What, where, when, why?

The 'Latin America Forum' for researchers will be held at INCAE on May 21st and 22nd 2012. It is organized by the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) at INCAE Business School.

What, where, when, why?

During the two days, a small group of invited international scholars, INCAE faculty members, experts and three companies from Latin America will develop a research and action agenda on sustainable strategies in Latin America. Their frameworks, insights and experiences will provide the basis for guiding the practitioner forum on May 23rd.


From a business perspective, more and more corporations are beginning to see the potential for increasing shareholder value by realizing sustainable strategies. These companies create long-term profit and growth by transforming social and ecological issues into business opportunities.


Sustainable strategies provide an important opportunity for Latin American businesses to strengthen their position in the international competition. Conversely, companies in developed countries can learn from the Latin American experience.

Why focus on Latin America?
Why focus on Latin America

There are two main reasons:

one Firstly, most Latin American countries are politically stable and have established democratic institutions and reasonably successful emerging markets. Thus, many of the pre-conditions for companies to create, implement and strengthen sustainable strategies already exist.


two At the same time, however, many countries in Latin America are still struggling with societal problems such as poverty, income disparity, public insecurity, insufficient public health services, oligarchy and corruption. There are still too few companies that effectively work within these conditions in ways that meet the needs of local and international customers as well as those of the local producers and their communities.

Aim of the Conference

At present, there is very little research available on corporate strategy and sustainability in Latin America. The goal of the researcher forum is to create a research and action agenda to support Latin American companies in creating, implementing and improving sustainable strategies and to identify key topics and questions that need to be addressed by further research.


The central question for the forum is: How do the leading concepts of sustainability strategies contribute to the development of corporate strategies that create value for all actors involved, from the producer to the customer?

The research and action agenda will be developed by a small group of invited international scholars who are already established in the field of sustainability and strategy, INCAE faculty members with deep understanding of the region, and three companies from Latin America that represent cases that already follow sustainable strategies.


Their presentations and discussions will be based on major concepts and frameworks of the invited scholars – on topics such as creating shared value, employing the triple bottom line, creating businesses at the base of the pyramid, and embedding sustainability into strategy; on Latin American perspectives on doing business in the region, and on real business experiences of leading Latin American companies.

Aim of the Conference
Invited international scholars


Stuart Hart Mark Kramer Chris Laszlo Vijay Sathe Robert Sroufe Dennis Young Dennis Young

Stuart Hart

Author of Capitalism at the Crossroads

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Chris Laszlo

Author of Embedded Sustainability

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Vijay Sathe

Author of Corporate Entrepreneurship

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Dane Smith

Managing Director of FSG and author of Latin America leads the way in creating shared value

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Robert Sroufe

co-Author of Using ISO 14001 to Promote a Sustainable Supply Chain Strategy

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Greg Unruh

Author of Earth, Inc.: Using Nature's Rules to Build Sustainable Profits

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Dennis Young

co-Author of Corporate Philantrophy at the Crossroad and co-author of Economics for Nonprofit Managers

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More InformationFor more information about these and the other presenters, please go to Presenters

Outcomes of the Conference

The expected outcomes of the conference are:


  1. A research agenda on sustainable business models in Latin America, to be published in an edited book.

  2. Applied research and consulting projects in collaboration with interested corporations operating in Latin America.

  3. Discussions of the forum results with leading scholars at other Latin American universities.

  4. A course and related cases on sustainability strategies created in collaboration with other Latin American universities.
Structure of the Conference

May 21, at INCAE


8:00 a.m. Coffee
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
9:00 a.m. Strategic Management Challenges in Latin American Companies
12:30 a.m. Lunch break
1:30 p.m. Case I: Florida Ice & Farm
5:30 p.m. Close

May 22, at INCAE


8:00 a.m. Coffee
8:15 a.m. Introduction
8:20 a.m. Case II: Grupo Vanguardia
11:30 a.m. Case III: Grupo Islita (Part 1)
12:30 a.m. Lunch break
1:30 p.m. Case III: Grupo Islita (Part 2)
3:45 p.m. Research and Action Agenda
6:00 p.m. Close

The participants of the conference will discuss solutions.

