Symposium Date: November 6-8, 2009
Location: York University/Schulich School of Business, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Abstract Deadline: May 1, 2009
Working Draft of Paper: September 1, 2009
Commentary Draft: October 10, 2009
The Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) is planning an interdisciplinary "Business and Human Rights" symposium, Friday, November 6, to noon Sunday, November 8, 2009, in parallel with an invitation-only expert consultation with John Ruggie, the UN Special representative on Business and Human Rights, an event hosted by Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, which will focus on ways in which corporate law tools may foster corporate cultures more respectful of rights.
The symposium and the Special Representative's expert consultation are not formally linked in any way. However, the organizers will endeavour to arrange networking opportunities between participants from both events. In that regard, Professor Ruggie will speak at a public lecture co-hosted by CBERN on Friday afternoon, November 6.
Costs associated with participation in the symposium will be subsidized by CBERN. Please email for details and expense reimbursement criteria.
Symposium details and special features:
This event is designed to draw Canadian academics, who are engaged in research on business and human rights from a variety of disciplines, into dialogue with each other and with non-academics actively engaged with human rights issues in what is becoming a dominant theme in the field of business ethics. The event will be limited to twenty-five active participants and will include five leading international scholars with active research interests in the field.
The symposium will have several unique features:
- All participants are to contribute either a principal paper or a commentary on a principal paper;
- All participants are to have read all papers and commentaries prepared for the symposium, prior to the event itself. Papers and commentaries will not be read at the symposium;
- Papers will be grouped by topic at the symposium. Those giving principal papers will have ten minutes to review highlights of their paper. Those contributing commentaries on principal paper will be given five minutes to summarize their responses. The bulk of time in each session will then be spent in roundtable discussion. All session will be plenary sessions;
- Selected papers and commentaries will be published in an edited volume by an international publisher. An informal agreement to publish with an international press is already in place;
- The symposium will be academic in nature. However, people not holding academic positions and who are actively engaged by virtue of their work in government, business or the voluntary sector will be invited to participate. In-depth reports or commentaries on business and human rights by NGO's or government or business organizations will be welcome as principal papers. However, it is assumed that non-academics will, for the most part, contribute commentaries on principal papers. Participants may write commentaries on as many principal papers as they wish.
Papers are welcome on any subject area that intersects with the theme. Subject areas would include business and human rights in the context of the environment, labour, poverty, economic development, the law, spheres of influence, zones of conflict, authoritarian regimes, minorities and so on.
Timelines for participation:
The format for this symposium requires careful adherence to a timetable. Those interested in participating are asked to communicate their interest to CBERN as soon as possible.
Those proposing to contribute a principal paper must submit a brief abstract outlining the topic of their contribution by May 1, 2009. Abstracts will be circulated to those registering for the event after May 1, as registrations are received.
Working drafts of principal papers must be prepared and submitted to CBERN by September 1, 2009.
Registration for the event will be closed on September 1, 2009, or when 25 firm commitments to participate have been received.
Principal papers will be circulated in the first week of September to all registrants. Those preparing a commentary on a principal paper must submit their commentary to CBERN for circulation to participants by October 10, 2009.
Participants will be expected to have read all papers and commentaries by the opening of the symposium.
Expressions of interest, inquiries and related correspondence should be addressed to CBERN (email@example.com). The conference is being organized by CBERN (www.cbern.ca) under the direction of Wesley Cragg, CBERN Project Director.