Dear fellow ONErs,
The year is 2020, the number for perfect vision, and also the year many companies used to set sustainability targets back in around 2005 when I was busy analyzing companies' sustainability reports as part of my thesis.
While a nice round number with a sense of symmetry to it, this is also the year that marks the ten-year "deadline" within which the world must half its carbon emissions if we are to stay on course for a 1.5C rise in global temperature. The science on climate change is now irrefutable, according to a panel of climate scientists whom I recently saw at the World Economic Forum in Davos at the opening of the 4th Arctic Basecamp, an initiative that started with one of our very own members, Gail Whiteman. In an era of devastating bush fires in Australia and climate change being a nearly daily news item, ONE is becoming ever more relevant. You may recall at the ONE Plenary in 2017 where Gail asked us: "What will ONE do by 2020?" I took this call for action to heart and have been working intensely with various ONE executives and teams to ensure that we take as much action as possible during our 2020 Annual Meeting.
And there has been a lot of hard work, by your fellow ONE reps. Ivan Montiel, this year's Program Chair will share his vision for the meeting in Vancouver. He has been a driving force this year, pushing for new initiatives and carrying on old traditions. Likewise, PDW chair Sukhbir Sandhu has worked closely with many PDW proposers to push their proposals further and ensure they align with ONE's mission. Ivan has been working closely with Simon Frasier University (Stephanie Bertels and Brooke Lahneman) who will be our local partners in Vancouver this year, sponsoring the cost of the room and indigenous dancers for which we are tremendously grateful. Both Ivan and Sukhbir will also work on offsite events. If you have a proposal or idea for offsite events, please contact them. You will hear more about all this in the next newsletter.
The ONE Greening Team-Sylvia Grewatsch, Valentina de Marchi and Simon Pek-has worked tirelessly on a strategic initiative for carbon neutrality. Specifically, they have crafted two projects: (1) virtualizing the ONE plenary, and (2) offsetting ONE members' carbon footprint. The Greening team successfully applied for AOM's "Strategic Project Fund", a new initiative at AOM. The funding we will receive from AOM will be dedicated to pushing virtualization as far as we can this year to pilot this initiative and hopefully grow virtual conferencing within the Annual Meeting more widely. Garima Sharma is involved in further fundraising around carbon reduction measures like virtualization, but also other initiatives such as offsetting the carbon footprint of flights for members who attend in Vancouver. If you think your school, institute, or university is willing to sponsor this initiative, contact Garima (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition to this, I reached out to all other division and interest group (DIG) chairs to appeal for their participation in reducing the carbon footprint this year. Some of the largest divisions in the AOM have agreed to help out and do what they can. As part of this initiative, the Greening Team designed a flyer that the DIG chairs can send out to their members, as well as a set of suggestions on what each division can do to reduce their carbon footprint. We have enclosed these tips in the newsletter, as well as a Twitter initiative #AOMbyTrain, with the help of Helen Etchanchu. Please share this news with your colleagues who are in other divisions and convince them to take part!
The ONE Communications team-Panikos Georgallis, Dante Leyva, and Nicholas Poggioli-has likewise been very active in pushing our messages. They revived our ONE Twitter account and feed it regularly. They created an ONE LinkedIn page. I encourage you to make a 2020 resolution and join these social media platforms to increase awareness and attention to the issue of environmental sustainability and business. You will hear more from the Communications team closer to the Annual Conference – there will be hashtags galore, at every session.
Most phenomenally, we may be observing our very own "Greta Effect" at ONE. This year, there was a 39% increase in paper submissions, and a 44% increase in all submissions (including symposia and PDWs). This is a huge jump, bigger than any other in the last 10 years. We compared to some other divisions like STR and SIM who respectively saw a 10% and 12% increase. I was curious how the other two major business and sustainability conferences, ARCS and GRONEN, fared this year - they also saw a massive increase in paper submissions 42% and 53% respectively. We are, of course, excited by this trend. It means more scholars care about this topic than ever before. At the same time, it presents a paradoxical tension because it might mean more travel by academics interested in sustainability. Hence, the need for virtual and other types of conferences.
Finally, don't forget that we will start the ONE Leadership nominations process soon for positions available within ONE. Every year, we need to add a new member to each of our teams. So, if you are interested in joining the Awards, Communications, Membership/Nominations, Greening, Program, Teaching, or Internationalization/Integration teams, please put your name forward. Patricia Kanishiro is coordinating that effort this year.
All in all, I'm excited for what's in store for ONErs this year and looking forward to the AOM Annual Meeting in Vancouver already. See you there!