The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announces the launch of a new center of excellence to prepare current and future business leaders to function skillfully in an increasingly complex global society. The Initiative for Business in Society (IBiS) will be the foremost global catalyst of thought, information and action on business’ role in society and will prepare leaders to positively impact society through business.
“The global economic crisis and the resulting patchwork of policy responses have created a new, challenging operating environment,” says Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner, “IBiS will prepare tomorrow’s leaders and innovate tangible ways that business and society can work together to build a more effective collaboration.”
In conjunction with Dean Bruner and Darden’s top-ranked faculty, IBiS will be guided by an advisory committee of chief executives and highly regarded thought leaders who will identify strategic IBiS issues, build new knowledge and proactively develop leading practices and competencies.
The center will address wide-ranging issues such as the current regulatory environment, health care, corporate governance, intellectual property rights and trust in businesses and markets.
It will be led by Executive Director Dean Krehmeyer, who also serves as the executive director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, an independent entity established in partnership with Business Roundtable, which is housed at Darden.
“Today’s business leaders face a new set of demands, expectations, responsibilities and operating requirements,” says Krehmeyer. “IBiS will offer a suite of strategic activities designed to empower an organization’s ability to successfully navigate the interface between business and society.” Specifically, the Institute for Business in Society will:
- Develop case studies that explore the increasingly complex intersection of business and society, where national and international constraints overlap, and when the outcome has a significant impact on an organization’s ability to execute its strategy
- Design courses and curricula that replicate the real-world challenges faced by today’s executives, and provide insights and leading practices for these situations that immediately add value to the organization and its stakeholders
- Convene conferences and events of impact, delivering faculty-led thought leadership and a rich exchange of leading-edge insights and practices
“IBiS deliverables will help business leaders anticipate and address the issues that inevitably occur when business and society converge,” says Krehmeyer, “We will articulate the fundamental forces that govern this relationship and equip corporate leaders with the knowledge and the strategies they need to manage the tension between business and society more productively.”
Darden is actively seeking a syndicate of founding corporate partners — leading and highly renowned companies representing diverse industries across a global landscape — to join in this Initiative.
“IBiS builds on Darden’s mission of ‘improving society by developing principled leaders for the world of practical affairs,’ and we are energized to address the most pressing issues facing businesses and society,” says Dean Bruner. “No other research institution has been established specifically to take on this challenge, and there is no business school better suited to lead this groundbreaking center.”
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