The AUC Business Forum, which took place between February 9-11, brought together a diverse group of renowned and distinguished scholars, practitioners from the business industry, as well as policymakers from Egypt, Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world, to discuss timely and relevant issues in the world of business education.
The final roundtable on “Responsible Business” was featuring the keynote speakers Ali Awni, professor of practice and director of the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy, Civic Engagement and Responsible Business, School of Business, The American University in Cairo; Dante Campioni, managing director and CEO, Alex Bank, Egypt; Hashem El-Dandarawy, chairman, Team 4, Egypt; Noha El-Mikawy, regional director, Ford Foundation, Middle East and North Africa; and Morgan Simon, founding partner, Candide Group, US
With the increasing importance of responsible business and its growing recognition as a fundamental element of business education, this roundtable focused on examining the different approaches by which business schools can promote and integrate practices of responsible business into their operations and education. In particular, examples of how businesses can work collaboratively with philanthropic organizations to expand practices of responsible business were discussed, along with introducing and discussing the role of impact investments as a promising practice of responsible business.
Furthermore, challenges revolving around businesses’ ability to become responsible were analyzed, including regulatory framework, private money, and measurement of impact. Yet another challenge is the association of the term social responsibility with the idea of giving money to the less advantaged, when in reality, being responsible has a much wider scope to it.
All in all, the bottom line conclusion was that structural change is required, and a large part of that change is about educating students and deploying them to create more value for the world at-large through building capacity and embedding business practices within the curriculum.
However, management likewise has a major role in such change, since there should be policy advancement towards PSG instead of profit and revenue-generation since the policy framework area still requires major restructuring. In that regard, it’s vital that the market knows the models that have worked through efforts dedicated to promoting and showcasing successful examples, to ensure that in the future, responsible business incorporation in business practices is a default, not a choice.
Lastly, a general recommendation was towards the idea that academia and organizations should join forces, and organizations should fund programs that encourage students to get immersed in community practices. Combining profit and purpose will be key moving forward for businesses and educational institutions alike.
Find the full roundtable discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJkHE0qhtK8