Feeding the World – Business Schools Taking the Challenge on a Local Level (part 2)

UnknownThe food industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and a key part of food production is family farms—the theme of this year’s World Food Day. Family farms play a significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

In celebration of World Food Day on the 16th of October, PRiMEtime is taking the opportunity to feature some of the initiatives that business schools have put in place to raise awareness about local food challenges, as well as celebrate local food. To see the examples from part 1 click here.

Partnerships – local community

Bournemouth University Business School has been working in collaboration with the Sustainable Food Cities Partnership Board, an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations committed to promoting sustainable food. Through this partnership, a number of project areas were identified for students to engage in discussions around sustainable food. The school also hosted workshops on sustainable fish sourcing and consumption, and consumer attitudes to sustainability issues—such as protection of local and regional food and drink.

The recovered food CSA was founded at the University of Maryland in 2013 as a student run, revenue-generating club. The food stand embodies the community-supported agriculture model. Surplus produce is collected from local farmers and sold through the food stand on a regular basis. The produce is sold by 5-pound bag (for $5) and for every bag bought, a bag is donated to a hungry local family.

Western Michigan University has also collaborated with local farmers through their Food Diversion Programme, where food waste is gathered and picked up several times a week by local farmers and used as feed for their pigs. (The university also converts 100 gallons of used filtered oil from Dining Service fryers for use by Landscape Services lawn mowers).

Degree Programmes

JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland launched a specialised programme on Sustainable Gastronomy at the bachelor level. The aim of the programme is to consider the whole food system through the sustainable food lens, enhancing the dialogue between the food system stakeholders and education. In order to be able to develop their branch in a responsible way, graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the sustainable food chain and eco-gastronomy both on local and global level, and understand their value for responsible business.

The Alma Mater Studiorum at the University of Bologna’ MBA in Food and Wine explores the topic through the knowledge of the most successful Italian enterprises in gastronomy and oenology (the study of wine and wine-making). Bologna is famous for its excellent tradition in this field and renown for being “the City of Food.” This 12-month programme includes a focus on sustainable agriculture, exploring the specific food and wine characteristics at the local level.

For more examples see previous PRiMEtime blog posts Sustainable Food on Campus (part 1 and 2), which provide a range of examples of how universities are making the food on campus more sustainable by focusing on the local contexts, putting in place community gardens, creating farmers markets, and collecting food donations.

Feeding the World – Business Schools Taking the Challenge on a Local Level (part 1)

UnknownThe food industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and a key part of food production is family farms—the theme of this year’s World Food Day. Family farms play a significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

In celebration of World Food Day on the 16th of October, PRiMEtime is taking the opportunity to feature some of the initiatives that business schools have put in place to raise awareness about local food challenges, as well as celebrate local food.

Research

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has developed, through the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Food Abundance Index. This scorecard is used as a means to measure food security within a neighbourhood or geographic area. The index was created to determine the access to and availability of healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food, and to eliminate “food deserts”—areas where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain.

University of California at Davis’s Olive Center, part of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, provides resources and research aimed in part to increase consumer and buyer awareness of determining quality and value in olive products, and to strengthen and promote the California Olive Oil Industry.

Seminars and Events

Duquesne University’s Centre for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth hosted restaurateurs, food service workers, local farmers and suppliers for a seminar focused on sustainable practices of the food industry. The event called, “Green Your Restaurant: Go for the Gold,” explored sustainable food sourcing and agriculture, marketing efforts and utilising green products.

Universum University College’s “Why Care” Campaign looked to start a public debate about fighting hunger in Kosovo. The project was implemented in cooperation with Universities Fighting World Hunger and the World Food Programme.

University of New South Wales supports the “Love Food Hate Waste” short film competition, to help raise awareness of the growing issue of food waste. Food waste accounts for half of a household’s water use, 40 percent of household waste and it also produces greenhouse gas emissions. The videos, between 30 seconds and 5 minutes, show the world what it means to celebrate a healthy and sustainable love of food. You can view the winning videos here.

