Seriously, though, what does business have to do with peace? And why are MBAs and peace studies students visiting these countries together?
We all know that resource extraction, labor abuse, and environmental degradation has contributed much to human suffering and war. This is the dark side of globalization and business, and it must be contended with. But this is not the end of the story; not by far. We are asking how business knowledge and processes might contribute to the building of a just and sustainable peace, and how business and conflict affect each other, both positively and negatively. This new partnership between the Kroc Institute and the Mendoza School of Business is beginning to explore many of these critical issues.
“At its core, peacebuilding nurtures constructive human relationships. To be relevant, it must do so strategically, at every level of society and across the potentially polarizing lines of ethnicity, class, religion, and race.”
- John Paul Lederach and R. Scott Appleby, Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World (2010).
If this true, then it is just as important to include business in the peacebuilding conversation as it is to include peacebuilding in the business conversation.