2013 Summary of Best Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is that time again, time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2013 was another exciting year with a lot of innovative new initiatives and approaches at business schools around the world to embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into their programmes.

Principle 1Principle 1: Purpose

Signatories continued to develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society. This year, several schools shared their experiences in translating this purpose into their institutions. Dr. Donna Sockell at Leeds School of Business Center for Education on Social Responsibility introduced the work of the Center and its approach to teaching students about social responsibility. Essex Business School shared their approach to embedding sustainability into the culture of their business school, and Hanken School of Economics in Finland shared their cross-disciplinary approach to sustainability.

PRME schools around the world used a variety of approaches to communicate their commitment to sustainability principles on campus. The Milgard School of Business in the US encouraged discussion on campus about sustainability topics through their Communication Column. Glasgow School for Business and Society from Scotland shared their experiences in putting together their first SIP report, which was recognised at the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly earlier this year. The University of Brussels in Belgium was one of a handful of schools this year using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework for their sustainability report, a framework used by many of the leading business around the world. Euromed (now KEDGE) in France shared experiences in putting together an integrated report, which demonstrates the links between strategy, governance, and financial performance of the institution and the social, environmental, and economic context in which it operates.

Principle 2Principle 2: Values

Schools incorporated many of the values of global sustainability,y in particular into their student experiences. Students at Universum University College in Kosovo who wanted to make a difference in their community started the “Why Care” Campaign to make a mark on reducing hunger in Kosovo. Students at EADA in Spain took part in a Social Entrepreneurship Project where students identified a social need or problem and implement a business-oriented solution that is financially viable. In South Africa, Milpark Business School’s MBA Social Responsibility Challenge required students to identify a real charity or community improvement project with the most deserving projects receiving a cash prize. At Goa Institute of Management in India, a new compulsory core course provided students with the opportunity to engage with local, less privileged communities. At EBS University of Business and Law in Germany, the “Do It” and “Educare” courses provided students with the opportunity to work with a local welfare institution or to create their own local project.

Principle 3Principle 3: Method

Several signatories shared with us their approach to putting together specialised programmes around the topic of responsible leadership and sustainability. Chester Business School in the UK shared their lessons learnt in putting together an interdisciplinary MSc in Sustainability for Community and Business. Albers School of Business and Economics in the US discussed their new Graduate Leadership Formation Specialization, which included a course wherein students were challenged to find and recognise local leaders making an impact on the greater community. Audencia Nantes School of Management in France created an innovative new MBA focused on responsible leadership. Deusto Business School in Spain created a new MBA, which started earlier this year, integrates sustainability, innovation, and entrepreneurship into all of its courses.

Some additional resources were also featured to provide ideas and tools for faculty in bringing sustainability topics into the classroom. PRiMEtime highlighted a range of contests for business students around sustainability, including those on environmental and social issues, Marketing and Sustainability, and the yearly MBA Challenge Video Contest, which is organised by the Global Business School Network (GBSN).

The blog also covered a variety list of United Nations International Days that promote awareness and action on a wide range of political, social, cultural, humanitarian, and human rights issues, and which can be used as themes for class discussion. A few of these, including International Women’s Day, were featured in greater detail, with a range of examples from business schools around the world (Part 1, 2, 3, and 4). On December 5th, a two-part feature in honour of International Volunteer Day (Part 1 and 2) looked at just a small handful of ways that students are making an impact through volunteer activities in their communities.

As businesses become more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies to highlight in the classroom. Featured sustainable business examples from faculty around the world in 2013 included:

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