Yes it was originally intended to be a physical gathering and became ‘virtual’. This brought its own challenges but also the pleasures of bringing together participants from places as far flung as Sydney, Moscow, Lagos, Boston, as well as from closer neighbors in London, Helsinki, Paris and even from a colleague taking a walking holiday in western Finland!
The workshop took an inter-disciplinary course in several respects: there were papers given by authors from different academic departments (e.g. Law, Economics, Business Administration); papers were formally discussed by colleagues from different disciplines; and practitioners participated. As a result, the workshop was able to cover a very wide range of perspectives on the questions of: ‘Measuring the Scale of a Complex Issue’; ‘Internal Controls and Audits’; ‘Narratives and Institutional Change’; Tax Professionals and their Context’.
There was a Keynote Address by Professor Reuven Avi-Yonah (University of Michigan), one of the world experts on the topic, presenting his thoughts on Taxation in a Post Covid World. His focus was on the assumption that more tax would be necessary to enable appropriate government capacity and that the onus was more on national governments than on international agencies. There was also a Keynote Practitioner Panel addressing the question of Pressing Knowledge Gaps. The Panel consisted of: Stephanie Johnston (Tax Notes), Mette Mellemgaard Jakobsen (Maersk), Eelco van der Enden (GRI, PwC), David Bradbury (OECD), Susana Ruiz (Oxfam International), and Susanne Stormer (Novo Nordisk).
Both the Keynote and the Panel attracted lively discussion from the workshop participants as well as wider audiences. The discussion was broad but there was a great focus on how the world’s tax systems should / could be changed, involving who, and fixing what problems, and how all this relates to public expectations of governments and corporations.
Recordings of the Keynote and the Practitioner Panel are available via our CBS Sustainability YouTube channel.
Jeremy Moon, Director at CBS Sustainability