 

Sharing Information on Progress – Spain and Portugal

Every month, several new Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports come across my desk. These SIP reports are full of interesting and innovative projects aimed at embedding the Principles of PRME across campuses. In a series of blogs, I feature a small selection of these projects taken from recently submitted reports.

This month we take a special look at schools reporting from Spain and Portugal. The PRME Chapter Iberian (Spain and Portugal) was created this past July. These examples only represent a fraction of the exciting initiatives happening across the chapter and within the individual schools. For more visit the Chapter page on the PRME website.

  1. Purpose: AESE Escola de Direccao e Negocios, Lisbon, Portugal

As part of their commitment to ethical leadership, AESE is using the PRME anti-corruption in business school curriculum methodology, developed by the PRME Working Group on Anti Corruption. The Anti-Corruption Toolkit provides comprehensive anti-corruption guidelines for curriculum change in business schools and management related academic institutions around the world.

  1. Values: ESIC Business & Marketing School, Madrid, Spain

ESIC’s Orbayu Project is a non-profit foundation that provides micro credits in the Third World in collaboration with the insurance company AVIVA. In 2012 and 2013, over eighty-four thousand euros were given in microcredits across South America. This online platform connects individuals from the ESIC community interested in supporting entrepreneurship in development countries, with individuals and projects in those countries.

  1. Method: IE Business School, Madrid, Spain

IE’s Venture Lab incubates the development and consolidation of social and responsible business start-ups proposed and launched by IE students and alumni worldwide, and fosters an ecosystem aimed at facilitating the funding of past, present and future business projects as an engine for growth and social welfare. Students and alumni can apply to be part of a 6-month start-up accelerator that culminates with a pitch to international investors. IE also organises an annual Impact Weekend, a sixty-hour, hands-on, innovative experience that brings together students from IE and other business schools with social entrepreneurs from across Spain, to share ideas and develop social responsible business plans. The recent winning teams were awarded mentorship and coaching as well as entry into IE’s Venture lab.

  1. Research: Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal

NOVAAFRICA is a knowledge centre created to produce distinctive expertise on business and economic development in Africa. A particular focus is on Portuguese-speaking Africa including Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe. Central to the centre’s activity is an in-depth understanding of the target economies including their institutions, private sector and civil society, and taking a multidisciplinary approach to studying the process of prosperity creation. NOVAFRICA has also established an internship with BEST-MozaBank in Mozambique, where students can work to promote high-impact entrepreneurs in the country.

  1. Partnerships: ESCI Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional Universitat Pompeu Fabra – Barcelona, Spain

ESCI’s Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility, financed by the Spanish company MANGO, aims to foster research activities in CSR and related areas especially in the international business context. In the academic year 2013/14, ESCI launched the project MANGO SMILE (Social Innovation Lab), sponsored by the Mango Chair. It consists of an open innovation community of students solving social and environmental challenges. In this first edition of the project, the proposed challenge was “How to improve the recycling of clothing and fabric,” and the innovation community was open to students of ESCI, some additional universities’ students, and a group of secondary schools’ students.

  1. Dialogue: Deusto Business School, Bilbao, Spain

The Global Centre for Sustainable Business (GCSB) at Deusto acts as a hub connecting the school’s departments. The Centre’s mission is to pioneer new business education approaches to sustainable business and value creation through advanced research, advocacy and leadership in ideas, and national and international dialogues on sustainable business. Deusto organised the Global Dialogues on Sustainable Business, of forty-five leading sustainability leaders from academia and industry convening with the aim of assessing the current situation of CSR/Sustainability after a decade of practice, and jointly examining new practices and developments at the company and international level.

+Organisational Practices: IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain

IESE aspires to create a work environment that is supportive of families. It offers a range of polices that provides advantages such as education and professional development, flexible timetables and holidays, aid to parents to help reduce cost of day care, counseling and support for expatriates and their families, and fellowships and scholarships for employee spouses and children. The school obtained the Family Responsible Company certificate, which recognises companies with policies that allow their employees to balance work and family life.

