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. Click here to read Part 1.
Principle 4: Research
Quite a few Primetime blogs this year have featured research as a core topic. As a slightly delayed celebration of the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy, we started the year with a focus on energy and sustainable in business schools that featured a range of examples of how the topic of energy is being integrated into research (Part 1, 2, and 3). The Instituto de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad Corporativa in Argentina shared with us their focus on sustainable textiles through their Sustainable Textiles Centre. Lagos Business School’s Prof. Kemi Ogunyemi shared her work on Managerial Anthropology, the knowledge of human nature required by those who work with other people in order to function optimally and ethically. Prof. Andre Habisch from Ingolstadt School of Management in Germany shared the concept of Practical Wisdom and the EABIS-Yale Practical Wisdom Initiative, a cross disciplinary project that brings together practitioners and academic experts from within each of the world’s six major faith traditions.
Principle 5: Partnerships
Business schools are creating a wide range of innovative partnerships to extend their knowledge of the challenges posed in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and exploring jointly effective approaches to moving forward to meet these challenges. Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Australia created the CSR Partnership Network to bring together leading businesses working in the area and create significant social impact through shared learnings. The Sustainable Business Round Table at the European School of Management and Technology in Germany has successfully been acting as a forum for academics and business to come together in a common setting to discuss the challenges and opportunities around how to mainstream sustainability practices within their companies in an open setting.
At INCAE in Costa Rica, an innovative partnership with Nespresso has resulted in an annual international case challenge that provides MBA students from around the world with the opportunity to make a real impact on the company’s supply chain and sustainability efforts. BIMTECH in India partnered with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to become the assessor for the annual Businessworld FICCI CSR Awards. The University of New South Wales in Australia created a unique partnership with the City Council that enables the local government to access a number of specialist sustainability activities from the University, with benefits to both the city and students. In Switzerland, the University of St. Gallen’s Social Impact Entrepreneurship Lab paired up with The Hub, a social innovation centre in Zurich to connect students with aspiring and established social ventures.
Principle 6: Dialogue
September 2013 saw the PRME community come together in Bled, Slovenia for the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly, held in conjunction with the 21st CEEMAN Annual Conference. The event brought together more than 200 members of the responsible management education community and also saw the launch of several new resources and tools. This included the launch of the Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME, Second Edition: Learning to Go Beyond, which contains a range of case stories around how business schools are putting sustainability principles into practice. The PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption’s provides flexible guidelines and resources to incorporate topics into courses. The Anti-Corruption Toolkit moved from pilot phase to an online portal available at no cost to all interested business schools and universities around the world. The PRME Summit took place days after the business community met up in New York for the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013: Architects of a Better World, which set the stage for business to shape and advance the Post-2015 Development Agenda. A blog earlier this year looked at how the post-2015 agenda is developing. Look out for an update in early 2014.
Principle “7”: Organisational Practices
There has also been a continued focus by signatories on making their own organisational practices more sustainable. As part of the International Year of Sustainable Energy, we looked at a variety of programmes at business schools around energy and sustainability and how they are making their campuses more energy efficient. One example was American University of Cairo, which became the first institution in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to conduct a comprehensive study of its impact on climate change. A three part series looked at the range of online applications that are increasingly used to assist business schools in creating more sustainable campuses and in engaging their communities in their sustainability activities (Part 1, 2, and 3).
2014 will see a focus on reporting and regional meetings. If there are any topics in particular you would like to see covered, or you would like your initiatives featured, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.