Dear Fellow AIB Members,

Described below are descriptions of five topics that lend themselves well
to panels for the upcoming AIB-UKI and AIB conferences in 2022.  The
descriptions should be considered as very much a first draft, as the final
focus and content of each panel will be determined by those who are
interested in participating in them.

Panel 1:  Inclusive GVC Governance to Achieve the SDGs Within Their GSCs

The pandemic has exposed how a highly unequal power structure within the
global value chains (GVC) disadvantages those parts of the chain which have
the least say in, or control over, how the GVC works.  This is especially
true for those parts of the GVC that also are part of a global supply chain
(GSC).  It can be argued, though, that efforts by multinational enterprises
(MNEs) to work toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
had already demonstrated the existence of this unequal power structure.
For example, when an MNE pronounces that it intends to, say, promote gender
equality, safe working conditions, a reduction in its carbon footprint or
environmental protection, throughout its GVC and/or its GSC, it mostly is
up to the local entities within them to comply with the MNE’s directives
even if the resources or capabilities that could be put toward satisfying
those directives were insufficient or even non-existent.

This raises an intriguing governance issue that, in the interests of
creating a more inclusive, more sustainable and fairer form of
international business, needs to be addressed.  This panel will discuss,
through theoretical and practical lenses, what it would take for a more
inclusive GVC/GSC governance structure to be created, possible current
examples of such an inclusive governance structure, and the implications
such a structure would have for all stakeholders involved in achieving the

Panel 2:  The Challenge of Interconnected Thinking

The forces of globalization, climate change and sustainability are highly
interconnected, however approaches to address them too often are not.
There are many reasons for this.  One is that negative externalities such
as environmental and/or societal degradation have not been included in the
costs of doing business.  And another is that strategists, managers and
policy makers have not really been trained to either look for, see or value
those connections.  In a sense, it is like the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’
when the ‘Commons’ is the Earth and the ‘tragedy’ is what is being done to
it and our too-often ineffectual attempts to mitigating the damage.  We not
only have difficulty seeing the full extent of the damage we have done and
are doing, but also how proposed solutions in one area can affect what
happens in another.

This panel will present examples of how interconnectedness is being
manifested across globalization, climate change and sustainability, discuss
the shortcomings in how we are trained to deal with interconnected issues,
and suggest ways interconnected thinking within international business can
be brought into how all aspects of it are researched and taught.

Panel 3:  Putting Structure to ESG Reporting

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are becoming
increasingly important as measures to guide investors who want to invest
more responsibly, for firms that want to demonstrate that they are behaving
responsibly, and for consumers who want to support those firms.  While this
is commendable, there are no consistent standards for ESG standards,
meaning that it can be difficult for investors and consumers to be
confident in the legitimacy of the ESG actions firms are taking.  It also
makes it easier for firms to make themselves look better than they might
otherwise be.

This panel will discuss the current state of ESG reporting, describe its
benefits, discuss its shortcomings, and suggest ways it can be standardized.

Panel 4:  Creating Impactful Agents of Change

In most climate models, the path called ‘business as usual’ is the one
which will lead society to environmental disaster by as early as 2050.  The
other paths, which in varying degrees mitigate the perilous path ‘business
as usual’ has put us on, all will require different ways of thinking,
different ways of doing, different ways of acting – in business as well as
in virtually every other facet of society.  Simply put, things have to
change and change quickly, but the people who will cause that change have
to be taught to think, do and act differently.  And we as educators have to
be at the forefront of creating those change agents.

The purpose of this panel is exploring how we as IB scholars and educators
can best transform our teaching methods and philosophies to enable our
students to be the kind of impactful agents of change needed to guide
society through the perilous years ahead.

Panel 5:  Correcting 'Bad' Behavior in IB

Even though socially responsible behavior is on the lips of - and in the
public-facing reports produced by - MNEs, socially irresponsible (or 'bad')
behavior persists. Examples of this 'bad' behavior include environmental
abuses in the production and distribution of products and the violation of
human rights (especially labor abuses) in the production and distribution
of products.

This panel will provide examples of current socially irresponsible behavior
and the efforts being made to expose it, and discuss how IB scholars and
educators can help ensure that such behavior can be eliminated.

Please let me know if you are interested in being involved in any of these
panels, and, if so, what you have in mind as a contribution.  Full papers
are not necessary; in fact, treat these panel ideas as an opportunity to
discuss something in which you are interested that could be developed
further into potentially publishable work.

My role will be to fully develop the panel proposal based on your input and
submit it to whichever conference the panelists decide is appropriate.  For
AIB 2022, the track toward which the panel will be targeted also will be
determined by the panel's content.

The deadline for AIB 2022 panel submissions is January 10th, so if you are
interested in that one I need to hear from you very soon.  AIB-UKI panel
submissions are about a month later.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas and working with you!

Best regards,

John Dilyard
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