Date: 17-18 April 2023 (Monday-Tuesday)
Convenor: EU*Asia Institute at ESSCA School of Management, France.
Venue: ESSCA School of Management, Lyon (4 Pont Pasteur)
From 17 to 18 April 2023, the EU*Asia Conference welcomed a number of researchers and scholars to discuss and analyse the application of EU social and environmental policies in the business world, as well as looking at what enabled or created barriers for the full participation of businesses in the transition to sustainability.
The conference, that took place at the ESSCA campus in Lyon, was a great opportunity to deepen collaboration among different networks, including the PERISCOPE Erasmus + project (Purchasing Education Research with an Innovative Sustainability Scope), the Governance of Sustainability, and The Role of Europe in Global Challenges.
The conference opened on 17 April with an introduction by Dr Rosa M. Fernandez Martin (University of Warwick), Dr Katia Picaud-Bello and Pr Thomas Hoerber (ESSCA, EU*Asia Institute). The subsequent keynote speech was made by Lord Chris Smith, currently Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, member of the House of Lords in the UK, and formerly Chairman of the Environment Agency (2008-2014).
His speech covered the relevant topic of the dilemma between growth and sustainability: he highlighted how the need for sustainability in our economies and lifestyles is becoming ever more vital and urgent, how governments are failing to respond to the problem, and how voters, businesses, and city governments are far ahead of national authorities. He observed how the drive for growth at any price is counter-productive, and that we need to aim for growth that works with the environment and the climate. He highlighted the opportunity made by environmental regulations to strengthen businesses by helping them become leaner, more efficient, and less wasteful, and the opportunity for new industries to respond to climate and sustainability challenges.
During the subsequent two-day academic workshop entitled ‘Making Sustainability Real: EU Policies, the Role of Technology, and New Business Models’, 20 researchers and practitioners shared their research projects on the common theme of sustainability, further developed their work and ideas, discussed concepts, and identified future cooperation projects.
The conference merged exciting projects from very diverse backgrounds: from finance to energy; from supply chains and policy regulations to space. At the end of the conference, a future project which resulted from this workshop was announced that might start in the near future.
The programme below gives you an overview of the topics and findings that were discussed within the framework of the 2-day conference.