Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Green business global generation
Madrid's IE Business School (one of the world's main business schools, ranked among the Top Three in Europe and Eleventh worldwide by the Financial Times) asked me to do a lecture last night, as part of the Global Affairs Forum which draws experts from business and civil society to discuss important global challenges with their International MBA students.
In my lecture on NGO-Private Sector Partnerships: Opportunities & Risks, I discuss the dos and don'ts which I believe both business and NGO leaders should watch out for, when they consider and design partnerships together. It is also for me an opportunity to discuss the evolution of the environmental movement as I witnessed it in the last 30 years, and to engage the audience in a discussion on ways forward for key cross-sectorial issues.
IE Business School's MBA students are future business leaders of over fourty-nine nationalities with diverse backgrounds in finance, economics, liberal arts and engineering. Thus I suppose their reactions represent a valid survey of upcoming global trends in the business community. And after last night's experience, I hope so.
Based on their broad level of interest and knowledge of environmental issues, on the quality of their questions on key issues, and on their willingness to engage constructively (including their respect and understanding for the role of advocacy organizations), I went home with a feel good spirit after it was finished: with the impression that the environmental paradigm shift we've been advocating for decades can become a reality with the imminent next generational shift these MBA students will represent.