The Pentland Centre attends the Sustainability Centres Workshop 2016


05 December 2016

Two academics from the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business have attended a sustainability workshop in Fontainebleau, France.

Dr Rodney Irwin and Dr Alison Stowell recently went to the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) and INSEAD Social Innovation Centre’s biannual Sustainability Centres Workshop & Executive Roundtable.

The event brought together leaders of business and sustainability centres to share practices, address common administration, teaching, research and outreach challenges, as well as hearing from the Executive community as to what future Education and collaboration could look like.

Hosted by Professor Tima Bansal (Ivey Business School) and Mr Luke Disney (Executive in Residence at INSEAD) the participants had an intense but exciting agenda.  Speakers included Mrs Jennifer Nash (Harvard Business School), Mr Erik Foley (Pennsylvania State), Dr Sally Randles (University of Manchester), Professor Subhasis Ray (Xavier Institute of Management), Mrs Alexandra Palt (L’Oreal), Ebrahim Mohamed (Climate-KIC), Mr Simon Kuper (Financial Times), Mr Ravi Fernado (Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability) and many more.    

This meeting provided the perfect opportunity for building relationships between centres and the platform to put forward new ideas for collaboration.  Reaching out to the community, Alison asked Centre Leaders to collaborate with the Pentland Centre and create a rapid response network.  Led by Professor Gail Whiteman, the network would be designed to address questions raised by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and their CEO community.  The overarching ambition being to crowd source knowledge and co-design scalable business solutions.       

Dr Irwin, panel discussion on ‘how to get research to people who need it’, reminded participants that  ‘we are trying to create a world where more than 9 billion people can all live well within the boundaries of our planet and the urgency of the issues that could prevent this are so great that urgent action and scalable solutions are needed now’.   Rodney said “academia is vital to this ambition however the gap between academic and practitioner practices are a major problem.  The time taken to publish, academic writing style and a lack of implementable actions has made the gap even wider.”

Images Carolus | CC BY-SA 3.0