Cross-sector Social Interactions Symposium

On May 29-30, 2014, Sawyer Business School’s Center for Innovative Collaboration hosted the fourth international symposium on cross-sector social interactions.

The meeting, called “Innovative Collaboration for a Complex World: Reaching Across institutional Divides,” discussed how today’s businesses, NGOs, and government agencies form partnerships to reach new markets, develop corporate social responsibility initiatives, provide public services, and develop innovative solutions.

While collaboration offers many benefits, there are also unique challenges to consider. In many cases, institutions from the developed world interact with low-income communities in developing countries. In these communities, a complex and unstable blend of institutions—local, national, and supranational—coexist side by side.

How do you manage and communicate with diverse teams? How should organizations approach and structure their partnerships? How do specific innovations stemming from cross-sector social interactions tackle complex problems?

These are just some of the questions that were addressed at the symposium, which was organized by Sawyer Business School Associate Professor Carlos Rufin and EMLYON Business School Associate Professor Miguel Rivera-Santos, with the support of an Organizing Committee formed by recognized experts on cross-sector partnerships: Professor James Austin of Harvard Business School, Professor Andrew Crane of York University, Professor May Seitanidi of the University of Kent, Professor Rob van Tulder of Erasmus University, and Professor Sandra Waddock of Boston College.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Sandra Waddock of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the field of cross-sector interactions. Professor Waddock has published 10 books and more than 100 papers on topics related to corporate responsibility, multi-sector collaboration, and management education. The award was sponsored by the Partnerships Resource Centre at the Rotterdam School of Management.