Friday afternoon – parallel sessions

you are free to choose between these five interactive parallel sessions

1. Isabella Lenarduzzi

An interactive workshop deepening the concepts offered in her keynote

2. Payam Zamani

An interactive workshop deepening the concepts offered in his keynote

3. The role of business in the transformation to a post-growth, post-consumer society
(Gary Reusche)

Based on concepts from ELEVEN by Paul Hanley “Business is both an active and passive participant in a world at risk due to consumerism and its consequences, including the consumer economy based on an ethos of never-ending growth”. In his book ELEVEN, Paul Hanley uses multiple sources to present a clear and logical description of the genesis of the current paradigm and where it is inexorably leading. Science informs us that the current economic order is unsustainable; with our population rising another 50%, to 11 billion by 2100, the continued expansion of the consumer economic will be catastrophic. As the notion that there is a spiritual aspect to reality fades into anachronism, the sustainability crisis deepens.

The core proposal of the book and the learnshop is that the solution to the seemingly insurmountable and catastrophic issues facing the world today can only be found using a comprehensive public educational approach that leads to profound ethical-social-ecological transformation—beginning at the neighbourhood/village level. For people living today, it feels like consumer culture with all its trappings has always been here—the underlying paradigm is invisible. Our reality needs to be made visible through education, particularly moral education, starting with children and youth.

What new insights or learning do you hope your keynote and/or learnshop will provoke?
Is business part of the problem? Can it become part of the solution? Is business a grassroots institution that can play a major role to transform society? Or is business a global entity producing greater income inequality and leading the world to a catastrophe? How can business offer hope and play a role to reduce unsustainable consumption and increase dialog about the false god of continuous economic growth—the “materialists’ crusade”.

4. Diversity of Data: what signals can we, consumers, employees, business owners, and citizens, provide in a big-data-driven society to improve corporate responsibility?
(Nava Emilia Anvari)

Diversity of Data. As we look at the new SDGs, the development community is fast realizing that there is no way we can achieve these goals through aid alone. At the same time, corporations are making decisions every day that indicate their corporate social responsibility – and this goes far beyond their philanthropic donations on the side. At Dalberg we are seeing more innovative models where large companies partner with multilateral agencies to improve their core business outcomes (e.g., I recently worked with Ferrero who partnered with USAID to empower thousands of farmers in hazelnut value chains in Georgia – as a sustainable, long-term solution to their hazelnut sourcing challenges). We as consumers and members of a broader society are in a unique position to signal to companies just how their actions affect our decisions. We present a diverse, but increasingly aware and morally-conscious society, and our every-day purchase decisions send messages daily. This session will highlight some interesting case studies from the field and provide exciting updates on “Big data analytics”. Based on this information, the teams will explore our unique role as consumers to provide the right signal to corporates, as well as our respective opportunities as corporates, employees, business owners, and citizens to leverage this trend and bring about a more inclusive, united, and sustainable economy. The learnshop will be conducted through a human-centred design approach – engaging all participants in a rapid-prototyping, collective solution-building, multiple-sticky-note using process.

5. True Diversity what does it mean… ?
(Gijs van de fliert)

Much of our diversity indicators in our workplaces are defined by physical attributes of human beings, such as the color of our skin, our gender, nationality, or other physical attributes society is wont to impose on us. However, these are attributes of beauty that do not define us. True diversity and distinction is a spiritual one, as a unique human being each of us has its own temperament and talents, each of us has its own unique spiritual distinctions.

What new insights or learning do you hope your learnshop will provoke?
Stimulate the insight that a spiritual perspective is required in addressing the issues of diversity and more importantly inclusiveness. Diversity cannot be measured solely by physical indicators.

What key questions / conversation topics would your learnshop cover?
What wider loyalties and aspirations do we want to instill into our corporations?
If not the physical attributes of diversity what indicators would demonstrate a vibrant, diverse and unified organization, in which all have a decisive role to play?”