The challenges defined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have moved the traditional development agenda forward. The UN’s 2030 Agenda implies a radical shift from prior approaches; economic, political, and social actors have all been called to action, given that potential solutions are to be executed globally. Business firms in particular – along with governments, NGOs, universities and other social actors – should take a more active role in contributing to sustainable development.
The presiding theme for EIBA 2021 is ‘Firms, Innovation and Location: Reshaping International Business for Sustainable Development’. The rationale is to discuss local actions that can be applied to global solutions and flows of information to and from the IB community. Firms are no longer limited to responsibility for the correction of negative effects in terms of sustainable development; they are also active players and solution providers, being a major channel for investment and innovation. This is particularly true in view of the assumption that innovation is a problem-solving process in a wide range of fields, from the technical and economic to social and environmental issues. Aspects such as energy, infrastructure, or urban mobility, among others, necessarily require the establishment of local and international partnerships alike, to advance the SGDs in a way that will involve individuals (business leaders, policymakers, scholars), institutions, and international organizations.