Call for Papers:  Climate and Business/The Business Climate 

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Call for PapersClimate and Business/The Business Climate 

19 – 21 September 2024

Proposal Deadline: 30 December 2023

Banff Centre

Banff, Alberta, Treaty 7

Canadian Business History Association

Geoffrey Jones’ recent books take up the connection between business, the environment and sustainability. In looking at even well-intentioned enterprises he admits that “profits and sustainability have been hard to reconcile.” Thinking critically about this connection between the environment, business and society is important. How have actions taken by business affected the environment? How effective have efforts to address the consequences of industrial behaviors been? Has the business climate shifted to accommodate this change? Has change come from within business and industry or has the state played a critical role in how business functions? “Climate and Business/The Business Climate” aims to bring together scholars interested in exploring the intersections between business and the environment, while leaving room to consider the changing business climate in Canada and beyond.

The intersection of business and the environment is clear in Banff, Canada’s first national park. Built originally for railway tourists, its eventual development as a destination for automobiles saw the environment in and around the townsite exploited to ensure optimal views and the best visitor experience.  Development today is controlled by Parks Canada, but the continued pressure from business and tourists on the environment is clear. Dammed rivers, controlled burns, a glass skywalk to see a glacier, fights over water at Lake Louise and resource exploitation right on the edge of the park tell the story of competing interests. It makes Banff an ideal location for historians considering the changes and challenges we face.

We invite your participation in “Climate and Business/The Business Climate,” a conference sponsored by the Canadian Business History Association – l’association Canadienne pour l’histoire des affaires, to be held in Banff, Alberta, 19-21 September, 2024. The planning committee welcomes proposals for papers and roundtables relating to business history within a Canadian or international context.  

We are especially interested in facilitating emerging scholarship and concepts, while recognizing ongoing debates that remain central to understanding business history. We will encourage sessions that think about themes including: 

  • The relationship between business and the environment 
  • How business environments have changed over time 
  • Intersections between resources, distribution, and the environment 
  • Indigenous approaches to, or experiences of, changing (business) climates
  • Consumption, corporations, entrepreneurs, and the environment 
  • Environmental disaster and the response of businesses/industries 
  • Alternative ways to think about “extraction”/“resource” and the relationship with the environment/land 
  • The impact of the changing climate of/for business on workers/labour
  • The state as regulator/participant

The CBHA/ACHA is particularly interested in individual papers and panels ontopics related to the Conference theme, but will also consider submissions outside the theme.

All proposals MUST include the following information (which is required for the organizers to solicit funding to support travel and other costs): 

  1. Presentation title; 
  2. Full name and organizational affiliation of presenter(s) (please indicate student or early career status, if applicable);  
  3. A 100 to 150-word biography of presenter(s), including (if applicable) a list of publications, activities, and a list of positions (paid and/or voluntary) relevant to this event.   
  4. A 100 to 150-word outline of the presentation(s).  
  5. Some financial support will be available for travel and accommodation to reduce the cost of participation for graduate students and the precariously employed. Please indicate on your proposal if you require financial support to attend. 

Proposals for individual presentations, panels, and roundtables are due 30 December 2023. Please submit proposal materials here or email as an attachment in Word format to the program committee at 

Questions? Please contact Dr. Heather Nelson (Conference co-Chair)  

Feature Image: A Petrochemical Plant. 1961. NFB Photo Story: Cinderella’s Wish and the Magic of Petrochemicals. Photographer: Guy Lunney. Credit: Library and Archives Canada/National Film Board fonds/e011177470
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