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HBS dean to headline Niswarth conference on corporate social responsibility

Nitin Nohria, dean of Harvard Business School

“The Business of Social Change” will be held on April 28

April 11, 2013 —Niswarth, PA’s Mumbai-based service learning program, will host a conference April 28 on “The Business of Social Change.” Featuring Nitin Nohria, dean of Harvard Business School, as well as Phillips Academy faculty, students, alumni and parents, the conference will focus on issues such as the role of business in society, what it means for individuals and institutions to be responsible and sustainable, and how to catalyze social change among student groups. Head of School John Palfrey will moderate a panel discussing what the future of non sibi might entail at the Academy.

The conference will take place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Paresky Commons, upper left. For more information, including agenda, speaker bios, and resources, as well as to register (space is limited), go to www.andover.edu/csr.

The Business of Social Change

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a source of great debate for corporations, governments, NGOs and citizens. Business performance is often defined by short-term quantitative goals, while social change is characterized by long-term qualitative shifts. Should a corporation have responsibility for achieving both? The intersection of economics, ethics and sustainability in an era of globalization is complex. Is it the role of a company to address issues such as failing education systems, uneven access to health care and income inequity? How do corporations partner with community organizations, governments, even their competitors, to work toward positive social change?

The April 28th conference will conclude with an open discussion led by members of the PA community responding to the following: The Academy itself relies on philanthropic support from alumni and parents who have invested successfully in the corporate private sector, in the United States and around the world. What are our responsibilities, as a school devoted to the ideals of non sibi, to ensure that these resources both reflect and catalyze positive social change?

Niswarth program director Raj Mundra says the conference will join people and ideas, focus on multiple perspectives, and explore the complexity of pressing issues within communities. “We believe that connecting knowledge, goodness, action and reflection in a continuous cycle helps us to gain a sense of purpose,” he says, “and a sense of connection with those around us.”

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