ActivitiesTeaching and research
The Center is developing a core human rights curriculum for undergraduate and MBA students that will include both dedicated courses on business and human rights, as well as modules in other courses that will integrate human rights issues into the broader fabric of the business school. The Center is located within the Business and Society Program at Stern. It began offering MBA and undergraduate courses in the fall 2013 semester.
Center faculty and researchers are developing a program of research and writing to help shape the emerging field of business and human rights. The Center’s position in the business school will help drive a research agenda grounded in the practical realities of global corporations. The Center is examining workplace issues in the manufacturing supply chain, privacy and free expression in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, and security practices in the extractive industries. In future years, the Center also will examine child and forced labor issues in the agricultural sector and the development of metrics for the human rights component of socially responsible investing.
We use the convening platform of the NYU Stern School of Business to bring together groups of companies from different sectors and different parts of the world, along with outside stakeholders and experts. We devote significant attention and resources to ensuring that the Center is a safe space to discuss sensitive human rights and business issues that are critical the long-term success of a sector. Finally, we take a problem-solving approach. The Center’s role is not to fix problems businesses face but to empower companies to address their own human rights challenges by bringing together compelling groups of people, pointing out issues beneath the surface of the policy debate, and helping companies and others identify options for action. We seek to avoid the polarization that often characterizes debates on these issues, and instead explore sustainable solutions that protect human rights and meet business needs.
Learn more about our recent convenings: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/experience-stern/news-events/garment-industry-bangladesh
Public education and advocacy
Greater public awareness and consumer engagement are catalysts of change; the Center will be a leading voice in shaping public attitudes about what companies can and should be doing to improve their human rights performance. Through speeches, op-eds, interviews, speaker series, and an active online presence, the Center will advocate from a perspective that taking action to respect human rights is the right thing to do, and that it is possible to do in a manner that makes business stronger and more competitive over the long term.