Darden Launches New Initiative for Business in Society

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced the launch a new program to prepare current and future business leaders for an increasingly complex global society. According to the school, the Initiative for Business in Society (IBiS) will act as a global catalyst of thought, information and action regarding business’s role in society, and will prepare leaders to positively impact society through business.

The center will address a wide range of issues, such as the current regulatory environment, health care, corporate governance, intellectual property rights, and trust in businesses and markets.

“The global economic crisis and the resulting patchwork of policy responses have created a new, challenging operating environment,” says Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner. “IBiS will prepare tomorrow’s leaders and innovate tangible ways that business and society can work together to build a more effective collaboration.”

In conjunction with Dean Bruner and other Darden faculty, an advisory committee of chief executives and highly regarded thought leaders will identify strategic IBiS issues, build new knowledge and proactively develop leading practices and competencies.

“Today’s business leaders face a new set of demands, expectations, responsibilities and operating requirements,” says the center’s executive director, Dean Krehmeyer. “IBiS will offer a suite of strategic activities designed to empower an organization’s ability to successfully navigate the interface between business and society.”

Specifically, the Institute for Business in Society will:

  • Develop case studies that explore the increasingly complex intersection of business and society, where national and international constraints overlap, and when the outcome has a significant impact on an organization’s ability to execute its strategy
  • Design courses and curricula that replicate the real-world challenges faced by today’s executives, and provide insights and leading practices for these situations that immediately add value to the organization and its stakeholders
  • Convene conferences and events of impact, delivering faculty-led thought leadership and a rich exchange of leading-edge insights and practices

“IBiS deliverables will help business leaders anticipate and address the issues that inevitably occur when business and society converge,” says Krehmeyer. “We will articulate the fundamental forces that govern this relationship and equip corporate leaders with the knowledge and the strategies they need to manage the tension between business and society more productively.”


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