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Responsibility

Business Case for Sustainability: The Stakeholder Perspective

Atalay Atasu

If the environment were the new business stakeholder, could we still afford to ignore it?

Responsibility

Four Global Trends in Business and Society in 2024

K. Le Goulven, M. Stabile, F. Veloso

Climate change, geopolitical crises, social instability and income and wealth inequality are threats to business – but they also pose opportunities for impact.

Responsibility

The Risks and Rewards of Community-Driven Business Models

J. Singh, A. Adbi and M. Lee

Understanding the hidden dangers of leveraging social capital in low-income communities.

Leadership & Organisations

INSEAD Insights: January 2024 Research Picks

Lily Fang

Recent findings on enhancing experiences, gender wage transparency, long-term planning, networks and the dangers of flattery.

Career

What 2023 Taught Us: The Rules Are Always Changing

INSEAD Knowledge

This year's top trending articles explore how we can keep pace with a world in flux.

Entrepreneurship

AI Is Coming for All Our Jobs... Or Is It?

Rachel Eva Lim

How leaders, employees and organisations can better prepare themselves for the impact of AI.

Leadership & Organisations

INSEAD Insights: November 2023 Research Picks

Lily Fang

Recent findings on human morality, publishing cycles, manufacturing in low-income markets, virtual assessments in acute care services and sarcasm.

Strategy

Shareholder Activism at What Price?

Philipp Meyer-Doyle

Financially driven campaigns waged by institutional investors against companies can lead to more workplace illness and injury.

Responsibility

Making Radical Change a Business Sustainability Imperative

N. Craig Smith

Companies need to take risks if they want truly impactful results.

Responsibility

Why We Haven’t Fixed Gender Inequality at Work

Alexandra Roulet

Research by Claudia Goldin, the 2023 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, offers ground-breaking insights about a long-standing problem.

Operations

How Anti-Discriminatory Measures Can Worsen AI Bias

Anton S. Ovchinnikov

Removing gender-related data from machine-learning models may paradoxically harm women instead of protecting them.

Career

INSEAD Insights: October 2023 Research Picks

Lily Fang

Recent findings on bias in employee evaluations, shareholder activism, children’s mental health, the meaning of work and knowledge weighting.

Responsibility

ESG Is Not Impact

Jasjit Singh

ESG efforts are essential for reducing harm, but it is not the same as striving for a net positive impact.

Responsibility

How Sporting Events Can Score Big on Sustainability

B. Fulton, L. F. Monteiro

The Rugby World Cup and other global tournaments can set the stage for both sporting excellence and sustainability.

Marketing

INSEAD Insights: September 2023 Research Picks

Lily Fang

Recent findings on online marketplace dynamics, new market creation, trust in AI, diversity in corporate boards and consumer choices.

Responsibility

Frameworks and Focus Are Essential for Change

Ilian Mihov

The crucial role business schools must play in building a better world.

Responsibility

Unravelling the Link Between Socioeconomic Status and Obesity

P. Chandon, M. Langlois

A longitudinal study conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic suggests that stress plays a key role in explaining why obesity is more common among the poor than the rich.
1 comment

Operations

What Businesses Can Learn From Humanitarian Operations

Luk Van Wassenhove

Navigating uncertain and dynamic environments and overcoming resource and information scarcity are nothing new to humanitarian organisations.

Strategy

Democracy, Defence and Conflict in the Age of AI

Rachel Eva Lim

How can we ensure that AI fosters, rather than undermines, democratic values?

Responsibility

Beliefs and Emotions Shape Our Sustainability Journey

Marc Le Menestrel

How exploring our beliefs, emotions and identities can guide us and others towards a more sustainable future.

Responsibility

Business Not as Usual: Companies Stepping Up in Crisis

B. Urlu, E. G. Gülserliler, L. Van Wassenhove

In times of humanitarian disasters, the private sector must step up. Businesses can hardly be functional when society comes to a halt.
1 comment

Responsibility

From Super-Sized to Superior Gratification

Pierre Chandon

Why we need to focus on eating as pleasure if we want to start eating healthier.

Responsibility

Thoughtful Consumption for Well-Being and Sustainability

H. Plassmann, S. Rangan, E. Hansmeyer

Understanding consumer behaviour is key to making fashion more sustainable.

Responsibility

When Shareholders Share, the Business Benefits

Claudia Zeisberger

Offering company ownership to every employee can help reduce inequality.

Responsibility

Without Shared Values and Goals, Tech Regulations Won't Work

T. Evgeniou, L. Van der Heyden

The world needs to harmonise goals and values in order to rein in the potential harm technology can cause.

Strategy

How to Effectively Engage Stakeholders

Lite Nartey

Strategies for identifying key players, managing stakeholder networks and creating joint value.

Economics & Finance

The Costs of Fuelling Economic Growth

Robert (Bob) Ayres

A study of ten large global economies shows that exergy – not human labour – is the primary driver of GDP growth. Existing production models cannot explain growth.

Operations

Humanitarian Versus For-Profit Operations: When Lines Blur

L. Van Wassenhove, I. Parsa, K. Aral

What are the repercussions when humanitarian organisations adopt a commercial structure?

Responsibility

We Need to Talk About the Carbon Budget

Beatrice Weder di Mauro

With the release of the IPCC’s latest report confirming that the world is alarmingly far from achieving global climate goals, governments must set mandatory emissions targets for the private sector, establish a robust global carbon market, and distribute the global carbon budget and emissions rights fairly.

Responsibility

Bringing DEI into the Core of Our Institutions

M. Akinola, Z. Kinias, M. Norton, B. Kessler

Implementing DEI concepts effectively in business-school classrooms requires support from both institutions and the wider community.

Operations

Circularity in Practice: Case of a Zero-Waste Island

A. Atasu, I. Gill

Implementing sustainable solutions has everything to do with influencing behaviour, as shown in the Just Go Zero project on the Greek island of Tilos.

Economics & Finance

Will ESG Investing Solve Our Pressing Problems?

Lily Fang

ESG or sustainable investing suffers from a principal-agent problem. Far more impact will be achieved when business leaders incorporate sustainability into business decisions.

Responsibility

Transformative Change Starts With Responsible Research

I. Mihov, E. H. James

Responsible research can help businesses and leaders gain a competitive and sustainable edge in today’s volatile markets.

Responsibility

How Organisation Design Can Rescue the SDGs

Phanish Puranam

We're not on track to meet any SDGs by 2030. Organisation designers can help.
4 comments

Responsibility

How (Not) to Respond to a Humanitarian Crisis

L. Van Wassenhove, I. Parsa, B. Urlu, K. Aral

Recognising post-disaster realities can enable individuals, media and organisations to help the Turkey-Syria earthquake victims more effectively.

Responsibility

The Impact of Investor Gender on Female Founders

K. Snellman, I. Solal

Female-led start-ups backed only by female venture capitalists have a harder time raising follow-on capital.

Responsibility

Five Global Trends in Business and Society in 2023

K. Le Goulven, I. Mihov, M. Stabile

INSEAD faculty weigh in on the greatest threats and opportunities for the year ahead.

Strategy

Three Key Global Strategy Challenges Companies Face

Felipe Monteiro

Multinationals are adapting and redesigning their global strategies in response to mounting pressures.

Responsibility

In Times of Chaos, Know Yourself

Marc Le Menestrel

Self-aware leaders see the beauty in chaos and look within to find meaningful solutions.

Operations

Twitter's Remarkable Mission in a Divided World

T. Evgeniou, L. Van der Heyden

Good governance is key to ensure that exceptional people, organisations and countries realise their full potential.

Responsibility

Confronting Climate Change in Africa

V. D. Rao, P. Yadav

Experts discuss how the climate emergency is impacting Africa – and how leaders across the continent are taking action to mitigate it.
2 comments

Operations

Stakeholder Perspectives on Right-to-Repair Laws

E. Gulserliler, A. Atasu, L. Van Wassenhove

Laws to protect consumers and the environment could be a game-changer for businesses and prompt change in business models.

Responsibility

The Future of Food: New Tech to Save the World

Rachel Eva Lim

Could innovative, tech-driven solutions be key to fixing our broken food systems?

Responsibility

GHG Emissions Reduction: Scientific Rigour and Stakeholder Engagement

A. Atasu, A. Cselotei

How a step-by-step approach to sustainability helped INSEAD ensure meaningful results.
1 comment

Responsibility

Americans Underestimate the Impact of Voter Suppression

G. Tomaino, Z. Carmon, A. Mazar, W. Wood

Voting suppression is on the rise, but many Americans fail to anticipate the harm of seemingly minor voting restrictions.
4 comments

Responsibility

Responsible AI Has Become Critical for Business

C. Zeisberger, A. Bose

Investors need to prioritise the ethical deployment of AI – too much is at stake if they don’t.

Responsibility

Rising to the ESG Challenge: Towards Effective Governance

Geraldine Ee

Boards can drive the ESG agenda effectively by identifying what is material to their organisation and being willing to adapt along the way.

Responsibility

Countering Climate Change With “Greener” Economics

Robert Ayres

Truly understanding the fundamental role of energy in the economy is key to a more sustainable future.
2 comments

Responsibility

Bob Ayres at 90: Key Insights on Energy in the Economy

The Organising Committee of the Bob@90 Conference

Groundbreaking observations on the fundamental role energy and materials play in the economy.
6 comments

Responsibility

The Importance of Gatekeepers in Impacting Real Change

F. Godart, G. Hsu, G. Negro

How a social movement and an influential magazine successfully challenged the morally problematic use of fur in fashion.

Operations

Empowering Public Health Leaders in Africa

L. Van Wassenhove, P. Lalvani

A unique programme to foster leadership and supply chain skills through public-private capacity-building efforts.

Economics & Finance

Too Many ESG Funds Mislead Investors

Theo Vermaelen

Regulatory reckoning with ESG funds does not go far enough.

Responsibility

Building Momentum in the Energy Transition: Key Insights from Davos and Beyond

Atalay Atasu

If the nascent energy transformation is to take off, business and government must work together to promote circular systems.

Operations

Making Humanitarian Operations More Sustainable

Luk Van Wassenhove

Do good intentions always lead to good outcomes? Experience shows that the lack of coordinated response can lead to future humanitarian and sustainability challenges.

Career

What Good Could Come After Financial Success?

B. Vissa, L. K. Hans

All of society would benefit if successful entrepreneurs used their skills to promote positive social change.
1 comment

Operations

Are Our Supply Chains Ready for the Next Global Health Crisis?

Prashant Yadav

We need resilient healthcare supply chains to prepare for the next global health emergency. Here’s how to do it.

Responsibility

Not All Heroes Wear Capes. They May Just Have More Willpower

Amit Bhattacharjee

We instinctively see people with stronger self-control as more virtuous and more capable of realising good intentions.

Leadership & Organisations

What It Means to Lead in a Multipolar World

H. Falcão, M. Le Menestrel

By overcoming our fears and creating a brave space for dialogue, we can relate and lead better in the new multipolar world.
2 comments

Operations

Unfinished Business: Co-Creating Solutions With Beneficiaries

Atalay Atasu

Under severe budget constraints, how can NPOs manage the trade-offs between offering variety versus serving more beneficiaries?

Responsibility

Climate Change Gets Up Close and Personal for Board Members

Ron Soonieus

Shell’s directors are the first to face legal action for mismanaging climate risk. Two new INSEAD reports offer advice to board members seeking to avoid the same fate.

Responsibility

Biodiversity: Why Should Business Care?

Elisa Dierickx

Unlike the climate crisis, biodiversity loss is just starting to get the attention it deserves.

Operations

Designing a Circular Business Strategy That Works

Luk Van Wassenhove

To avoid costly mistakes due to overly optimistic assumptions, a good understanding of the market and the product is needed.

Operations

Want to Help Ukrainian Refugees? Don't Send Random Stuff

Luk Van Wassenhove

An open letter urging well-intentioned donors to think twice before inadvertently doing more harm than good.
5 comments

Responsibility

Business Schools Can Help ‘Break the Bias’ for Women

Zoe Kinias

Institutions like INSEAD are uniquely equipped to address systemic biases.

