On November 14-15 IE Business School played host to internationally renowned experts in corporate responsibility at the 2nd Social Responsibility Forum, an event focused on best practices used to promote the positive social impact of business organisations. The workshops were organised by students on the IE International MBA program, and were sponsored by Acciona and Sanitas.

Speakers at the Forum included Jose Maria Figueres, Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica (1994-1998), President of Club de Madrid and an expert on sustainability; Bibi Russell, social entrepreneur and founder of Bibi Productions in Bangladesh; Jonathan Robinson, co-founder and General Director of The Hub in the UK; Pamela Hartigan, General Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in the US; and Alberto Vollmer, CEO of Ron Santa Teresa in Venezuela, and a promoter of the Alcatraz Project.

The forum also featured the 2nd Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition run by the Sumaq Alliance, which this year received 15 social business projects designed by students from IE business School, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas (Brazil), Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina) and IESA (Venezuela), The business plans competed for the Social Entrepreneur Award, which recognises the projectâ??s potential for the creation of social value, the generation of sustainable economic value, and the possibility of replicating it in other countries.

Social commitment at IE
IE Business School has a long-standing tradition of research and teaching in the area of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The results of these efforts include the schoolâ??s no. 1 position in Europe and number 10 in the world in the prestigious â??Beyond Grey Pinstripesâ? ranking conducted by the Aspen Institute, and which evaluates the degree to which the 100 top business schools worldwide integrate social and environmental issues into their MBA programs.

IEâ??s concern for social and environmental issues is evidenced by initiatives like its Department for Social Impact Management, which plays a key role in the day-to-day running of the school. The IE Alumni Chair in Corporate Ethics is another major initiative in the field of CSR, as are the schoolâ??s dedicated research centres like the Centre for Eco-Intelligent Management, Centre for Diversity and Centre for Corporate Responsibility, focussed on developing original research in these areas for subsequent inclusion in over 60 core and elective subjects in IE Masters programs. IE also offers a social entrepreneurship track to promote the development of social business organisations.

Moreover, all MBA students must present a business plan that includes an analysis of the social and environmental impact of the project. On an international level IE runs the Social Business Plan Competition which is open to students of the 8 partner schools of the Sumaq Alliance. IE also organises events like the Social Responsibility Forum and has recently launched the Corporate Responsibility Tribune, aimed at bringing CR discussion to top-level management in European companies.

Full information on the event can be found on netimpact.ie.edu.