Global Forum to explore business strategies in which people excel, companies prosper and nature thrives

A progressive international conference in Cleveland, Ohio, this fall will explore how cutting-edge innovators and forward-thinking leaders are moving beyond traditional notions of social responsibility and sustainability to full-spectrum flourishing and profitability.

Flourish & Prosper: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit will bring together leading business executives, management scholars, policymakers and others from around the world from Oct. 15 to 17 at Case Western Reserve University.

Real-world examples of companies identifying new business solutions that combine profitability and social responsibility serve as the foundation for the dynamic 2 1/2-day summit. Among them:

  • One company introduced free-trade coffee to grocery stores, building long-term trade partnerships and environmentally sound business practices into a venture with double-digit sales growth.
  • Another turned the simple idea of connecting buyers and sellers of local foods virtually through an online catalog into a thriving enterprise that simultaneously sustains the organic farming community.
  • Still another devised a more sustainable business model by aligning with local suppliers of raw materials from the country’s native plants for its cosmetics line—in turn, boosting the suppliers by creating new outlets for their products.
Chris Laszlo

“We see it as the business opportunity of today—where breakthrough innovations are shaping a world in which companies prosper, people thrive and nature flourishes,” said Chris Laszlo, associate professor and faculty director for research and outreach at the Weatherhead School of Management’s Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. “Simply put, these business innovators are doing well by doing good.”

Hosted by the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and convened by the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of Word Benefit, the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative and the Academy of Management, Flourish & Prosper offers exceptional speakers and groundbreaking workshops in a design studio format.

Keynote speakers and breakout session leaders are a fascinating mix of Fortune 500 CEOs, world leaders, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and engaging management educators, including:

  • Martti Ahtisaari, president of Finland, 1994-2000 and Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Raj Sisodia, co-founder, Conscious Capitalism
  • Jodi Berg, CEO of Vitamix
  • Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B-Lab
  • Chris Killinstad, CEO of Tennant Company
  • Michel Giannuzzi, CEO of Tarkett S.A.
  • Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former chairman, Anglo American and Royal Dutch/Shell
  • China Gorman, CEO, Great Place to Work
  • Jane Nelson, director, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Kennedy School, Harvard University
  • Barbara Krumsiek, chair and former CEO of Calvert Investments

A full list of speakers can be viewed here:

The agenda is best described as an “unconference,” presented as a massive design studio more engaging, creative and action-oriented than a traditional convention. The Global Forum will allow participants to:

  • Interact with business leaders dedicated to flourishing enterprise
  • Understand market expectations for companies to have a net positive impact
  • Partner with complementary organizations to help solve global challenges
  • Learn how to scale breakthrough innovations for systems change
  • Strengthen a sense of connection to purpose, others and the world
  • Design creative workplaces and build practices aimed at personal wellbeing
  • Develop actionable, sector-specific business plans

“Participants will examine and embrace the new spirit of business—the shift to full-spectrum flourishing, the most significant human development opportunity of the 21st century,” said David Cooperrider, the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School. “Every social and global issue of our day is an opportunity to ignite industry leading innovation, eco-entrepreneurship and new sources of value.”

Registration for the Global Forum is available online.