Economic inequality and the role of companies – ESADE

ESADEWhy and how can companies contribute to the reduction of economic inequality in the world? This is the question that ESADE’s Global Integrative Module (GIM) aims to explore. In partnerships with business schools from around the globe, the module engages students from a variety of academic programmes in proposing concrete solutions to businesses around this topic. The GIM is a proud awardee of the Ideas to Innovation i2i 2012 Challenge of the GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund, which supports big ideas designed to improve management education. I recently spoke with Anna Inesta Codina, the coordinator of the GIM project at ESADE, about this innovative project.

What is the Global Integrative Module?

The Global Integrative Module is an innovative learning experience that invites students to work in online virtual teams to propose solutions to a challenge of current social, political and economic relevance, by applying an integrated modular approach—combining relevant knowledge from the fields of Economics, People Management and Social Sciences. Ensuring both academic and cultural diversity, online virtual teams are composed of students from different academic programmes, namely BBA, MSc and MBA students from the participating business schools, ESADE (Spain), NYU Stern (US), SDA Bocconi (Italy) and Sogang University (the Republic of South Korea). Each team is assigned a web-based ‘virtual studio’ environment, which is designed to enhance shared knowledge-construction and problem-solving among the members of the international teams.

The proposed challenge asks students to consider themselves part of a team of professionals who have been contacted in order to elaborate a consultant report, and to answer the question, “Why and how can companies contribute to the reduction of economic inequality in the world?” Students are required to go beyond reflection to construct a personal and yet conceptually and practically justified action-oriented position that takes the form of a report to propose recommendations for companies, organisations, and governments to make the difference in solving the challenge. Students submit weekly learning journals related to their project and experiences, three preliminary deliverables in varying formats, and a final report with concrete proposals for companies and business schools.

You work with a range of international partners. How does the partnership work?

The GIM is a joint project between the four above-mentioned international business schools. For ESADE and Sogang University, the GIM is included in the curriculum as an elective course, while at NYU Stern and SDA Bocconi it has been embedded as a project within existing courses. In the 2013-2014 international edition of the GIM, 74 students representing 24 different nationalities took part, with 39% of participants from ESADE, 31% from NYU Stern, 11% from SDA Bocconi, and 19% from Sogang University.

Project Leaders from each of the business school partner institutions were involved in the design of the 2013-2014 implementation of the GIM, and monthly online coordination meetings were held to make decisions on important aspects of the course – such as the topic, task-design and assessment. Furthermore, during the implementation of the module, each business school had an in-house tutor whose job was to provide academic support to their online virtual teams.

What have been some of the challenges?

Designing a complex task that was challenging but not too far beyond students’ capabilities in terms of time and workload was a challenge. Indeed, the authenticity of the task, albeit successful in engaging students in processes that are very close to the kind of authentic challenge resolution they will be confronted with in their professional activity, was very demanding. Not all students were willing to invest the kind of energy (besides the time and effort) that making the most out of this learning opportunity would require, perhaps due to their decision to prioritise other academic responsibilities.

Coordination was also a big challenge given the large number of stakeholders involved in the module (students, Project Leaders, members of the ESADE academic team and tutors) and international nature of the module.

What about successes? 

Students’ feedback collected at the end of the module via a final reflection paper and an end of course survey was very positive. Specifically, students found the learning experience to be an opportunity to better understand relevant global issues, develop global competencies, foster team building skills and work in an international environment where they have the chance to adapt to different challenges. It contributed to students’ understanding of economic inequality as a global issue and of the role played by companies in reducing economic inequality.

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

Before deciding whether to implement a similar module, it is imperative not to underestimate:

  • The importance of institutional vision, as well as importance of personal networking to ensure the full commitment of the participating business schools: without the support of the corresponding departments at each of the schools, the fruitful partnership would not have been possible.
  • The value of true teamwork among the faculty participating in the learning experience: confidence, trust and flexibility are a must to ensure the kind of shared decision-making that is necessary for the project to succeed.

