Mendoza School of Business

‘A Radical Turn’: Virtual Conversation to Focus on Business’ Role in Society

Published: January 25, 2022 / Author: Carol Elliott

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An upcoming online event hosted by the University of Notre Dame’ Mendoza College of Business will present a new way of thinking about the role of business in society. “A Conversation with Two International Business Leaders” will take place at 12 p.m. February 3 (Thursday) via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public.

The conversation will focus on business’ agency in bringing about a flourishing society, for ethical reasons as well as for crucial financial and economic performance.

Featured guests include Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and co-author of the book, “Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More than They Take“; and Sanda Ojiambo, executive director of the United Nations Global Compact, a non-binding UN pact to encourage businesses and firms worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.


Oliver Williams C.S.C.

“Business leaders have made a radical turn,” said the Rev. Oliver Williams, C.S.C., management professor and director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business in the Mendoza College of Business. “They are no longer saying that what is good for business is good for society. Rather, the perspective is what is good for society is good for business.”

The event is sponsored by the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business and the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership in cooperation with Trinity Business School at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Polman, CEO of Unilever from 2009 to 2019, has been an active leader in seeking cooperation among companies to implement sustainable business strategies and drive systemic change. He served as chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and a member of the B Team. He also served as vice chair of the board of the UN Global Compact and chair of the board of the Business School of Oxford University in the UK. He has been closely involved in global discussions on action to tackle climate change and the Post-2015 development agenda.

Ojiambo has more than 20 years of experience in the public, multilateral and private sectors including as head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact for mobile network Safaricom PLC in Kenya; and capacity development work in CARE International and the United Nations Development Programme Somalia. Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed relationships with key business entities and civil society organizations and led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives.

Visit the registration page for more information about “A Conversation with Two International Business Leaders” and to register for the webinar.