Global Leadership Roundtables

Summer Jackson presents at the BiGS Global Leadership Roundtable "Doing Business in a Divided World" in Detroit, Michigan.
Action shot from the BiGS Global Leadership Roundtable in São Paulo, 2023
Veronica speaks at Sao Paulo roundtable in 2023

Harnessing business to address society’s greatest challenges.

The goal of the Institute for Business in Global Society (BiGS) Global Leadership Roundtables is to empower business leaders to tackle society's most pressing challenges. At each Roundtable, we convene business leaders, NGO executives, government officials, and scholars to discuss emerging best practices and the challenges that leaders encounter when they address significant societal issues. Each event focuses on a region-specific issue while also broadly exploring the evolving role of business in society.

Our ultimate goal is to create networks of dedicated leaders who collaboratively identify and implement innovative strategies and business practices. Additionally, these discussions provide valuable insights for our Harvard Business School faculty and assist them in developing new business models and cases that advance our intellectual agenda.

Join us as we work together to shape a future where business plays a critical role in solving global challenges.

Why do we host Roundtables?

Our mission at BiGS is to develop an intellectual hub that will highlight business's role in addressing societal challenges and to create a thriving ecosystem for translating that research into action.

The Global Leadership Roundtables allow us to reach this mission in three key ways:

  • We create two-way conversations between researchers and executives from different sectors to better understand new models and strategies that businesses are pursuing to address major societal challenges. This helps us develop an intellectual hub and deepen our collective understanding of business's role in society.

  • HBS faculty facilitate case discussions relevant to the topic at hand. This helps us directly share research and educate leaders at the forefront of making change happen.

  • We aim to host three Roundtables in each global region, to develop longer-term networks of leaders who share best practices and collaborate on implementing new models and strategies. This helps us catalyze action and harness business to address society's greatest challenges.

Who do we include?

Our target audience is senior leaders from different sectors who are either topical experts or who have key decision-making authority within their organizations.

This includes C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, executive directors of leading NGOs and civil society organizations, senior government officials, and thought leaders from academia and industry. Additionally, we strive to ensure that Roundtable attendees reflect society at large in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and other identities. Finally, our target is that a maximum of 50% of the audience comprise HBS alumni, to ensure that we are including fresh perspectives in the conversation.

Where do we host?

We partner with HBS's Global Research Centers to host each Roundtable. We rely on the research centers’ deep knowledge of the local context for the topics that we discuss and on their extensive networks in each region.

As such, we select the locations for our Roundtables based on which research centers have the interest and capacity to partner with us and which HBS faculty have expertise in that region. The locations for previous and upcoming Roundtables include the U.S. Midwest, Latin America, and Europe:

  • Detroit, Michigan, 2022 and 2023

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2023

  • Washington D.C., 2024

  • Paris, France, upcoming, 2024

  • Mexico City, Mexico, upcoming, 2025

Upcoming | Global Leadership Roundtables

October 2024

Paris, France

March 2025

Mexico City, Mexico