Moreover, when designing the learning task, it is important to:

  • Find the right balance between conceptual rigor and value-added practice
  • Reach a consensus as to the dates to start and end the project/course,
  • Agree on the kind and characteristics of the tools to apply to measure students’ learning

What is next for GIM?

Preparations are underway for the 2014-2015 GIM. We will be reducing the length of the course slightly to adjust to the academic calendars of all partner schools. The recruitment process will be more selective to ensure that all students are prepared and willing to dedicate the time and energy to the project. We are also working to strengthen the academic teams at each school so that students receive adequate support from tutors and professors.

All the changes proposed are designed to enhance students’ learning process and experience in the module, and they are not aimed at scaling up the module in terms of number of participating students. Given the challenging nature of the learning experience and the complexity involved from the coordination side, we are considering increasing the number of business schools participating as partners. This would ensure an even wider diversity of students’ profiles and, thus, an even more authentically international experience.

What Happened at the UN Climate Summit and Private Sector Forum

UnknownThe UN Climate Summit, which took place in New York City at the end of September, was the largest climate meeting yet, bringing together more than 125 heads of state and government officials. The event saw many countries reaffirming their commitments to secure a global climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), by the end of 2015 at the COP 21 in Paris.

Integral to the summit, the Private Sector Forum (PSF) brought the voice of the private sector to the intergovernmental debate, to address in particular how businesses across sectors are taking action on climate change. A large number of interesting commitments and partnerships took shape during this historic event, many of which make for engaging starting points for discussion in the classroom, and provide potential opportunities for business schools to get engaged at the local level.

Mayors from cities around the world came together to create the Compact of Mayors initiative, focused on undertaking a transparent and supportive approach to reducing city-level emissions, in order to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience to climate change, in a consistent and complimentary manner to national level climate protection. The City Climate Finance Leadership Alliance was also launched, which aims to enable stronger private and public investment in climate-smart infrastructure in cities around the world.

Several statements and commitments were also made by governments, civil society and the private sector around forests, and the key role they play in tackling climate change. To be endorsed by countries, companies, indigenous peoples and civil society organisations, the New York Declaration on Forests lays out high-level goals to address deforestation and promote restoration. It includes goals to cut the rate of natural forest loss in half by 2020 and eliminate it altogether by 2030, restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2020 and an additional 200 million hectares by 2030, and strengthen forest governance, transparency, and local and indigenous rights. Four major palm oil companies pledged to work in Indonesia to protect is remaining forests and peat lands, ensure community rights are better respected, and advocate for other companies and legal reforms to support and expand such commitments.

As a key player in climate change, the transportation industry launched several important initiatives including a Low-Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge to increase rail use for freight transport, meet efficiency targets and reduce emissions by 75% by 2050, and the signing of the International Association of Public Transport Declaration on Climate Leadership, which aims to double market share of public transportation around the world by 2025. The world’s eight largest multilateral development banks reaffirmed their commitment of $175 billion to sustainable transport. For universities, the upcoming Transport Day on December 7th provides an opportunity to explore how transportation can help to tackle climate change, and to take action on their campuses.

In terms of financing for climate action governments made large commitments to the Green Climate Fund, which is expected to become the main vehicle for securing and disbursing climate finance. The target is to reach at least $10 billion in the fund by the end of the year in preparation for the COP 20 in December. The Global Divest-Invest coalition focuses on shifting investments from activities driving climate change, to those that can help solve it, by pledging to take $50 billion of investments out of fossil fuel.

