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Sessions Overview

During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of complexity. Many social and economic responses are amplifying social inequalities and hampering strategic, long-term investments into sustainability by firms and governments. This afternoon forum will reflect on what the pandemic has, so far, implied for industry, education, innovation and how to navigate the emerging long-term sustainability challenges. Whilst the understanding of short-term implications is growing, we know very little about the longer-term impacts and how these will play out over time. The sessions will explicitly cover;

Session 1 – The rise of inequalities?

This session will reflect on a broad range of questions such as; do we see rising inequalities in human capital in developing regions and what can be done about this? What can be learned from other contexts that can help educate the business community in this crisis? And, how do we navigate the emerging long-term sustainability challenges of the pandemic?

Speakers will present new research findings on; pandemic impacts on human capital such as health and education in vulnerable regions; wellbeing and entrepreneurship in the business context of the United Kingdom and explore learnings from family business which might help support business development in and beyond current times. 

Speakers: Anders Olofgård (Misum Affiliate, SSE), Martina Björkman Nyqvist (Executive Director, Misum, SSE), Dr. Rukmini Banerji (CEO, Pratham India), Abhijeet Singh (Misum Affiliate, SSE), Professor Sarah Jack (Misum Platform Director, SSE) Professor Mattias Nordqvist (House of Innovation, SSE) and Dr Kautsar Ramli (Postdoctoral Researcher, Edinburgh University)

Session 2 – Decrease in strategic investments? 

This session focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on firms’ ability to continue with or initiate long-term projects that target the transition to a more sustainable way of doing business. The current pandemic in combination with the various responses by society represent a major challenge to many firms. One of the expected consequences of the pandemic is that it will force firms to focus on short-term cash-flows to ensure survival.

The goal of this session is to investigate whether this shift in focus will lead to a crowding out of resources for long-term, sustainability-oriented projects. Speakers will shed light on the potential economic mechanisms that drive responses to the crisis. These responses can be internal to the firm, such as performance reporting, and external to the firm, such as pressure by the stock market to perform well in the short-run.

Speakers: Emma Sjöström (Misum Director, SSE), Torkel Strömsten (Misum Director, SSE), Hans Fahlin (CIO, AP2 Fund), Tony Sandberg (Director - Research and Innovation, Scania) and Linda Ingelsdotter (Global Strategy Lead, Fair Jobs H&M)