Our partnership with the ChangeNOW International Summit for Change holds powerful potential to drive transformation.
One of the primary goals of the newly established Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society is to have an immediate positive impact on business and society. In September 2018, the Institute pursued that goal by partnering with ChangeNOW, the largest positive impact conference in the world. This partnership was designed to promote a deeper conversation on the role of business in positive social progress and drive transformative change.
As our first official event following our founding, the Hoffmann Institute joined as Academic Partner of the ChangeNOW International Summit for Change held on 28-29 September at STATION F in Paris, France. The summit – co-founded by INSEAD alumni – explored actions and innovations that businesses can take to lead in implementing solutions to our most urgent global issues.
Speaking in advance of the summit, Executive Director of the Institute Katell Le Goulven said that, “We face unprecedented challenges to global growth and development. Risks are rising from environmental pressures, from our rapidly changing geopolitical landscape and from the blistering pace of technological advancement. We need to convene the thought leaders, innovators, investors and entrepreneurs who can affect real change. This is how we turn steps forward into strides towards a sustainable future.”
The ChangeNOW Summit showcased the strides currently being taken towards that future, and encouraged everyone to take their own steps. The Summit featured project presentations by INSEAD alumni, a job fair for students, public talks and business-to-business, or B2B, meetings. André Hoffmann MBA’90D and Professor Andre Calmon joined Hans Loth, Global Head of UN Environment Partnership at Rabobank, on a panel to explore how supply chains can shape new business models. The panel was moderated by the Institute’s Executive Director Katell Le Goulven. INSEAD Deputy Dean and Dean of Innovation Peter Zemsky moderated a Tech for Good session exploring how emergent technology such as blockchain and AI can be leveraged for social good.
INSEAD student projects were in focus as part of 400 groundbreaking solutions from 80 countries that address the world's most pressing issues. The INSEAD projects presented include:
- 1001 fontaines – Pioneering an innovative response to the problem of safe drinking water
- Irene Energy – Innovating a next generation back-office for the energy industry
- Plastic Eaters – Ensuring the next generation has an ocean to swim in
- Zephyre – Customizing solutions for electric vehicle charging stations
- Mpower Financing – Empowering students through innovative lending
- Startup Bootcamp – Connecting ideas and investors through a global network
Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, heralded the partnership by saying, “This is a crucial conversation for business and society in this moment. I am glad to see the Hoffmann Institute take the lead and bring together the leaders who must be part of this conversation. At INSEAD, we have a lot to offer – excellent research, expert faculty, a staff that supports our efforts to lead by example and partnerships that make a positive different around the world. Together we can scale up business as a force for good.”
The ChangeNOW Summit was a resounding success for all involved. Over the two day event, INSEAD leaders and Hoffmann Institute staff met with many diverse influencers and thought leaders. We heard loud and clear that rethinking the relationship between business and society should be a priority for leaders around the world. Eager to leverage the reach and impact of the community built by the business school for the world, these leaders gave great insights and shared experiences that will contribute to the success of the Hoffmann Institute.
With transformative change in focus and our first connections made, the Hoffmann Institute is firming the foundation to build durable impact over time. We look forward to carrying what we learned at the ChangeNOW Summit into the future, and strengthening this partnership.