Operations

‘Tech for Good’ Needs a ‘Good Tech’ Approach

T. Evgeniou, L. Van der Heyden

Responsible practices using tested processes must be the focus when creating new technology.

Responsibility

ESG in the Air

L. F. Monteiro, G. Szulanski

How the airline industry is riding a transformation to sustainability.

Responsibility

Lessons in Sustainable Change Management: #deCOALonize Kenya

W. Mungai, L. White, Z. Kinias

The campaign to prevent the construction of a coal power plant on an idyllic island in the Indian Ocean.

Responsibility

Six Global Trends in Business and Society

I. Mihov, K. Le Goulven, M. Stabile

A stark look at the risks business education must address in 2022.
1 comment

Responsibility

Can Private Equity Make Money While Doing Good?

Claudia Zeisberger

With the right tools, investors can help prevent an impact investing debacle.

Strategy

ESG Strategy in Action

C. Lin, T. Smoor

Lessons from translating a global water conservation strategy into a coherent and impactful action plan.

Operations

Using the Global Goals as a Systemic Approach to Relief

M. Besiou, A. Pedraza-Martinez, L. Van Wassenhove

With the UN SDGs as a guide, how can non-profits and NGOs do their work while considering long-term impact?

Responsibility

The Devil Is in the Details When Assessing Circular Solutions

A. Atasu, V. Agrawal, S. Ülkü

Identifying the right blend of circular economy strategies is vital for economic and environmental returns.

Leadership & Organisations

How Nasdaq’s Board Diversity Rule Creates Potential for Real Change

F. Henderson, Z. Kinias, C. Zeisberger

The new rules requiring qualitative and quantitative disclosure about board diversity will better inform investors and (hopefully) spur further progress.
3 comments

Responsibility

The Hidden Cost of Solar Energy

A. Atasu, S. Duran, L. Van Wassenhove

The current recycling capacity for solar panels can’t cope with an influx of customers prematurely discarding their existing panels for cheaper, more efficient models.
1 comment

Responsibility

Leading Climate Strategy From the Board

R. Soonieus, L. Besland, A. Breeden

Many boards fail to walk the talk when it comes to fighting climate change. Here are some straightforward solutions for directors.
1 comment

Responsibility

Race to Zero: Biz Schools Must Supercharge Firm Engagement

K. Le Goulven, I. Mihov, M. Stabile

Mixed outcomes from COP26 mean business schools must step up to help business leaders accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy.

Responsibility

Should Firms Encourage Their Customers to Vaccinate?

P. Kireyev, V. Choudhary, Z. Liu

Private firms can boost their bottom line while promoting pro-social information.

Responsibility

New Variants Show Why the World Urgently Needs Vaccine Equity

Prashant Yadav

Delivering more vaccines to low- and middle-income countries is vital if we want to limit the emergence of new coronavirus variants.

Responsibility

Why Allyship Is Key to Gender Balance

I. Mihov, Z. Kinias

To achieve equity, both men and women must advocate for it.

Responsibility

Using Corporate Social Initiatives to Build a Purpose-Driven Organisation

C. Bode, M. Rogan, J. Singh

An impact-driven intrapreneurial venture can be a useful stepping stone for changing a company’s DNA, but its unintended consequences need to be managed carefully.

Responsibility

The Circular Economy: From Enthusiasm to Realism

A. Atasu, L. Van Wassenhove

Circularity for circularity’s sake is not the goal – sustainability is.
1 comment

Responsibility

What Does the Microfinance Debate Imply for Impact Investing?

P. Dutt, J. Singh

A flexible, outcome-focused approach is the best way to achieve societal goals.

Responsibility

Companies Must Put Equality at the Heart of the Race to Zero

K. Le Goulven, M. Stabile

Singular pursuit of net-zero by 2050 could exacerbate inequality and derail our chances of a climate-resilient future.

Responsibility

The Sustainability Imperative for the Legal Profession

N. C. Smith, R. Soonieus

Lawyers should step up to help the world seize its “last best chance”.

Operations

How to Create a Safe (and Open) Online Space

F. Candelon, L. de Franssu, T. Evgeniou

Regulatory and business challenges must be met for an internet that is both safe and allows for freedom of expression.

Operations

When the Problem Isn’t the Problem

L. Van Wassenhove, P. Yadav

Private healthcare facilities in low- and middle-income countries may not have all medical supplies in stock, but collaboration mitigates individual clinic level shortages. Policy design should not ignore this.

Economics & Finance

Trust, Social Capital and the Bond Market Benefits of ESG

Hami Amiraslani

Although ESG-oriented investments are becoming increasingly common, their benefits are often only realised during certain time periods. So, when do these investments deliver economic payoffs?

Responsibility

Recognising and Confronting Racism in Europe

Felicia A. Henderson

Systemic racism is not only an American problem. The European experience demands a different kind of anti-racist conversation.
1 comment

Responsibility

Developing Quality Conversations About Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

M. Akinola, E. Kelly, Z. Kinias, M. Norton

Organisations – including business schools – are increasingly focused on expanding their DEI capabilities. Consider these best practices for productive conversations around DEI.

Responsibility

Encouraging Sustainability: Why the Business Case Isn’t Enough

M. Le Menestrel, J. Rode, N. Heinz, G. Cornelissen

The business case for pro-environment investments makes sense intuitively, but appealing to executives’ sense of responsibility might work better.

Responsibility

Nudging Kids to Their Highest Potential

H. Plassmann, B. Kessler

How a top global NGO uses behavioural science to support parents and educators in some of the most challenging contexts.
1 comment

Responsibility

Three Ways Digitalisation Changes Corporate Responsibility

N. C. Smith, L. Lankoski

The Fourth Industrial Revolution changes the 'who', 'whom' and 'what' of corporate responsibility.
1 comment

Responsibility

All Hands on Deck for the Circular Economy

B. Kessler, L. Van Wassenhove

The key to achieving zero-waste is a systems approach where all stakeholders – including academics – work together to the same ends.

Responsibility

From Band-Aid to Deep Impact: Building Effective Social Sector Organisations

Jasjit Singh

Making a real difference requires combining your passion with a problem-solving mindset and a rigorous approach.

Responsibility

DEI When We Need It the Most

V. D. Rao, C. Trombini, Z. Kinias

Covid-related setbacks require redoubled DEI efforts, but are companies delivering?

Responsibility

How Disempowerment Drives Demand for Risky Skin-Lightening Products

Zoe Kinias & Jasjit Singh

Empowering darker-skinned women in emerging markets acts as a buffer against a toxic combination of sexism, colourism and economic disadvantage.

Responsibility

How Boards Can Steer Companies to “Build Back Better”

N. Craig Smith & Ron Soonieus

The momentum for sustainability is strong despite misgivings over current financial strains. Few businesses can afford to ignore it.

Responsibility

Healing the Social Wounds of Injustice

Michael Jarrett

Sigmund Freud’s concept of the pleasure principle offers clarity on how to repair fragmented societies in the aftermath of destructive populism.

Responsibility

The Three Dimensions of Social Impact

Jasjit Singh

When it comes to making a difference, thinking “bigger is always better” leads to tunnel vision – especially for social enterprises.
3 comments

Economics & Finance

Doing Good: Where Sustainable Investing Gets It Wrong

Lucie Tepla

A high sustainability rating does not necessarily equate to real sustainability impact (and profit).

Responsibility

Foundations for Gender Balance Can Be Built at Home

Z. Kinias, V. D. Rao

If we want a robust economic recovery and a fairer world, we must stem the tide of women fleeing the Covid-19 workforce.

Responsibility

Transforming a Supply Chain Into a Social Enterprise

Amitava Chattopadhyay

Creating sustainability initiatives that can scale requires innovative balancing of social impact and profit seeking.

Responsibility

The All-Too-Real Consequences of Military War Games

Decades of US naval drills on a Puerto Rican island may have inflicted untold collateral damage. Armed forces everywhere should learn the lesson.

Responsibility

Understanding the Origins of White Denial

Felicia Henderson & Zoe Kinias

Even as the existence of systemic racism becomes increasingly apparent, complacency is returning among white people. But research provides tools for reviving white racial consciousness, by remembering and celebrating common humanity.

Responsibility

When CSR Is Mostly for Show

X. R. Luo, D. Wang

Under pressure to be good corporate citizens, politically endorsed firms in emerging markets often prefer to cut a cheque for a cause than adopt greener practices.
1 comment

Responsibility

Can Zoom Be a Tool for Teaching Anti-Racism?

Z. Kinias, M. Akinola, E. Kelly, M. I. Norton

Leverage today’s technology to help correct systemic problems.

Responsibility

A Post-Covid Social Contract

Karien van Gennip

How we can manifest “the next world” that serves us all.
1 comment

Economics & Finance

Corporate Funding Gap and the Role of Fintech

N. Maneri, J. Dermine

Financing for small and medium enterprises is limited in many parts of the world. Is P2P lending the magic bullet to narrow the funding gap?

Responsibility

Unearthing the Roots of Systemic Racism

F. Henderson, Z. Kinias

Dislodging deep-seated racism will require a comprehensive long-term strategy on the part of leaders, organisations and business schools.
1 comment

Responsibility

Making the “New Normal” Better for Women

How individuals and organisations can keep progressing towards gender balance, in our profoundly disrupted world.

Responsibility

Disruption as a Force for Good? Gender Balance and COVID-19

Zoe Kinias & Vinika D. Rao

The pandemic may disproportionately affect women around the world – but it need not imperil the hard-earned progress towards gender balance.

Strategy

How the SDGs Can Power Innovation

L. Felipe Monteiro

Risk-averse industries like the energy sector should use the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as the inspiration for new challenges.

Strategy

Blending Public and Private Value Creation at Natura

Aline Gatignon & Laurence Capron

One major, home-grown firm in Brazil offers a successful, impactful business model to overcome skill and talent scarcity.

Responsibility

In Times of Crisis, You Can Help More Than You Think

Amit Bhattacharjee

If you’re reading this, you probably have the wherewithal to help others hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 comment

Responsibility

COVID-19: What Every Business Can Do to Help

Katell Le Goulven

How large corporations, SMEs and society can work together during this time of crisis.
1 comment

Responsibility

Collaboration Unlocks Global Health Solutions

Rachael Noyes

Business is a force for good in global healthcare when partnered with academia and non-profits.
1 comment

Responsibility

The Force for Good Spectrum: Using Business as a Tool

Jasjit Singh

It is time to move beyond the debate between “win-win” and “trade-offs”. The right avenue for achieving social impact depends on the setting.

Responsibility

Climate Change: Evading the “Too Late, Too Costly” Trap

T. Baig, V. D. Rao

A new crop of rational, well-groomed climate sceptics is pushing a persuasive brand of defeatism that the world cannot afford.
5 comments

Responsibility

Why Social Enterprises Still Matter in an Age of “Win-Win”

Jasjit Singh

Mainstream companies often fail to serve critical societal needs when profits and impact do not align. The answer? Employ business just as a tool, without taking profit maximisation as a constraint.
1 comment

Responsibility

How Sugar Could Save the Borneo Rainforest

Dominique Lecossois

The right business model could unlock the economic and environmental potential of the Arenga palm tree.

Responsibility

Climate Crisis: From Dreams to Hope

Hubert Gatignon

Sustainable trends in business need to focus on facts, rather than on romantic ideas about the environment.
1 comment

Operations

Supply Chain Solutions for Healthcare Inequality

Atalay Atasu

Hospitals in developed countries have more supplies than they need; those in less fortunate countries lack the basics. Academic research can help close the gap.

Responsibility

From Good Intentions to Maximising Your Impact

Jasjit Singh

Ad hoc projects for “giving back” might make you feel great, but are you realising your full potential?
1 comment

Responsibility

A New Framework for Corporate Activism

Knowing when – and how – to appropriately speak out on political issues is becoming a core skill for business leaders.

Responsibility

Crowdfunding for Impact?