The participants of the forum will discuss solutions for management challenges described in three empirical cases.

Written versions of the cases will be developed by researchers at INCAE/CLACDS prior to the forum. Managers of the case companies will attend the forum and allow interaction and learning from their experiences in a live setting:


Florida Ice & Farm

Food & Beverage company; recently awarded "Sustainability Champion" by the World Economic Forum
A case on corporate market strategy that integrates social and environmental issues with markets.

Grupo Vanguardia

Plastic recycling and producing company
A case on including the base of the pyramid into a business.

Grupo Islita

High-end tourism company
A case on converting social issues into business opportunities.

a Costa Rican food producer
Grupo Islita

Context of the Conference

The researcher forum on strategy and sustainability is part of a broader research program at INCAE / CLACDS.

The conference on sustainability champions is part of a broader research program at INCAE / CLACDS.

The program's vision

Through a collaboration of corporations, INCAE and other leading universities, cooperatives, farmers, public administrations, nonprofit organizations and international non-governmental organizations, seek management and technological innovations that contribute to the creation, implementation and strengthening of sustainable strategies in Latin America.

The program's mission

Shape and foster the systematic adoption of groundbreaking innovations by:

  1. Highlighting and replicating proven best practices that are already working well
  2. Developing new business opportunities, innovative business solutions, and technological innovations in markets of emerging countries, and
  3. Overcoming organizational and other roadblocks that impede those two developments.
What, where, when, why?

Location: The forum will be held at INCAE Business School, Walter Kissling Gam campus in La Garita de Alajuela, Costa Rica.


Address: From the Inter-American highway (#1), take the exit at the intersection for Atenas, going 3 kms to the right (East). At the entrance of Vivero Procesa N°1 (INCAE blue sign on your right), turn right and drive 1 km (West). INCAE’s main entrance is on your left.


Entering Costa Rica: Please make sure that you meet all passport, visas (tourist visa) and/or vaccination requirements for visiting Costa Rica. Your passport must be valid for at least another six months to enter the country. For visa and vaccination requirements, please check: http://www.costarica-embassy.org/index.php?q=node/72.


We recommend having medical insurance when traveling. You may want to check with your airline or credit card if travel insurance is included in your airline ticket purchase. INCAE will not be held responsible for medical expenses in case of need; expenses will be charged to the participant and can be paid in cash or credit card.


Hotels: We are suggesting two options for your stay:


  1. Marriott Hotel in San Jose. 35-40 minutes to INCAE: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjocr-costa-rica-marriott-hotel-san-jose/
  2. Martino Hotel in La Garita, Alajuela. 5 minutes to INCAE, including breakfast and transport airport-hotel-airport http://hotelmartino.com/


If you would like us to book your room, please make sure to specify this in the Registration Form (see below).


To/from airport: Our support personnel (identified with a sign of INCAE) will be waiting for you outside of the airport.


Hotel-INCAE: Transfers will be coordinated from the above mentioned hotels to the INCAE campus during the days of the conference (May 21-23).


  • Departure from Marriott Hotel to INCAE campus: 7:00 a.m.
    Departure from Martino Hotel to INCAE campus: 7:30 a.m.
  • Departure from INCAE campus to Marriott and Martino hotels: 15 minutes after closing sessions.



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Meals: The event includes meals from Monday 21 to Wednesday 23, May 2012, during event hours according to program. If you have a special diet, please specify this in the Registration Form (see below).


Clothing: Alajuela’s weather is hot; however, we suggest bringing a sweater for air-conditioned areas. We also recommend carrying an umbrella or raincoat since the rainy season usually starts in May.


Exchange rate: Approximately ¢500 Costa Rican colones to $1 US dollar. U.S. dollars are widely accepted, if you need colones, please exchange your money at the bank or hotel.


Tourism: There is a travel agency located at INCAE Campus. For information on tours, write to AgenciaViajesCR@incae.edu.


Other services: Wireless Internet is available on campus. Electrical outlets are 110 volts. INCAE also offers a business center, telephone services (local and international), fax, photocopies, mail, convenience store, etc. Payment for these services is due when rendered.

For further information, please contact us at: thinkforward@incae.edu.









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