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Upcoming STaR Events

Please click on an event’s title below OR on the right panel, to view its full details. Note that only those events that are (co-)hosted by STaR (and may require registration) are displayed on the Events page. Other relevant events promoted by STaR are announced in our Upcoming Events feed on our Home page.

1st STaR Research Conference on Responsible Innovation (Nov 22-23)

This focused conference aims to bring together scholars from various fields and disciplines (management, economics, finance, legal studies, information technology, psychology, philosophy, and others) to further our knowledge of the nature, drivers, and outcomes of responsible innovation (RI). Another goal is to examine how aspects of the institutional, economic, legal, and organizational environment may support or hinder the process of RI.

Please note that attendance is by invitation only due to limited capacity.

Recent Events

Diversity and Inclusion in a global business environment (June 19, 2019)

WU Executive Academy and STaR co-hosted WU Executive Insights: an evening event with Learning & Organization Behavior expert Josefine van Zanten

Josefine van Zanten has a long, impressive list of leadership positions:Executive in Residence at IMD Business School, former Global Head of Learning and Organization Behavior at LafargeHolcim, former Global VP Diversity and Inclusion at Royal Dutch Shell, to name just a few. However, she opened the evening by talking about very different leadership titles, those we do not tend to hear listed as often in executive events: mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, risk-taker, team builder, passionate proponent of authentic leadership… As several attendees commented later that evening, this personal touch created space for an exceptionally engaging audience discussion, and it was also the perfect way to approach the topic of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in organizations.

The terms “diversity” and “inclusion” are often applied interchangeably. However, as discussed by Josefine van Zanten, they differ in important ways. The concept of inclusion means moving beyond the targets and measures of demographic representation associated with the notion of diversity. Inclusion is about providing fair access to resources (for example, sponsoring and not just mentoring women or ethnic minorities), decision-making and career opportunities. It engenders a personal sense of belonging reflected in perceptions of individuals. It is subjective – yet, very importantly, measurable. 

Global companies that seek to fully reap the benefits of diversity inevitably focus on inclusion. At the same time, however, it is a highly complex, sensitive topic. Not surprisingly, many of the questions from the audience were about the contradictions and dilemmas that characterize D&I programs across companies, industries and cultures. Key takeaway? Simple but powerful: creating an inclusive workplace is not a destination but a continuous journey.

Comments by event participants:

“Josefine gave a comprehensive overview of Inclusion and Diversity, starting from the clear differences of the terms. The session was not only insightful, but had exercises where groups of participants would be able to challenge their perceptions.” 

Mari Ono, WU Executive Academy, GEMBA 2018/2019

 “One of the best event during the GEMBA 2018/2019 program, very inspirational and insightful thanks to Josefine. Josefine is an excellent female leader, who empowers women and men, able to give them another perception and open door for exceptional inclusion and diversity topic discussion.”

Karin Apjarova, WU Executive Academy, GEMBA 2018/2019

“Josefine van Zanten captured the audience with deep practical and easily translated key input of how diversity and inclusion matter to improve each organization's results in the bottom line. She managed to transfer highly complex insights in an exceptionally quick and personal way and gave clear advice how to successfully implement diversity and inclusion strategies in different surroundings.”

Christa Gschweitl, Female Leadership Network of WU Executive Academy

Interested in continuing this journey with us? Mark your calendars for the next Female Leaders Network (FLN) event on Colorful Careers, which will take place September 5, 6:30pm, at the WU Executive Academy!

If you have additional comments, best practice examples, or ideas of how to move things forward please do not hesitate to email us at star@wu.ac.at.

Written by Milda Žilinskaitė, manager and senior scientist at STaR  

ChangEDucation: 6. WU Nachhaltigkeitstag / Sustainable Transformation Day (May 14, 2019)

The WU Nachhaltigkeitstag / WU Vienna Sustainable Transformation Day took place for the 6th consecutive year on May 14, 2019, under the title ChangEDucation. It was a collaborative initiative, organized by STaR, WU Umweltmanagement, and representatives of several student organizations: ÖH WU, oikos Vienna, össfo, and forum n. Though a long standing tradition at our university, this year’s event had several new features: it was longer (a full day, with six specialized Workshops), more inclusive of non-German speakers, and it introduced a thematic focus around the UN Agenda 2030 SDGs, namely – SDG4 (Quality Education).

The SDGs are at the heart of the work of the over fifteen non-profit and student organizations represented at the all-day ChangEDucation forum. They were also the focal point of small-group discussions (“Kamingespräche”), moderated by Helene Dallinger, where forum participants and event visitors had the opportunity to share their views and concerns regarding sustainable development, ask critical questions, and propose creative solutions. Some spoke about frustrations, others expressed optimism, and not surprisingly, many shared both, which brings this reflection to the following question:

How well are the SDGs known among our university’s students?