Jasjit Singh

By relying too heavily on cool stories to attract investors, ventures may end up compromising on real impact.

Responsibility

Integrating Diversity Into Business Education

Z. Kinias, M. Akinola, A. Carter, M. Norton, K. Phillips

Conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion can be uncomfortable. But business school classrooms need to embrace them nonetheless.

Responsibility

Men United, for Women

Men cannot be bystanders in the growing drive for a more gender-balanced workplace.
2 comments

Responsibility

Sustainability and the Five Archetypes of Boardroom Behaviour

N. Craig Smith & Ron Soonieus

When it comes to "walking the talk" of sustainability, the type of board directors matters.
4 comments

Responsibility

When Awareness of Death Improves Corporate Prosocial Behaviour

The sudden loss of a colleague can quickly readjust corporate priorities.
1 comment

Responsibility

The Wise Power of Utopian Thinking

Marc Le Menestrel

Imagining an ideal world is a powerful tool for enhancing proactivity and leading organisational transformation.
1 comment

Responsibility

What’s Stopping Boards from Taking Action on Sustainability?

N. Craig Smith & Ron Soonieus

Boards need to look past the low-hanging fruit and start making tough decisions.

Economics & Finance

How PE and VC Are Closing the Gender Gap in Emerging Markets

Claudia Zeisberger & Heather M. Kipnis

If including women in senior private equity and venture capital leadership teams improves returns, why is the gender gap still so pervasive?

Responsibility

Using Innovative Finance to Scale Up Corporate Base-of-Pyramid Initiatives

J. Bhuvaraghan & J. Singh

Developments in innovative finance may enable companies to lead cross-sector partnerships, addressing some of today’s biggest global health challenges.

Leadership & Organisations

Leadership Lessons From an Olympic Judo Medallist

L. Felipe Monteiro

Bronze-winning Flávio Canto has created a network of dojos that is transforming lives in some of Brazil’s roughest neighbourhoods.

Responsibility

Three Inconvenient Truths About Corruption

Marc Le Menestrel

Having honest, adult conversations about corruption requires accepting that none of us is ethically pure.
2 comments

Economics & Finance

Finance as a Force for Good

Industry experts discuss how investors, businesses and society all benefit from sustainable finance.

Responsibility

Finding Good News for Business and Human Rights After Khashoggi

N. Craig Smith & Markus Scholz

Companies must respond to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder by standing up for human rights.
3 comments

Responsibility

The Critical Consequences of Culture

When management’s expectations inspire unethical acts.
1 comment

Responsibility

How the Digital Economy Has Exacerbated Inequality

In today’s markets, firms and executives with even the tiniest competitive advantage grab all the spoils.
1 comment

Responsibility

A Goldilocks Framework for Attracting Funding

How social enterprises and non-profits can demonstrate their impact.

Economics & Finance

How Charities Can Ensure Financial Longevity

Boris Liedtke & Peter Lai

Charities should create an investment strategy to meet long-term financial liabilities.
1 comment

Responsibility

Balancing Profit and Social Welfare: Ten Ways to Do It

N. Craig Smith & Leena Lankoski

On the continuum between profit and social welfare, where should your firm sit?

Responsibility

When Doing Good Garners Bad Press

Firms that engage in corporate social outreach should make sure to send consistent signals.

Responsibility

Why Not Corporate Activism in the UK?

The factors that prevent British business from speaking against the upcoming UK/EU divorce.
1 comment

Leadership & Organisations

Tailored Approaches Needed for Gender Balance

Vinika D. Rao & V. Paddy Padmanabhan

Greater male involvement and tailored programmes are emerging as sources of hope in tackling gender inequality in Asia.
1 comment

Responsibility

Big Investors Call for Company Attention to Social Purpose: What Next?

Craig Smith & Markus Scholz

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s pro-CSR stance needs clarity and muscle.

Responsibility

Corruption: Drawing a Line in the Grey Zone

Fortifying your organisation against corruption begins with questioning your own incorruptibility.
2 comments

Responsibility

What Employees Get Out of Giving Back

Jasjit Singh & Christiane Bode

Corporate social engagement can generate massive value, but not just for the reasons everybody talks about.

Responsibility

The Invisible Roots of Community Resilience

Why some communities pull together in the wake of disaster, and others fall apart.

Responsibility

U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Accords Leaves Another Vacuum in Global Leadership

The Paris Agreement is not yet dead, but no other nation currently has the clout to take leadership.

Responsibility

Identifying Social Norms Makes for Better Business

Craig Smith & Markus Scholz

How to make good business choices and maintain your firm’s moral legitimacy, when “win-win” decision making is not an option.

Responsibility

Business vs. Trump: How CEOs Can Make a Difference

Craig Smith

Business leaders have been scathing of Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord, but can they keep the U.S. in step with the rest of the world?
2 comments

Responsibility

A New Global Measure of Gender Progress

Societies should look beyond where women fall behind and instead try to tap the full potential of both sexes.

Responsibility

Who Is Responsible for Corporate Misconduct?

Craig Smith & Eric Orts

With incidents of corporate misconduct never far from the headlines, the philosophical question of whether firms should assume responsibility for individuals’ actions has practical consequences.
3 comments

Economics & Finance

The Stars Are Aligning for Socially Responsible Investing

Calls for a more inclusive style of capitalism are boosting a budding industry.

Responsibility

Bringing Fresh Air to Biogas

Matina Rassia & Craig Smith

Social innovation and communication is challenging the mistaken belief that as a fuel provider biogas ‘stinks’.
1 comment

Responsibility

Should the Unilever Model of Capitalism Be Protected?

The Kraft Heinz bid for Unilever pits shareholder value maximisation against stakeholder value maximisation.
2 comments

Responsibility

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

Robert Ayres

Infrastructure investment needs to change for the sake of sustainability.
2 comments

Responsibility

Trump Puts Business Values to the Test

Craig Smith

CEOs have stood up to oppose Trump’s immigration ban, will they show the same commitment to the environment?
2 comments

Responsibility

Customer Satisfaction Before Profits at the Base of the Pyramid

A. Calmon, G. Romero, D. Jue-Rajasingh, J. Stenson

After-sales service in the Base of the Pyramid can be a profitable driver of technology adoption.
1 comment

Economics & Finance

Building a Cluster from the Outside In

Abu Dhabi’s diversification strategy rests in part on laying the seeds of future industries overseas while preparing for their reception at home.

Responsibility

The Drug Price Dilemma

N. Craig Smith

Are drug companies primarily responsible for patients or making money for shareholders?

Responsibility

Careful What You Say About Anti-Social Acts

In an increasingly polarised world, words could make the difference between fomenting aggression and quashing it.
1 comment

Responsibility

Who’s Responsible? The Ethics of the Sharing Economy

Should the responsibilities of “sharing economy” giants like Uber and Airbnb differ from those of traditional companies?

Responsibility

Empowerment, Not Punishment, Fuels Ethical Behaviour

To promote ethical behaviour, firms should emphasise community, not only consequences.
2 comments

Responsibility

Customer Orientation Drives Environmental Innovation

Firms adopting environmental management practices are customer-oriented.
1 comment

Responsibility

How Technology Can Defuse the Demographic Time Bomb

As people live longer and working age populations face hardship, technology could help ease the growing dependency burden.

Operations

Overcoming Obstacles to a Sustainable Economy

The goal of a “circular economy” is important, but the road is long.

Responsibility

An OPEC for Migrant Labour?

A labour-exporting cartel could empower migrant workers and the economies which rely on their remittances.

Responsibility

Is Cap-and-Trade or Carbon Tax Better for Business?

L. V. Wassenhove, D. Drake

Emissions regulation is fraught with uncertainty owing to the complexity of the business environment.

Responsibility

Turning Sustainability into a Value Driver

Jan Van der Kaaij

There is a link between sustainability and share price.

Responsibility

Advertisers' Ethical Dilemmas in Emerging Markets

When advertisers enter emerging markets the impact of their actions extends far beyond the promotion of a product or service.

Responsibility

How to Share the Benefits of Technology

An unconditional, universal “citizen’s income” could ensure a fairer distribution of the benefits of technology and transform economies in the process.
2 comments

Responsibility

The Virtuous Cycle of Community Projects

Firms that carefully design impactful community projects for their employees can uncover new leaders, improve employee engagement and even boost the bottom line. But crucial elements are required to ensure success.

Responsibility

Business Can Tackle Climate Change

Dawn Jarisch

Government efforts to tackle global warming are significant but insufficient. Business should and can do more.
1 comment

Responsibility

How Women Are Changing the World

As social entrepreneurs, women are uniquely positioned to understand and address society’s unmet needs.
1 comment

Responsibility

Finding Profit in Creating a Smarter Planet

The IBM story has been one of rise, fall and subsequent recovery with some major strategic transformations. Today it’s looking to help other organisations find similar success, equipping them with smarter technology and systems to create change not just for the firm but for the betterment of the planet.

Responsibility

How to Become a “Sustainable” Brand

Sustainability is becoming a strategic differentiator for brands. If leveraged properly it can be transformational.
2 comments

Responsibility

Make Employees Healthier for Free

If firms offer commitment programmes to healthy behaviour, they can avoid costly incentive and subsidy schemes and improve health at little or no cost.
1 comment

Responsibility

Will Pension Funds Go Green?

The UN’s international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions could change the way pension funds invest our money.
3 comments

Strategy

Emerging Multinationals Use Purpose for Growth

Integrating a strong, cohesive purpose can ignite employee passion and drive growth, something emerging market companies have become good at.

Responsibility

The Invisible Roots of Community Resilience

Why some communities pull together in the wake of disaster, and others fall apart.

Responsibility

Safety Culture Needed to Tackle Climate Change

To get people to take climate change seriously, adopt the rituals of worker safety campaigns.
4 comments

Responsibility

Carbon Pricing: Not Such a Clean Option

Carbon pricing has been hailed as the best way to bring down emissions and drive investment in cleaner technologies. New research suggests it could do just the opposite.
2 comments

Responsibility

Why Emerging Multinationals Are Embracing Social Responsibility

Engaging with stakeholders to solve societal issues gives companies a strategic advantage by reducing the likelihood of protest and aggressive regulation.

Leadership & Organisations

Creating Boards for the Future

Annet Aris

With the world of business changing so rapidly, boards need greater agility and members from a wider diversity of backgrounds. Less, or unconventionally, experienced executives are a good option.
1 comment

Family Business

Entrepreneurship Lessons from a Family Venture Philanthropist

Venture capital, philanthropy and family business are not mutually exclusive concepts. They all reflect the same entrepreneurial values of long-term investment, personal commitment, building teams and thinking outside the box.
3 comments

Responsibility

Stakeholder Strategies Make or Break Sustainable Business

JF. Manzoni, C. Smith, H. Falcão

In an effort to meet sustainability challenges companies are striving to live up to stakeholder expectations.

Responsibility

Sustainability Begins With Self-Awareness

Leaders’ “illusion of objectivity” is hindering necessary cultural change in the business world.
1 comment

Responsibility

Building Investor-Proof Sustainability Strategies

Jan Van der Kaaij

Investors are increasingly looking for companies that report transparently on sustainability opportunities. But organisations remain stuck in reporting activities, failing to capture potential value from environmental, social and governance issues.

Responsibility

“Doing Good” Is a Source of Growth

Firms must develop a higher social purpose to achieve growth and longevity.
1 comment

Responsibility

Are Wage Inequalities Fair?

K. Wertenbroch, D. Frank, W. Maddux

Pay-for-performance or collective bargaining: The pay system we prefer says as much about the way we view the world as the economic conditions in which we find ourselves.

Responsibility

VW: What Happened and What Happens Next?

For a company that identifies sustainability as a core value, VW has some explaining to do.

Responsibility

Volkswagen: Requiem for a Dream?

Crisis management is only the first step for Volkswagen. Whether or not the company bounces back depends on its ability to change its culture.

