In February, members of the IOHRM 2020 cohort attended the 15th annual Sustainable Business and Social Impact conference hosted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. The theme of the conference this year was “Innovating for a Better World.” Conference participants attended panel discussions about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, putting values into the value chain, technology used for good, and system change for impact. Presenters represented organizations like Nike, Chobani, Amazon, Walmart, Microsoft, the Obama Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and Futerra.
IOHRM students were encouraged to attend by Dr. Jim Westeman. Dr. Westerman is the James E. Holshouser Distinguished Professor in Ethics and his research is centered around sustainable business and strategic human resources. The students found a lot of value in the experience. Darby Ford said, “The panelists at SBSI extended the sustainability conversation to include ethical social behavior as well. I thought it was incredible that IBM had a small team dedicated to ensuring that their AI was being ethically developed and implemented.” Brooke Myall emphasized that the conference was “a time to come together and talk about different issues that are affecting business and how sustainable practices may help find solutions to those issues.”