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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, the global consumer goods company, shares his vision for a new form of capitalism

Since 2014, CEIBS launched the Master Class series to deliver 20 thought-provoking lectures. The series received an enthusiastic response and became very popular in and outside of the CEIBS community.

Since we initialed this signature event, 28 top-notch scholars and business leaders at home and abroad were invited to share their vision and perspectives at CEIBS.


顾纯元Paul has been closely involved in global discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and action to tackle climate change. In 2016, Paul was asked by the UN Secretary-General to be a member of the SDG Advocacy Group, tasked with promoting action on the 2030 Agenda.

Prior to this, Paul served on the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, presenting recommendations on the SDGs on behalf of the private sector. He is a member of the newly formed Business and Sustainable Development Commission.

Paul also served on the International Council of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, under former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, whose flagship report ‘New Climate Economy’ demonstrates that lasting economic growth can be achieved at the same time as reducing the immense risk of climate change.

Other roles include: UK Business Ambassador by invitation of the UK Prime Minister, member of the Global Taskforce for Scaling up Nutrition, Counsellor of One Young World. Paul was co-chair of the B-20 Food Security Task Force.

Since 2010, Paul has been a non-executive director of the Dow Chemical Company. In recognition of his contribution to responsible business, Paul has received numerous awards and accolades including WWF's Duke of Edinburgh Gold Conservation Medal (2013), the Centre for Global Development’s Commitment to Development Ideas in Action Award (2013), the Rainforest Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), the UN Foundation’s Champion for Global Change Award (2014), the Oslo Business for Peace Award (2015) and the UN Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth Award (2015).

In 2016, he received France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, in recognition of his efforts in galvanising business action on sustainability and for his involvement during the historic 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.

He earned a BBA/BA from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, in 1977 and an MA Economics and MBA finance/international marketing from the University of Cincinnati in 1979. He has been awarded honorary degrees from a number of Universities, including Northumbria, Liverpool, Groningen, Cincinnati, Geneva, and a Doctorate of Science from the University of Cranfield.

Paul is married with three children. In a personal capacity, Paul is Chairman of Perkins School for the Blind International Advisory Board and serves as President of the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust.


  • 2009: Becomes Unilever's Chief Executive Officer and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive
  • 2008: Executive Director to the Boards of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V., the first time an external candidate was chosen for the role.
  • 2008: Nestlé S.A. Executive Vice President and Zone Director for the Americas.
  • 2007: Named by Investor Magazine as CFO of the Year.
  • 2006: Chief Financial Officer at Nestlé S.A.
  • 2001: Group President Europe and Officer of The Procter & Gamble Company
  • 1979: Joins Procter & Gamble


Time Content
18:00-18:30 Registration
18:30-18:35 Opening Address
18:35-19:20 Master Class
19:20-19:45 Q&A
19:45  End of the Event


CEIBS Shanghai Campus
699 Hongfeng Road, Pudong, Shanghai


A final confirmation email/message will be sent to you after your pre-registration.