Students challenge leaders at international Oslo Summit

24 August 2009

Students from Ghana, China and Europe will make proposals to recreate the United Nations and design new sustainable business models at Oslo Sustainability Summit 2009.

CONFERENCE: Oslo Sustainability Summit 2009

Some of the world’s most reknown researchers, authors, thinkers and leaders concerned with sustainable development will meet in Oslo on 31 August and 1 September to work to solve today’s global crises.

This event will take place at the Oslo Sustainability Summit 2009 organized by the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo and the Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the BI Norwegian School of Management.

Nine students, three from China, three from Ghana and three students from BI and the University of Oslo, have been selected to challenge leaders in our global community with fresh perspectives and visions during the debate.

"Sustainable development is, among other things, about thinking in the very long term.  We will discuss a future which stretches far into the lifetime of the next generation.  Precisely for this reason, it is extremely important to have young students here", say the initiators Professor Nina Witoszek at the University of Oslo and Professor Atle Midttun at BI Norwegian School of Management.

Student Challenge

The student challengers have prepared themselves for three main tasks:

  1. The first task is to determine what is needed to promote sustainable social development through cultural innovation.
  2. Task number two is more concrete and practical, but that is not to say it is any easier. What would the United Nations look like if we should recreate the organisation?
  3. Last, three of the students will present a new sustainable model for the business community. 

The students are recruited from the rich North (students from BI and the University of Oslo), the poor South (Ghana) and growing economies in the East (China).

"What is essential here is to see the world from different cultural, geographic and developmental points of view", say Midttun and Witoszek.

The first day of the summit on Monday, August 31 will take place at the University of Oslo with Professor Stephen Schneider at Stanford University (chairholder of the Arne Naess Chair 2009), Professor Jason Pontin at MIT, Professor Calestous Juma at Harvard University, Professor Benjamin Barber (author of "Jihad Versus McWorld"), Shereen el Feki, Greg Urban, Vikram Kumar, Inga BostadThomas Hylland Eriksen, Karen O'Brien, and Professor Nina Witoszek at the University of Oslo.
Venue: Gamle festsal, Universitetet i Oslo (Karl Johansgt. 47).

The second day of the summit, Tuesday, September 1, will take place at the BI Norwegian School of Management with  Bill McKibben (author of "The End of Nature" and “Deep Economy”), Professor Chantal Mouffe , Professor Robyn Eckersley (author of “The Green State”), Professor Joel Bakan (author of “The Corporation”), John Elkington (the man back "the Triple Bottom Line”), as well as, Per Otto Dyb, CEO of Siemens Norway, Nils Morten Udgaard editor in Aftenposten, Jahn Mühlfeit,  Chairman of Microsoft Europe, Elin Myrmel Johansen Director at  Storebrand, Hilde Vanvik from Body Shop and Professor Atle Midttun at BI Norwegian School of Management.

Venue: BI Norwegian School of Management, Nydalsveien 37

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