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Call for Ideas, Stories, Innovations and Papers

The Next Great Transformation: Sustainable Enterprise
A Conversation About The Future

Please send ideas, stories, innovations and papers on sustainable enterprise for a conversation taking place at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England from 24 to 26 October 2007 organised by the Applied Research Centre in Human Security, the UN Global Compact, Boston College and The Eden Project.
Conversation, inspiration, music, food and change.

Enterprise, innovation and creativity, like conversation, caring and sharing, are part of what it means to be human, and we now need to reward these human characteristics more than ever before if we are to make the transition to a sustainable future on Earth. Two pressing issues need reconciling: the need for resourceful, innovative and creative communities that reward enterprise; and, the imperative for all enterprise to be environmentally light-footed and socially responsible. A sustainable enterprise economy includes private, public, civil society and social enterprise. It is based on the benefits of collectivism and wealth creation, whether organised publicly or privately and in a sustainable enterprise economy, individuals, communities and investors must all gain from the fruits of their labours. Bringing together the principles of sustainable development, which include eco-efficiency and social justice, with the principle of allowing enterprise and innovation to blossom provides the best possible milieu for a wholly new model of capitalism to be born out of the current wasteful and inequitable model of wealth creation.

A better understanding of complex dynamics and systems is required for a sustainable enterprise economy, particularly fragile eco-systems but also human society. Both transcend traditional territorial boundaries and established institutional social mechanisms. Our current way of thinking and seeing the world has created global warming and global terrorism. We must use our newfound knowledge to create a paradigm shift to a more equitable global socio-ecological situation.

Join us in October 2007 by sending not more than 500 words on any aspect of the transformation towards sustainable enterprise. Local and global economies and all our enterprises – large and small, from the individual to the global corporate, must now adapt to seize the challenge and opportunity of new life on planet Earth and to share resources globally. Humanity has reached a turning point and we want to tell the world about the most brilliant, innovative practice around the world on sustainable enterprise.

We want to hear from sustainable enterprise pioneers, from interesting thinkers, from business, from government, from agencies, from NGOs, and from academics. This is an event where we hope to explore new models, new systems, new policies and new strategies for this century. There is everything to be gained from the new opportunities and challenges that we face collectively. The conversation will take the form of a few provocative keynote speakers but there will be plenty of space for open and structured conversations in parallel and plenary sessions.

The food and music will be local and the setting at the Eden Project a fantastic living example of change that is possible.

The provocateur keynote speakers will include:

Lord (Michael) Hastings, International Director of Corporate Citizenship, KPMG;
Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact;
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General (tbc);
Malcolm McIntosh, Professor of Human Security at Coventry University;
Tim Smit, social entrepreneur and Eden Project co-founder;
James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK (tbc);
Katie Stafford, Sustainable Development Manager, Marks & Spencer;
Mark Swilling, co-Founder of the Sustainability Institute at Stellenbosch University, South Africa and Ashoka Fellow;
Sandra Waddock, Professor of Management, Center for Corporate Citizenship
Boston College Carroll School of Management and Visiting Scholar, Center for Business and Government, Harvard University;
and others – you included!

A Roundtable in Sustainable Enterprise involving representatives form business, government, NGOs, academia and others has been meeting in London and will report on its findings during the event. The emerging themes from the Roundtable (so far) that we also want to hear from you about are: New models of enterprise; partisans for change – working below the radar in large corporations; risk versus opportunity; mass social change and cultural collision; new social infrastructures for the sustainable enterprise economy; travelling without certainty; moving out of the comfort zone; human scale organisations; wanting to go to work; values, creativity, tension and ambiguity; big or small?; the lonely pioneer and the corporate intrapreneur; design for sustainability.

The conversation is organised by The Applied Research Centre in Human Security at Coventry University (ARCHS), Boston College’s Winston Centre for Ethics and Leadership, the Eden Project and the UN Global Compact. It is sponsored by Shell International and supported by the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Business as an Agent for World Benefit, the European Academy for Business In Society (EABIS) and Business Leaders Initiative for Human Rights.

Please send Ideas, Innovations, Stories and abstracts for Papers to malcolm.mcintosh@coventry.ac.uk with the subject heading: ‘Conversation Idea’. Accepted ideas, innovations, stories and papers will be notified by the end of May 2007.

If you would just like to pre-register a place for the conversation please send your details to pam.shoker@coventry.ac.uk with the subject heading: ‘Conference October 2007’. Registration will open in July 2007. The proceedings will be webcast and published after the conference. The conference website will be launched soon. The conference fee will include entrance to the Eden Project for you and a partner. There will be an Eden Project train from London’s Paddington Station to Cornwall on 24 October.