The #thinklist was created to highlight social media’s most influential scholars on issues of responsible business, to promote debate and share insight. This year, we relaunched the list in a new format. We made a decision to move away from the previous method of ranking scholars, opting instead to amplify the voices of certain groups, or focus on particular issues that are sometimes overlooked within the culture of academia. Our last list highlighted a group of women scholars. This time round, our #thinklist will consist of scholars from racialized groups. To create this list, we engaged three guest curators: Deborah Brewis, Nolywé Delannon and Vivek Soundararajan. Here they explain the thinking behind this version of the list, what they hope it will achieve, and the methodology they will employ.
Speaking candidly, each of us had reservations about the types of decisions we would need to make in order to produce a #thinklist of racialized thinkers in responsible business whose contributions are often sidelined, undermined or disregarded. In exploring the possibilities, we asked ourselves and each other what criteria and boundaries we would find necessary to rely upon: who we would include, and how might our decisions mask important complexities about the power dynamics of racialization and oppression? In the end though, our agreement and methodology for this iteration of the #thinklist has been guided by a desire to take an active part in anti-racist practice and by a key question: how can we make space by making this list?
Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate
We have each been involved in work that seeks to amplify issues that have been marginalised in scholarship on responsible business study, and to bring researchers together from around the world. We undertake these practices with a view to producing fairer outcomes in knowledge production and in the material impact that our research has to the lives of others. With these commitments in mind, what we hope to achieve with #ThinklistAmplify is a vehicle for community building among researchers who find themselves to be racialized and a form of recognition that the experiences as scholars of responsible business can be shaped by the dynamics of power associated with this social process of racialization. This #thinklist intends to resist concentration of power and status, and to serve as an opening and a resource that we can use to connect, collaborate, and celebrate.
The importance of social media
Social media has been important for racialized scholars, not only to advance our research and careers by disseminating work and strengthening a public profile, but as a tool for amplifying our voices and signalling our identity. In local institutional contexts, we often find ourselves in the minority and without the same access to valuable resources and positions of power. In the global context of business and management research, our voices, concerns and expertise are marginalised, particularly for scholars working in or for the Global South. We use social media to share advice, locate resources, generate knowledge, and to validate experiences. We would argue that any history of social media should include documentation of the role it has played for racialized communities and the part that we have taken in shaping it.
What do we mean by 'racialized'?
Only racialized scholars will be included in this #thinklist. By using the term racialized we refer to scholars who, based on perceived biological traits, are subject to racialization, i.e. “the process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political and social life.” (Ontario Human Rights Commission, n.d.). That said, in line with international standards applied on matters of racial identity, the inclusion on the list will be pending nominees' confirmation that they self-identify as a racialized person.
What is the criteria for inclusion?
We will be reaching out beyond Twitter to include researchers who engage with Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok and Weibo in recognition that racialized scholars, especially those based in the Global South, may have built their community on social media platforms that are not available to or commonly used by scholars in the Global North. In order to increase the likelihood of reaching out to scholars based in countries outside of Europe, North America and Australasia, we would like to actively encourage the sharing of this call for nominations in multiple languages. We also hope that this call will be re-shared by boundary spanners into their own networks drawing on their own expertise for who has been influential in this area of research.
To assemble #ThinkListAmplify, we are calling for nominations of scholars who:
- Are researchers in the field of responsible business
- Are active communicators on social media
- Are members of a racialized group across the world, as per the definition provided above
- Are faculty members of a business school or management department, or are faculty members based in other disciplines who engage on a regular basis with the broad management scholarship community.
We recognise that there are many researchers based outside of academia who have been influential in our field, and there are future plans to highlight these forms of impact.
To nominate, please either:
- Email: CBOS@bath.ac.uk
- Direct message @BathCBOS on Twitter or tag your post with #ThinklistNom
Nominations will close on 12th November 2020.