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  • Writer's pictureHannah Ashby

Torrey Project Partners with USD to Host International Summit on Stakeholder Capitalism

USD's week-long program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ended with an international summit on stakeholder theory hosted by Torrey Project. The summit took place at Torrey Project's HQ at WeWork Aventine in La Jolla, CA. Over 50 global entrepreneurs from Germany, Mexico, and Uruguay participated. The summit began with a training on stakeholder theory which states that customers, employees, suppliers, local communities, and shareholders are all supported through conscious business practices. The entrepreneurs then transitioned into a gamified workshop where students were assigned different roles to practice implementing stakeholder theory.

To strengthen student’s understanding of stakeholder capitalism, a case study was set up where a fictional pharmaceutical company, MedCo, had to respond to a crisis due to fears that their clinical trial was causing birth defects in a village in India. The students dove head first into this dynamic situation with many stakeholders. Students acted as business owners, employees, shareholders, Indian government officials, US FDA officials, members of the medical community, and environmental representatives. Each group devised a plan for how to respond to each successive stage of the public health crisis.

Entrepreneurs Respond to New Information During the Health Crisis Simulation

The activity gave students the opportunity to embrace new roles and perspectives and to think deeper about stakeholders within a business. After a series of heated accusations, negotiations, and collaborations between business managers and the various stakeholder groups, the activity revealed that orienting business around stakeholders is critical for long-term success.

80% of the 40 attendees surveyed said they would recommend this workshop to a friend. Students discussed their excitement to create their own versions of sustainable, stakeholder-focused businesses and 45% of attendees said they plan to start their own stakeholder-focused businesses.

We were proud to partner with USD to teach this group of international business leaders, thus planting the seeds of stakeholder-focused business around the world. We hope that educational experiences like this that will contribute toward a positive shift in the way companies around the world think about profitability and sustainability.

We thank Young-Ji Lee, Nena Koseva, and Erin Garber at USD for their wonderful partnership and look forward to partnering with USD on more events in the future.

Torrey Project USD Event Wrap-Up

This blog post was contributed by Hannah Ashby, Marketing Analyst of the Torrey Project.

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