Social context in which business operates in XXI century is very complex and uncertain. Businesses are expected and asked to be responsible more and more nowadays for a welfare of a society, engage in the pursuit of public value, make positive impact not only on economic performance but also on social development of a country. Thus roles and responsibilities of a business in a global economy and society are changing. Furthermore, the relationship between business and society is becoming even more complex in an economy that is increasingly integrated and interdependent. The globalisation of business, the emergence and strengthening of civil society organisations around the world, development of information technologies, increasing governmental regulations and international agreements add additional challenges to managers and their strategic decision-making.
The course aims at raising awareness and enabling future entrepreneurs and leaders from private and public sectors to see the unique obstacles and challenges of business as opportunities. Business competences of dealing with its stakeholders, sensitivity to its ecosystem and abilities to address creatively existing challenges might inspire sustainable business practices and enable it to identify sources of competitiveness. In discussing changing roles of and opportunities for business, framework of creating shared value (CSV) is applied: policies and practices that enhance the competitive advantage and profitability of a company while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges. Shared value is not corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success. When businesses act as businesses - not as charitable donors - they can improve profitability while also improving environmental performance, public health and nutrition, affordable housing and financial security, and other key measures of societal wellbeing. Only business can create economic prosperity by meeting needs and making a profit, creating infinitely scalable and self-sustaining solutions.
The course is about framework of thinking: theories and academic readings are analysed with help of case studies and real life situations. The cases of the course illustrate various challenges and opportunities for businesses from different industries and different countries.