What is the meaning and relevance of sustainability for contemporary businesses? What are the contextual drivers and contingencies imposed? What is the future outlook for sustainability efforts? How should we approach the teaching of sustainability in the business curriculum?

Just a few months before the entire world shut down due to the global pandemic, the World Economic Forum’s Davos 2020 manifesto stated that “a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders” . Today, notions such as responsible business, purpose-led business, conscious capitalism, stakeholder capitalism, brand activism, etc., have risen to the top of the agenda of businesses, and academics are paying due attention. Practice of sustainability goes beyond the governmental actions and incorporates operations and strategies of both large and small firms, traditional as well as state-of-the-art business models, and new digital enterprises.

The recent Covid-19 Pandemic shifted our focus to sustainability and created a “sense of urgency” over several related topics such as product development, supply chain management, and brand management. One obvious outcome is related to our understanding of sustainability as an “inclusive” concept. We are asked to adopt a holistic view and think of the “macro environment” imposing context-driven dynamics which altogether shape different aspects of sustainability.

Key take-aways:

– Gain an awareness on the meaning, relevance and role of sustainability in the business context.
– Explore boundaries of sustainability discussion and relate strategic analysis and marketing strategies to sustainability agenda.
– Develop insights into the entrepreneurial aspects of sustainability.

Thursday, April 28th 

11:00AM – 12:00PM EST

About The Speakers

Pinar Buyukbalci

Associate Professor

Yildiz Technical University

Pinar BUYUKBALCI is a visiting scholar at Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business and also an associate professor at Yildiz Technical University – Dpt. of Business Administration, Istanbul. Her research spans international entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystems, innovation strategies and interfirm collaborations. She is an active member of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Turkey, acting as a consultant to entrepreneurship programs of science parks in Istanbul, running active affiliations with NGOs, and business associations to support entrepreneurship projects. Since the last 10 years she has also been involved in several national and international projects on case study writing and teaching. She is a member of Case Study Alliance Turkey (led by Middle East Technical University) and also a member of Endeavor Turkey Case Campus Program. She is a Fulbright Scholar, British Academy Scholar, and a member of the Academy of International Business.

Cuneyt Evirgen

Director of Executive Development Unit (EDU) 

Sabancı University

Cuneyt Evirgenholds BSc in Electrical Engineering, BsC in Mathematics and MBA degrees from Bosphorous University, Turkey and PhD degree in marketing (with minor in international business) from Michigan State University (MSU), USA. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award given by Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business in 2010.

Dr. Evirgen has been the Director of Executive Development Unit (EDU) at Sabancı University (ranked 55th in Financial Times Executive Education Custom Programs 2020 Global Ranking) and practice faculty member in the Sabancı Business School since 2004. His responsibilities cover management of custom and open enrollment nondegree programs in executive education as well as professional non-thesis graduate programs at Sabancı University.

In addition to Executive Education, Dr. Evirgen specializes in Marketing & Retailing Strategy. Following his project and consultancy work at International Business Centers at MSU, he was the General Manager of a leading market research agency in Turkey for 8 years and coordinated numerous market research projects in Turkey, Caucasia and Central Asia through subsidiary companies formed.

Dr. Evirgen also has over 4,000 hours of graduate and executive teaching experience along with publications in academic and trade journals, and have written book chapters and company cases.

Finally, Dr. Evirgen, has 25 years of Corporate Board level experience in leading retailers listed in Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange including Teknosa (www.teknosa.com) and Carrefoursa (www.carrefoursa:com) and currently continues to serve as an Independent Board Member at Teknosa Inc. Dr. Evirgen has also been the academic consultant of the Retailing Sectoral Assembly of the Union of Chambers & Commodity Exchanges of Turkey between 2010-2020.