The Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, in partnership with the Leadership Collaboratory in the Public Private Platform at the Copenhagen Business School and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative will host the Fourth International Conference on Responsible Leadership on 15 to 17 March 2017 at the GIBS campus in Johannesburg.
We invite proposals for papers, panels, and workshops or alternative forms of engagement on a wide range of topics related to responsible leadership, especially those addressing the conference theme, Leadership Challenges That Matter. We call on scholars of leadership, business, organization, environmental studies, and the humanities to grapple head-on with complex and pressing challenges confronting business and society in a problem-driven, solution-oriented, and collaborative manner.
We invite abstracts that address Leadership Challenges That Matter. These abstracts should explore the relevance and meaning of responsible leadership in the context of these kinds of challenges, in ways that add to our understanding of responsible leadership. Typical examples of challenges that matter include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Global Challenges That Matter, such as the crisis for humanity and the planet
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are essentially a list of 17 major leadership challenges that matter. In the words of the UN, the SDGs seek to “stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet” on a range of issues related to people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. We encourage proposals for individual presentations and for workshops or other innovative conference formats that address the leadership dynamics of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These could address the SDGs process as a whole or take up individual challenges within the 17 Goals or the 169 related targets.
- Regional Challenges That Matter, such as the refugee and migration crisis
The current global refugee and migration crisis provides a glaring example of the kinds of major societal challenges to which leadership scholars and practitioners should be turning their attention. Violent conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere have forcibly displaced more than 50 million people worldwide, while a rising tide of global economic and climate-related migration has added to these numbers and complicated policy responses to the problem. We encourage conference participants to take up this call by means of proposals that address the leadership dynamics of the refugee and migration crisis, the leadership challenges faced by organizations engaging with these issues, and how to address them.
- Local Challenges That Matter, such as the crisis in the South African higher education sector
The refugee and migration crisis brings into sharp focus the complex politics of diversity and inclusion among multiple groups of stakeholders with conflicting interests, different cultural loyalties, and disparate levels of wealth and privilege. South Africa is no stranger to such complexities, especially as ongoing post-Apartheid struggles bear testament to this. One such complex challenge playing itself out is the current crisis in SA Higher Education. It speaks to a systemic problem that demands leadership that can find new solutions to these intractable problems, and generate new perspectives on leadership theory and practice in the process. We also encourage conference proposals that focus in these directions. Since we are calling for new approaches to responsible leadership, we also invite creative proposals for different types of conference formats that will foreground dialogue, interaction, and constructive engagement with leadership challenges.
By hosting a conference on this theme at GIBS, one of Africa’s premier business schools, we intend to emphasis that the business community shares these ethical and social responsibilities, and that business practitioners and scholars bring a wealth of practical skills and valuable insights to the task of addressing major leadership challenges. The conference organizers will also host a 3-day/4-night research collaboratory on Leadership and Partnership for Sustainable Development inside Kruger National Park for those conference participants who would like to extend their stay, experience more of South Africa, and interact with fellow scholars in a more informal setting. We are also hoping to organize visits to South African companies, cultural sites, and community organizations.
The conference organizers will also host a 3-day/4-night research collaboratory on Leadership and Partnership for Sustainable Development inside Kruger National Park for those conference participants who would like to extend their stay, experience more of South Africa, and interact with fellow scholars in a more informal setting. We are also hoping to organize visits to South African companies, cultural sites, and community organizations.
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