Wharton School Dean Erika James to Host “Beyond Business” Lecture Series on ESG

Three-part series to feature conversations with Wharton faculty and industry-leading experts

Dean Erika James of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania announced today the continuation of “Beyond Business,” an annual, semester-long lecture series exploring some of the most pressing issues impacting individuals and organizations around the world.

Following its successful introduction in 2020, this three-part series will feature conversations with esteemed Wharton faculty alongside global thought leaders on the risks and rewards around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. Confirmed speakers include Engine No. 1 COO David Swift, Bank of America Global Head of ESG Andrew Plepler and Diligent Corporation CEO Brian Stafford, W’98. All sessions are free and open to the public, and will stream live to a global audience on the Wharton School’s LinkedIn page.

“As companies look to establish and amplify their roles as global corporate citizens, it’s important to consult the data as we coalesce around a shared set of foundational criteria to measure impact,” said Wharton Dean Erika James. “This year’s ‘Beyond Business’ theme lets us convene our esteemed faculty, alumni and distinguished thought leaders to discuss how thoughtful analysis can best support the burgeoning desires companies have to positively impact environmental and social causes.”

Developed as an extension of the Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series, “Beyond Business” engages academia and industry to delve into important topics for both audiences through invaluable insights and opinions from faculty and industry guests. Following a discussion led by Dean James, panelists will field questions from the audience and provide their thoughts on where and how businesses can operate to see the biggest impact.

Details for the three panels are included below. For more information on each panel, visit the event website: Beyond Business.

Tackling the Climate Crisis: What Can Companies and Policymakers Do To Drive Impact?
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
4:30—5:30 pm EDT

  • Erika James, Dean, The Wharton School
  • David Swift, Chief Operating Officer, Engine No. 1
  • Benjamin Keys, Rowan Family Foundation Professor, Professor of Real Estate & Finance, The Wharton School
  • Sarah E. Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, The Wharton School

Redefining Corporate Governance: Establishing Essentials for the New Business Era
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
4:30—5:30 pm EST

  • Erika James, Dean, The Wharton School
  • Brian Stafford, W’98, CEO, Diligent Corporation
  • Mary-Hunter McDonnell, Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School
  • Luke Taylor, Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Humanizing ESG: Why Diversity, Wage Inequality, and Workers Rights Deserve Our Attention
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
4:30—5:30 pm EST

  • Erika James, Dean, The Wharton School
  • Andrew Plepler, Global Head of ESG, Bank of America
  • Witold Henisz, Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management, The Wharton School

About the Wharton School and the Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series
Founded in 1881 as the world’s first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is shaping the future of business by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world. With a faculty of more than 235 renowned professors, Wharton has 5,000 undergraduateMBAexecutive MBA and doctoral students. Each year 13,000 professionals from around the world advance their careers through Wharton Executive Education’s individual, company-customized, and online programs. More than 100,000 Wharton alumni form a powerful global network of leaders who transform business every day. For more information, visit http://www.wharton.upenn.edu.

The Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series features high-level business influencers and executives and is hosted by Wharton Dean Erika H. James. A global business leader, Mr. Tarnopol served as Vice Chairman of the International Banking Division of Bear, Stearns & Co. Mr. Tarnopol was well known in the Wharton community as a long-time member of the Board of Overseers, and as Vice Chair of Penn’s Board of Trustees. He earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Wharton Alumni Association in 1997, and the Dean’s Medal in 2003 for his work as co-chair of Campaign for Sustained Leadership. Mr. Tarnopol founded the Penn Club of New York, along with his wife, Lynne, CW’60. He passed away in 2005.

Previous speakers in the series include Marc Rowan, W’84, WG’85, Co-Founder & Senior Managing Director of Apollo Global Management; Edith Cooper, Global Head, Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs; and Mohamed A. El-Erian, Senior Global Fellow, the Lauder Institute and President of Queens’ College (UK).

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