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Corporate Social Responsibility at the World Economic Forum in Davos

February 05, 2016

As global finance leaders gathered for the World Economic Forum, Chicago Booth convened an A-list panel of experts to examine the role of corporate social responsibility in today’s business landscape.

In 1970, Milton Friedman, AM ’33, famously wrote that the only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. To correspond with the 2016 World Economic Forum, Chicago Booth economic experts and corporate leaders gathered in the Alpine village of Davos, Switzerland, to discuss whether Friedman's dictum still holds true today.

Against the august backdrop of the Kirchner Museum, Chicago Booth assembled business leaders from the academic and professional spheres. Catherine Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP, and Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe SA, joined Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management Sunil Kumar, along with Chicago Booth professors Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of India, Guy Rolnik, clinical associate professor of strategic management, and Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow.

The discussion ranged from the pressure to prioritize short-term goals over long-term planning, the mantra of “purpose over profit,” the impact of activist investors, and the type of companies millennials want to work for today. View the video to see highlights from the panel discussion.