International Social Business Conference
18 June 2015
Earlier this month, Professor Ken Peattie, one of the co-directors in Sustainable Places made a keynote presentation at the second International Social Business Conference held at Anadolu University in Eskisehir in Turkey. The theme of the conference was 'Social Business - Business as if People Matter' and Ken spoke about his work with Dr Anthony Samuel on Fairtrade Towns, entitled - 'Places Where People Matter - The Marketing Dynamics of Fairtrade Towns'.
The conference addressed the two themes which have increasingly dominated theory and practice in Business in modern times ‐ the pursuit of economic growth as a means to increase human welfare and, second, the adoption of 'scientific' methods to enhance theoretical understanding and inform practice. These themes have more recently been subject to growing criticism and with calls for an alternative approach, identified as 'social business." This is the issue that is the focus for the conference. Simplistically, the two themes that have dominated academic research on which public policy has been based have lost sight of the objective of increasing human welfare by assuming away the 'human' factor so as to make their analysis more tractable to 'scientific' analysis.
The notion of 'social business' embraces a wide range of subjects including: corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, environmentalism and climate change, microcredit and microfinance, sustainability, and transformational marketing including green marketing, marketing for NPOs and social marketing, volunteer and charitable organisations and well‐being. Clearly these issues go well beyond the scope of any single discipline. But it is also clear that the marketing discipline has made and continues to make a major contribution to the debate. Accordingly the objective of the conference was to showcase current thinking and research with a view to the future research agenda.
Professor Ken Peattie's presentation will form the basis of an article to be published in Autumn edition of the journal 'Social Business'.