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Croatan Institute Senior Fellows Participate in Round Table at Columbia University

Croatan Institute senior fellows Liz Umlas and Fern Jones participated in a round table entitled “Business Structures that Prioritize Human Rights,” which took place in New York on May 24. The event was organized by Oxfam and Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights (which hosted). Co-chaired by Erinch Sahan of Oxfam, Joanne Bauer of Columbia University and Umlas, the round table was meant to encourage dialogue on alternative corporate forms that lend themselves better to integrating human rights and other social concerns than do conventional companies. A secondary objective was to seed cross-fertilization between the business and human rights (BHR) community and the community of organizations and individuals who work in the broad field of alternative corporate forms; currently there is little coordination between these two, though they are both working toward improving accountability for corporations’ social impacts.

Participants included experts from a wide range of fields including impact investing, social enterprise, BHR, and corporate governance. By using human rights as a frame, the event differed from other initiatives that have convened practitioners and experts around themes such as inclusive capitalism, the new economy and social enterprise.