Warren Manger, special guest Editor for Global Voice magazine #9, Warwick Business School, sets the tone for this research and opinion issue published on June 6th.
Winston Churchill famously championed the EU as “the re-creation of the European family” after the horrors the Second World War. That family now stands on the brink of a messy divorce.
Brexit has dominated the headlines in the UK for more than three years, yet it continues to divide both politicians and the public. There remains no consensus on what Brexit means nor what Britain’s relationship with Europe should look like after it leaves, if indeed it ever does.
The deadlock has left businesses and millions of workers, not to mention British business schools, in limbo. As our own Nigel Driffield, Professor of International Business, observed: “Clearly politicians are desperate for this to be over, but in terms of trade and investment, this is just the start of five to ten years of uncertainty and negotiations.” It has also pushed other vital discussions such as climate change, now recognised as a state of emergency by the British and Irish governments, into the background.
Faced with such challenges, it is vital that businesses – and business schools – continue to reach out to their partners around the globe. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to welcome two new European members to the Council on Business and Society, in the form of Trinity College business school in Dublin and IE in Spain. Our rapidly expanding network is bringing together like-minded people worldwide to use education, entrepreneurship, and business for the common good.
We have already seen business leaders, motivated by the triple bottom line, providing the kind of ethical leadership we might desire of our politicians. Many CEOs put principles before profit to boycott Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. There is a growing focus on environmental sustainability too, with fund managers putting pressure on oil companies to end their focus on fossil fuels.
Businesses must continue to take such positive steps if they are to play their part in addressing the key challenges we face as a global community. That is the focus of the Council on Business and Society and its member schools. Our research, a small selection of which is included in this issue, can provide the blueprint for a brighter future. Our students will be the next generation of business leaders with their commitment to corporate social responsibility and their determination to change the world. If Brexit has opened Pandora’s box, we must strive to be the hope that heals the divisions it has caused. You can be part of that vision by following us on Twitter at @The_CoBS, visiting our Council Community blog, or exploring our website at www.council-business-society.org and our many publications on business at the crossroads of society.
Warren Manger, Guest Editor, Warwick Business School
Council on Business & Society special Global Voice Europe focus: 84 pages of research and opinion from the faculty of 4 leading European business schools
ESSEC Business School, IE Business School, Trinity College Dublin Business School, Warwick Business School
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