Business for a Better World Center
A Center of Excellence in the George Mason University School of Business
Student Sustainability Challenge Case Competition
Small Steps Toward Greater Sustainability at George Mason’s School of Business
The Business for a Better World Center is offering students an opportunity to make a positive impact by helping reduce our school’s ecological footprint. The case competition will feature seeks student suggestions for processes and practices that are cost-effective, modest in scope, and applicable in the near term to enhance resource efficiency and resilience in the School of Business.
Proposals based on competition guidelines will be accepted up to April 15, 2020. Contestants will present their proposals to a panel of experts on May 1.
B4BW Sponsors 2020 Early-career Sustainable Operations Workshop
The Business for a Better World Center is a cosponsor of the 2020 Early-career Sustainable Operations Workshop, which will be held on February 21–23 at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. The workshop aims to provide research presentations and networking opportunities (both within academia and with industry) for early-career scholars who work in sustainable operations management. The workshop, held by the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society, features presentations by scholars from George Washington University, Georgetown University, and George Mason University.
The School of Business at George Mason University is a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative—a reflection of the school’s commitment to making business a force for good.
George Mason’s partnership with the United Nations began in 2012 with a commitment from the university to support the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. The Global Compact is a call to companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.
In 2014, the School of Business subscribed to PRME, the portion of the Global Compact aimed at education in responsible business, and in 2018 the school elevated our membership to PRME Champion status, where continue to be today.
PRME Champions are a small group of PRME signatories committed to working collaboratively to develop and promote activities that address shared barriers to making broad scale implementation of sustainability principles a reality.
The mission of the PRME Champions group is founded in six core principles:
Principle 1 — Purpose: We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.
Principle 2 — Values: We will incorporate into our academic activities, curricula, and organizational practices the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.
Principle 3 — Method: We will create educational frameworks, materials, processes, and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.
Principle 4 — Research: We will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental, and economic value.
Principle 5 — Partnership: We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.
Principle 6 — Dialogue: We will facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organizations, and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.
The school is continuing its involvement as a PRME Champion as the initiative enters the Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals by 2030, with the launch of the 4th PRME Champions cycle. School of Business Dean Maury Peiperl participated in PRME Champions "Deans Dialogue" during the United Nations Global Compact's January conference in Davos, Switzerland.
Business should be a force for good in the world, leading the change to address the world’s wicked problems. The Business for a Better World Center seeks to address these complex global challenges in areas such as education, health, security, equality, technology, and the environment.
The Business Round Table recently joined BlackRock founder, chair, and CEO Laurence Fink in stating that the purpose of the corporation is not only to create value for shareholders, but also to create value for all its stakeholders. While businesses have a critical role to play in addressing the world’s complex challenges, the business sector relies on universities to produce knowledge, convene partners, and prepare students for a world where business is a positive force.
George Mason University School of Business is uniquely poised to launch a center in the business for good space. The school has actively pursued relationships with and leadership roles within such organizations as Ashoka U, the Principles for Responsible Management Education, AACSB International, and Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. Our unique liberal-arts-based undergraduate “Foundations” curriculum offers integrative, hands-on, problem-solving experiences to students from across the university, introducing students to the social, global, historical, and legal contexts of business with an emphasis on business as a force for good. Our faculty engage in teaching and research that investigate the social and environmental implications of global business activity. This center is a pioneer in the business-for-good space, and is unique among institution of higher education in our diversity and success educating students from many demographic populations.
We will achieve our vision through a focus on furthering the UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, countries around the globe committed to solving 17 sustainable development goals that tackle three main areas: people, planet, and prosperity. Over the next five years, we will execute an ambitious plan to educate future leaders, convene current leaders, generate and exchange knowledge, effect change, and lead a movement to reshape business education that inspires business as a force for good in the world.
Center Overview: Vision, Mission, Goals, and Outcomes
Vision: Business is a force for good in the world, leading the charge to address the world’s wicked problems
Mission: The Business for a Better World Center will:
- Educate the next generation of leaders ready to take on the world’s complex challenges.
- Generate knowledge that transforms business “as usual.”
- Convene leaders across sectors to exchange ideas and generate new ways of doing things.
- Effect positive change in the world by actively engaging in action-oriented partnerships with organizations and communities.
- Lead an international movement to reshape business education for the world.
Honey Bee Initiative
The Honey Bee Initiative at George Mason University is one example of students learning and implementing social entrepreneurship to make a difference both in our local community and worldwide. A collaboration between the School of Business and the College of Science, the Honey Bee Initiative works on honey bee sustainability by providing an innovative education, conducting collaborative research, and establishing community partnerships in our local Northern Virginia region and abroad.
The Honey Bee Initiative was recognized in 2019 by AACSB International with its "Innovations that Inspire" award.
Mason’s Honey Bee Initiative advances global sustainability initiatives and economic alternatives for underserved regions and populations (e.g. women and children) by using beekeeping as a tool for social and economic empowerment.
Contact the Business for a Better World Center:
|Lisa Gring-Pemble, PhD, Co-Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Anne Magro, PhD, Co-Executive Director, email@example.com|
"Society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges. . . . Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society."
— Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock, Inc. Founder, Chair, and Chief Executive Officer
"The critical challenges society faces — such as water scarcity, access to education, and the rising cost of healthcare — increasingly require the business, government and nonprofit sectors to work together to create lasting solutions. [We need] leaders able to engage and collaborate across all three sectors."
— Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas, Harvard Business Review