INSEAD organized an international workshop jointly with the European SPES Forum, focusing on the research project “Globalization and the Common Good” in September 17-18, 2006, in Fontainebleau, France. This workshop was hosted by Henri-Claude de Bettignies, the Aviva Chair Professor of Leadership and Responsibility at INSEAD.
Beyond bringing together interested scholars and practitioners from all over Europe and reflecting on that essential issue during two days, the final objective of the workshop would be to publish a book on the theme “Globalization and the common good”, which would include the best papers presented during the event, as well as some other contributions.
Contributions ranged over the following topics: (i) Conceptual foundations of the common good - an interdisciplinary perspective. The “common good” concept has been dealt with by a variety of disciplines: philosophy, spirituality, political science, economics, international relations… Equivalents of this concept can also be found in other traditions and cultures, such as the “kyosei” in Japan. (ii) Aspects of the common good issue. Nature preservation, access to water resources, peace and security among nations, an equitable sharing out of wealth, the search for a global ethics in the global marketplace, are some examples – among many others – of the ways through which the common good can be sought after. (iii) The emergence of global civil society and the common good. What is the role of NGOs, networks of civic constituencies and planetary meetings to promote the common good? How can partnerships between actors belonging to different spheres foster a progress towards that end? (iv) Leadership for the common good: what are the levers for change? Who should provide the impetus to move beyond self-interest at all levels of human activity? What is the role of spiritual leaders, of political leaders and of business leaders? More specifically, how business leaders could internalize more a concern for the common good? (v) Is a paradigm shift under way in management science and business practice? To what extent does this growing interest for – and taking into account of – the common good issue represent a shift in our worldview? Is it related to the business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development streams of academic research and trends of corporate action? and (vi) Are business schools an effective vehicle to promote the common good? To what extent can the current debate about the role of business schools in society help them translate their education responsibility into action? What else can be done to increase their effectiveness in contributing to the common good? The workshop resulted in a book “Business, Globalization and the Common Good” published Peter Lang in Oxford in 2009.