2016 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 2)

It is once again time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2016 was another exciting year with a lot of innovative new initiatives and approaches at business schools around the world embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into their programmes. PRiMEtime provides an extensive and growing database of examples from schools around the world on how to embed sustainability, ethics and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into management education as well as tips on how to move forward. (Click here for Part 1).



Italy’s SDA Bocconi School of Management’s Impact Investing Lab launched in 2013 aims to become a reference point at the national and international level to support the development of impact investing as a new investment approach and engages students in its development. In February a number of business competitions for students developing new business ideas were featured around the SDG issues including events at the University of California, Berkeley, INSEAD, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Singapore Management University.

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 collected from faculty in 2016 included:


JAMK University of Applied Sciences’s United for Refugees Programme supports continuing education of newcomers and asylum seekers in Finland, in particular those with extensive professional experience who are also highly educated. The University of Western Australia’s Social Impact Festival brings together individuals and organisations who are committed to making Western Australia a better place. The festival featured 34 events over 7 days in 16 venues around Perth all focused around exploring the different aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals.



The Student Ambassador Campaign at Antwerp Management School aims to engage students in sustainability discussions and, in particular the SDGs and involve them in a range of activities to make their campus and communities more sustainable. The Public-Private platform at Copenhagen Business School is a combination of interdisciplinary research, teaching and public engagement that helps moblise, foster and develop society wide solutions to pressing matters of public concern.

The month of June was focused on exploring programmes and opportunities at business schools aimed at Indigenous students in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. As the guardians of 80% of the planet’s biodiversity, the 370 million Indigenous people living around the world are increasingly being represented and supported by a range of innovative programmes business schools. A first post introduced Indigenous people around the world and provided a range of resources that can be used in the classroom to raise awareness about not just Indigenous issues but also Indigenous business. The University of Waikato in New Zealand has developed an MBA that fosters Maori values and Indigenous ways of doing business while also exploring real world business challenges that involve and are relevant to indigenous business and industry. In Canada, Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University has gone from having very few Indigenous students to having a range of programmes including an Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business & Leadership open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. At the University of New South Wales in Australia, the Nura Gili unit provides pathways for prospective Indigenous students to study in all faculties and programmes including student support, tutorial and study spaces. It also promotes Indigenous studies programmes, academics and researchers.



The Managing Visitor Impacts course at Victoria Business School in New Zealand was designed to deepen students’ understanding of sustainable tourism development by exposing them to the complexities, realities and tensions commonly observed in developing countries. IAE’s International Development Department invited companies from industrial sectors in Argentina to come to the school to share experiences and reflect on how to improve sustainability in these sectors. In the US, San Francisco State University’s College of BusinessHigh School Summer Sustainability Workshop pairs faculty and MBA students with high school students to explore a range of sustainability topics including fair trade, life cycle analysis, and responsible consumption and production. The Nestle/Nova Best Paper Award, a partnership between Nestle and Nova School of Business and Economics in Portugal allows students to develop their final Master’s thesis around the area of marketing specifically children consumer behavior. TERI University in India is focused on implementing several of the SDGs in particular Goal 12 around Sustainable Consumption and Production. They have partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme and Switch Asia to create a special training programme around the topic.



IESA in Venezuela has developed an innovative programme focused on effective governance from training legislators and members of parliaments to be able to do their jobs better. On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People PRiMEtime featured an innovative partnership at La Trobe University to develop future Indigenous business leaders in the Public sector. A post in May provided an overview of the range of resources offered by the UN Global Compact on the topic of Anti- Corruption specifically as it relates to Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Part 2 provided a range of ways that academic institutions can get involved in UN Global Compact anti-corruption projects.



Glasgow Caledonian University brings together big names from across the fashion industry through their Fair Fashion Centre to offer different perspectives on sustainable development and help identify new solutions for fashion and retail industry. Reykjavik University hosts Festa, the Icelandic Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, a non-profit organization founded by six Icelandic companies to further discussions on CSR in Iceland.

In July a special three part series on developing partnerships with the UN Global Compact locally was featured. Part 1 looked at how business schools are working with Global Compact offices locally and promoting the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. Part 2 looked at how business schools are promoting and providing training around the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. Part 3 looked at how schools are working with Global Compact Local Networks on specific sustainability issues. It also explored eight places to find business partners for sustainability projects (Part 1 and Part 2)

There were also a series of blogs featuring a number of resources to assist schools in engaging in the Sustainable Development Goals as well as an overview of the different ways that management education and the UN are collaborating.


Looking Forward

2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year. As we start really diving into the SDGs we will, and are already seeing a growing number of schools not only raising awareness about the SDGs on campus but really embedding them into their operations, research, reporting and curriculum. Then of course there is the Global Forum for Responsible Management Education – 7th PRME Assembly which will be taking place on the 18-19 of July in New York City. In 2017 Primetime will be focused on celebrating the 10-year anniversary of PRME and focused on further exploring how business schools can be key players in moving the SDGs forward.

For more innovative examples of how business schools are embedding sustainability, and the SDGs, you may be interested in following www.100futuremba.com where I will be posting one example a day for 100 days featuring many PRME Signatories.

Thank you for a fantastic 2016 and for contributing all of your good practice examples and stories. We encourage you to engage with the discussion and promotion of PRME and the Sustainable Development Agenda on all levels, including through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As always if you would like to share your initiatives with the PRiMEtime community please do get in touch at gweybrecht@thesustainablemba.com.

Happy New Year!


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