The phrases ‘sustainability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ have been used interchangeably by many businesses over the last few years, and facilitating change through innovation continues to be a major challenge.

Working Collaboratively To Create Knowledge: Sustainable Development And Innovation Are At The Top Of Business Agendas

Many companies are now looking for ways to enhance growth by designing innovative products and services, and examining their operation management systems and outsourced business partners.

In July 2016, the Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong, held an International Conference on Sustainable Development in Higher Education to help achieve social, environmental and economic goals. From across the globe, around 20 panelists and 70 practitioners, students and other stakeholders gathered to share their experience, discuss common challenges and demonstrate their best practices. The conference saw three discussions and four panel sessions, brought to life by the enthusiastic participation of teachers, students and worldwide industries. Speaking at the event, Dr. Shirley Yeung, Director of the Centre for Corporate Sustainability and Innovations at Hang Seng Management College, highlighted the importance of collaborations in establishing long lasting socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-technological goals.

Around the world other collaborative events are also being held to share global trends in higher education and sustainability. The first United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education Colloquim welcomed Mr Jonas Haertle as keynote speaker to highlight developing innovative pedagogy. And in August the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations held a career fair for 30 companies and 550 delegates at Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks. In November 2016 the Sustainability Youth Leadership Camp will join the UN Office for South Cooperation to discuss good practices in video production and entrepreneurial spirit.

According to Dr. Yeung, organisations can build a sustainable development mindset through the empowerment of transformational female leadership. With a focus on analysing the UN’s principles for responsible management education and sustainability goals, alongside ISO 26000 CSR guidelines, a variety of innovative projects can help students, teachers, industry practitioners, policy-makers and NGOs to illustrate inner values. This enables young people to use technology and design thinking to convey stories, creating business opportunities that address their goals and promote knowledge to understand sustainable development.