Launching event

1st May  2018: ‘Business in the Urban Context: Enabling or Constraining Sustainable Development’.

To kick-off the start of the reading group ‘Business in Society’,we organized a panel discussion on the role of business in urban development. By 2050, 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities, making it critical in achieving sustainable development. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 11 strives for cities and human settlements to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Business are a key stakeholder and a driving force in this local impact of global sustainable development.

We discussed how business can play a vital role to the overall strategy to optimize urban development. The event addressed questions such as: How do governments work with business through private-public partnerships? How can global goals for responsible business practices be translated tangible, local measurements? How do local events influence global business practices and regulations (e.g. in the Rana Plaza disaster)?

Keynote speakers were:

Professor Juliane Reinecke (KCL) – Juliane joined King’s Business School in 2017 as Professor of International Management & Sustainability and Associate Dean (Impact & Innovation). Her research focusses on, broadly speaking, how transnational governance institutions emerge and evolve because of the interactions of multiple stakeholders to promote more just and sustainable forms of globalization in global supply chains, but also organizations in general.

Jessica Runicles (Business in the Community) – Jessica is the Benchmarks, Insights and Innovation, Programme Manager. Building on 5 years consultancy experience she has spent the last year supporting BITC define what Responsible Business is, culminating in the Responsible Business Map. Currently she is developing the Responsible Business Tracker; a transformational new tool which will help companies measure how responsible they are.

Tom Levitt (Sector 4 Focus) – Tom is a writer and consultant on ‘using the tools of business to create public good’ and a former Member of Parliament. In 2017 he published the book: The Company Citizen: Good for Business, Planet, Nation and Community. He is a science graduate, former school teacher and a serial charity chair, with experience of working in local and international development.