[Conference] Business and Society Research Seminar: “Business, Peace and Sustainability: Navigating Systemic Challenges”

June 18th & 19th, 2024
IÉSEG School of Management in Lille Campus


IÉSEG School of Management is proud to host the 2024 edition of the Business & Society Research Seminar. This event is designed for PhD students and emerging scholars in various research fields related to BusiBSness and Society. While the specific theme of interest for this year is “Business, Peace and Sustainability: Navigating Systemic Challenges”, all works addressing Business and Society questions and challenges can be submitted to the Research Seminar.


  • Are you a PhD candidate or an emerging scholar conducting research in the field of Business and Society, Sustainable Business, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development Goals, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, or a related topic?
  • Do you wish to discuss one of your research papers or your PhD project with leading scholars in the field to enhance your ability to write and review scholarly publications?
  • Are you looking for some mentoring from leading experts or do you want to develop your academic network?

… then we encourage you to submit your work and join us in Lille!


The primary aim of our two-day seminar is to create a collaborative space where doctoral students, early-career scholars, and more experienced academics can gather to discuss research projects and prospects. Running since 2011, this annual event offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful discussions, receive constructive feedback, and foster professional growth in a supportive, nurturing environment. We focus on identifying and appreciating both the common threads and the distinct aspects of each participant’s research methodologies and themes. The seminar features a dynamic blend of sessions that include fellow PhD candidates and emerging scholars, as well as senior researchers and journal editors, all contributing to an enriching, pleasant, and academically invigorating environment.


In conflict-affected areas and post-conflict zones, the role of business intertwines significantly with societal and environmental factors. Companies and entrepreneurs can foster economic and societal development, contributing to community upliftment and peace, while also addressing sustainability challenges, including the provision of support to vulnerable populations like refugees and the maintenance of local ecosystems.

However, under the guise of economic development, there is also a risk of negative impacts associated with business practices in conflict-affected areas, such as misusing resources, exacerbating inequality, deepening social divides, and fuelling conflict through exploitative practices or ‘peacewashing’ initiatives, where businesses claim positive contributions despite evidence to the contrary.

The keynote addresses of this 2024 edition will approach how businesses can contribute to peacebuilding in conflict-afflicted areas and post-conflict zones, and how researchers can engage with marginalized stakeholders in such extreme contexts to develop meaningful research efforts.

Our first keynote speakers, John KATSOS (American University of Sharjah) and Jay JOSEPH (American University of Beirut), will address the “Roles of business in peacebuilding”.

Our second keynote address, on “Studying marginalized stakeholders: Learnings from doing research in ‘extreme’ contexts” will be delivered by Farah KODEIH (IÉSEG School of Management) and Rashedur CHOWDHURY (Essex Business School).


Beyond the main theme of this year’s seminar and considering the interdisciplinary orientation of the event, we also encourage submissions by scholars sharing a common interest for, and working on topics related to business and society, corporate social responsibility, sustainable business and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and social innovation. We are interested in various organization-related research fields including business ethics and philosophy, management and organization studies, strategy, marketing, accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, or sociology. We also encourage submissions drawing on a diverse array of methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed and conceptual work.

The call for papers, with all necessary information, is available here:

Call for Papers


The submission deadline is March 8th, 2024. Submissions will undergo a double blind-review process. Notification of acceptance (as a paper presentation or as a poster) will be sent in April 2024.

Please submit your abstract or paper using the following link via the conference website.

To submit


The seminar is hosted by the Sustainability of Business in Society (SBS) Chair and the IÉSEG Center for Organizational Responsibility (ICOR) at IÉSEG School of Management. It is co-organized and co-sponsored by several collaborating European academic institutions.

These institutions include UCLouvain, LouRIM, ICHEC Brussels Management School, and UNamur in Belgium; Audencia Business School, SKEMA Business School, LEM-CNRS, and the Fondation de la Catho de Lille in France; Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

[IÉSEG-ICOR Organizing Committee: François Maon, Frank de Bakker, Benjamin Huybrechts, Susan Esper]

IÉSEG's 60th Anniversary Badge