represented in the leading global sustainability performance indices. However, little to no research has been undertaken to understand what firm-level policies and practices may serve as contributing factors to the apparently strong sustainability performances of Scandinavian firms. A number of research questions are teed up as part of the upcoming special issue “Sustainability in a Scandinavian Conference” with Scandinavian Journal of Management (deadline 31 August 2016) where this session represents an advance opportunity to test potential submissions to the special issue. In addition, authors will be invited to participate in a workshop with the editors of the special issue to further aid in the progression of paper proposals for the special issue. The workshop will occur during this conference. For additional information about the special issue, please see

8) Gender, Governance and Sustainability
For this interdisciplinary workshop, we seek papers which explore the rich, though often neglected, interconnections between gender, governance and sustainability. Sustainability (encompassing economic, social and environmental concerns) remains a highly contested and gendered phenomenon. Our workshop brings gender/feminist perspectives to inform mainstream analysis of national and global policy, business and academic approaches to sustainability. Contributions may focus on organizations, institutions, networks, and/or multi-stakeholder initiatives with a global, transnational, national or regional focus. In particular, we explore contested arenas at the intersection of business and society, operating through standards, certifications, disclosure, and new governance systems. As inherently political processes, these raise issues of differential power, gendered/racialized participation, and voice. Questions include: In what ways are sustainability discourses gendered? How can gender perspectives extend our understanding of corporate, and multi-stakeholder, sustainability initiatives, their effectiveness, impact and legitimacy? What is the relationship between business and national government policies on gender and sustainability?

9) Responsible Management Education
We welcome papers on developments in the availability and integration of responsible and sustainable management education. This can include overviews (e.g. by survey analysis) or case studies of how the themes of responsible and sustainable management can be taught. We would be particularly interested in studies on such themes as new disciplinary / inter-disciplinary / trans-disciplinary perspectives; the work of institutions (e.g. UNPRME); business initiatives; alternative pedagogical approaches, and impacts of responsible and sustainable management education.


How to submit
Kindly, email the extended abstract as a Microsoft Word document to Please name the file with the last name of the first author. (e.g. ‘Moon’) The first page of the document should include the article title, author names, contact information, and organizational affiliations of the authors involved. There are no specific formatting guidelines, but please be consistent throughout the document.

For those of you who are interested in contributing to a special issue in the Scandinavian Journal of Management, please indicate it specifically in your submission.

Two reviewers will select abstracts for each theme. Authors will receive confirmation of acceptance of abstracts by March 31st, 2016.

Selected participants will also be asked to contribute a paper on the theme with a submission deadline of May 25th, 2016.

Extended abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2016
Paper submission deadline: May 25, 2016

Please contact or with any questions or concerns. We look forward to welcoming you to the conference and engaging with your extended abstracts and papers.


Best wishes,

Jeremy Moon, Lusia Murphy, Stefano Ponte,
Helene Morissette, Mette Morsing and LIse Søstrøm

The page was last edited by: Public-Private Platform // 12/17/2017