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Our goal is to build participants' capacity to drive change within their organizations, whether they are from government, business, civil society or beyond.


In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2015 survey of over 850 CEOs and top business managers, 83 percent of those surveyed said that they see business as an important player in respecting human rights. Dozens of governments are developing National Action Plans to implement the Guiding Principles, investors are calling on companies to disclose how they implement them and NGOs and trade unions are using them in their advocacy work.

As ever more organizations use the Guiding Principles, they often need support to get started on the right path or to strengthen certain areas of their practice. We provide training opportunities that can help organizations of all levels of expertise and resources put the Guiding Principles into practice. 

We have trained business groups ranging from top management of Global Fortune 100 companies headquartered in Asia, North America, and Europe to operational staff in key sourcing countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa. We have worked with grassroots NGOs in West Africa, Indonesia and South Africa and with international NGOs working on a range of issues. On the government side, we have facilitated workshops for environmental and social experts from leading European Development Finance Institutions and for staff from Latin American banking regulators.

Our capacity building workshops range from a general introduction to the core concepts in the Guiding Principles to sessions focused on specific aspects and challenges of implementation. Our goal is to build participants' capacity to drive change within their organizations, whether they are from government, business, civil society or beyond. We therefore tailor trainings to participants' specific needs through practical, interactive and case based training methods.

Participants share best practices at our London Business Learning Workshop in 2018


Topics for Shift Trainings

Trainings we have led for individual companies or business associations and their members include:

  • Introduction to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights
  • Developing a Human Rights Policy and Embedding Respect for Human Rights
  • Human Rights Due Diligence: Methodologies and Practical Tools
  • Respecting Human Rights in Supply Chains and Other Business Relationships
  • Access to Remedy and Grievance Mechanisms
  • The Transformative Power of Transparency: The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
  • Respecting Human Rights in High-Risk Circumstances
  • The Role of Lawyers in Advancing Corporate Respect for Human Rights
  • Tailored trainings focused on specific sectors or human rights issues.

“Hands down, Shift is the best go-to organization on implementing respect for human rights. It has a wealth of knowledge, experience and practical tools that companies can readily use.” – Ed Potter, Former Director, Global Workplace Rights, Coca-Cola Company, Member of the Board, Shift

Workshops we have led for NGOs include:

  • The UN Guiding Principles and Impacts on Communities in Ghana
  • Implications of the UN Guiding Principles for Sustainable Development Work
  • Applying the UN Guiding Principles to Land and Water Challenges in Indonesia
  • Preventing and Addressing Extractive Sector Impacts in Zambia.

Training sessions we have led for governments include:

  • Introduction to the UN Guiding Principles for Government
  • Bringing a Human Rights Lens to Environmental and Social Due Diligence
  • Implications of the UN Guiding Principles for State-Owned Enterprises.

Audiences for Shift Trainings

We welcome opportunities to train groups from single organizations or mixed groups of practitioners from different organizations. Trainings can include participants from different functions within an organization, or focus on the needs of a specific professional group such as lawyers, or impact assessment experts.

Who Are Shift's Facilitators?

Shift is led by a team that was closely involved in shaping and drafting the Guiding Principles during the mandate of Prof. John Ruggie as the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights. Our facilitators leverage Shift’s extensive knowledge and experience from working with a wide range of stakeholders at all stages of implementation of the Guiding Principles, across industries, issues and geographic regions. Through our work with companies, governments and other stakeholders at the forefront of implementation, we learn from their experiences and challenges, and integrate that learning into our facilitation.

Our international team of business and human rights experts comes from a range of backgrounds in the worlds of business, government, law, advocacy, communications and conflict resolution. We have staff based in Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and the US and our team includes speakers of English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Learn more about our team

What Are Shift Workshops Like?

Shift can provide trainings that range from half a day to two or three days in length, depending on the audience and the breadth of issues to be covered. We use practical and interactive methodologies including peer learning, case study analysis and exercises to apply learning to participants’ own challenges.

As a non-profit organization, rather than a consultancy, we consider carefully who to work with, and focus where we believe we can support meaningful change. That being said, we do welcome inquiries about training opportunities. Contact us

Questions about training? Send us an email.

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