Responsibility

Corporate Social Impact Initiatives Make Employees More Loyal

Jasjit Singh

An opportunity to give back to society without having to give up a promising business career turns out to be a major incentive for valuable employees to stay.
1 comment

Responsibility

Getting the Big Money into Social Impact

Institutional investors are increasingly interested in putting their money into social impact, but a gap remains between them and the people on the ground.
4 comments

Responsibility

Tackling Unethical Banking: How Far Should Regulators Go?

How far should regulators go to weed out ethically challenged individuals in the banking sector?

Responsibility

Why Sustainability Meant Opportunity to Innovate for Nike

Innovating and partnering to resolve societal issues can unlock massive value.

Strategy

Using Tax Havens Secretly Is Bad for Shareholders

Tax havens are used for more than just saving money. When companies take advantage of their lack of transparency for more sinister activities, shareholders can lose out.
1 comment

Responsibility

Four Strategies for Responding to Sustainability-Oriented Competitors

Sustainability-focused startups are entering established companies’ market space, bringing both new threats and new opportunities.
1 comment

Responsibility

How Not to Respond to a Scandal

G. Hillary, L. Soulodre

Wherever there has been a sport contest with wagers, there have been opportunities for bribery and corruption. But organisations involved in sport today can no longer afford the risks of association with scandal.

Responsibility

New Tools Needed for Managing Uncertainty

Traditional risk management frameworks have failed to prevent major environmental, social and governance disasters. New ideas are needed from outside corporations.

Leadership & Organisations

Resolving the Conflict Between "Woman" and "Leader"

Women may face more barriers to leadership if there is a perceived conflict between their professional role and their gender. Organisations must detect any gender bias and promote a positive view of women leaders.

Responsibility

Three Ways Luxury Fashion Can Be Sustainable

Frederic Godart

Fashion moves fast, but sustainability is in. The luxury fashion industry is well placed to meet the trend but it must challenge its tightly-held arrangement with customers.
1 comment

Leadership & Organisations

Bridging the Trust Chasm

Whoosh and it’s gone! Trust can evaporate in an instant and organisations are notoriously poor at recovering it. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
3 comments

Responsibility

Steering Clear of the Sustainability Reporting Trap

Companies get stuck in box-checking when it comes to sustainability. But there is substantial value to be found in making sustainability a strategy.
1 comment

Entrepreneurship

A Bridge for the Knowledge Gap

An innovative content platform is starting to put the world’s most advanced agricultural data into the hands of its poorest farmers.
2 comments

Responsibility

Redefining Sustainability

Sustainability must be reframed as an opportunity if it is to take hold.
1 comment

Responsibility

Capitalism at a Crossroads: The Return of Responsible

Today’s customers yearn for a return to business done right, not just fast. Companies that are providing responsible products are standing the test of time.
2 comments

Responsibility

How the Lean Startup Approach Can Alleviate Poverty

Experimenting before plunging into major investments can pay off in the long run.
1 comment

Responsibility

Does Social Class Impel Bad Behaviour?

Social class doesn’t dictate unethical behaviour, but when the rich or the poor infringe laws and norms, they tend to do so for very different reasons.
3 comments

Responsibility

Three Things Every Manager Should Know about Consumer Boycotts

LEGO’s recent experience shows how powerful boycotts can be.

Responsibility

Corruption: Can You Ignore It?

Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. Governments, the private sector and NGOs are joining forces to fight this crime. The joint international campaign led by the United Nations designated December 9, 2014 as Anti-Corruption Day to encourage all businesses and employees to take a stand and say ‘No’ to corrupt practices.
1 comment

Economics & Finance

Why Business Schools Should Teach MBAs to Maximise Shareholder Value

Maximising value for shareholders is the best way for firms to stay competitive and sustainable.
5 comments

Responsibility

Should Business Schools Peddle Shareholder Value Maximisation?

We should teach our students that there are alternatives to the view that the purpose of business is shareholder value maximisation.
2 comments

Leadership & Organisations

Debate: Should Business Schools Teach Students to Maximise Shareholder Value?

Since the financial crisis, the merits of shareholder value maximisation have been called into question. Is it the most effective path for sustainable business growth or should we consider alternatives?
7 comments

Responsibility

From Concept to Sustainable Opportunity at the Base of the Pyramid

How to reach the underserved in a scalable and sustainable fashion, while pursuing strategic priorities of innovation and growth.
1 comment

Responsibility

The Five Dimensions of Responsible Leadership

A changing world demands a new leadership style emphasising societal impact and commitment to the common good.
6 comments

Responsibility

How Genuinely Authentic Are You?

Whether you are in conversation with presidents or shopkeepers, the Chairman or those that keep the factory floor running, the same you should show up in all situations.

Responsibility

Making Ends Meet While Making a Difference

The second part of a two-part series profiling leaders who made the transition from the corporate world to the non-profit sector.

Responsibility

Achieving Sustainability: The Stick or the Carrot?

With the cost of addressing climate change beyond the means of governments, private enterprise is being encouraged to support sustainable practices through incentives, penalties and awareness building. Which approach works best?
1 comment

Responsibility

Making the Move from Profit to Purpose

Those searching for a role that challenges the status quo, colleagues of diverse backgrounds and a collaborative environment have all found fulfilment in the non-profit sector.

Responsibility

Will Tough New Anti-Corruption Laws Affect Your Company?

As governments tighten their anti-corruption legislation businesses are more exposed to inadvertent breaches. With penalties on the rise, is your company at risk?

Responsibility

Modern-Day Slavery: Motivating Business to Act

By not committing fully to the fight against human trafficking, the business community is losing out morally and economically.
1 comment

Responsibility

Innovative Approaches to Healthcare Delivery

Ridhima Aggarwal

Healthcare innovation isn’t just about new drugs and therapies but also service delivery, where front line clinics play a crucial role in new ways of operating.
2 comments

Responsibility

The Moral Responsibility of Firms: For or Against?

When business behaves badly, who is held morally responsible? The firm or the individual?

Responsibility

Corporations Are Not People Too

Punishing individuals instead of firms would be a more effective deterrent to wrongdoing

Responsibility

The Unemotional Corporation

Because corporations are not capable of experiencing emotions, we should stop thinking of them as persons.

Responsibility

The Moral Responsibility of Firms: A Legal View

Firms are considered legal persons and are therefore held liable for wrongdoing on moral grounds, but they are also composed of individuals who are morally responsible for their behaviour.

Responsibility

Price Competitor to Value Competitor

Emerging market companies have to graduate from competing with multinationals on price to building their own global brands.

Responsibility

iSpy Denial: Be Seen to Do the Right Thing

Staying clear of wrongdoing and denying involvement when even associated with misbehaviour is the optimum path to a strong reputation and a profitable future
1 comment

Responsibility

Creating a Socially Responsible Supply Chain

Implementing a socially responsible supply network is fundamental to any CSR policy. The key is getting the structure right.

Responsibility

The Poor Judge Others More Harshly

Inequality makes people morally judgmental because they feel more vulnerable to the wrongdoing of others.
1 comment

Responsibility

Stakeholder Media Are the New Message

Mainstream media no longer set the public agenda alone. Stakeholders have their own media, and their voices are loud.

Responsibility

Can Digital Health Disturb the Healthcare Status Quo?

Sarah Wachter

Digital health is a nascent field that uses social media and smart phones to help patients keep better tabs on their health and manage their diseases. It can also help the healthcare industry to cut costs and improve treatment. Silicon Valley inventors in digital health are seeking out seed funding to help them grow and scale.

Responsibility

Innovation Through Collaboration

Stephen E. Chick

Collaborations and partnerships are defining 21st century healthcare.

Responsibility

First European cell therapy wins INSEAD award

Sarah Wachter

How the first stem cell therapy to win EU approval got to where it is.

Responsibility

CSR as a Quality Enabler

“Sustainability” is about more than being environmentally or socially responsible. The story of Tchibo Coffee shows that it can also give customers consistent quality.
1 comment

Responsibility

The Rise of the Social Intrapreneur

As corporations recognise the link between CSR and sustainability, opportunities arise for socially conscious leaders to change the world from the inside out.

Responsibility

"We are nice too": How Firms Deal With Problems

That positive press release trumpeting a company's good deeds could signal trouble behind the scenes.

Responsibility

Impact Investing: Unleashing Institutional Capital

The interest surrounding impact investing has not yet translated into a substantial increase in the amount of capital deployed. But that may be changing.
2 comments

Responsibility

Improving Pandemic Preparedness

Stephen E. Chick

A new model coordinating international influenza vaccination programmes aims to reduce the global financial and health cost of the influenza virus.

Responsibility

Donating Medicines Through Broken Supply Chains

Luk Van Wassenhove

Medicine donations from pharmaceutical companies to those in need can land well-intentioned donors in hot water if certain principles are not followed.

Responsibility

Impact Investing, Soros-Style

The Soros Economic Development Fund is quasi-philanthropic and invests in high-risk projects in parts of the world most people couldn’t find on a map. But the Fund is self-sufficient and boasts a “blended” portfolio return of 8 percent a year. How do they do it?

Responsibility

Increase Revenues with CSR

Maintaining good community relationships is part of the firm’s licence to operate in the modern business environment. But CSR is also capable of increasing revenues for your company.
6 comments

Leadership & Organisations

Size Matters

Does CSR only apply to sizable corporations?

Responsibility

Social Impact & the Bottom Line: New Expectations for Luxury Companies

CSR is no luxury – it’s key to firms’ future survival.
1 comment

Responsibility

Winning the Hearts of Communities

Can companies influence communities to their advantage? The answer is yes, if they engage the community and demonstrate mutual benefits at an early stage.

Responsibility

Staking the firm’s place in multiple societies

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means different things to different people in different countries. Here’s how to sort out the nuances.

Responsibility

Sir Ronald Cohen: Venture Capitalist to Social Capitalist

Sir Ronald Cohen is one of the founding fathers of modern venture capitalism. Now he is advocating a revolutionary new approach to narrow the widening gap between rich and poor, and wants investors to replace the “invisible hand” with the “invisible heart”.

Responsibility

Investment Banking for Social Enterprise

Raising money for social enterprises used to be a kind of charity work. Now there’s a bond market.

Responsibility

CSR in Saudi Arabia: Far Behind or another Path?

About forty years ago, when the West started debating in earnest the role of the corporation in society, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was primarily focused on corporate charity and donations. Today, the debate is more concerned with strategic CSR, whereby companies search for ways to accommodate stakeholder interests in a manner that benefits profitability and long-term survival. In the Middle East, however, CSR is largely characterised by a charity mindset, and it is easy for an outsider to regard current CSR initiatives in the region as archaic: that Middle Eastern corporations are “lagging behind” in their thinking about CSR, and that the development of CSR in the Middle East is a matter of “catching up” to the West.
1 comment

Responsibility

Is Social Enterprise Sustainable?

Social Enterprise first evolved in the developing world. Now the business models and social metrics may be going mainstream.
2 comments

Responsibility

The Carbon Conundrum

To reduce emissions in a meaningful way, governments need to accept higher investment into new green technologies as well as some protectionism to complement carbon taxes and “cap-and-trade” systems.

Leadership & Organisations

Battle for the Boardroom

A rising tide of public and shareholder discontent over executive pay packets, corporate accountability and responsibility are forcing boards to be more transparent, diverse and independent. Asia is also catching on fast.
3 comments

Responsibility

Today’s Investor Also Wants a Different Kind of Return on His Money

Google and Apple shares may have been the darlings of the beginning of the century, but another kind of investment is coming to the fore for those who want their money to make a difference.

Responsibility

Can Value Innovations Save Healthcare?

Nigel Roberts

An aging population and burgeoning public debt mean the healthcare sector faces a huge economic and social challenge serving the public in the 21st century. Can we have it both better and cheaper? A report from the INSEAD Alumni Healthcare Summit in London.
1 comment

Economics & Finance

When Investing Has an Impact

In late 2010, four highly-paid (INSEAD MBA) financiers walked away from lucrative jobs and set up a private equity company to prove that creative and equitable investment can change the world. They call it “responsible capitalism”.

