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Update on COVID-19 and ONE

  • 1.  Update on COVID-19 and ONE

    Posted 03-26-2020 12:02

    Dear fellow ONErs,

    I'm writing to you from the confines of my apartment in Switzerland where I have now been in first self-imposed isolation and later government-mandated isolation for four weeks. Perhaps you have been watching the development of COVID-19 from an intellectual distance when it first appeared in Wuhan. I found myself already checking daily coronavirus cases in the first week of February because I was pegged to teach a course in Singapore. Hence, I feel like I have been submerged in the "World of COVID-19" for over two months.

    By now, Europe finds itself the epicenter of the pandemic and other continents are starting the path along a potentially exponential curve. Amidst a rush to move our courses online, learn how to do video-conferencing with ease, and deal with a sudden new role of virtual schooling for our kids, many of us are probably overwhelmed. Others, who don't have kids and have no teaching responsibilities might find themselves totally isolated. Either way, this pandemic is not only a physical, medical, and economic challenges, it is also a mental one.

    Academic conferences have been cancelled left, right, and centre. You may be wondering what will happen to the AOM Annual Meeting in Vancouver, now that Japan has finally postponed the Olympic Games. The AOM leaders are providing updates on the COVID-19 on a regular basis. Per my information, the AOM Executive Committee and the Board of Governors are convening virtually in a special meeting in the week of April 1-4. The fate of the 2020 Annual Meeting will be discussed then.

    You may also be wondering what ONE is doing in this time of COVID-19. We are fortunate to have proactive members. Jorge Rivera from George Washington University took a leading role this past week asking ONE scholars to write a series of op-eds about COVID-19 and how this informs and can be informed by our knowledge of business and sustainability. I also want to thank the rapid-fire editing team and Nicholas Poggioli for getting this dedicated web page up in record time.

    What is truly exciting about this initiative is that we have formed a collaboration across several large organizations that focus on organizations and the natural environment, and I'm pleased to convey that the following have agreed to share the op-eds across their platforms:

    • ARCS (Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability)
    • GRONEN (Group for Research on Organizations and the Natural Environment)
    • NBS (Network for Business Sustainability)
    • RRBM (Responsible Research in Business & Management)

    I would like to thank Tom Lyon, Tobias Hahn, Tima Bansal, and Anne Tsui respectively for bringing their organizations into this initiative.

    To access the op-eds, you can visit our website – you will see a special tab for COVID-19 on the right. There is also a direct link from the Welcome Page.

    We thank the original set of contributors for their op-eds, and we extend an invitation to all ONErs to produce further pieces.


    Warm regards



    Judith Walls
    University of St. Gallen
    St. Gallen