Weeks before the event, the organizing team conducted an informal survey including nearly 950 WU students (mostly, though not only, undergraduate). We “primed” the respondents by indicating beforehand that the question was related to sustainability. 109 – slightly over 11% – of the students asked knew what SDGs were (similarly to the 2017 Eurobarometer results for general population). There is little argument that this number is of concern, given that educational and research institutions like WU, as well as the private sector, in which many of our alumni will be eventually employed, have been called upon to take on a more active role in contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

The above, and other related issues, were further tackled during the panel discussion at the end of the day. Our diverse group of panelists included: Viola Christian (Ban Ki-moon Center for Global Citizens), Jesus Crespo Cuaresma (Head of the WU Institute for Macroeconomics), Gillian Joanne Foster (Researcher and Former e-Developer at the WU Institute for Ecological Economics), Benjamin Seyer (student representative, sustainability unit of ÖH WU), and Johanna Warm (staff member at WU Vienna Teaching and Learning Development). The panelists discussed the importance of critical thinking, transferrable skills, role-modeling, and the integration of sustainability awareness into business school curriculum, within and beyond the classroom experience. The core of discussion is well reflected in an email from a member of the audience (external to WU) that STaR team received the day after the event. The letter reminded us all that: “Target 4.7 of the SDGs is for each and every person, and in order to achieve sustainability and regeneration (in a very holistic sense), they have to permeate deeply into all fields of study and inquiry, not only making them part of our way of thinking but more so of being a sustainable/ regenerative human.”

If you have additional comments, concerns or ideas of how to move things forward please do not hesitate to email us at star@wu.ac.at.

For the readers of this post, thank you for your attention, and for all of those who have been involved in ChangEDucation: we know it is not always easy, but keep the hard work up!

Event coordinators: STaR Fellows Marlene Gruber and Laura Bauer

Core organizing team: Gregor Bauer, Sarah Beranek, Marius Brand, Sebastian Bruckbauer,Beata Boor, Helene Dallinger, Clara Hofer, Christian Hütter-Schrottenbaum, Daniel Preglau, Renata Krenn, Livia Regen,  Benjamin Seyer, Susan Üstün Eva Wagner, Ulrich Weber, Rainer Wicke.

We would also like to extend a special thanks to our on-site volunteers and to Josefine Schulze (for her creative graphic recording during the panel discussion)!

This text was written by: Milda Žilinskaitė, manager and senior scientist at STaR  

ChangEDucation: Workshop Feedback

Here is some participant feedback from the ChangEDucation Workshops:

  • "It was fantastic!"

  • "Great start for a reflection on myself and a reminder that I can have an impact. Would be intereseted in a follow-up"

  • "Interesting facts and good exercises with enough time for discussion"

  • "Very informative, lots of points and perspectives"

  • "I'd like to suggest an international project to exchange experiences with South American NGOs (in Brazil). I would like to invite WU students to get to know our work better" (if you are interested in such collaboration, STaR is happy to put you in contact with the author of this message).

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For feedback specifically on Workshop 3 (Green Buddies) please click here.

Skilled Migrants in Austria: Needed but Unwelcome? (April 10, 2019)

The public panel discussion “Skilled Migrants in Austria: Needed but Unwelcome?” owes its inspiration to the ongoing research on migration at WU Vienna, where several groups of investigators across different academic disciplines are working on topics related to this important issue. The open-to-public event on April 10 was followed by a two-day specialized academic workshop on global migration, co-hosted by STaR and the WU Vienna Department of Management, in cooperation with the Journal of World Business.

We are delighted that the panel discussion brought together an incredibly diverse audience, and we would like to thank all of those who attended! We also appreciate individual email inquiries and encouragement for future endeavors we received following the event.

The evening was opened by WU Vienna International Business department professor Günter Stahl, who as of January 2019, together with professor Sigrid Stagl at the Ecological Economics Department, are academic directors of STaR.

An introductory note was given by Aida Hajro (Brunel University London and WU Vienna). Hajro pointed out to some of the pressing issues surrounding global labor migration, including wrong-headed immigration and integration policies at the state level, and societal misconceptions regarding immigration. She further addressed immediate implications for international business and trade, describing the increasing pressure by intergovernmental and non-profit organizations for the private sector to ensure greater adherence to migrant employees’ human and labor rights.

The evening’s panelists came from highly diverse cultural and professional backgrounds [for more on speakers’ profiles, please click here] and offered many valuable insights into the challenges skilled migrants face in Austria. For example, WU Vienna professor Wolfgang Mayrhofer discussed the socio-historic context of Austria as a not-traditionally immigrant receiving country and described the difficulties with labor market entry, over-qualification, and higher social acceptance of some migrant groups over the others, in relation to the broader societal context. HR expert Martina Ernst listed the major challenges for skilled migrants from the industry perspective. She also commented on the needs of firms that seek to hire qualified migrants (e.g., meeting potential candidates in their home countries, dealing with administrative obstacles, lack of collaboration between private sector and the government). Finally, we are particularly thankful to Kaiser Ahmed and Bruno Campos –successfulhighly qualified migrants who live and work in Austria – for providing real-life examples illustrating the bureaucratic hurdles, societal-level obstacles, career difficulties, but at the same time, also opportunities and personal success stories. Overall, all four panelists agreed that concrete infrastructural improvements have to be made in order for Austria to meet its current economic demand for highly qualified workforce.

One major impression, voiced not only by the panelists but also by several people in the audience, is that it is critical to raise more public awareness of the topic. On this note, STaR will seek for the conversation to continue, and we invite anyone interested in skilled migration (whether or not you have experienced it yourself) to contact us at star@wu.ac.at. We are also happy to add you to our stakeholders’ list, in case you are interested in future events organized by STaR.

Author (event moderator): Milda Žilinskaitė