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Leaders must develop their knowledge, understanding and skills to provide responsible leadership

At the CEMS Responsible Global Leadership Seminar, students explored human rights principles from multiple perspectives.
Guest speakers of the CEMS Responsible Global Leadership Seminar
CEO and member of the board Ron Popper (left) and Deputy Chief Executive Frances House (right) from the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) as well as senior advisor Therese Jebsen from the Rafto Foundation in the middle

The aim of the Responsible Global Leadership Seminar (RGL), which is part of the CEMS programme, is to highlight the importance of responsible leadership in human, social and business interactions. Responsible leadership is based on diverse information, understanding the different interests of different stakeholders and making clear value judgements. At the seminar, discussions focused on responsible leadership with an emphasis on both human rights issues and sustainable development.

The first day of the seminar, 17 January 2020, focused on business and human rights, with an emphasis on Essential knowledge and action from the leaders' perspective. Governments around the world, many multinationals, and small businesses and organisations have taken steps to promote corporate responsibility with respect for human rights. The first day’s discussions were led by CEO and member of the board Ron Popper and Deputy Chief Executive Frances House from the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), as well as senior advisor Therese Jebsen from the Rafto Foundation.

The extensive background material and numerous examples discussed throughout the day were intended to increase students' understanding of how poor human rights practices can have a negative impact on company operations, as well as of the benefits of good practices. It is important that future leaders and experts develop their knowledge, skills and willingness to implement decisions that impact human rights in companies and other organisations.

CEMS students doing group work in the Responsible Global Leadership seminar

The second day of the seminar, 21 January 2020, focused on corporate social responsibility, the circular economy, and sustainability. The discussions were led by Pekka Tuovinen, Senior Advisor on Sustainably from Neste. Neste has pledged that mitigating climate change is part of its business. Riikka Paarma, Director of Sustainability at Stora Enso, led the discussion on the principles and opportunities of the circular economy.

‘We were delighted to welcome very interesting guests to our seminar. Students are not only interested in responsible leadership but they are also very well informed on the subject. The seminar resulted in very interesting discussions on human rights issues and measures to mitigate climate change,’ said Rita Järventie-Thesleff, CEMS Academic Director.

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