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Cross-Border Collab: Net Positive


Thursday, 13 January, 2022

8:00am EDT


Hosted on Zoom.


Emma Martens, emartens@gbsn.org

Runaway climate change and rampant inequality are ravaging the world and costing a fortune. Who will help lead us to a better future? Business.

These massive dual challenges—and other profound shifts like pandemics, resource pressures, and shrinking biodiversity—threaten our very existence. Other megatrends, such as the clean economy explosion and the unprecedented focus on diversity and inclusion, offer exciting new opportunities to heal the world, and prosper by doing so. Government cannot do this alone. Business must step up.

In this seminal book, former Unilever boss Paul Polman and sustainable business guru Andrew Winston explode fifty years of corporate dogma. They reveal for the first time key lessons from Unilever and pioneering companies around the world on how you can profit by fixing the world’s problems, not creating them. To thrive today and tomorrow, they argue, companies must become “net positive” – giving more to the world than they take. A Net Positive company:

  • Improves the lives of everyone it touches, from customers and suppliers to employees and communities, greatly increasing long-term shareholder returns in the process; 
  • Takes ownership of all of the social and environmental impacts its business model creates. This in turn provides opportunities for innovation, savings and building a more human, connected and purpose-driven culture; 
  • Partners with competitors, civil society and governments to drive transformative change that no one group can deliver alone.

This is no utopian fantasy – courageous leaders are already making it real and the stakes could not be higher. With bold vision and compelling stories, Net Positive sets out the principles and practices that will deliver the scale of change and transformation the world desperately needs.

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to achieve the UN Global Goals, which he helped develop. He was the CEO of Unilever from 2009 to 2019 and has been described by the Financial Times as “a stand out CEO of the past decade”. 

Andrew Winston is one of the world’s leading thinkers on sustainable business. He is author of the books Green to Gold and The Big Pivot, as well as hundreds of articles in Harvard Business ReviewMIT Sloan Management Review, and other top publications.

As we move into this new year, we are excited to see what opportunities 2022 holds for the entire GBSN community.  While the world is ravaged by runaway climate change and rampant inequality, we know that business schools are in the perfect position to lead us to a better future.  This year, our monthly Collabs will continue to be a space where schools can come together to discuss and share their successes, difficulties, and potential collaborations.  Join us for the first Member Collab in the new year as we discuss the net positive movement with Paul Polman.


  • Paul Polman

    Former Chief Executive Officer
    Unilever; Influencer, business leader, campaigner
    United Kingdom


Thursday, 13 January, 2022

  • 8:00am Washington D.C.
  • 2:00pm Paris
  • 2:00pm Lagos
  • 6:30pm Mumbai
  • 9:00pm Singapore

*Please note – this Cross-Border Collab will take place on the 2nd Thursday of January to accommodate institutions returning from December/January breaks.*


Cross-Border Collabs are not open to the public and are only open to GBSN Members. 

What are Cross-Border Collabs?

Cross-Border Collabs are exclusive gatherings for GBSN members, focused on engaging our community to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time. Facilitated by topic experts, these session will provide a place for our members be active participants in our mission of improving management and entrepreneurship education for the developing world. Collabs are held monthly on every first Thursday of the month. Collabs are an exclusive opportunity for member school ambassadors, deans and leading faculty members.