elea Center for Social Innovation honors IMD social impact alumni trailblazers
This year’s awardees – Dermot O’Gorman, Kathrine Kirk Muff and Carla De Geyseleer – have all displayed an outstanding professional and personal commitment to social impact throughout their careers by embracing social innovation and purpose.
“This year’s three inspiring individuals work in different disciplines, from environmental conservation to the worlds of corporate finance and toymaking, but they all share one thing in common – an unwavering commitment to social impact,” said Professor Vanina Farber, the Director of IMD’s elea Center for Social Innovation.
“They are high-achieving executives who set a shining example for others by showing that social innovation and positive impact have a central role to play in the sustainable future of any successful business,” Professor Farber said. “IMD is proud to have played a part in their development, and we hope their achievements will encourage others in our alumni community to take up the baton for social impact.”
Dermot O’Gorman (2009 EMBA) is the CEO of WWF-Australia, charged with running Australia’s largest not-for-profit conservation organization at a crucial time. A global leader in sustainable development for more than two decades, Dermot has also served as the Director of WWF’s Pacific Program and CEO of WWF-China.
He has led the way in building strategic partnerships with business to accelerate conservation efforts and been instrumental in creating a culture of innovative thinking within WWF. This focus on innovation, in particular digital technology, has resulted in the creation of WWF’s Panda Labs, a decentralized innovation hub which enables WWF teams around the world to experiment with ideas to address conservation challenges through creative partnerships and scaling solutions.
As part of this initiative, Dermot was instrumental in launching WWF’s first global joint venture, OpenSC – a start-up created with Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. OpenSC uses traceability and transparency technology to help verify claims about sustainable and ethical production across supply chains.
Carla De Geyseleer (2005 EMBA) is a board member and Chair of the Audit Committee at construction services firm Hilti, and the former Chief Financial Officer of Volvo Car Group, where she helped to steer the company through the pandemic and drove the move to align Volvo’s financial strategy with its sustainability agenda.
For example, in 2020, the Swedish automotive company launched its first green bond, raising 500 million euro to provide funds for its climate and electrification strategy, under a pioneering green finance framework.
Carla is renowned for her purpose-oriented, responsible approach to leadership, and her entrepreneurial mindset. Her track record highlights a strong commitment to integrate sustainability as a core part of corporate strategy, as well as deploying the finance function to help organizations meet their sustainability goals.
Prior to her work at Volvo, Carla’s glittering career also included stints as CFO for testing and certification company SGS, Vodafone Libertel, and logistics firm DHL Express Benelux.
Kathrine Kirk Muff (2015 EMBA) is Vice President and Head of Social Responsibility at the LEGO Group. She leads the Group’s work to foster social impact through its “learning through play” initiatives, including collaborations with the LEGO Foundation and other partners.
Within her influential role at the family-owned Danish toymaker, Kathrine oversees the LEGO Group’s social impact programs and engages employees in the company’s mission. She drives the LEGO Group’s, children’s rights program which looks at how the business operation impacts children and how to protect and enhance their rights across the whole value chain.. She also leads the company’s responsible sourcing program.
Outside of her ground breaking work with the LEGO Group, Kathrine contributes to society as a board member of the Danish Red Cross and Danish Hospital Clowns, an organization that supports hospitalized children. in hospital.
“Our awardees show that there are many ways to foster positive social impact as an IMD alumni, both in the world of work and beyond,” said Professor Farber. “We are delighted to honor these three changemakers, and look forward to following the next steps in their journeys.”