Responsibility

Going Green – Or Else: The Dilemma Facing Abu Dhabi

With depleting gas supplies and a looming power shortage Abu Dhabi is looking to nuclear and renewable energy to fuel its ambitious development plans. Is the oil titan going green?

Responsibility

Health Care and Social Networks: Creating an Online Patient Community

Matt Golosinski

Can an online medical data-sharing platform accelerate research, improve treatment and create a powerful forum for those with life-changing diseases? Thousands are reaching out to PatientsLikeMe.

Leadership & Organisations

Dream your way to success

It’s not all about business plans and spreadsheets and getting to the next goal. The picture of real success is at least partly in your mind.

Responsibility

From Port Sunlight to Sao Paulo

Sustainability is no longer an optional extra for companies trying to prove their CSR credentials. If it isn’t in your corporate DNA, you won’t last.

Responsibility

Combatting diabetes: Some things money can’t buy

INSEAD Knowledge

Faced with a deadly and expensive diabetes epidemic, Gulf states are looking at innovative business marketing techniques to promote healthy behaviour and keep a cap on spiralling health costs.
1 comment

Leadership & Organisations

Corruption: A piecemeal solution

As Russia struggles to shrug off a corrupt legacy from its Soviet past, businesses are taking a step-by-step approach to managing the “informal practices” putting their companies at risk

Responsibility

Shaking up the energy mix

Providing new, secure and sustainable sources of energy in the U.K. today requires more than pipes and grids; Centrica chose a new business model and a growing roster of global partners.

Responsibility

Putting poverty on hold

Small businesses drive growth, even at the bottom of the pyramid.

Responsibility

Can big business partner with NGOs?

What do companies delivering bottled soda have in common with NGO’s delivering food to a drought area? Quite a lot, it seems. Whether for commercial or humanitarian reasons, it all boils down to logistics.

Responsibility

What price energy security?

Increasing demands from a growing world population, civil unrest, terrorist attacks, human mistakes, natural disasters… all add up to a future full of “ifs” for the energy industry.

Economics & Finance

Betting on the little guy

Unemployment in the EU is making many politicians sit up straight. The jobless rate rose to a seasonally-adjusted 10.7 percent in January – up seven-tenths from the same month last year. As expected, EU leaders have made job creation one of their biggest priorities. The big question is how to stimulate employment in a diversified economy. Brussels believes it has the answer in small and medium-sized enterprises.

Leadership & Organisations

Putting Arab women in the picture

Three Emirati marketing graduates recognised from their vast network of contacts that many women faced the same challenge: they were “time poor but mind active”, and searching for ways to contribute to the region’s social and their own personal and professional, growth.

Responsibility

Entrepreneurship awards and grants: are they worth the chall

Grants are a vital part of early capital-raising for many social enterprises. But can the distraction in competing for these awards affect the development of the business?

Responsibility

Changing the way people give

New donation platforms are reducing inefficiencies in charitable giving by minimising risk. But there still remains a missing component.

Responsibility

Is CSR’s credibility swiftly reversing?

Doing well by doing good is getting a bad reputation.... just when we really need it.

Responsibility

Worn out by the financial crisis?

Fledgling markets where investors and donors can fund enterprises with a social mission exist or are being launched in Brazil, South Africa and Mauritius. But a fully regulated stock exchange where investors can trade in the shares of social enterprises has yet to get off the ground. Stephen Brenninkmeijer, founder of social investment fund Willows Investments, explains why he is backing a London-based project along these lines.

Responsibility

Hope at the bottom of the pyramid

In Brazil, one very active social entrepreneur uses technology to cross more than just the digital divide between rich and poor.
2 comments

Responsibility

Pharmaceuticals: The case for outsourcing R&D

Jane Williams

Drug companies world-wide are under pressure. The rise of generics, looming patent expirations and the expanding innovation gap are creating cost pressures from every direction. Could outsourcing R&D be one way to ease the pain? One former industry sales executive thinks so.

Responsibility

Web-based medical advice circles the globe

Jane Williams

North American online health advice seekers have long been served by WebMD. Now an ex-Google developer is aiming at the rest of the world with Medico.com.

Responsibility

Who cares for society?

The economic crisis has put most governments on an austerity programme, cutting social benefits at a time when demand for such services is skyrocketing. Enlightened businesspeople can make a difference as social entrepreneurs.

Responsibility

Microfinance takes root in Pakistan

Sadaffe Abid spent much of the last 14 years building what is now one of Pakistan’s leading micro-finance institutions. Drawing on her experience, she offers tips for social entrepreneurs worldwide.

Responsibility

From poverty to entrepreneurship

One social entrepreneur seeks to elevate those at the bottom of the pyramid in Bangladesh. But can she navigate the straits between government, the private sector and Mother Nature?

Economics & Finance

The corruption trap

Emerging markets are where money is to be made: pent up consumer demand, cheap labour, few regulations. But just under the surface lies the murky world of corruption, ready to derail even the most scrupulous businessperson. Now what?

Responsibility

An entrepreneur lights the way in Africa

Sameer Hajee (MBA '04D) has the indefatigable energy and solid optimism that entrepreneurs need to succeed. These days he is also breathing a bit easier. A major investment player – Merrill Lynch-Bank of America – has just given him scale-up funding in the form of carbon credit purchases to move his Nuru Lighting company to the next tier. INSEAD Knowledge first started to follow Hajee’s story in December 2009. This is the latest chapter…

Responsibility

Cabbages, condoms and bamboo schools

Recovering costs and generating revenues goes hand-in-hand with one group’s approach to eradicating poverty and empowering rural communities in South East Asia.

Responsibility

Rethinking nuclear energy

The terrible and devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan did not just take a toll on human lives, it also took a toll on our future in terms of energy development, particularly with nuclear power. Paul Kleindorfer, INSEAD Professor of Sustainable Development discusses the implications with INSEAD Knowledge.

Responsibility

Billionaires and mud huts

Asia may be today’s economic miracle but too little water and too much poverty could derail the growth engine of the world. Zoe McKay talked with global strategist, Ravi Fernando.

Responsibility

Hope, havoc, disillusion and back again?

What changed between Copenhagen and Cancun on the climate change agenda? Benjamin Warr of INSEAD's Social Innovation Centre shares his views.

Responsibility

The art of the deal: Is ethics in the picture?

Can you walk away from the negotiating table with a contract in your pocket and your ethics intact? Here we present the third and final instalment in a series of articles on value negotiation.

Responsibility

Putting a price tag on corporate social responsibility

INSEAD professor Theo Vermaelen makes his case for CSR equity carve-outs.

Responsibility

The sweatshop on your conscience

C. Smith, E. Williams

Lower consumer prices and higher profit margins take the spotlight off poor working conditions in cheap labour markets. Changing those practices is as much a responsibility of the marketer and consumer as it is of the supplier. INSEAD professor N.Craig Smith explains how and why responsible consumerism matters.

Responsibility

The farmer, the scientist and the nuclear engineer

A report from INSEAD's Alumni Sustainability Executive Roundtable in Fontainbleau.

Entrepreneurship

Western economies need to adapt

No longer content to be cost and talent arbitrage destinations, emerging markets are becoming hotbeds of innovation, says SD Shibulal, co-founder of Infosys Technologies, one of India's leading IT firms

Responsibility

Business ideas for social change

Business schools teach that markets and best practice should be leveraged to increase profits. But can they also be used to create social change?
1 comment

Responsibility

Finding the energy to halve greenhouse gas emissions in half

Do today's global energy efficiency initiatives work? "Insufficiently ambitious," says Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. So what do we need to address the challenge of climate change?

Responsibility

Carbon leakage

Despite its good intentions, the next phase of EU emissions trading scheme (to be implemented in 2013) could end up doing more harm than good, both to the global environment and to European industries that must comply with the rules, says David Drake, a PhD candidate in Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD.

Leadership & Organisations

Women social entrepreneurs driven by impact rather than scal

Many women are turning to social entrepreneurship because they tend to work more with their hearts, says American serial social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow Christina Jordan.

Responsibility

Living with diabetes in an online world: a personal account

Kyle J. Rose

A type1 diabetic and INSEAD student Kyle Rose (MBA '10D) describes how social media interaction help him manage his chronic ailment.
1 comment

Responsibility

Emerging economies in healthcare

INSEAD Knowledge

The emerging markets with their populations in the billions have become a potent source of revenue. The representatives of companies in India, Brazil and China have made it clear they do not plan to leave these emerging markets to the Western industrial giants.

Responsibility

A golden age for healthcare

INSEAD Knowledge

With ageing populations in the West and with drug targets improving thousandfold since the mapping of the human genome less than 10 years ago, few industries can look forward to the kind of growth expected in healthcare.

Responsibility

A view of the Indian Healthcare landscape

Harpal Singh of Fortis Healthcare examines the strengths and challenges in the Indian business arena.
2 comments

Responsibility

A unique opportunity

Innovation for green growth is the new mantra for advanced economies. From Australia to the United States, governments are pouring billions of dollars, euros and yen into eco-innovation programmes. The US has earmarked US$59 billion for green technologies as part of its stimulus packages; Australia has dedicated A$5.7 billion, while Canada has set aside C$2.8 billion for that purpose. Governments are also providing other incentives ranging from support for R&D activities to new regulations and standards on transport, buildings and manufacturing. The aim is to become greener while staying competitive, and to reach that delicate balance the OECD is working towards a Green Growth Strategy for its 30+ members.

Responsibility

Meeting business challenges with social projects

About four years ago, INSEAD’s new dean asked me to set up a research centre bringing together all existing initiatives related to the role of business in society. The man had a clear vision: sustainable enterprise would become an important trend in the years ahead.

Responsibility

Energy security: a picture of uncertainty

Uncertainty surrounds the security and sustainability of energy supplies in the UK from 2015 onwards, with energy prices rising – in some cases – to uncomfortably high levels. “Gas would be a very important bridge to take us to the Elysian fields of a much cleaner energy scene of onshore and offshore wind, renewables, and an expectation of a very large chunk of nuclear,” says Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive of Ofgem (the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets), speaking at The Economist’s recent UK Energy Summit.

Responsibility

Sustainability and your corporate strategy

Cindy Babski

Sustainability. Can it become a central part of corporate strategy? Today, the answer is: it had better be.

Responsibility

CSR: a new model for capitalism?

M. Reddy, H. Manwani, A. Gupta

Brands must have a social mission, says Unilever executive, Harish Manwani, adding that his company works with health organisations to promote hygiene education. "In the end, we sell a soap," he says, "but that soap has a social mission."

Responsibility

The path to energy futures

There is an obvious connection between energy and economic growth: cheap fuel means lower production costs. As energy consumption is on an upward trajectory -with growth in the Far East and Latin America outpacing the industrialised countries in the near term - the key to prosperity is to develop cheaper and sustainable sources of fuel to replace fossil fuels and curtail the environmentally-unfriendly carbon footprint.

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Energy technologies: some forecasts for the next decade

Affordable energy that is clean and consistent, delivered in a single system at a fraction of the price that people are paying today – 4.5 pence (US$0.07) per kilowatt hour (kWh) to be precise – isn’t that too good to be true? Sir John Banham, Chairman of Johnson Matthey, doesn’t think so because these are the very benefits from fuel cells which are already powering homes and buildings in the US today. And it often comes from an unlikely source – methane gas from human waste.

Responsibility

Social responsibility in business today

Gordon Gekko might be back in cinemas in Wall Street II, but he seems to be less visible in today's boardrooms. As economic crises, erupting volcanoes and crippling earthquakes plague the planet, social consciousness is in, greed is ... well, not out, but certainly down.

Responsibility

Businesses increasingly face water risks

The world will face a 40 per cent shortfall in water supplies by 2030. The good news is that if we are smart, we can meet the challenge successfully. But this can only happen through co-operation between industry, governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and communities, SABMiller’s head of sustainable development, Andy Wales, told INSEAD Knowledge on the sidelines of the LBC’s (London Business Conference) ‘Corporate Water Scarcity Risk Management Conference’ held recently.

