When Values Collide

Note: this article is part of The Transatlantic Debate Blog series, which forms a conversation between Dr. Katrin Muff and Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins on business sustainability. Read the previous post here.

In looking back over the blogs Katrin and I wrote this year, I noted that “change” is a theme connecting most if not all of them. We discussed the urgent need for change, various levels of change, forces that propel change as well as those that hinder it. We examined the need to understand our own change-related assumptions. We offered suggestions for how to become change experts. And last month Katrin described an engagement with a client where she facilitated a change process. All along we have acknowledged that change is difficult. This month I will reflect on how recent change-related challenges have confronted me personally and what I have learned as a result.

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Democracy, democracy, and how to keep the sanity?

By Dr Katrin Muff

Note: this article is part of The Transatlantic Debate Blog series, which forms a conversation between Dr. Katrin Muff and Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins on business sustainability. Read the previous post here.

At the dawn of the primaries in the United States, there is much surprised rubbing of the eyes in front of the possibility that we might enter the U.S. election with a radical dreamer on the left (Bernie Sanders) and an egomaniac billionaire on the right (Donald Trump), both lining up the late-arriving Michael Bloomberg to represent the sane path down the middle. Both candidates play skillfully with two dangerous emotions: fear and anger. My grandmother had always advised that fear and anger were not wise counsellors. Continue reading

Paris Treaty: Are Corporations up to the Challenges?

By Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins

Note: this article is part of The Transatlantic Debate Blog series, which forms a conversation between Dr. Katrin Muff and Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins on business sustainability. Read the previous post here.

Last month, in anticipation of the COP21 meetings, my blogging partner, Katrin Muff, wrote about hope for a miracle in Paris. Her desire was for global leaders to come together to create a positive force in the world to address climate change. Now that the meetings have concluded, I believe most of us would agree that her hope was realized.  The outcome of the COP21 was an ambitious multi-country agreement that moves us forward in addressing the urgent issue of climate change.  However, as Jeff Nye states in the title of his recent SustainAbility blog,  We’ve come a Long Way from Rio but the Real Journey Starts Now.  He argues that this treaty merely “fires the starting gun on a quest to deliver a carbon neutral economy within the lifetimes of our grandchildren.” Continue reading

Greenleaf author addresses UK Committee on Climate Change

A Greenleaf author has presented research from his forthcoming book, the first to analyze the psychosocial impacts of climate disruption, to a group of experts at the UK Committee on Climate Change (UK CCC).

Bob Doppelt, who is Executive Director of The Resource Innovation, spoke on the theories behind Transformational Resilience to the UK CCC team which advises on links between climate change mitigation and adaptation at the session organized by Greenleaf earlier this week. Continue reading

Capitalism with a Human Face – A 2015 Update

Globalization & CC

To celebrate the publication of Globalization and Corporate Citizenship: The Alternative Gaze  (Edited by Malcolm McIntosh) we wanted to share Klaus M. Leisinger’s reflective update to his seminal article from 2007: Capitalism with a Human Face. Continue reading

Why all of us should care about corporate culture

by Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins

Note: this article is part of The Transatlantic Debate Blog series, which forms a conversation between Dr. Katrin Muff and Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins on business sustainability. Read the previous post here.

On September 18, 2015 the Volkswagen Group received a notice of violation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States for intentionally programming their diesel engines to activate emissions controls only during laboratory testing.  According to the New York Times, this “diesel deception” could cause hundreds of deaths in the USA alone, due to the tons of pollutants released into the atmosphere.  And an October 28th headline in  the  New York Times proclaimed that “Volkswagen, hit by Emissions Scandal, Posts its First Loss in Years.” Continue reading

Large Systems Change: an emerging field of transformation and transitions

Steve Waddell, Principal, NetworkingAction

This article was first posted on the NetworkingAction blog. See the original here.

What is meant by “large systems change (LSC)?” How can we “do it” much better? What must change and what are the strategies to realize it? What does a comprehensive picture of the field of LSC knowledge and methods look like? These are some of the questions that a just-published Special Issue of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship on LSC investigates. Contributors include David Snowden, Mari Fitzduff, Otto Scharmer, Rajesh Tandon, Pieter Glasbergen and Derk Loorbach.

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Memes and Large System Change

Sandra Waddock, Boston College 2015

In 1976 evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene invented the term ‘meme,’ to represent the basic unit of cultural information that replicates from one person to another. Dawkins sought a term that resembled the basic building block of life—the gene—for the basic building block of culture—the meme. Memes generate the complex ideas and other units of information that form into complexes, called memeplexes by Susan Blackmore in her book The Meme Machine. Such memeplexes become our belief systems, ideologies, cultures, stories, shared values and norms, and common (or not) understandings, among other things. The core idea of the successful meme is that it transfers from one person to another, like genes, reasonably intact.

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Complexity, Collapse and Large Systems Change

Sandra Waddock, Boston College  2015

Large systems change is arguably needed if the world is to transition from its current unsustainable business-as-usual trajectory toward a socio-political-economic system that creates a sustainable enterprise economy. As the special issue of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship (Issue 58) on Large Systems Change makes clear, such transitions are uncertain and difficult. Further, the collapse of numerous previous human civilizations in the past tells us that system changes are not always in the direction of sustainability. The question we wanted to raise with the special issue is how can we, as participants in the system, begin to bring about change in the direction of sustainability rather than its opposite?

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