AlumnIEE: International Alumni Conference „Doing Good with Business?”
Tobias Thürer reports on the international conference organized and hosted by the IEE.
From the 9 to 11 Nov. 2016, the IEE hosted the international alumni conference 'Doing Good with Business? – Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship, and Fair Trade'.
Convening 200 Participants from Different Programmes
200 alumni, researchers, students, and further participants met to discuss various aspects of these approaches, which target the enhancement of social and environmental performance of production processes and business models, trying to find out whether – or to which extent – they actually "do something good for society". Five MA programmes from different universities collaborated for this event, i.e. the MA programme in Development Management (MADM; Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE); Ruhr-University Bochum), the MA programme in International and Development Economics (MIDE; HTW Berlin), the Small Enterprise Promotion and Training Programme (SEPT; Leipzig University), the MA programme in Development and Governance (Institute of Political Science (IfP); University of Duisburg-Essen), and the MA programme in International Relations and Development Policy (Institute for Development and Peace (INEF); University of Duisburg-Essen). More than 30 alumni of these programmes working in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility, Fair Trade, and Social Entrepreneurship shared their practical expertise with the other participants.
A Rich Conference Programme
The conference featured a rich set of different elements, elaborating on its topical theme: eight workshops, a panel discussion with experts from the practical and academic fields, as well as keynote speeches from Dr. Sanual Mostafa (Senior Development Management Consultant, Bangladesh) and Mr. Malte Drewes (International Labour Organization) provided plenty of opportunities to discuss the diverse facets of the conference's topical theme. The conference also hosted the third Development Day of the UA Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies, featuring, inter alia, a presentation of the preliminary findings of the interdisciplinary research project on "Political Authority and Transnational Governance-Arrangements: Regulation through Labour, Social and Environmental Standards in the Textile and Apparel Industry in South and South East Asia," in which researchers from the IEE cooperate with researchers from the INEF.
An Attractive Social Programme
A social programme complemented the event, providing a comfortable atmosphere for networking, meeting fellow conference attendees, and – last, but not least –meeting old friends from the alumni's masters study period. Apart from the contact fair and the conference dinner, a guided tour through the 'Zeche Zollverein'– a former coal mine which is now a world heritage site – was offered, providing insights in the working conditions of the former mining industry in Germany.
We are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for their financial support, which, together with funds of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA), made this conference possible.
The IEE is looking forward to hosting comparable events in the future.Dr. Tobias Thürer
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-22458
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294