Responsibility

Humanitarian operations: the challenges for fleet management

Humanitarian disasters are on the increase. According to Lars Gustavsson, Senior Executive Officer, World Vision International, two large emergencies were recorded in 1982, compared with 90 in 2000, and this figure is set to rise to 170 by 2020. With this in mind, the natural question is how can humanitarian organisations continue to delivery efficient disaster response operations?

Responsibility

Nursing China’s aged back to health

Karen Cho

If third time’s really the charm, then social entrepreneur Ninie Wang’s new business model should also really take off.

Responsibility

Social enterprises: an attractive career choice for women?

Women are far more likely to be in positions of leadership in social enterprises than in the traditional small and medium business sector. That was one of the main findings of research by the UK Social Enterprise Coalition based on a survey. Some 26 per cent of social enterprises could be described as 'women-led', almost twice as many as for small businesses for which the figure was 14 per cent.

Responsibility

Can CSR show us the money?

INSEAD Professors Mark Lee Hunter and Luk Van Wassenhove say their case study on Hayleys PLC addresses a gap in the literature on corporate social responsibility: namely, it is very hard to determine the true costs and benefits of CSR for a firm. 'We wanted to see not only if Hayleys - the biggest multinational in Sri Lanka - was serious about CSR, but also how it was trying to make it work.'

Responsibility

Just what kind of business is there in sustainability?

Whether in energy, healthcare or micro-investing, is there a real business model in sustaining the world's resources and improving the quality of life for its inhabitants? INSEAD Knowledge attended the IESE Net Impact Doing Good and Doing Well conference in Barcelona recently, and found evidence that many companies and individuals are finding there are business models, if you are prepared to think creatively and be just a bit audacious.

Responsibility

Philanthrocapitalism: dawn of a new era?

When Bill Gates and Warren Buffett stood on stage together at the New York Public Library and the elder billionaire announced the he was going to give away most of his fortune through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help the poor, a new ideology was born.

Responsibility

Idealism and business are not incompatible

Can business and philanthropy mix? According to the founder of the luxury Banyan Tree hotel group, Ho Kwon Ping, this oft-asked question needs some serious re-examining.

Leadership & Organisations

The public's advocate

Public service takes many different forms. In the case of David Webb, who jokingly calls himself a 'reformed investment banker', public service comes in the form of being a non-profit corporate governance watchdog and an advocate for minority shareholders in Hong Kong.

Responsibility

Changing times, changing attitudes

On my arrival at the headquarters of Independence Care Systems (ICS) on Park Avenue, the first person I encounter is receptionist Marilyn McDowell, in a wheelchair behind the counter. While waiting for my appointment, Marty Sesmer rolls by in his wheelchair to drop off some documents to McDowell.

Responsibility

A new sustainability playing field

In 2006, Brendan May, then managing director of Planet 2050, Weber Shandwick's corporate responsibility and sustainability practice, received an email message: “Hi. Can you look into getting some CSR -- how much does it cost, what does it involve?” Forwarded by a friend, it came from someone in a small American company who had read something about CSR on the plane. “Can you help?” his friend asked. May said he didn’t think he could, because “this is a state of mind. This is not something you can get out and buy or outsource what should be a whole way of doing business .... something that has to be woven into the core DNA of your business. That’s not how you do sustainability.”

Leadership & Organisations

Measuring the effectiveness of corporate governance

Trust is the foundation of sustainable development. As the world continues to get smaller, our mutual interdependence increases and we all need to be able to mobilise the resources and goodwill of others to achieve success. That can only be achieved through gaining their trust. Therefore, the ability to gain the trust of global financial markets and of all the stakeholders in the value chain is becoming the key to success.
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Responsibility

Sustainability: Public policy

When it comes to the notion of a sustainable low carbon economy, governments around the world may like the concept but are either reluctant or incapable of developing the means to make it reality, says Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future. It has to be done through the markets, through various instruments and market mechanisms -- but the markets cannot do it unaided. It is public policy that will shape the markets, which in turn could deliver a low carbon future.

Entrepreneurship

The double bottom line

The current economic malaise has sent investors looking for new avenues of investment - not just for the financial returns but also to make a difference in the world at large. Enter the socially-responsible investment, a niche market that is now coming of age.

Responsibility

Alstom powers up to fight climate change

The push for sustainable clean energy as a key driver of developed economies, set against a backdrop of depleted natural resources, may paint a bleak picture for future generations. But according to Philippe Joubert, Executive Vice President of Alstom and President of its Power Sector, that’s not necessarily so, if you know how to properly harness the environment.

Responsibility

Turning around Tyco: how corporate governance saved the day

“Shareholders are screaming. The stock price has dropped from $60 to $7 a share. The press is hitting you every day with requests for info on the turnaround of the company. The prior management is still there, wondering about their futures. The prior board is there, wondering about their futures. And you’re there, trying to bring some order to this chaos.”

Responsibility

Creative finance: funding the future of social enterprise

Ten years ago, it was not fashionable for social enterprises to take loans. Even if they wanted to, nobody would lend them money.

Responsibility

Ayala: Taking care of the bottom line

“Businesses cannot simply operate in societies that are plagued with extreme poverty and where the environment is severely degraded. It is important for businesses to build in solutions to these challenges in their business strategies for their long-term viability and survival.” That’s according to Fernando Zobel de Ayala, who is President and Chief Operating Officer of Ayala Corporation, and concurrently Chairman of Ayala Land, the largest real estate company in the Philippines.

Responsibility

humanitarian aid

Like individuals, companies mobilise their resources to contribute to large-scale emergencies as quickly as they can. Corporate donations may be in the form of cash, goods and services in-kind like technical expertise or capacity. Many companies will work through their local staff and offices to provide support to international aid teams. This type of local support can be very valuable for aid workers facing a long list of bottlenecks when arriving in a new country to deliver assistance. Having a local partner with operational capacity helps them to pursue their tasks faster, without having to waste time looking for office space, housing, and many other essentials.

Responsibility

Climate change and business: the momentum stalls

While climate change has been in the headlines in recent months due to the Copenhagen talks and concerns about alleged data manipulation, businesses don’t appear to be making much headway in terms of carbon reduction. That’s according to a new EIU study due out later this month, which will reveal that net gains by businesses have been close to zero since last year.

Responsibility

Copenhagen a flop? Not so, say energy investors

One look at the amount of money needed to fund the projected demand for energy, coupled with a glance at EU and other policy directives aimed at reducing the world’s carbon footprint, and it becomes clear a little political squabbling on the world stage isn’t going to deter investors from looking for big returns from a nascent industry with a bright future.

Responsibility

Putting social innovation on the business agenda

John Elkington’s work advising businesses on sustainable strategies has earned him numerous accolades including the Dean of Corporate Social Responsibility by BusinessWeek in 2004.

Responsibility

Making the case for the smart grid

Is the smart and sustainable ‘super-grid’ reality or unrealisable fantasy? Can we continue to have energy security in the face of dwindling natural resources or can we rely on renewables to power up future generations? What are the alternatives and what role should businesses and governments play in ‘greening’ but not stalling the economy? These are just some of the issues that were discussed at the INSEAD 22nd Alumni Sustainability Executive Roundtable held recently at the school’s Europe campus in Fontainebleau.

Responsibility

Drucker on the ‘bounded goodness’ of corporate social respon

Peter Drucker’s immense contribution to the thinking and practice of management extends to social responsibility in business. This work goes back over 60 years but remains relevant today -- notwithstanding the impacts of globalisation and the greater interconnectedness of business and society.

Responsibility

Personal view: Coping with Copenhagen

Represented by a group of faculty, students and alumni, INSEAD attended the Copenhagen Summit as an accredited Observer. Kleindorfer, who headed up the INSEAD delegation, reflects on what was and was not accomplished at the Summit.

Responsibility

some advice to climate scientists on ethics

Climate scientists from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia have come under fire for alleged data manipulation following the release of thousands of emails and documents. As a result of ‘Climategate’, some of the climatologists involved have stepped aside or are under investigation by their university.

Responsibility

Incubation support for India’s social entrepreneurs

Huge social issues exist in India, from health to poverty to illiteracy. New ideas and socially-conscious leaders are desperately needed to develop these ideas into sustainable solutions. Social entrepreneurs – those who bring an entrepreneurial approach to solving social problems – are a growing breed in India. Often they need help during the first few years of inception which would speed up the progress of their project, and ultimately the social impact they want to make.

Responsibility

What’s next after Copenhagen?

Was there too much riding on the United Nations Climate Change Conference which concluded in Copenhagen at the weekend?

Responsibility

Copenhagen: what should investors be demanding?

The outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference may have disappointed some business leaders and may not be the ‘Global Deal’ that many, including the UK’s Carbon Trust, had been hoping for, but it is being touted as another small step forward in the long process towards reducing carbon emissions.

Responsibility

INSEAD initiatives seek to foster growth in Africa

Listen to INSEAD faculty, alumni and associates talk, and you realise that Africa is no longer just a story of disease, poverty, misery and humanitarian aid. Or of China’s hunger for raw materials and energy, while the Japanese and Koreans buy land in Africa to grow their own food. Today, Africa is also a story of investment and growth on a global scale.

Responsibility

A nuclear renaissance

In an age of dwindling natural resources and expanding economies, more countries are turning to nuclear power. According to Mark Fitzpatrick, Senior Fellow for Non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, not since the Cold War has there been such renewed interest in nuclear -- though this time, the agenda is different.

Responsibility

Clean energy boost

E+Co is not what you would call a typical investment company. For starters, it’s not a large company with a huge amount of capital. Second, it’s focused exclusively on energy and third, it invests in only small and growing clean energy businesses from developing countries.

Responsibility

Mapping out the challenges for social innovation research

Social entrepreneurs and enterprises may have limited resources but they’re resourceful and are capable of tackling failed markets, as well as intractable ‘wicked’ problems. But the key question, according to Pamela Hartigan, Director of Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Said Business School, Oxford University, is how far can social innovation help forge a new global order that is more sustainable, responsible, and humane than what has gone before?

Responsibility

Vision entrepreneurs: helping the poor to get back to work

Eyeglasses have been around for at least 800 years. Yet hundreds of millions of people in the developing world still suffer poor vision, degrading their ability to learn and work, which affects their livelihood.

Responsibility

Healthcare: at the crossroads

Shellie Karabell

Healthcare reform today is being avidly discussed in political, social, medical and business circles around the world. In developing countries, the billions of dollars spent on containing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other pandemic diseases such as TB and malaria, are beginning to show some positive results. In Europe, the cost of government-sponsored healthcare is having a negative impact on GDP, while in the US, the Obama Administration is embarking on the country’s most ambitious attempt at providing universal coverage for some 47 million plus people in the country without health insurance.

Economics & Finance

Green Technology: China Means Business

A substantial portion of the Chinese government’s stimulus package, more than a third in fact, has been earmarked for projects that would either, directly or indirectly, have a positive environmental impact. Are these green initiatives indicative of a broader strategic stance on the part of the Chinese government on environmental issues, or just a temporary boost to China’s economy and the country’s image?

Responsibility

Fairtrade coffee farmers battle for survival in Colombia

On the hillsides of Riosucio in the Caldas State of Colombia, 62-year-old Edwardo Antonio is one of over 400 Fairtrade coffee farmers. Owning three hectares of land, Antonio used to make a nominal income working as a labourer on large coffee plantations. In the early 1990s, his community of mostly indigenous farmers was given the opportunity to work for themselves and taught how to grow and process world-class coffee sought after by buyers such as Starbucks and Equal Exchange.

Responsibility

The social entrepreneur: getting results where angels fear t

What do Richard Branson and Mother Theresa have in common? They have both been agents for change. But when you put them together, you get - the social entrepreneur. It’s a concept and occupation that has been further clarified in new work being done by INSEAD Assistant Professor for Entrepreneurship, Filipe Santos.

Responsibility

On Adam Smith, Gordon Gecko and controls on self-interest

Maybe it’s due to technology, maybe the global economy or maybe the revelations about corporate behaviour as one company after another, melting down and asking for taxpayer aid, laid bare the truth behind their balance sheets. Layman and businessman alike have come to realise that the old taboos surrounding ways of behaviour in the business world no longer work – or perhaps worked inefficiently at best.

