Alliance Manchester Business School launches groundbreaking Corporate Governance and Human Rights Programme

  • New Business and Human Rights programme will address issues of corporate governance, risk management, innovation and human rights.
  • Programme to be delivered by prominent experts in the field of business and human rights, including former UN advisors.
  • Alliance Manchester Business School is leading the way in researching the responsibilities of businesses and human rights. 

Alliance Manchester Business School has launched a new executive education programme focusing on the private sector’s growing responsibility towards human rights.

The programme will be delivered by the School’s Business and Human Rights Catalyst and will provide senior executives with an in-depth and innovative understanding of the challenges and opportunities for improving business performance and human rights.

Programme lead and Alliance MBS’ Research Director, Professor Ken McPhail, comments: “When organisations today have more reach than governments – take McDonalds for example, a business with more employees than Latvia has inhabitants, or Facebook, which has a constituency three times bigger than the US – the influence of senior corporate executives extends well beyond the health of balance sheets.

“They have the ability to significantly impact the welfare of the societies they’re operating in and those which provide them with labour resources. The programme looks at the risk management associated with this and the positive benefits it can deliver for corporates as well as communities.”

Co-ordinated by Alliance MBS’ Dr Lara Bianchi, the programme combines world-leading research with the practical insights of human rights experts closely involved in the development of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human Rights. A selection of seminars will be hosted by Gerald Pachoud, the former special advisor to the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie; and Andrea Shemberg, who led the UN Special Representative’s work on foreign investment.

“The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are fundamental to the long-term, sustainable success of any business. They should form an intrinsic part of business strategies – this is a core part of the programme, with strategies and human rights examined from an economic, technological and sociological point of view,” said Shemberg.

Running for two and a half days from 10-12 September 2018, the programme will bring world-class research into teaching with expertise from across Alliance MBS including: Dr Stefan Zagelmeyer, Ismail Erturk, Dr Matthew Alford and Professor Jonatan Pinkse. They will provide delegates with in-depth knowledge on international business strategies and social responsibility.

The Alliance MBS team will also be joined by experts including Philip Jordan – former Senior Vice-President Ethics at Total Group; Ron Popper – former Global VP for corporate responsibility at ABB and Trustee and Advisory Council member of the Institute for Human Rights and Business; and Nicole Bigby – a Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, specialising in global risk management frameworks.

Ken McPhail concludes: “We’re on the cusp of a new wave of thinking in terms of corporate governance. The most forward-thinking businesses are developing models and practices that don’t just do the morally right thing from the stand-point of saving their reputation but do so because it is becoming the standard for business.

“For these reasons, human rights are a business-critical issue – it’s shaping corporate strategies and boardroom agendas, and in turn, the actions of businesses will increasingly lead the way in terms of defining human rights policies and setting welfare standards.”

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