Photos by Robert Stürmer, Stürmer Foto
Executive Campus, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2012
Humanistic Management Conference: Happiness and Profit
In current times of turmoil business as usual is not an option. The debate on alternative ways to conduct business has only just begun but it is widely anticipated across management practice, policy makers, and academia. In this conference, the Humanistic Management Center and Network together with its partner organizations is examining a simple, yet often overlooked alternative to business as profit maximizing venture: business as agent of societal well-being.
The Humanistic Management Network and the Humanistic Management Center jointly hosted this conference at the Executive Education Campus of the University of St. Gallen in St. Gallen, Switzerland with the support of Fordham University and the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St. Gallen on the 12th of June 2012.
The day was split into four main sections:
- The opening speech by Stephan Klein and the subsequent first panel with an academic and policy level focus. In his opening speech Stephan Klein provided an overview on happiness and what sustainable happiness may mean for management and our economies. His speech was followed by the first panel kicking off the conference day with Prof. Dr. Mathias Binswanger talking about Well being: insights from economics. His presentation was followed by Nic Marks from the New Economics Foundation who introduced the Happy Planet Index and by Romina Boarini from the OECDs Your Better Life Initiative.You can view a panel summary here as well as the following presentations:Link to the presentation of Mathias Binswanger: Paradox of HappinessLink to the presentation of Nic Marks: Happiness WorksLink to the presentation of Romina Boarini: Happiness and Profit
- The second panel saw three representatives from management practice. First up was Wolff Horbach, author of Faktor Glück (Happiness Factor) and management consultant talking about well being at work. Next, Kai Romhardt, a Buddhist monk, management consultant and founder of the Netzwerk Achtsame Wrtschaft (network for a mindful economy) took the stage presenting individual perspectives on well being relevant for organizations. The panel was completed by Joachim Weckmann, CEO of Märkisches Landbrot, a wholesale bakery that is founded on the overarching principle of managing for stakeholder well being.You can view a panel summary here as well as the following presentations:Link to the presentation of Wolff Horbach: Well-being at WorkLink to the presentation of Joachim Weckmann: Maerkisches Landbrot
- The afternoon program was opened by introducing two initiatives supporting well being and happiness as objective function of businesses. These are the Ius Iurandum Sangallensis (IIS), an initiative from students for students founded to strengthen values and the ethical competence of graduates of the University of St. Gallen, which was represented by Annabelle Sersch. The second initiative, presented by Dr. Günther Reifer of the Terra Institute is the Gemeinwohlökonomie (Public Value Economy), offering member companies an evaluation and reporting scheme to guide and assess their contribution to the common good.You can view a panel summary here as well as the following presentations:Link to the presentation of Annabelle Sersch: Presentation IISLink to the presentation of Günther Reifer: Common Welfare Economy
- The closing section was comprised of three World Café workshops on the topics of research, management practice and policy for societal happiness. The World Café concept is based on having groups rotating between topical rooms discussing one issue for a limited period of time before moving on o the next topic. To connect the different groups all participants leave comments and notes from their group discussion on the paper tablecloth for the following groups to pick up and build on.You can view the summary of the World Café here and also find the Notes from the tables of the World Café workshops in a series of photos (by Robert Stürmer, Stürmer Foto) under this link.
Our Conference Partners from the University of St. Gallen have twittered on the conference and you can look at the tweets here. You can also view the university's press release on the conference.
You can download the conference program and speakers and participants list here and the full conference materials in one folder here. Please also take a look at our photo gallery with impressions of the day (all Photos by Robert Stürmer, Stürmer Foto), at the bottom of the page.
12th of June 2012, St. Gallen, Switzerland