Responsibility

Profits with principles: being socially responsible can pay

For the sake of the environment, you shouldn’t wash your jeans each time you wear them; you should wait until you’ve worn them two or three times. This somewhat unusual advice comes courtesy of John Anderson, President and CEO of jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co, a company promoting itself as a socially responsible corporation that supports environmental and humanitarian causes.

Responsibility

A helping hand

Kancheepuram, some 80 kilometres south-west of Chennai, is well known for its 500-year-old heavyweight silk sari tradition. But chances were that its ornate, intricate pieces were woven by children between the age of five and 13, working 12 to 16 hours a day and bonded to a master weaver until their parents’ debt was paid in full.

Responsibility

Combating poverty through the power of education

At a time when many social enterprises are scaling back because of the global recession, one non-governmental organisation is doing just the opposite.

Responsibility

The profits of compassion

Does it make sense for a social entrepreneur to be as concerned with making money as with improving society or the environment? Similarly, can a commercial entrepreneur be as concerned with improving society or the environment as with making money?

Responsibility

Transferring Wall Street skills to the social sector

Born to Indian parents in Texas, Deval Sanghavi lived the American dream. After graduating from college with two business administration degrees, he went to work at Morgan Stanley’s strategic finance department at its headquarters in New York City.

Responsibility

Spreading the ‘awareness net’

After 19 years of working in communications at Ogilvy and having observed the business closely, Meenakshi Bhalla was beginning to feel bored and there was a restlessness for new challenges and unchartered territories.

Responsibility

For-profit or not for-profit? Social enterprises seek a bett

Social enterprises must currently choose whether to be charitable non-profit organisations or money-making, for-profit companies. The choice is often hard to make since the legal status of each has positive points as well as drawbacks. Because of this, a leading social entrepreneur thinks it is time to create a hybrid legal status for social enterprises.

Responsibility

The TIDE comes in

While most poverty alleviation programmes focus traditionally on welfare and health, microcredit, training and education, a new form of social entrepreneurship using technology is emerging.

Responsibility

Stirring a common interest in microfinance

Three years after Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for Grameen Bank’s work in Bangladesh, providing loans to the poor without any financial security, microfinance is still gaining momentum in other parts of the world. Not only is it alive and well today, but microfinancing has also seen other offshoots emerge.

Responsibility

Water, water everywhere, each drop more precious

“God has given us water, but He doesn’t pay for the treatment plants!” That, in a nutshell, is the way the chairman of the World Water Council sums up the predicament the world faces regarding both the supply and distribution of water resources.

Economics & Finance

Powering the economic growth engine

It has been a key driving force, powering economies since the Industrial Revolution, yet it continues to take a backseat to other heavily-touted engines of growth, most recently consumer spending.

Responsibility

Blazing a trail towards poverty alleviation in Thailand

Sex education is a topic that is usually broached with caution. But one non-governmental organisation in Thailand has opted to not skirt around the issue but tackle it head on.

Responsibility

When being green pays

Environmental issues are becoming increasingly hard to ignore these days. For many companies, it has become a licence to operate. Those who don’t consider the environmental impact of their operations will find themselves at a disadvantage, not just because their competitors are doing it, but also because the public demands it.

Responsibility

Keeping the momentum on sustainability

Given the current financial crisis, there is no question that sustainability has taken a bit of a hit of late.

Responsibility

A roadmap to sustainable transport

The massive efforts to save the automobile industry will keep it going for a few more years. But for the industry to survive beyond that, it must introduce not just new car models but a whole new set of business models.

Responsibility

Measuring the green label

When it comes to understanding the environmental impact of products, life cycle assessment (LCA), an analytic method developed nearly two decades ago, is beginning to take root.

Responsibility

A new chapter for energy

If the birth of renewable energy in the US can be pinpointed to the early 1970s, following the first Middle East oil crisis, then Lee Bailey has literally bought into most of it.

Responsibility

Social entrepreneurs find silver lining in economic downturn

Social enterprises are not immune to the effects of the economic downturn. Jop Blom, a social entrepreneur based in Amsterdam, says as companies turn their attention to survival, they are focusing on reducing costs and corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects are cut as these are not regarded as a priority during these times.

Responsibility

Extending a hand to businesses wanting to make a difference

Ever played Mikado or ‘pick-up-sticks’? It’s a game that requires skill, strategic planning and a steady hand. Serra Titiz decided to call her company 'Mikado' because it's an unusual name name in Turkey, but mostly because that's what her company is there for: to provide skills, strategy and a steady hand to businesses which want to make an impact in society.

Responsibility

Exploring the migration of patient classification systems worldwide

Robert Goldsmith

It has been called the most significant innovation in US medical financing since the Second World War. Introduced in 1983, the Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGs) system for classifying patients gave healthcare providers and payers a tool to manage patient care and slow the rising cost of health care. Since then, DRGs, or patient classification systems (PCSs) as they are known outside the US, have caught the attention of health care policymakers around the world.

Responsibility

An unlikely hero

Somaly Mam is a driven, dynamic, inspiring and indefatigable leader. Those are some of the qualities that make her one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and a CNN Hero.

Responsibility

Leadercast: Patrick Kron, Chairman and CEO of Alstom

In what has been called one of the more successful corporate turnarounds of all time, Patrick Kron, Chairman and CEO of Alstom reveals how he managed to deliver the previously-troubled company from a commercial crisis.

Responsibility

Putting the squeeze on sustainability spending

In an economic downturn, budgets get cut – whether they be for training, travel, marketing or PR activities. But these cuts go well beyond the normal discretionary items. Where companies had recently started spending money to promote and enhance their sustainability, they are now refocusing their attention on cost-cutting instead.

Responsibility

A hive of social activity

Behind the doors at no. 84 rue de Jemmapes along St Martin’s Canal in Paris, social entrepreneurs are busy working on their own and with one another to find ‘innovative solutions’ aimed at bringing about change in society.

Responsibility

Pandemic: examining the limits of corporate social responsibility

Robert Goldsmith

How much responsibility does a company owe society and at what point does that responsibility end?

Responsibility

CSR in the Gulf region

By now, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not only a familiar concept in many parts of the world, it has also become de rigeur in companies who appreciate the fact that CSR can make good business sense.

Responsibility

The winds of change

With the climate change issue becoming ever more a major cause for concern, a new green movement is fast taking shape in the European Union, with Denmark leading the way. And rightly so, because of all the countries in the EU, Denmark is ahead in its use of renewable energy.

Responsibility

Innovating the green supply chain

Proctor & Gamble's Ariel detergent 'Turn to 30' campaign, launched in 2006, was aimed at bringing about long-term change in behaviour by getting people to wash their clothes at 30 degree celsius for the good of the environment, saving up to 40 per cent of energy used. Recently P&G came out with a detergent that washes at only 15 degree celsius, which is essentially cold water.

Economics & Finance

Helping China's elderly come to terms with a digital world

INSEAD Knowledge

As the world’s most populous nation, China is expected to have 248 million people who are 65 years of age and above by 2020 – and those numbers will continue to grow. With life expectancy progressing well into the 80s, the elderly will pose an interesting challenge for society, and the Chinese government in particular.

Responsibility

Faster relief

The public and private sectors have a lot to gain by working together on disasters. The private sector can help humanitarian organisations improve how they get people, goods, money and information to disaster zones. In return, companies can learn valuable lessons about working in extreme conditions and make a positive contribution to society as well.

Responsibility

Healthcare at $1.75

Grace Segran

Micro health insurance is in its infancy but it’s expected to take off in the next couple of years, with the financial success of microfinance helping to speed up the process. Yet Johanna Mair, a former doctoral student at INSEAD (PhD 01Jul) who is now an associate professor of strategic management at IESE business school here, says microfinance and micro insurance are two very different processes.

Responsibility

Transforming the lives of thousands in South Africa

Taffy Adler is hardly the most likely candidate for taking on the role of social entrepreneur. He had an impressive track record as a trade union organiser who shunned the world of business during South Africa's turbulent past and became the CEO of the Johannesburg Housing Company.

Responsibility

Where Grameen Bank meets eBay in an African marketplace

While share prices have been falling and banks have been offering measly interest rates, MYC4 investors have been earning an average gross interest rate of 12.9 per cent a year from investments made from the comfort of their home. Too good to be true? According to Mads Kjaer, CEO of the online marketplace MYC4, “investors set the interest rate themselves and bid for it, and many hard-core investors realise even much higher yields.”

Responsibility

An experience that changes lives

Many stage actors – even veterans – will tell you they experience an indescribable ‘high’ while performing on stage.

Responsibility

Empowerment through the arts

Hua Dan, a non-profit organisation based in China, is taking a novel approach to helping workers hone their skills. Founded by Briton Caroline Watson, Hua Dan aims to harness the arts to improve people's lives in emerging countries.

Responsibility

Empowering the young in an ageing society

Influential decision makers are seldom youthful, but in Italy young adults could qualify as a marginalised minority group. Precarious and poorly-paid employment is endemic even for university graduates. Unemployment for those aged 15 to 24 is among the highest in Europe at nearly 20 per cent, and hovers roughly fourteen points higher than Italy’s general population.

Responsibility

Why mainstreaming CSR still make good business sense

A. Dearnell, N. C. Smith

With the economy still experiencing a slowdown, one might expect interest in corporate social responsibility to wane, or perhaps even die a natural death.

Responsibility

Social entrepreneurship in India: going beyond the symptoms

If social entrepreneurs in India focus on causes when mapping out challenges, rather than just fixing the symptoms, half the battle is already fought, says Rathin Roy, chairman of the board of directors of Rural Innovations Network, a Chennai-based company that helps social entrepreneurs incubate innovations and take them to the market to benefit the rural poor.

Responsibility

Gold lures small-scale miners into global market

Victoria Paxi used to live in Lima, the capital of Peru, working in a restaurant or washing clothes to earn about 60 dollars a month, while her husband worked hours away in a mine.

Entrepreneurship

African entrepreneurs must pressure their governments to regulate their business environments

Although many African companies will be hit by the current global slowdown, there is a lot that local entrepreneurs and their governments can do to improve their business environments, says Arthur Levi, former head of the World Bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Europe.

Responsibility

The Millennium Promise

The Millennium Promise, which runs some 80 villages in sub-Saharan Africa, aims to help communities move towards sustainable development. It is also trying to encourage the private sector to find solutions to key problems contributing to extreme poverty in Africa, such as Malaria, which kills between one and three million Africans a year.

Responsibility

Harnessing Africa’s medicinal plants to create new business opportunities for the rural poor

African farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are taking part in a social entrepreneurship project to cultivate medicinal plants for the pharmaceutical industry.

Responsibility

Can NGOs work successfully with international oil and gas companies in Africa?

One agency representative describes what it’s like to join forces with the American Marathon Oil Corporation to combat malaria in Equatorial Guinea

Responsibility

Combating malaria: How an oil company is helping to tackle the problem

INSEAD Knowledge

For Marathon Oil Corporation, its project to tackle malaria on an island off Equatorial Guinea is paying off. It reckons that for every dollar invested, the economic return is around four dollars.

Responsibility

Maximising shareholder value: an ethical responsibility?

Finance professors often get criticised by ethics professors because they tell their students that the goal of the firm is to maximise shareholder value. Financial scandals such as Enron, Tyco and others are regularly blamed on the excessive focus on shareholder value maximisation

Responsibility

Jet Li’s world of One

It reads like a script of a traditional Chinese movie: the dutiful son promises his mother at her deathbed to spend his life in the service of the less fortunate. But that was indeed the promise international film star Jet Li made to his dying mother who only managed to utter a sigh when he asked about her final wishes.

Responsibility

Getting to the heart of social innovation

Money is fairly easy to give; you just write a cheque. Talking about marginalisation and change is easy too. “The harder thing to do is giving your time and yourself to the cause. And that,” says Pamela Hartigan, “is what is critical to social innovation.”

