The eighth edition of the CSR and Sustainability Conference was presented for the first time in Cologne from 14 to 16 November 2018 as an international platform for the topic of sustainable management. Around 500 experts and change makers accepted the invitation to exchange ideas and networking and informed themselves about CSR, sustainability and responsible leadership in the English presentations, workshop sessions and panel discussions. Prof Dr René Schmidpeter, Chairman of the conference and Head of the Center for Advanced Sustainable Management at the Cologne Business School, summed it up: “The old sustainability paradigms did not achieve the results we had hoped for. Let us rethink old sustainability concepts together and, if necessary, throw them overboard. Only by thinking the present from the future can we initiate a fundamentally sustainable change”.
Forward-thinkers like John Elkington have already begun to critically question their own concepts, such as the Triple-Bottom Line. It is time to jointly develop new ideas so that sustainability is consistently pursued as the norm in business. Patrick Bungard, Head of the Center of Advanced Sustainable Management, added: “The old dichotomy between profit maximization and sustainability does not help. Digitalization and global exchange offer an opportunity to completely rethink the topic of sustainable management”.
Lively participation in lectures and workshop sessions
With over 60 agenda items, the Lead Conference for Sustainable Management in Europe once again offered a varied programmefor conference participants this year. The top-class CSR experts John Elkington, R. Edward Freeman, Wayne Visser, Lize A.E. Booysen, Ernst U. von Weizsäcker, Robert G. Eccles, Georg Kell and John Spengler inspired the audience with their lectures, in which they presented new perspectives on CSR and sustainability and questioned old theories.
Monika Kolb, CSR Conference Coordinator of the Center of Advanced Sustainable Management, drew a positive balance of the symposium: “We were very pleased that our CSR and Sustainability Conference could offer a stage to all those who challenge the status quo. The feedback from the workshops and the quantity and diversity of the visitors confirmed how relevant this platform is for the joint development of global challenges in business and society”.
Outlook on the 9th International Conference on Sustainability and Responsibility
In 2020, the CSR and Sustainability Conference will take place for the second time. The English-language conference was held for the first time in 2004 as a “platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue” at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Every two years since then, it has brought together scientists, executives, political decision-makers, entrepreneurs and committed citizens to discuss key economic issues and the associated social and ecological challenges.
More information on the 8th International Conference on Sustainability and Responsibility at: www.international-csr.org/