CKGSB Hosts Forum on ESG and Social Innovation at 2023 China Annual Conference & Expo for International Education

November 13, 2023 | School News

On October 28, 2023, CKGSB hosted a meaningful forum on the “Global Responsibility of Education – ESG & Social Innovation” in collaboration with Shantou University at 2023 China Annual Conference & Expo for International Education (CACIE). CACIE is an impactful educational event in Asia-Pacific, drawing thousands of opinion leaders, practitioners, and professionals from around the world since its inception in 2000.

Li Haitao, CKGSB Dean’s Distinguished Chair Professor of Finance and Associate Dean, delivered opening remarks at the forum

CKGSB Dean’s Distinguished Chair Professor of Finance and Associate Dean Li Haitao kicked off the forum by emphasizing CKGSB’s unwavering commitment to nurturing top-tier entrepreneurs equipped with a global vision, social responsibility, and an innovative spirit. He highlighted CKGSB’s dedication to addressing global challenges with new perspectives and innovative thinking. He also underscored CKGSB’s efforts in advancing management education and enhancing the management capabilities and global competitiveness of Chinese enterprises. The forum also featured welcome remarks from esteemed leaders: Yunfeng Yu, Secretary-General of CEAIE, and Zhifeng Hao, Vice President of the Party Committee and President of Shantou University.

Yan Aimin, Professor of Management and Associate Dean at CKGSB, Vice President of Cheung Kong Education Development Foundation, delivered a keynote speech at the forum

The forum continued with Yan Aimin, Professor of Management and Associate Dean at CKGSB, Vice President of Cheung Kong Education Development Foundation, who delivered an inspiring speech on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, the mission of business schools, and the social value of business education. Professor Yan stressed the critical need for business schools to cultivate not only students’ business acumen, but also a deep sense of social responsibility and awareness of creating social value. Professor Yan urged entrepreneurs to view the Earth as the ultimate stakeholder and integrate social responsibility into their core business strategies. He also highlighted the need to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, the continuous pursuit of new opportunities, and strategic alignment of corporate initiatives with public welfare to drive societal development.

Julia Zhu, Vice President of Government Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks China, shed light on Starbucks’ ESG development path during her keynote speech

Julia Zhu, Vice President of Government Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks China, delivered a thought-provoking keynote centered around Starbucks’ ESG development path, shedding light on the company’s commitment to social impact, sustainable development, and government affairs. She emphasized the challenge of striking a balance between meeting business needs while focusing on ethical practices and social advancements. Through the successful adoption of innovative sustainable packaging and robust waste recycling initiatives, Starbucks has made significant strides in enhancing its ESG governance.

Zhu Rui, Professor of Marketing, Director of ESG and Social Innovation Center and Member of the Board of Supervisors of the Cheung Kong Education Development Foundation at CKGSB, addressed corporate social responsibility in her keynote speech

Zhu Rui, Professor of Marketing and Director of the ESG and Social Innovation Center at CKGSB, delivered a keynote speech on the imperative of embracing socially-responsible business practices in the face of the VUCA era (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity). Professor Zhu underscored the core concept of ‘business for good,’ stressing the importance for companies to identify the social value inherent in their core capabilities and integrate it seamlessly into their strategic, developmental and resource allocation frameworks.

This integration not only amplifies a company’s social impact, but also boosts its commercial value, resulting in sustainable development and contributing to societal progress. CKGSB is committed to advancing this concept by launching the EMBA Business Practice Program in 2021, which has empowered over 2,800 students to apply the principles of ‘business for good’ in addressing social issues within their companies.

The panel discussion moderated by Professor Zhu Rui explored ESG development and application across diverse sectors

Subsequently, the forum progressed to an engaging panel discussion moderated by Professor Zhu Rui, featuring esteemed representatives from international public welfare organizations, leading academic institutions, and Fortune 500 companies, all focusing on the critical theme of sustainable development.

Chi Wei, Associate Professor of Leadership and Organization Management at the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University, shared insights into the university’s strategy in nurturing socially-responsible talents through innovative approaches. Using Tsinghua University as an example, she highlighted the establishment of innovative research centers like the Carbon Neutrality Research Institute, which have challenged traditional departmental structures. Such centers offer students a wide range of courses, fostering innovation in sustainable development from a human-centric viewpoint. By nurturing students’ innovative thinking and practical skills, this initiative not only enhances their development, but also propels cities towards sustainable growth.

Sharon Tang, Vice President and Head of Global Communications and ESG at Wuxi Biologics (Shanghai) Company Limited, delved into the comprehensive integration of ESG principles within the world’s top three CRDMO companies. She highlighted the establishment of a dedicated management committee, which provides essential insights and resources for integrating ESG into the company’s daily operations and decision-making processes. Through the formulation of relevant policies and measures, the company prioritizes not only economic benefits but also actively fulfilling social responsibilities, with a focus on environmental preservation and sustainable development. Tang emphasized that ESG isn’t solely a corporate responsibility, but also an opportunity for growth. By embodying ESG principles, companies enhance their brand image, attract exceptional talent and investors, and actively contribute to society and environmental well-being.

Lu Lunyan, Chief Representative at World Wide Fund for Nature Beijing Office, expounded on the fundamental principles of sustainable development, focusing on achieving a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. Amidst the rapid technological advancements driving increased demand for human resources, Lu expressed confidence that technological progress will enhance resource utilization efficiency, leading to a harmonious balance between developmental pursuits and environmental preservation.

Wang Yan, CKGSB alumna who is an Associate Professor at the School of Human Habitat Sciences at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Vice President and General Manager of the International Business Division at Shandong Weiqiao Pioneering Group Co., Ltd., seamlessly integrates her educational and business leadership roles. With expertise in the energy-intensive industry, she recognizes the pressing need for energy structural optimization and environmentally sustainable development. Leveraging her understanding, Wang actively champions enterprise sustainability by formulating, planning, and implementing pivotal measures centered around dual-carbon targets. By optimizing energy structures, enhancing energy efficiency, and curbing carbon emissions, she has demonstrated a clear path to gradually achieving sustainable corporate development.

Throughout the 2023 China Annual Conference & Expo for International Education (CACIE), CKGSB’s ‘Global Responsibility of Education – ESG & Social Innovation’ forum emerged as a pivotal gathering of thought leaders, scholars, and industry professionals, committed to developing innovation-driven ESG and embracing sustainable development.

The China Annual Conference & Expo for International Education (CACIE) – where CKGSB’s forum took place – is one of the largest and leading international education events in Asia-Pacific. The 2023 CACIE featured prominent speakers, such as China’s Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng; UNESCO’s Chairperson of the Executive Board Tamara Rastovac Siamashvili; South Korea’s Vice Minister of Education Jang Sang-Yoon; Secretary General of the Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa Jahou Samba Faal; and Australia’s Chief Executive of Universities Catriona Jackson.

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