Responsibility

Financial crisis prompts climate change wake-up call

The financial crisis offers an opportunity to jump-start environmental innovations in the US. That’s according to Eric W. Orts, Director of the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at The Wharton School.

Responsibility

Global crisis forces corporations to look beyond quarterly earnings

With the US economy in turmoil, Wal-Mart, the nation’s leading retailer boasting more than 144 million customers per week, is taking on a new leadership role. In a country where about one person in three is considered obese and 47 million people are without healthcare, the company is taking a unique stand in educating both its consumers and suppliers.

Responsibility

Where there is scarcity, there is money to be made

The alternative energy business, driven by public demand for ecological reform and the scarcity of natural resources, has been booming. The United Nations predicts the market for low-carbon energy products will be worth at least $500 billion by 2050, but the current turmoil on the stock markets and the global economic downturn have led to significant corrections in the prices of alternative energy stocks. So how will the current market environment impact the environmental investment space?

Responsibility

Transforming risky 'business-as-usual' scenarios into a more sustainable future

Climate change and sustainable development are interlinked problems that pose serious challenges.

Responsibility

Social entrepreneurship emerging in India

Social entrepreneurship in India has progressed significantly over the last decade. More and more people are using entrepreneurial skills in building sustainable enterprises for profit and non-profit to effect change in India, says Deval Sanghavi, a former investment banker and now president of Dasra. Based in Mumbai, Dasra is a non-profit organisation which bridges the gap between those investing in social change and those spearheading the changes.
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Responsibility

When social innovation makes good business sense

With the international community galvanised to look for ways to solve the current financial crisis, it appears that other problems have been relegated to the backburner. That could have dire consequences in the long term, especially if the problem is that of climate change, says Rob Routs, Executive Director Downstream, Royal Dutch Shell.

Responsibility

Not by drugs alone but by partnership

Grace Segran

Nearly eradicated 20 years ago, tuberculosis has since re-emerged at the top of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases list.

Responsibility

Levelling the playing field for small businesses

For the past five years, 32-year-old entrepreneur Majid El Jarroudi has been managing the four companies which he founded – Algoconsult, Immokey, Sezam Café and the social enterprise Jeunes Enterpreneurs de France (JEF), a non-governmental organisation which helps youths in suburban Paris set up businesses. He was trying to “make a good living” by building the first three, while making an impact on society through Jeunes Entrepreneurs.

Responsibility

New CSR marketing trends: transparency and dialogue

Companies are changing the way they market their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives – more and more of them are becoming increasingly transparent about their supply chains and are fostering dialogue with their customers, says Per Grankvist, editor and founder of CSRiPraktiken.se, and senior advisor on sustainability to multinational corporations such as the Coca-Cola Company in Sweden.

Responsibility

Managing corporate giving

Nothing galvanises people more than a global disaster. When the Asian tsunami struck in December 2004, there was an outpouring of grief, and subsequently aid and relief was shipped to the affected countries.

Responsibility

Setting a new youth trend

When Bernd Gebert looks to get a renovation project underway in a school in Hamburg for the first time, the pupils often look at him with suspicion.

Responsibility

Mary Robinson: Human rights are good for business

Mary Robinson remains an uncompromising voice for human rights. The former Irish president and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights asserted the central importance of human rights in achieving a more just and sustainable future at the Net Impact conference here on sustainable prosperity, and explored with some 400 participants how they can help remind the world that human rights belong to all people and are their shared responsibility.

Responsibility

Stemming the 'silent tsunami'

Over the past two years, approximately 100 million people have been pushed into poverty globally as a result of increased food prices. Gains in poverty reduction efforts in developing countries are at risk if governments fail to protect the poor from rising food prices, says Vikram Nehru, the World Bank’s Director of Poverty Reduction and Economic Management and Acting Chief Economist for East Asia. “It’s like a silent tsunami in the sense that there’s no dramatic footage that can bring home to people the misery and the human suffering that such price increases can exert on the poor.”

Responsibility

The ‘learning journey’: Where social responsibility meets its match

An organisation based in the Netherlands is helping firms which want to make their mark in terms of social responsibility but aren’t sure how to go about it in a tangible way. EsteamWork started four years ago when its founder Machiel van Dooren observed that a growing number of companies wanted to take CSR seriously but didn’t know how to get the maximum impact. He also found that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at times needed outside expertise in areas other than their own, which is primarily in humanitarian aid.

Responsibility

The economics of climate change

Rich countries have to take the lead in fighting global climate change. Lord Nicholas Stern, an economics professor from the London School of Economics, says that without a commitment from wealthy countries, carbon emissions will become “deeply damaging right across the economy and around the world.”

Responsibility

Climate change

The continued rise in food prices is just one example of the kinds of surprises we will be facing in the years to come. Dr Ashok Khosla, founder of Development Alternatives – a non-governmental organisation devoted to promoting commercially-viable , environmentally-friendly technologies – and a former director of the United Nations Environment Programme , says “there are many surprises coming up. I mean real surprises. Climate change was already a pretty big one.”

Responsibility

Sustainability: a business opportunity

By the year 2040, only 15 per cent of the world’s population will be living in what are now called developed countries. It’s therefore essential for today’s business planners to start focusing on the rest of the planet. Fortunately a strategy centred on emerging markets can be both financially profitable and socially responsible, says Barbara Kux of the Dutch multinational Royal Philips Electronics.

Operations

CEO view: Ben Verwaayen of BT

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly hot topic in business circles, but when it comes to grasping the sense of urgency surrounding the issue, many of the current generation of business leaders aren’t very good at ‘getting it’. That’s according to the outgoing CEO of BT plc, Ben Verwaayen.

Responsibility

Meeting the sustainability challenge: HCL Technologies

Corporate India is just as committed as Europe and the United States to sustainability, asserts Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies Ltd.

Responsibility

Responsible leaders and sustainable growth?

Are business leaders really buying into sustainable development? According to McKinsey, only 20 per cent of executives feel that sustainability is part of their responsibility.

Responsibility

Scarcity and innovation: Powering the developing world

Scarcity of resources, scarcity of political consensus and scarcity of financing for innovation. These are some of the major challenges faced by companies in today’s global environment. That’s according to Leif Beck Fallesen, editor-in-chief and CEO of the Danish publication Dagbladet Borsen. Fallesen was the moderator of the first plenary session at the INSEAD Leadership Summit. He said these concerns are highlighted by a growing food crisis (wheat prices rose more than oil prices last year), climate change and decreased foreign investment (down by 9 per cent).

Responsibility

Social entrepreneurship: Innovative care for the elderly

Grace Segran

Some ten years ago, when Jean-Daniel Muller and his friend, Jean-Michel Ricard, were studying to become sports teachers – both aged 23 – they felt that not enough was being done to help the elderly. So, they decided to develop a series of exercises for the elderly as part of their 3-month practicum, which would eventually form the basis of an innovative scheme.

Responsibility

Muhammad Yunus: Helping the less privileged unleash their entrepreneurial skills

Some thirty years ago, economics professor Muhammad Yunus made his first loan of $27 to a group of 42 women so they could expand their bamboo furniture making business.

Responsibility

Creating a climate for change

A new INSEAD-European Business Summit report on climate change has highlighted a surge in ‘green’ activities by US entrepreneurs, backed by venture capital.

Responsibility

Shell CEO van der Veer

If governments do not intervene, industries will meet the growing demands for energy in the cheapest way possible, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will increase. That puts Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell plc, one of the world’s leading petroleum companies, in an odd position: a leading capitalist campaigning for more government regulation.

Responsibility

Microsoft: Using technology to tackle climate change

Tackling climate change for Europe is “an incredible opportunity to innovate and compete with the rest of the world.” That’s the view of Microsoft International President Jean-Philippe Courtois, speaking at the recent European Business Summit in Brussels, which was devoted to climate change.

Responsibility

Intel’s Craig Barrett

INSEAD Knowledge

The United States will need to improve its capacity to innovate if it wants to maintain its economic position in the world, says Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel Corporation. Furthermore, government must make R&D more of a priority, as should private industry.

Responsibility

Islamic microfinance gains popularity in war-torn Afghanistan

After spending several years in Iran as a refugee struggling to make a living working in a beauty parlour, Shooperi Sharif never imagined that one day she would have a business of her very own.

Responsibility

Counting the cost

'Rogue traders' are not exactly a new phenomenon, but when their activities eventually come to be uncovered by their bosses, they may have already run up hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars in losses.

Responsibility

Creating products for those at the bottom of the pyramid

A growing number of global companies are being drawn to the seductive idea that money can be made by developing and marketing products for those at the bottom of the pyramid, some four billion people around the world who eke out a living on about two US dollars a day. Not only are companies attracted by the prospect of discovering markets with untapped growth potential, but they’re also aiming to have an impact, in a global society characterized by deep divisions between the haves and the have-nots. But those developing new products for those living in poverty are finding that cost alone isn’t the most important factor.

Responsibility

Healthcare 2020: Managing new health markets

INSEAD Knowledge

Are conventional healthcare models still relevant, especially in rapidly-growing economies such as India’s, what will be the economics of the healthcare business and who will be the players of the future? In this final article in our series of features on the Healthcare 2020 conference, held at INSEAD’s Europe campus in Fontainebleau, we look at the management of globalised and networked healthcare.

Responsibility

Environmental degradation: Counting the cost of rapid economic growth

Bad air, polluted water, depleted resources and global warming. These are some of the emerging hallmarks of Asia’s booming growth in recent years. From Beijing to Bangalore and beyond, the consequences of industrial development are tainting the region’s environment.

Responsibility

Social responsibility: Greater access to capital?

Practising social responsibility can give companies improved access to capital. That’s according to Brendan May, International Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at PR firm Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Key financial centres are always thinking in terms of risk and investible propositions, and as May notes, “the chances are, that a truly investible proposition in the 21st century is not a company that is chopping down rainforests, (or) exploiting its workforce.” This is resulting in a proliferation of both mainstream and niche institutions looking to invest in socially responsible companies, as financial firms choose to steer clear of dubious, risky companies.

Responsibility

Healthcare2020: Women and leadership – the next decade

INSEAD Knowledge

Technology is presenting an opportunity for women to progress in the healthcare sector, even though they are currently underrepresented in the industry. “The digital world is changing healthcare with the new technology system that currently is underleveraged,” says Lynn O’Connor Vos, the CEO and president of Grey Healthcare Group. She told a plenary session at the healthcare2020 forum which was recently held at INSEAD’s Europe campus in Fontainebleau that nowadays patients are better informed and that there’s also a spotlight on the industry “from customers distrusting us.

Responsibility

Combating malaria in the developing world

INSEAD Knowledge

A plenary session with: Dave de Ferranti, Director Global Health Financing, The Brookings Institution Gina Lagomarsino, Global Health Financing Initiative, The Brookings Institution Robert Sebbag, Vice President for Accessible Medicines, Sanofi-Aventis John Tomaro, Director, Health Programme, Aga Khan Foundation

Responsibility

Social enterprise: Using microcredit to help to lift the poor out of poverty

Many institutions around the world are turning to microfinance both as a strategy to help lift the poor out of the poverty trap and to make a decent return on investment. While the business gains from lending money to those who earn only about one or two dollars a day may seem limited, some of the major international banks are now turning their attention to this sector.

Responsibility

The Impact of Ageing

“Ageing of populations is often viewed very negatively. Yet we need to constantly keep in mind that it is a sign of success,” says Gavin Jones, co-editor of a new book called ‘The Impact of Ageing - A Common Challenge for Europe and Asia’. That’s because ageing populations in Europe and East Asia represent success in terms of lowering unsustainably high birth rates to replacement level, and prolonging life expectancy, he says.

Responsibility

Corporate responsibility: Are companies responding to social demands?

Only one manager in about six is likely to view her company as a global corporate citizen with a responsibility to help solve social problems, as opposed to one stakeholder in three. This is one of the key findings of RESPONSE: Understanding and Responding to Social Demands on Corporate Responsibility, a study created and funded by the European Commission to study the gap in perceptions of social responsibility among companies and stakeholders.
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