Business for a Better World Center
A Center of Excellence in the George Mason University School of Business
Looking Ahead at Sustainability in Corporate America
Featuring corporate sustainability expert Jeff Foote.
Student Sustainability Challenge Case Competition Launch
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