One of the key discussion points for the Private Sector Forum, as discussed in a previous post, was carbon pricing and specific actions that the public and private sectors can take to achieve an equitable and fair valuation of carbon through long-term strategies, investments and policies. Coordinated by the Caring for Climate initiative, the Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing invites businesses to integrate carbon pricing into long-term strategies and investment decisions, responsible policy advocacy, and communicating on their progress. More than 1,000 companies signaled their support to put a price on carbon pollution. Twenty-five of these companies including Nestle, Philips and Unilever, committed to pricing carbon internally in order to accelerate investments that reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

Parallel to this event, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues to develop the set of goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals set to expire in 2015. The proposal for Goal 13 focuses on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. To ensure that these goals will be implemented and to explore how the private sector can be an active player in this, UNIDO and the UN Global Compact launched an extensive global consultation, resulting in the report entitled, “Engaging with the Private Sector in the Post 2015,” launched at the summit. To see the latest draft of the Sustainable Development Goals, visit the SDG site or read these previous posts on the process of developing the SDGs.

The UN Climate Summit and Private Sector Forum were video recorded, and can be viewed here.

 

PRiMEtime on this date..

In 2013: What happened at the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly

In 2012: Graduate Certificate in Social Impact – Centre for Social Impact in Australia

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – USA and Morocco

 

Preserve As businesses become more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they repeatedly hear the same examples from the same international companies.

In an attempt to share some new examples of good practice, I asked a handful of faculty members from around the world about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that are actively involved in sustainability. Below are some examples from across the USA and Morocco.

Mahja NAIT BARKA, ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco

BMCE Bank, a leading Moroccan bank present in more than thirty countries in Africa, Europe and Asia, stands out as a model in Corporate Social Responsibility. BMCE Bank was the 1st bank in the Maghreb region to join the Equator Principles, and the 1st bank in the MENA Region to be certified ISO14001 in environmental management. Four percent of the bank’s gross income is devoted to the BMCE Bank Foundation, which operates the Medersat.com programme, bringing together schooling and community development in rural areas of Morocco, Mali, Senegal, and Congo Brazzaville. To date, approximately 400 teachers have been recruited and trained, and 192 schools and pre-school units were built and equipped for more than 15,000 pupils. Six thousand adults have benefited from literacy training (80% of which are women and girls).

Maroc Telecom, the main telecommunications company in Morocco and signatory to the UN Global Compact, obtained the highest score in the VIGEO ratings, in the areas of business ethics and anti-corruption initiatives. VIGEO, the European leading supplier of extra-financial analysis, rated eight Moroccan Companies listed on Casablanca Stock Exchange, evaluated on twenty-two dimensions. In 2006, Maroc Telecom adopted a Code of Ethics that requires all employees not to accept “gifts, benefits, invitations and bribes, to preserve the integrity and reputation of Maroc Telecom.”

Centrale Laitière is another one of Morocco’s top performers in sustainability. Created in 1940, Centrale Laitière is a group of companies specialising in the milk and dairy product industry, in partnership with Danone group. The group is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, and is committed to respect its fundamental Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and the fight against corruption. Centrale Laitière is at the origin of a nutritional charter to promote local producers and provide a ‘Buyer’s Code of Ethics’ to stimulate appropriate governance and environmental responsibility (characterised by reducing carbon emissions and waste).

Michael Chmura, Babson College, USA

Preserve, a certified B Corporation founded by a Babson alumnus, is the leading maker of performance driven and stylish 100% recycled household products. Preserve is powered by the recycling efforts of individuals and companies collecting #5 plastic—such as yogurt cups and other common household containers—via Preserve’s Gimme 5 programme. The Gimme 5 programme collects and transforms #5 plastics into new Preserve products. All recycling and manufacturing is done in the USA.

Another good example is GreenerU, a mission driven company that collaborates with educational institutions to engineer sustainable solutions to energy and engagement challenges. Their unique approach integrates building system improvements with behavioural programmes to meet campus-wide sustainability goals. (Disclosure: The Sustainability Office at Babson College is staffed and operated by two GreenerU employees under contract at Babson)

Mayur Mehta, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programmes, McCoy College of Business Administration, USA

Founded in 2008, Sustainable San Marcos is dedicated to helping the San Marcos community move towards a more sustainable future. Their focus for sustainability is in five areas: food, water, waste, energy and transportation acted on through our committees. They host initiatives such as composting workshops, rainwater harvesting tours, relevant book review articles, blog posts, and more, in an effort to educate the San Marcos community.

