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Press Release

International Sustainability Centers as Guests in Vienna Virtually

July 21, 2021

FHWien der WKW co-hosted the Sustainability Centres Community Workshop 2021, which enabled a multi-sector exchange on sustainable transformation.


Vienna, July 21, 2021 From July 12 to 15, 2021, the Sustainability Centres Community Workshop 2021 of the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) took place online. The event was co-hosted by FHWien der WKW. Academics from all over the world elaborated on the role of sustainability centers for the development of research and teaching at business schools. The aim of the workshop was also to design jointly the “Business Sustainability Center” of the future.

Radical change or more of the same?

The four-day conference started with the “Multi-Sector Dialogue for a Sustainable Transformation: Radical Change vs. More of the Same?”. The event was dedicated to a cross-sector exchange between academics, the top management of leading companies and pioneers from the start-up scene. Almost 200 thought leaders from science, business and civil society from all over the world took part in the interactive dialogue to discuss drivers and opportunities for a transformation of our (economic) world towards sustainability.

Top-class speakers such as Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (MAK Museum of Applied Arts), Marie Ringler (Ashoka), Bas van Abel (Fairphone) and Axel Kühner (Greiner AG) shared their visions for promoting sustainable development. As part of the multi-sector dialogue, the role of the visual arts, the influence of start-ups and the importance of visionary managers for driving sustainability were addressed. The Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen and the Austrian Climate Action Minister Leonore Gewessler sent inspiring words of welcome to the international guests. The opening speeches underlined the tenor of the entire conference: Sustainable transformation is imperative.

Network of leading sustainability centers at colleges and universities

The Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) includes around 150 sustainability centers from the most prestigious colleges and universities on all continents. The cooperation and the exchange of knowledge within the network are intensified in the context of regular workshops. These are organized every two years in cooperation with a network partner. The workshops are the most important series of events within the international network of sustainability centers.

This year, the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) at FHWien der WKW and the Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business implemented the workshop in cooperation with the Network for Business Sustainability. Previous organizers include universities such as Cornell, INSEAD, Harvard and Ivey. Due to the pandemic, the workshop took place online. The supporting program, however, provided Viennese flair.

Research to promote change towards more sustainability

For FHWien der WKW as a leading university of applied sciences for management and communication, the topic of sustainability is of particular importance in the education of future specialists and managers as well as in research. The staff of the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) at FHWien conduct research in two projects and thus make a valuable contribution to a practice-oriented, scientific discourse in the area of corporate responsibility:

  • The Josef Ressel Center for Collective Action and Responsible Partnerships (JR Center CARe) examines the development, management, success measurement and legitimacy of collaborative, long-term cooperation processes between companies and other stakeholders to solve social and environmental challenges.
  • The City of Vienna Competence Team Change for Corporate Sustainability addresses the question of how companies can develop the necessary strategic change competencies for the transformation towards sustainability. In this regard, the main focus of the project is on research and the transfer of knowledge into teaching and practice in Austrian companies.

Related links:

More information about the research work of IBES can be found on the website of the institute:

Details on the program of the Sustainability Centres Community Workshop 2021:

The IBES Website offers videos, pictures and more about the “Multi-Sector Dialogue for a Sustainable Transformation”

FHWien der WKW
University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication

FHWien der WKW has been Austria’s leading university of applied sciences for management & communication for over 25 years. Working in close contact with Austrian corporations, FHWien der WKW offers comprehensive and practice-oriented academic programs to over 2,800 Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Two thirds of our teaching staff have a background in business. Our programs are tailored to the needs of companies, optimally preparing our graduates – around 12,700 to date – for their future careers.


Bernhard Witzeling
Head of Corporate Communication, Marketing and Alumni & Career Services, Press Officer
Tel.: +43 (1) 476 77-5733