Melbourne Business School Events and Information Sessions Should business take the lead on social issues?

Should business take the lead on social issues?

Tuesday, 19 March 2024
5.45 PM - 9.00 PM

Thank you for joining us for a special debate on business and societal issues.

It was wonderful to see the room filled with so many supporters and friends of the Melbourne Business School community.


Raising arguments around the ability of business to truly move the needle, the interconnectedness of the interests of the shareholder and that of society, and the ability of business to scale and innovate, the For team made an impressive case.


However, it was the Against team who ultimately convinced the crowd that while business has an important role to play in addressing social issues, it shouldn't take the lead. They argued that the complex interconnections between social issues, the importance of working directly with people on the ground and the lack of market incentive for business made social purpose organisations better suited to steer the way.
The final tally was 18 votes for and 52 against.


A huge thank you to our chair, Rupert Younger, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation. Thank you also to our wonderful debaters including BHP Chief Legal, Governance and External Affairs Officer Caroline Cox, Founder and Chair of Right Lane Consulting and the Right Lane Foundation Marc Levy, Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Juanita Pope, and Editor of the Australian Financial Review’s Rear Window Myriam Robin, as well as our own Libby Ward-Christie, and Professor Alex Newman. I’d also like to thank Professor Will Harvey and our Dean Professor Jenny George for their contributions.


The MBS debate was designed to stimulate conversation around major challenges that are facing business and society today, and as a school we want to do more to help organisations tackle these problems. 


If you have any questions regarding the event, please do not hesitate to contact us


Melbourne Business School Debate

Group photos of nine people

People networking

Seated crowd looking at man at lectern

Woman with microphone


Melbourne Business School

200 Leicester Street
Carlton 3053