The following is a guest post by Hunter Revord, a third year Wake Forest University Law student also enrolled in the M.A. Sustainability program, on behalf of his colleagues in the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law.

As the world slowly learns to control the prevalence and spread of COVID-19, conversations that were put on hold during the pandemic re-emerge with vigor and debate, including sustainability. Our student organization, the Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law, seeks to narrow and focus the issue of sustainability into small and medium enterprise (SME) sustainability as the dominant theme of our 2022 Spring Symposium, “SME Sustainability: An Integrative Business Model for the Future.”

Our symposium consists of three interactive live panels on the following topics: (1) SME Sustainability Governance; (2) The Role of Intellectual Property in Sustainable SME Innovation; and (3) SME Sustainability Regulation and Incentivization. The event will be held at the Wake Forest Benson Center on February 25, 2022 from 9 am to 4 pm. Interested participants can register here.

Public and governmental pressure can play a major role in the push for companies to develop more environmentally-friendly business practices. Popular debate often revolves around issues about corporate responsibility and sustainability in the context of large corporations, but we hope to spark dialogue about the importance and impact of sustainability on owners of small and medium businesses.

At the center of SME sustainability is corporate responsibility and the movement to reframe business objectives and missions into principles that aim to reconcile economic activity with social and environmental goals. At its most effective, this movement can redefine the relationships businesses have with the public. This model promotes corporate executive behavior that goes beyond ethical and legal considerations and seeks to implement a business structure that enables sustainable investment and growth.

Experts and Wake Forest faculty members with backgrounds in business and sustainability will contribute their perspectives on SME sustainability expansion into the United State, and the future of corporate responsibility within SMEs. The symposium is presented in partnership with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability, expanding the audience, conversation, and the pool of speakers that grapple with this largely unexplored topic. Speakers will include Wake Forest law and graduate school faculty Alan Palmiter, Keith Robinson, Simone Rose, and Stan Meiburg. They will integrate their experience, scholarly work, and expertise into the three panels and direct conversation among other invited speakers. We hope that Wake Forest students, faculty, and scholars can engage in a holistic discussion of what SME sustainability is and how it is implemented in practice.

We invite all law students and students enrolled in the graduate sustainability program to join this event! Law students may sign up for the pass/fail one-credit symposium course taught by Professor Palmiter (CRN 27384). Students enrolled in the graduate sustainability program may sign up for the graded special topics course (SUS 691).