Academy of Management 2012 Panel Symposium: The Path towards a Sustainable Society
Join us this year, at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Boston, to discuss critical issues of Sustainability with thought leaders
Title: The Path Towards a Sustainable Society
Date: August 6th, 2012
Time: 4:45pm – 6:15pm
Place: Hynes Convention Center, Room 306
Ioannis Ioannou, London Business School
George Serafeim, Harvard Business School
Tima Bansal, University of Western Ontario
Robert C. Eccles, Harvard Business School
Amy C. Edmondson, Harvard Business School
Rebecca M. Henderson, Harvard Business School
Joshua D. Margolis, Harvard Business School
Anita McGahan, University of Toronto
Maurizio Zollo, Bocconi University
Over the past few decades most countries have experienced unprecedented levels of economic growth. Meanwhile, urbanization has been accelerating, the bulk of economic activity has been shifting from agriculture and industrial production to the supply of services, and globalization has removed barriers to freely moving labor, financial capital, and products. These macro trends have placed strong pressures both on the environment and society; the scarcity of natural resources and increasing CO2 emissions constitute a serious threat to both our economies and our societies. Moreover, unemployment, especially amongst young people, as well as social inequality have increased despite the tremendous economic progress. Government debt over GDP has also been increasing, suggesting that governments might not have the capacity to provide many of the often necessary public goods and services.
By various estimates, the next 20 years will also witness an unprecedented growth in global demand for output, in the form of products and services. At the same time, ever rising productivity levels are accelerating the global GDP growth while generating further significant social and environmental pressures, making some of the already existing challenges even more acute. It is expected, for example, that in the next decade the global middle class will double, with 70% of this increase coming from outside the developed G7 countries. Therefore, financial capital scarcity will become more severe as emerging economies rapidly shift towards more industrialization and urbanization, and therefore require massive amounts of fixed capital investments. Not only financial resources but also an estimated doubling of global demand for commodities in the next 20 years will significantly intensify the pressure on ever more scarce natural resources.
These macro trends radically reshape the global landscape, and bring fundamental questions to center stage: How can we ensure that the means and ways we use for generating society’s wellbeing today are not compromising or even jeopardizing the wellbeing of societies of future generations? What are the implications of this global transformation that we are already witnessing, in the way we design our cities, establish our organizations, and visualize the global society of the future?