Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative

Global Responsibility – Issue 12 – March 2015


As parents of two pre-schoolers Zilla and I face an ongoing stream of questions about why and how the world around us exists and works. It has been suggested in a previous issue of this magazine that global responsibility too begins with a question. In this issue we follow ideas and actions that explore elements of the very same inquiry: “What kind of world do we want to build with the enormous resources we master?”

The non-stop quiz show in our household presents a precious and often surprising learning opportunity for parents and children alike. I am constantly discovering new areas of knowledge and practice that I know very little or nothing about (no surprises there).

However, in recent weeks this increasingly lead me to ask further questions about individual and collective responsibility. For instance when our youngest asks “Why am I small and you are big?” or her sister demands a detailed explanation about the relevance of my participation in a meeting on the other side of the globe, I invariably ask myself “What are the things worth knowing and ultimately doing?” In our December 2014 newsletter I made reference to this by asking “What is essential? What’s important now?”

In keeping with this theme, one of the articles in this issue is entitled “The questions we ask” – a reflection on recent events and question arising from within GRLI and the landscape in which we work. This edition also brings news from the Weatherhead School of Management and the initiative to recognize business innovations that benefit humanity – a project formalized as part of our meeting in Cleveland in October. From the other side of the world at Monash University Carol Adams, editor of the GRLI endorsed Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ), investigates how we can encourage research that makes a difference to the relationship between organisations, society and the environment.

Ben van der Merwe, lecturer and researcher at the University of Pretoria Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership asks what the signifier ‘responsible’ means in the context of responsible leadership and we also report back on the academic conference held in Pretoria last November. Audrey Birt, Nick Ellerby and Cathy Neligan at Oasis School of Human Relations in the UK shares some highlights from their recent report which in turn was stimulated by the question “What are the requirements for the workplace of tomorrow if people and planet really matter?”

We hope that you enjoy this issue of Global Responsibility and look forward to seeing you in New York (21-22 June) at our 2015 AGM where we will continue to develop these and other questions in the context of our role as incubator for innovation and new practice in business and management education in collaboration with practice. Finally, we would like to invite all our associates to put forward suggestions and contributions for the next issue of Global Responsibility which will be published in June 2015.

Global Responsibility - Issue 12

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