April 14, 2006
Greetings from Cambridge where – unless we’re being tricked again – it seems spring has begun! That in itself is good news, but there’s more.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, in collaboration with The Conference Board and the International Business Leaders Forum, made a joint commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to organize a series of Leadership Dialogues for corporate executives, development experts, policy makers and academics. On April 11 th, the CSR team convened such a dialogue in San Francisco, hosted by Walter Shorenstein, and focused on how businesses can contribute to post-disaster recovery and relief. And on May 8 th and 9 th, the CSR Initiative will be celebrating its 2 nd anniversary with a major international conference on Business and the Millennium Development Goals: New Models of Leadership and Partnership, held here at KSG.
Also on the CSRI front – Director Jane Nelson was recently interviewed for KSG Insight on the rationale behind the Initiative. As she put it, “Climate change and HIV/AIDS are two obvious global challenges which no one sector, indeed, no one nation can address on its own. Not only activists, but also governments and other stakeholders are increasingly looking to the private sector—which has global reach, influence, and resources—to play a role in helping to address some of these complex problems.” For a complete transcript, click here.
The Harvard Electricity Policy Group held its forty-second plenary session at the Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California on March 2-3, 2006. Participants included senior executives from member companies, regional system operators, chairs and commissioners from various state public utility commissions, senior staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and researchers. HEPG members discussed the development of electricity markets, forward contracts, capacity markets, as well as the role of the regional market monitor, a regulatory and institutional innovation of electricity restructuring. HEPG's final quarterly meeting of the academic year will be held in Cambridge in June.
Other quick items: Asia Programs welcomed a former premier of Taiwan, Mr. Frank Ting-ching Hseih, as a Senior Fellow for part of the spring semester. Senior Fellow Jacques Mistral has been chosen by the French Prime Minister to be a member of the "Conseil D'analyse Economique." Senior Fellow Mark Kramer is the co-author with John Kania of Game Changing CSR in the current issue of the Stanford Innovation Review. Adjunct Lecturer and Senior Fellow Alan Trager moderated the Public Private Partnership Panel at the Asia Business Conference at Harvard Business School in February. Simon Zadek, a senior fellow with the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, has received an honorary professorship at University of South Africa, and has published a new report, "Accountability 21: Reinventing Accountability for the 21st Century;" CSRI Director Jane Nelson is also a contributor. Senior Fellow, James Rosenfield co-directed CERAWeek, the world's leading gathering of senior energy business and government leaders. Over 2000 people attended, and the event was featured in a series of Wall Street Journal Special Sections, as well as by CNBC and Bloomberg. And nine senior fellows participated in a highly successful advisory session with 45 degree students from the Business and Government student area. Due to high participation, we hope to host a similar event bringing students and fellows together this fall.
We are delighted and honored that the International Association for Energy Economics announced in March their selection of William W. Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, as recipient of the 2005 IAEE award for outstanding contributions to the field of energy economics and its literature, citing "the breadth and depth of work that not only transcends the public policy, academic, and business communities, but more importantly has had a real impact." The award will be conferred upon Professor Hogan at the IAEE conference on Energy in a World of Changing Costs and Technologies in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in September.
Finally, I submitted my interim report on business and human rights to the United Nations, sketching out an overall framing of the human rights challenges and dilemmas related to businesses, especially transnational corporations, and outlining the elements of a strategy for dealing with them that I described as “principled pragmatism.” For the complete report, click here.
The second half of the semester looks to be even busier than the first. Hope to see you at a seminar or event sometime soon.
John G. Ruggie
Frank and Denie Weil Director, Center for Business and Government
Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs