ISSR Seminar: Business, Sustainability and Crisis

'Business, Sustainability and Crisis: Confessions from a Disciplinary Field'

The broad (and somewhat ambitious) intention of the presentation is to stimulate reflection about the extent to which different disciplines - and especially disciplines of the social sciences - recognise and explore their implication in the un-sustainability crisis... and how they respond to the responsibility suggested by such implication.

It seeks to achieve this by exploring the un-sustainability crisis through the lens of accounting - which might not be most people's most obvious choice for such a critical lens.

Accounting has a history of nearly 30 years of literature on this topic - although its direct impact on the mainstream of the discipline remains elusive.

The presentation will rehearse the crisis of un-sustainability with which we might all be assumed to be familiar, before exploring possible causes for this situation. One source - and only one source - of possible explanation for un-sustainability lies with large business: multi-national corporations (MNCs) in particular.

We explore an overview of MNCs and then introduce accounting as a practice which is most closely implicated in the growth and power of MNCs Such a lens helps us to see further and recognise the intense and crucial power of the international financial markets.

The presentation suggests that no solution to un-sustainability has any chance of success without some major surgery to these practices. Accounting solutions - including accountability, social accounting and speaking truth to power (drawing especially from the work of Erik Olin Wright) - are briefly considered before concluding with some speculation upon the role(s) of education and academe in maintaining mythology about sustainability.

Tickets: Free Book a Place