Alberto Alemanno, Professor of Law at HEC Paris Business School and Founder of The Good Lobby, has been awarded as Social Innovation Thought Leader of the Year at the World Economic Forum #DavosAgenda. He is the only academic rewarded in this category this year.
This a prestigious recognition from both the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the leading global platform that accelerates models of social innovation to scale solutions and supports people in need, and the World Economic Forum.
With this honor, Alemanno joins an esteemed group of thought leaders in a world-class three-year program, during which his work on social and political innovation will be showcased globally. Past recipients include Julia Battilana (Harvard Kennedy School), Roberto Unger (Harvard Law School) and Peter Senge (MIT).
As an internationally recognized legal scholar and public interest advocate, Alemanno works to democratize access to power by strengthening the advocacy capacity of civil society making while making corporate political influence more accountable and sustainable. His nonprofit organization, The Good Lobby, kickstarted a movement for ethical, responsible, and sustainable lobbying, which has been embraced by a wide variety of change-maker communities, such as that of social entrepreneurs (Ashoka, B Lab), philanthropists, and is now influencing the legislative sustainability agenda in Europe and beyond. By translating Alberto’s scholarship into practice, The Good Lobby continues to lead this movement by combining research, strategic advocacy advice, and training to a variety of system change actors.
“Alberto has been at the forefront of action research for over a decade of pioneering new forms of forward-looking research, teaching and real-time multi-stakeholder engagement”, said Eloic Peyrache, Dean of HEC Paris. “Today, he plays an integral role in HEC Paris’s mission to positively impact business and society through cutting-edge research, education and action”.
In 2017, Professor Alemanno authored Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society, an influential book aimed at demystifying and democratizing lobbying as a legitimate form of democratic participation, which is now under translation into other languages. As succinctly put it by TED, “Alemanno succeeded in showing that lobbying doesn’t have to be a dirty word”, provided it is used more responsibly by the few (corporations) and more often by the many, such as nonprofits, social entrepreneurs as well as citizens to promote their missions and solutions. Alberto is also the author of several related articles and books, such as “Nudge and the Law”, edited by Bloomsbury, and trained over 200,000 individuals who took his MOOC, Understanding Europe: Why it Matters and What it Can Offer You.
Alemanno believes that “amid growing public scrutiny, if a company intends to remain a legitimate participant of the political process, it must become not only more transparent in its lobbying and political activities, but also more accountable and responsible in exercising its political power to influence government”. Thus, his current work focuses on crafting a global framework for sustainable lobbying enabling consumers and investors to distinguish companies and organisations whose political conduct aligns with their proclaimed values from those that directly contradict the very same values. His work spans government, progressive business, nonprofit and philanthropy, and embodies the idea that common principles and practices for sustainable conduct can enable systemic change in diverse domains.
The Award is being announced live as part of the Davos Agenda 2022, which is the virtual version of the World Economic Forum held each January. An in-person Davos, which Professor Alemanno will attend, is anticipated to be held in June 2022.