The San Marcos Farmer’s Market Association provides an outlet for Central Texas farmers to market their crops, and a source of fresh, homegrown and homemade products for local consumers. Daily operations of each market are conducted under the supervision of the Market Manager, who is authorised by and responsible directly to the Board of Directors. Membership in the association is available to Central Texas producers who meet the criteria established in the association by-laws, and who have been approved for membership by the Board of Directors.

The mission of the City of Austin’s Resource Recovery Programme is to be the national Zero Waste leader in the transformation from traditional integrated waste collection to sustainable resource recovery. The Resource Recovery includes many programmes that are aimed at sustainability and protecting the environment. The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility is open to customers to safely dispose hazardous waste such as household chemicals, paint, automotive fluids, etc. The facility then recycles and makes new products available to whoever can use them. For example, Austin ReBlend is a 100 percent post-consumer, reblended flat paint (with low VOCs) made from paint collected at the HHW facility

Opportunities and Challenges of Doing Business in Morocco – ESCA Ecole de Management

ESCA_Ecole_de_Management_Study_Trip_to_Casablanca3As the first business school in Morocco and French speaking Africa, ESCA Ecole de Management in Casablanca, Morocco has a deep commitment to educate a new generation of high potential, responsible managers and ethical entrepreneurial leaders in Morocco, across Africa and in emerging economies. The business environment in Morocco offers many opportunities but also several engrained challenges that ESCA aims to raise awareness about through its programmes. I recently spoke with Mahja Nait Barka from ESCA Ecole de Management about some of these challenges and opportunities.

Briefly describe ESCA Ecole de Management’s approach to sustainability and responsible management education.

ESCA Ecole de Management advocates responsible leadership and sustainable management and has committed to implementing the Principles of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Management Education since 2013. We have thus embarked on a series of interrelated initiatives directed towards this end, through programmes, research and partnerships that support change in managerial practices and educate leaders who carry values for the modernisation of society and positively impact their environments and organisations.

You mention that corruption is one of the major challenges for businesses in Morocco. Could you provide some more thoughts on this?

The Moroccan economy, Africa’s fifth largest by GDP, offers some of the most attractive options for investment in North Africa and the Middle East. The country has become a model of stability and reform amid the uncertainties of the Arab Spring, leading the region in social and political progress, but corruption is prevalent in many levels of Moroccan society and rarely prosecuted.

Because of the lack of statistical data, it is difficult to assess the extent of corruption’s entrenchment in Morocco but the international anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI) rates Morocco at 37 on scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) in its “2013 Corruption Perception Index.”

A 2008 survey by Transparency Maroc, the local branch of TI, reached a similar conclusion concerning regularly paid bribes to facilitate or speed up administrative procedures, or influence decisions on public calls to tender and state contracts. More than two-thirds of Moroccans surveyed called the judiciary, media, police, parliament and public officials “corrupt or very corrupt,” and questioned the lack for transparency and accountability of the public administration, which make it difficult to have access to services that are an inherent right.

However, the Moroccan government is committed to fighting corruption, and in 2010 established the Instance Centrale de Prévention de la Corruption (ICPC), Morocco’s national anti-corruption agency. Among ICPC’s accomplishments: the creation of a portal that allows small-to-medium-sized businesses to report corruption, and the drafting of a public sector code of ethics. The ICPC is also at the origin of a public campaign to raise awareness on anti-corruption questions, and the drafting of a bill to enhance the ICPC mandate and ability to prosecute corrupt individuals. These initiatives, coupled with the ‘Moroccan Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance’ adopted by the anti-corruption committee of the CGEM (Moroccan Association of Entrepreneurs), are positively setting the framework to tackle corruption issues, and establish more transparency and integrity.

What role do you feel you as a business school can play to help with this challenge moving forward?

