The four sessions are:
- Work for climate: Understanding consumer attitudes to climate change – Claire O’Rourke & Lucy Piper, Program Directors, The Sunrise Project
- Shareholder primacy under siege: Transforming the legal purpose of the corporation – Associate Professor Ben Neville, University of Melbourne
- Unlocking the power of blockchain for social impact – Dr Sally Curtis, ANU
- Communicating corporate sustainability through social media – Kate Hogarth, QUT
Work for climate: Understanding consumer attitudes to climate change – Claire O’Rourke & Lucy Piper, Program Directors, The Sunrise Project
The Climate Compass research offers fresh insights into attitudes and behavioural change opportunities on climate change and sustainability among Australian consumers. It provides a framework for the corporate sector to navigate the current social landscape and identify relevant solutions to existing challenges and risks. In tandem with this research, WorkForClimate has been built to help businesses transition to a sustainable and renewable future, faster. The platform comprises a corporate Climate Intelligence playbook, and guides individual professionals through implementing simple but significant change within their organisations.
Shareholder primacy under siege: Transforming the legal purpose of the corporation – Associate Professor Ben Neville, University of Melbourne
While stakeholder capitalism has been seeping into corporate purpose, directors still have a legal duty to maximise shareholder interests. This legal duty, however, is under siege, with activists co-opting the law in AGMs and courts and B Corps providing a legal alternative (in the US). Meanwhile, some legal scholars argue for a stakeholder legal duty. Can firms ever become truly sustainable under the current law, or does it need to change, and will that just make it worse?
Unlocking the power of blockchain for social impact – Dr Sally Curtis, ANU
Blockchain technology is advancing rapidly and proponents contend that it will touch, and possibly disrupt, every major industry and have significant implications for society. Although it’s early days, the possibilities for blockchain to be useful in contributing to social goals shows promise and is gaining institutional legitimacy. For instance, the United Nations recently held a conference about blockchain and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this session, research will be shared about possibilities for blockchain to contribute to financial inclusion; ethical supply chains; energy, climate and the environment; and philanthropy and international aid.
Communicating corporate sustainability through social media – Kate Hogarth, QUT Business School
Today’s complex and fast paced communication landscape means formal PDF reports are losing their relevance and organisations using traditional communication media are missing out on valuable stakeholder engagement. Therefore, social media can be leveraged as a communication tool to engage with stakeholders and provide real-time feedback to actively manage reputation issues. Effective communication of sustainability efforts and performance provides a range of benefits from reputation to financial and most importantly increases the overall impact and value creation of the organisation’s sustainability actions. The aim of this research is to determine the use, effectiveness and impact of social media for dissemination of an organisation’s sustainability initiatives and outcomes.
Ben Neville | Associate Professor in Sustainable Business, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne
Ben’s teaching and research includes corporate social responsibility, business ethics, ethical consumption and social entrepreneurship, which he addresses from strategic, ethical and critical perspectives. Ben is a Section Editor of the Corporate Responsibility (Theory and Qualitative) section of the leading international academic Journal of Business Ethics. Other roles include the Gourlay Fellow of Ethics in Business, the Faculty’s Sustainability in the Curriculum Fellow, stream coordinator in the Master of Environment, Chair of the University’s Fair Trade Steering Committee, and member of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute’s Executive Committee.
Sally Curtis | Lecturer, Australian National University
Sally is a Lecturer of Leadership and Social Impact. Her research examines the ways in which leaders and organisations address social challenges and work towards a more equitable and inclusive society. Sally is currently researching impact investing and inclusive business, blockchain and social impact and hybrid organisations. Central to this work is the notion of change, be it at the individual, organisational and/or societal level. As such, Sally draws on perspectives from different disciplines including behavioral science, organisational psychology, anthropology and sociology. Sally’s work is often at the nexus between research and management practice, where she creates and translates scientific evidence with, and for, leaders who wish to have a social impact. Sally is a member of the Impact Scholar Community, an international community of impact-driven researchers who aim to take research and the researcher out of academia and into the public.
Claire O’Rourke & Lucy Piper | Program Directors, The Sunrise Project
Claire has 20 years’ experience in journalism, communications and campaigning in Australia and around the world. She has held a number of leadership positions, including most recently at Amnesty International Australia and as National Director of community-led renewable energy advocacy organisation Solar Citizens.
Lucy has spent the past 15 years working as a communications professional. She has played a key role in the uptake of purpose-led initiatives within a commercial organisation, and utilised company culture and staff influencer networks to create momentum and internal support for B Corp certification, and environmental advocacy. With this first-hand experience of what it takes to transform and influence corporate culture from within to become a climate and sustainability champion, Lucy is determined to scale this across broader industries and corporations.
Kate Hogarth | Lecturer, QUT Business School
Kate is a lecturer in the School of Accountancy at Queensland University of Technology. Her extensive background career as an economist and accountant across both private and public sectors has fostered her research interest in the role of reputation risk management and communication channels to strengthen organisation’s capabilities in sustainability impact. Kate is a passionate advocate for the importance of collaboration with industry to foster value creation and innovation. She has received funding for, researched and published across the areas of reputation risk management, corporate philanthropy, sustainability reporting and education. She has also prepared key documentation for numerous government departments for management of reputation risk. Kate collaborates with the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies at QUT and the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research at University of South Australia. Additionally Kate is an active member of the executive and management committee for the Business Educator’s Association of Queensland (BEAQ) to foster and mentor the next generation of business professionals.