On May 29-30, 2014, Sawyer Business School’s Center for Innovation and Change Leadership is hosting the fourth international symposium on cross-sector social interactions.

The meeting, called “Innovative Collaboration for a Complex World: Reaching Across institutional Divides,” will discuss how today’s businesses, NGOs, and government agencies form partnerships to reach new markets, develop corporate social responsibility initiatives, provide public services, and develop innovative solutions.

While collaboration offers many benefits, there are also unique challenges to consider. In many cases, institutions from the developed world interact with low-income communities in developing countries. In these communities, a complex and unstable blend of institutions—local, national, and supranational—coexist side by side.

How do you manage and communicate with diverse teams? How should organizations approach and structure their partnerships? How do specific innovations stemming from cross-sector social interactions tackle complex problems?

These are just some of the questions that will be addressed at the symposium, which is being organized by Sawyer Business School Associate Professor Carlos Rufin and EMLYON Business School Associate Professor Miguel Rivera-Santos, with the support of an Organizing Committee formed by recognized experts on cross-sector partnerships: Professor James Austin of Harvard Business School, Professor Andrew Crane of York University, Professor May Seitanidi of the University of Kent, Professor Rob van Tulder of Erasmus University, and Professor Sandra Waddock of Boston College.

Download the Symposium Itinerary


Lifetime Achievement Award

One distinguished scholar in the field of cross-sector interactions will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by the Partnerships Resource Centre at the Rotterdam School of Management.


You can reserve accommodations for a discounted rate at the Omni Parker House Hotel, conveniently located across the street from Suffolk University. Rooms are $269 per night for May 28, 29, and 30.

To receive the discount, you must book your room by April 30, 2014. Contact Omni Reservations by email or by calling +1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) and mention that you would like a room as part of Suffolk University’s Group Block.