The concept of corruption is deeply rooted in Moroccan society’s DNA and in people’s attitudes. In Moroccan mentality, it cannot be considered as corruption, it is just help—paying for a service is a form of favour or friendly reciprocity. Raising awareness about the negative impact of corruption on the economy has therefore become absolute necessity and ESCA Ecole de Management is committed to sharing with students and stakeholders positive values, and promoting success as a result of hard work, effort and ethics. This position is strongly connected to ESCA’s initial mission: training managers to help them succeed and serve development. We educate future entrepreneurial managers who will be participating in economic development and society modernisation. We teach students how to create long-term value for themselves, their organisations, and their environment.

What are some of the ways that you are doing this?

In 2013, ESCA Ecole de Management launched an initiative with all its stakeholders to integrate a code of ethics in the School’s curriculum, to instill positive values and foster the emergence of a generation able to fight against corruption and restore the principles of integrity and accountability in the society.

The school also tackles corruption at its roots in “Business Ethics” classes, which teach students the negative impact of corruption, and influence of peddling on business integrity and development, while promoting the rule of law. Discussions are fostered by cases drawn from local current affairs, and special attention is paid to dilemmas and how to overcome them. We also encourage dialogue with ESCA Alumni and successful entrepreneurs, who are frequently asked to come and share their experience with our students during conferences and open chats. These testimonies promote positive models of upward social mobility through effort and hard work. Managers and entrepreneurs are also asked to mentor students on projects and act as role models. We also incorporated these lessons into our innovative Doing Business in Morocco and Africa programme.

What is the Doing Business in Morocco and Africa programme?

With a focus on the Maghreb Region and Sub-Saharan countries, the programme aims at appreciating Africa’s business opportunities from Morocco, which is considered a hub in Africa, as its rapid development and economic diversification has created opportunities in a variety of fields (banking, travel & hospitality, telecom, mining, etc.). As the Arab World is facing deep changes and difficult transitions, the kingdom has managed to build a different business model, and gain leadership within the North African Region as a politically stable and economically thriving country.

This programme is offered to MBA participants from ESCA Ecole de Management’s partner universities and business schools to help them learn not only about doing business in Morocco in a dynamic framework, but also to identify key winning conditions to maneuver successfully in the region. Participants are then able to develop better negotiation skills, create long-term connections, and avoid common pitfalls when dealing with multiculturalism and business uncertainty. The programme combines an overseas trip, cultural experience (guided tours, introduction to Moroccan history, culture and business etiquette), academic seminars (on Entrepreneurship in Emerging Countries, Multinationals’ strategies to target African Markets through Morocco, Free-trade agreements, etc.), company visits, and high-profile meetings with Moroccan emerging champions, local entrepreneurs and government speakers.

Eighty MBA students and academics explored Moroccan business and society in 2013-2014 within the framework of the Doing Business in Morocco and Africa programme, and particularly appreciated its mix of regional insight and cultural immersion. Participants included: Grenoble Ecole de Management (France), University of San Diego (USA), California State University Long Beach (USA) Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Participants from New York Stern School of Business are expected in Casablanca in November 2014.

What advice do you have for other schools working in environments with a lot of corruption?

Business schools are organisations. As such, they should set examples and be their own agents of change by promoting ethical governance, compliance systems and practices that prevent corruptive, nepotistic behaviours—for instance in the hiring of faculty or in the procurement of school resources. By inspiring good, responsible leadership, business schools serve as incubators of responsible future leaders.

What is next for ESCA?

In November 2014, ESCA Ecole de Management will host the 4th PRME MENA Regional Forum. This event, in partnership with United Nations-supported PRME, will bring together over 300 participants from 20 countries to explore approaches and experiences, and discuss challenges and strategies for improving responsible management education through syllabi, research, student activities, dialogue, and partnerships with stakeholders. Among the participants will be state ministers, senior officials, university and business school deans, academics, researchers, entrepreneurs and members of civil society from North Africa and the Middle East. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the school to spread best practices and advocate PRME on the south and east coast of the Mediterranean.

 

PRiMEtime on this date…

in 2013: What happened at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013

in 2012: Creating a Cross-Disciplinary Course in Sustainability, Bentley University

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