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George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Business For A Better World Center, Convene

B4BW connects today’s top professionals with the problem solvers of tomorrow. Our students learn from experts who have changed their companies and industries for the better so students can apply those lessons throughout their careers.

Semester Speaker Series

Bringing leaders to campus, and to our students specifically, is central to our mission. It is essential they hear from and have access to those who are changing the world and making progress on the issues discussed in the classroom. Our Business for a Better World Speaker Series brings social impact and sustainability thought leaders from top-tier organizations directly to our students where they discuss the issues facing our world.

On Friday, April 16, 2021, we were thrilled to welcome Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. A lawyer and human rights advocate who has devoted more than 40 years to the pursuit of equal justice, Kennedy spoke on a range of human rights related issues in the fashion and agriculture industries, and in business generally.

Deep and accelerating inequality; unprecedented political polarization; vitriolic public discourse; a fraying social fabric; public and private narcissism—Americans today seem to agree on only one thing: This is the worst of times. On Tuesday, November 21, 2020, co-authors Robert Putnam (Bowling Alone) and Shaylyn Romney Garrett, discussed their new book The Upswing: How America Came Together A Century Ago, and How We Can Do It Again, and how we can learn to be a stronger, more unified nation.

On October 21, 2020, we were pleased to be joined by Dymphna van der Lans and Jean-Louis Racine of the Clean Cooking Alliance, a United Nations supported organization focused on making clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. This wide-ranging discussion covered the organization's work, leadership styles, and the importance of partnerships.

Stakeholder Capitalism Discussion Series

Like much in our society, the gospel of shareholder capitalism – the belief that the sole purpose of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders – is currently experiencing a long-overdue reexamination and upheaval. Businesses must change their practices to meet the changing values and expectations of today, not retreat to what is comfortable or easy. In 2021, B4BW launched the Stakeholder Capitalism Discussion Series to help ensure forward progress is maintained, and to drive stakeholder capitalism further into the mainstream, thereby changing the trajectory of our corporations. This series explores stakeholder capitalism and how it can be applied to businesses in a world rife with persistent inequality, social injustice, racial bias, and environmental degradation.

On Thursday, June 17, 2021 we welcomed Franz Paasche, the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at PayPal. This conversation focused on the many ways PayPal is incorporating a stakeholder capitalism mindset into its business practices, and how the company treats its employees and customers.

On Thursday, April 29, 2021, in a dynamic, audience driven discussion, Seth Goldman, the founder of Eat the Change®, offered his vision for a more sustainable food system and the role each of us can play in making it a reality.

As for our inaugural effort, Peter Georgescu joined us on Thursday, February 11, 2021. In a far-ranging interview with Dean Maury Peiperl, Georgescu, the former Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam discussed the meaning of capitalism and the need for a shareholder approach. "You have to have inclusive prosperity," said Georgescu, "this is critical to the sustained prosperity of America and to democratic society. We got to get there."