swisspeace - Responsible Business Conduct: Triggers & Trends


Summer & Winter Schools

Location (s):

  • Online
This course is offered in an interactive virtual format. The course consists of preparatory readings, 5 half-days (Tuesday - Saturday, 22-26 March 2022, afternoons CET) of virtually facilitated course, and individual tasks in-between course days.


Explore the responsibilities of businesses for their impacts on the environment, on people, on local communities, and on the societies in which they work. The course focuses specifically on low-income and fragile contexts.


Course description

New to ESG, CSR, UNGPs, GRI, LTO, VPs, and all of that? In this introductory course, participants explore the responsibilities of businesses for the impacts they are having on the environment, on people, on local communities, and on the societies in which they work. The course explores the conflicts and incidents that have triggered the concepts behind the various acronyms used. Participants learn about the trends that are shaping international and national debates on responsible business conduct.

The course compares the various multi-stakeholder and multilateral initiatives that have called for companies to “do-no-harm”. Participants take a closer look at the principles, standards, and guidelines that have been developed to prevent negative and, where possible, leverage positive impacts. The course focuses specifically on the role and responsibilities of businesses in low-income and fragile contexts and discusses if and how companies can contribute to preventing conflicts and possibly even support peacebuilding efforts.

As a participant, you will: 

  • gain an understanding of responsible business conduct and compare the various terms and concepts used.
  • learn about the incidents that have triggered the development of principles, standards, and guidelines aimed at clarifying the responsibilities of businesses vis-à-vis society, communities, and individuals. 
  • look at some examples and discuss trends, focusing especially on the challenges of businesses that operate and invest in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
  • understand the challenges and opportunities of implementing responsible business principles, standards, and guidelines in practice.
  • exchange experiences and become part of a community of practice. 

The course uses innovative teaching techniques to enhance the learning experience of our participants. These include:

  • short lectures followed by moderated discussions on the inputs received.
  • expert inputs from, and exchanges with international practitioners.
  • exercises and case studies aimed at applying acquired knowledge and skills.
  • peer exchanges for participants to share examples and experiences.
  • self-reflections to deepen knowledge on specific approaches and gaining feedback from experts.
  • social activities aimed at participants getting to know each other and expanding their professional network. 

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

This course is designed for: 

  • Early career professionals with some experience in ESG performance and/or reporting, sustainability, human rights, CSR, supply chain development, social investment, impact investment.
  • Government employees working on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, corporate reporting, ESG performance management, responsible supply chains, sustainable development. 
  • Representatives of NGOs and think tanks working on business, human rights, peace and sustainable development issues.

Candidates must have:

  • at least two years of professional experience 
  • a good command of English. 

Please also note that your participation requires the following technical requirements:

  • Internet connection: Stable connection with sufficient bandwidth
  • Hardware: Laptop/ PC, headphones or loudspeaker, microphone and camera (Webcam)


Deadline: January 31, 2022

Program Starts: March 22, 2022

Program Ends: March 26, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

Tuition Fee: 1100 CHF

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