Theme & Tracks

Sustainable Business Strategies, Models and Values: Role of MNE Strategy, National Policies and Global Partnerships

Introduction to Conference Theme

Since the advent of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development launched by UN in 2015, there has been a proliferation of national and international strategies to deal with the major socio-ecological challenges that the world is facing today. It is not just the main governmental actors but also stakeholders from society at large that have been coordinating concerted efforts in this direction. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals show the beginning of a political will to find collective solutions towards sustainable growth, through national and international partnerships, and also through the development of integrative models that can consider political, economic, cultural and organizational factors. A return to more traditional values of protecting nature and human beings as the very purpose of life on earth, more in line with ancestral skills and know-how, embodied by natural growth economic models, seems necessary.

Multinational companies, in particular, and all economic actors in a more general way, are looking for theoretical frameworks as well as innovative and responsible practices allowing a better balance between short-term growth and long-term sustainability of the world and of life. The stakes at this level are very high. First, they lie in the development of a greater capacity to move from the stage of discourse on sustainable development to that of practice and implementation at the organizational, political and societal reality of daily life. They also lie in the capacity of major political and economic players to set up partnerships as well as to design concerted and co-constructed strategies that consider the interests of all the stakeholders of a territory or a nation. The challenge here lies in the ability to draw on the knowledge and know-how of indigenous populations, who have long demonstrated better management of the relationship between man and nature than the modern world. For instance, India, which is presently leading the G-20 nations, has taken cognizance of the issues of climate change mitigation and sustainability driven practices, and offers the world LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) -a behaviour-based movement that draws from India’s rich and ancient sustainable traditions to nudge consumers, and in turn markets, to adopt environmentally conscious practices.

There is a need to reinvent the world of tomorrow through major societal, entrepreneurial and technological innovations, motivated more by the values and virtues of health and peace than by the values of endless exploitation of natural resources, without concern for their conservation and proper use. The challenges also lie in the ability to manage the impact of technological development and digitalization on the involvement of human beings in the workplace and on their mental and emotional health. Finally, all economic and political actors need to manage adversity and global conflicts that destabilize world peace and threaten the sovereignty and survival of peoples and countries.

MESD’ 23 encourages submission of interdisciplinary papers that link practices, disciplines, and knowledge systems to help MNEs to reach Sustainable Development Goals. A variety of conceptual and empirical submissions, drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives and diverse methodologies (case studies, in-depth issue studies, speculative analyses) are welcome.

Conference Tracks

The list of topics is indicative only and authors are encouraged to submit papers that deal with the broad stated theme of the conference.

Track 1: Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • People, planet, peace and prosperity
  • Sustainability and Emerging market MNEs
  • Technology and Sustainable Business Models
  • Investment in Affordable and clean energy
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Health and well-being
  • Education

Track 2: National Policies and Sustainable Development

  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Circular economy
  • Technology and innovation systems
  • Innovations to tackle sustainability challenges
  • Investing in people
  • Environmental policies
  • Institutional environment
  • Trade and FDI policies

Track 3: Sustainability and Indigenous Knowledge Systems

  • Indigenous knowledge and biodiversity
  • Indian Knowledge System
  • Cultural-social dimensions of science and technology
  • Indigenous knowledge transmission
  • Responsible consumption
  • Biopiracy

Track 4: International Partnerships for Sustainable Development

  • India’s G-20 Presidency
  • Voice of Global South in Sustainable Development
  • Regional integration
  • Bilateral and multilateral agreements
  • Digital technologies in global sustainability innovations

Track 5: Sustainability and Global Value Chains

  • Covid-19 and reorientation of supply chains
  • Building resilient Global Value Chains
  • Sustainable production and supply chain
  • (De)globalization and corporate global sustainable strategy

Track 6: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG): Concerns and Compliance

  • Corporate governance, CSR and ethics
  • Corporate governance frameworks
  • Climate change and carbon emissions
  • Responsible Investment
  • Disclosure practices
  • Greenwashing

Track 7: Start-up ecosystem, Unicorns and Sustainability

  • Sustainable entrepreneurship
  • Energy transition
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Digitalization
  • Using AI to address climate changes
  • Green unicorns

Track 8: Art, Aesthetics and Sustainable Transformation

  • Aesthetic responsibility of organizations
  • Art and sustainable development
  • Creative industries and value creation
  • Sensitive skills and citizen behaviour
  • Aesthetics and value creation
  • Aesthetic experience and organizational change