Campus & Community

KSG launches Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

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Kickoff event to focus on ‘Public Role of Private Enterprise’

Marshaling the resources of business, government, academia, and civil society to address pressing social challenges in the United States and globally is the goal of a new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative, being launched today (March 4) by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (KSG).

The CSR Initiative will consist of an integrated program of research, education, and outreach activities bringing together leading practitioners and scholars to advance both knowledge and applied research in the field of corporate responsibility. In particular, the initiative will explore the role of corporate responsibility in relation to corporate governance, public policy, and multistakeholder alliances.

During the next few years, the CSR Initiative will convene leaders from business, government, academia, and civil society with a focus on building trust, exploring and assessing the changing boundaries between public and private sectors, and evaluating new approaches to more inclusive and sustainable globalization. It will study how the private sector can work with government to build and sustain effective public-private partnerships to address critical economic, environmental, and social challenges.

It will also analyze new models of leadership, from the corporate perspective, that are needed to manage corporate responsibility, meet rising stakeholder expectations, and build cross-sector alliances. And it will explore the role of the media and the financial sector in influencing corporate responsibility.

To launch the initiative, the Kennedy School will host a discussion panel, “The Public Role of Private Enterprise,” at 6 p.m. today (March 4) at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, 79 JFK St., Cambridge. Forum participants will include:

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director-general of the World Health Organization; former prime minister of Norway; and chair of the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development, which first promoted the concept of sustainable development.

Dick Cavanagh, president and CEO of the Conference Board.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School.

Vernon Ellis, chairman of The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum; member of the G8’s Digital Opportunities Task Force; and international chairman of Accenture.

The CSR Initiative has been established as a collaborative effort between the Kennedy School’s Center for Business and Government; Center for Public Leadership; Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations; and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, with the goal of also working with colleagues at the Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard School of Public Health.