Established in 2009, the Weatherhead School of Management center is designed to help propel business success and flourishing enterprise through the belief that business is one of the most powerful and positive forces for advancing a better world. The center’s team operates under the premise that every business exists to advance a better society—just as every organ in the body is there to enable life and health.
Their primary focus is on for-profit organizations that use their core activities to create value for society and the environment in ways that create even more value for their customers and shareholders. To do this, the center draws on expertise and tools such as design, sustainable value, appreciative inquiry, and systems thinking to build and maintain prosperity and flourishing.
This philosophy can be found in events such as the center’s Global Forum Series, a major initiative that brings together top business leaders and educators to focus on ways of doing, researching, and teaching business that is both profitable and successful in addressing the world’s most pressing social needs.
The series got its roots at the request of then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who called upon the Fowler Center to design and lead a global Appreciative Inquiry summit with 1,000 CEOs from such companies as Hewlett-Packard and Coca-Cola “to unite the strengths of markets with the social and global issues of our day.” After this event, the Global Forum Series began in 2006 to offer a space for business leaders to bring together theory and practice and combine them to help companies take actionable next steps.
This year’s forum will take place Oct. 19-28 and will be centered around the theme, “The Great Leadership Reset.” The free virtual forum will feature conversations and presentations by more than 40 business leaders and educators—from companies such as IKEA, Vitamix, Natura & Co., TerraCycle, B Lab, MPOWERD, GOJO, Eaton and the Walmart Foundation.