BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Recent surveys indicate that strong support remains for shareholder resolutions concerning environmental, social, and governance-focused investing.
For example, a new study of state and local public pension funds from around the country found that, as a group, their support rate for key ESG resolutions was considerably higher than general shareholders.
But political rhetoric and misunderstandings about what is behind ESG affect how it is perceived.
More than 50 scholars from 20 institutions from nine countries will examine the different areas of ESG and how it can be better understood through research presentations at the second “Innovations to Tackle Global Sustainability Challenges” conference, hosted by the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Sept. 14-16.
“We strive to create a platform where scholars from various corners of the world can exchange ideas, and present their research on the ever-evolving concepts, themes, and methodologies pertaining to global sustainability,” said Stephanie Wang, conference co-chair, associate professor of international business and strategy and the Samuel & Pauline Glaubinger Professor of Entrepreneurship.
When Kelley co-hosted the first conference two years ago, it was held virtually, and only featured talks and discussions by scholars and corporate executives. This year, 12 papers will be presented, through an open call for proposals. Closing the event will be paper development workshop, where those whose papers were not accepted will receive guidance from a working group of scholars.
Presentations are expected to:
- Unveil the “E” in ESG and how it relates to climate risks, Green innovation and sustainability practices.
- Explore the “S,” including concerns over moral and ethical behavior, poverty, well-being, and responsibility.
- Interpret the “G,” including the role of executives, organizational processes and corruption.
Faculty presenters are coming from around the planet, including from Australia, Belgium, China, Germany, India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. In addition to academics, participants also are coming from the World Bank, Investible Oceans and CITIC Capital.
Other program chairs are Dan Li, executive associate dean for faculty and research, L. Leslie Waters Chair in International Business and professor of international business; and Daniel T. Shum, a lecturer in management and entrepreneurship.
“Through the establishment of this dynamic global sustainability research community, we aspire to achieve several key objectives at the conference,” Wang said. “First, we aim to elevate the realm of international business scholarship by enhancing research in sustainability-related areas, thereby contributing to the collective body of knowledge on global sustainability challenges. Second, we seek to facilitate stimulating interdisciplinary dialogues that promote innovative approaches and solutions to complex sustainability issues.
“Our conference will provide a platform for engaging conversations between scholars, practitioners, and educators, fostering collaborations that can drive real-world impact.”
Nearly a dozen scholars from Kelley will participate, including Amrou Awaysheh, founding director of the IoT Energy Efficiency Lab and executive and academic director of the IU Business Sustainability and Innovation Lab at Kelley Indianapolis. Others include Jeffrey McMullen, the David H. Jacobs Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship; Juan Bu, Aurora Genin and Farhan Iqbal, assistant professors of management and entrepreneurship; and Owen Wu, co-director of the Institute for Environmental & Social Sustainability and associate professor of operations and decision technologies.
Cynthia Williams, professor of law and the Roscoe C. O’Byrne Chair at the IU Maurer School of Law, also is presenting.
Bu and Genin will present the paper, “What Drives Multinationals’ Climate Innovation? The Role of Climate Risk and Climate Policy Exposure.” Iqbal will present his co-authored research, “Tell Me What You Want: Exploring Shareholder Approval of ESG Incentives in CEO Pay.” Anne-Sophie Sabbatucci, a doctoral candidate at Kelley, will present. “All for One, One for All! Entrepreneurial Ecosystems as Collective Emancipation.”
“Our ultimate goal is to offer cutting-edge scholarly insights and foster dialogues worldwide that inspire our society to effectively confront the urgent challenges of global sustainability,” Wang said.