Chatham House
Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, St. James's, London SW1Y 4LE, UK

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Event Date Thu Feb 28 GMT (almost 3 years ago)
In your timezone (EST): Thu Feb 28 3:00am - Thu Feb 28 12:00pm
Location Chatham House
10 St James's Square, St. James's, London SW1Y 4LE, UK
Region EMEA

The third annual Chatham House Responsible Business conference will explore key questions, including:

• Who will lead the corporate responsibility agenda? What is driving responsible behaviour?
• To what extent has there been a policy retreat in this space? What has been the response to this, and what does it mean for different roles and responsibilities?
• What are the new priorities for responsible business in a digital age? How have recent events demonstrated a shift in expectations?
• How can policy-makers and companies foster the integration of human rights across global supply chains, international trade and regional business operations?
• What is the role of corporate governance and leadership in setting standards and promoting responsible business? Is this a new era of corporate activism?

Session One | Leaders and Drivers
This opening session will examine the status of corporate leadership in responsible business, evolving policy environments and stakeholder expectations, and how they continue to shape roles and responsibilities.

• How are expectations for responsible business evolving? Where has this been most apparent in the past 18 months, and what is driving these shifts?
• Do policy and regulation continue to be effective at encouraging responsible business behaviour? Where is regulation most effective in this space?
• Given current political sentiments and levels of trust, what role should business play in creating a sustainable economy and a more equal society? What are the implications of this?
• What can business leaders learn from existing examples of corporate activism?
• Does a trade-off exist between responsible practices and economic competitiveness, or do commercial drivers incentivize better behaviours? How does this differ across different markets and regions?

Session Two | Practices and Transparency
This session will address regulatory frameworks and economic incentives governing responsible business conduct, as well as human rights and business operations across global supply chains.

• How prominent are business and human rights issues on national policy agendas? To what extent has this influenced business behaviours across different sectors and regions?
• What progress has been made with regards to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights? What has most effectively driven their integration?
• To what extent can public opinion and public awareness help narrow the governance gap? How can investors actively promote and enforce better governance practices?
• Does transparency necessarily lead to accountability, and in turn increase consumer and investor trust? What are the implications of this?
• How can due diligence and reporting be made more efficient to enhance accountability as well as transparency across supply chains and investments? Can digital solutions be employed to achieve social and environmental best practice?

Session Three | Responsibility in the Digital Age
This session will examine the risks and opportunities presented by digitization and other technological developments for responsible business practices.

• What have events over the past year indicated regarding stakeholder concerns accompanying specific technologies and business practices? How have different sectors and companies responded?
• What are the responsible business issues that accompany the transition to a digital-first society? What can be learned from the challenges of regulating tech titans?
• How can businesses ensure data privacy and help customers with digital access to maintain trust and maximize benefits from digital transformation?
• To what extent is the proliferation of information through technology already enhancing corporate accountability and transparency? What are the risks here?

Session Four | Governance
This closing session will explore the role of corporate governance in setting standards and leading responsible business practices, including diversity and inclusion as well as C-suite accountability and transparency.

• How are businesses responding to expectations of good corporate governance and leadership in the digital age? Are businesses equipped to maintain high standards of accountability and transparency in the era of open data and social media?
• Do business leaders have a responsibility to embody as well as promote high standards of responsible business and ethical leadership? What lessons can be learnt from corporate governance failings?
• What role should business leaders play in the broader political environment? Is corporate activism part of responsible governance, and what are the risks?
• What are the best strategies to empower diversity and foster inclusion in a rapidly changing global economy? Should diversity and inclusion begin in the boardroom?


2019 Speakers

Sharan Burrow
General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation

Gillian Caldwell
CEO, Global Witness

Sarah Drinkwater
Director, Tech and Society Solutions Lab, Omidyar Network

Jane Ellis
Director, GoodCorporation

Bennett Freeman
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, United States (1999-2001)

Sue Garrard
EVP Sustainable Business and Communications, Unilever (2014-18)

Guus Houttuin
Trade Adviser, European External Action Service, and Chair, the OECD Multi-stakeholder Steering Group

Catherine Howarth
CEO, ShareAction

Mo Ibrahim
Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Ioannis Ioannou
Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

Rebecca MacKinnon
Director, Ranking Digital Rights, New America

John Morrison
Chief Executive, Institute for Human Rights and Business

Dame Helena Morrissey
Head of Personal Investing, Legal & General Investment Management; Founder, 30% Club

Nuala O'Connor
President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology

Madelaine Tuininga
Head of Unit, DG Trade, European Commission

Aris Vrettos
Director of Open Programmes and International Markets, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Steve Wood
Deputy Commissioner, Policy, Information Commissioner’s Office

Sponsors & Partners

2019 Sponsor and Partners

• Good Corporation
• City Women Network
• University of Cambridge