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White House Officials Head to Haas School of Business for Insight on Responsible Business

Haas 2The Center for Responsible Business (CRB) at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business will co-host a meeting later this week where White House officials will seek input on how to promote responsible business conduct by U.S. companies. The event, co-hosted by Haas’s CRB and the U.S. Network of the United Nations Global Compact, will take place this Friday, February 6th, at the Berkeley-Haas Innovation Lab (i-Lab).

The meeting is one in a series of such events White House administration officials have been holding to draw insights from academics, companies, labor unions and non-governmental organizations on how to hold U.S. businesses and their partners accountable internationally to protect the environment and human rights. The findings will contribute to the U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) on Responsible Business Conduct Abroad, created by President Obama last September.

The cross-country dialog around responsible business kicked off with a similar event in December 2014 at New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.  Additional events are planned at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and in Washington D.C., co-hosted by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights.

Haas CRB Executive Director Robert Strand will coordinate Friday’s event, which will feature Haas Professor Laura Tyson, director of the Institute for Business & Social Impact, as a speaker. “We are humbled to have been asked by the White House to convene this important event,” Strand said in a statement. “The CRB has a long legacy of encouraging critical dialogue about the topics associated with responsible business.”

In addition to Tyson’s address, the Friday event will include planned concurrent breakout sessions centered on the themes of data privacy and freedom of expression in the information technology sector, responsible supply chains abroad and responsible investment.

“The goal of these breakouts is to discuss what the U.S. government, U.S. companies and civil society groups are already doing to promote responsible business practices; how the U.S. government can best encourage responsible business conduct going forward and how to best coordinate these efforts from a multi-stakeholder perspective,” Strand said.

“Given the diverse and dynamic community of stakeholders present in the San Francisco Bay area, we look forward to the Berkeley event providing an opportunity to discuss this and receive input on this initiative from interested stakeholders in the region,” Jason Pielemeier, special advisor and section lead in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the U.S. State Department, said in a statement.

Learn more about this upcoming event at Haas’s Center for Responsible Business.