STI Supports Third IESE-ECGI Corporate Governance Conference

14 Oct 2021

The ‘Boards of Directors and Corporate Strategy in an Uncertain Context’ conference gathered together scholars, CEOs and chairpersons from around the globe in a hybrid event

For the third consecutive year, STI financed and supported a collaborative effort between IESE Business School’s Center for Corporate Governance (CCG) and The European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). The October 4-5 hybrid meeting welcomed 126 participants to IESE’s Madrid campus, with another 1,200 – professors and practitioners – joining online from the five continents. The discussion focused on how boards of directors can aid corporate strategy, particularly in uncertain climates like today’s.

As STI president and founder Carlos Cavallé explained in his opening remarks, the foundation’s continued sponsorship of this joint CCG-ECGI initiative reflects STI’s certainty that the “understanding of social issues and trends based on serious research and debate is necessary to furthering human flourishing and socio-economic prosperity.” Furthermore, he continued, “It is clear that the increasing interconnection of world economies calls for an international approach if we are to grapple with global issues. Likewise, the growing complexity of the most crucial global challenges requires interdisciplinary strategic analysis and planning.”

With that aim in mind, the event brought together leading scholars from the areas of corporate strategy, corporate finance and organizational economics, as well as CEOs and chairpersons from top-tier companies such as Inditex, Cellnex, Ferrovial, Ikea, Nokia and Naturgy, among others, who participated in several sessions and roundtables. 

This 2021 conference, ‘Boards of Directors and Corporate Strategy in an Uncertain Context,’ was organized by Academic Leaders Jordi Canals, professor of economics and CCG director at IESE, and vice president of the Social Trends Institute, and Marco Becht, professor of corporate governance at the Solvay Brussels School for Economics and Management and founding member of ECGI. The event also counted on the collaboration of an Academic Committee formed by IESE professors John Almandoz, África Ariño, Marta Elvira, Fabrizio Ferraro, Mireia Giné, Gaizka Ormazabal, and Joan Enric Ricart.

During the meeting, five distinguished scholars presented papers, to which a discussant responded. University of California, Irvine, Professor Margarethe F. Wiersema spoke on “Boards, Activist Investors and Strategic Decision-Making.” MIT Professor of Economics and Nobel laureate Bengt Holmström - who participated for the second time, having contributed to the October 2020 edition - presented his paper on “Corporate Governance, Boards of Directors and Corporate Strategy.” London Business School Professor Ioannis Ioannou talked about sustainability strategies. Oxford University Professor Reneé Adams addressed “Boards of Directors and Governance during the Pandemic.” Finally, Professor Jay Barney from the University of Utah presented his paper, “Boards and Strategy: Managing Conflicts among Stakeholders.”