PRiMEtime’s Guide to Implementing PRME: 100 Tips from Signatories (part 4 of 5)

 The PRiMEtime Guide to Implementing PRME is made up of 100 tips from signatories around the world. These posts, which will be published over the next few days, are organised into the following sections: why and what, what to focus on (part 1), getting started, designing your initiative, moving forwards (part 2), putting together a team, the importance of developing relationships (part 3), focus on faculty, focus on students, the importance of partnerships (part 4), funding and final words of advice (part 5). For more information about the context surrounding the tip, click on the links to read the full blog post.

Focus on Faculty

61. Find out what faculty are already doing. “Each institution has its own internal resistance to any change. Faculty may be already working on these issues, you just need to give them room. Also, forget the “nice” approach of being sustainable, this is another framework for business that concentrates on the generation of new market opportunities.” David Ruiz de Olano, Deusto Business School, Spain (Click here for more)

62. Encourage communication. “Related to this is also the need to establish and maintain a continuous internal dialogue among faculty and institutional leadership, particularly around the issues that go beyond individual disciplines. This is important for the creation of new intellectual, research, educational and institutional agenda that schools worldwide need.” Milenko Gudic, Anti-Poverty Working Group (Click here for more)

63. Consult with faculty. “I would advise consulting with faculty first to learn what types of resources they might find most helpful. I received lots of great content suggestions from faculty during the initial development of the collection, and this input will continue to have an impact on how the project develops over time.” Georgia Atkin, Sobey School of Business, Canada (Click here for more)

64. Empower your faculty. “Business schools in general need to redefine the “business of business education”. By establishing a regular and meaningful external dialogue, they will better understand the challenges and the resulting educational expectations and needs of their major stakeholders, particularly businesses and students. The most effective way to deal with all this is through faculty development. This is an absolute priority and precondition for any other change.” Milenko Gudic, Anti-Poverty Working Group (Click here for more)

65. Provide incentives. “Find a way to incentivize faculty to take a large block of time for curriculum development and leave plenty of time for philosophical discussions. Have the group that creates the module set goals and objectives for student learning; this helps guide the curriculum development when the topic is a broad and complex issue. Last but not least, expect difficulties in developing summative assessments of student learning.” David Szymanski and Rick Oches, Bentley University, US (Click here for more)

A Focus on Students

66. Involve students early. “It is important to include the students at an early stage of the process, for example by inviting them to different workshops and by having regular meetings with student representatives.” Par Martensson and Anna Nyberg, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden (Click here for more)

67. Students are interested. “Choosing research topics based on sustainability or social and corporate responsibility appears to be this big challenge for professors. But it is actually very easy to find interesting and contemporary topics that students can get on the bandwagon with. After you experience the first semester running a class with these topics, you will find that students are very receptive to do something different. Plus they will surprise you with the topics they come back with and trust me you will always be learning from them.” Frank Ulbrich and David Dodson, University of Fraser Valley, Canada (Click here for more)

68. Students bring a fresh perspective. “Including students in the reporting process can foster fruitful two-way learning. Students bring energy and fresh perspective into sustainability reporting.” Talia Stough, KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business, Belgium (Click here for more)

69. Get student backing. “Having students involved in this process was vital to giving the proposal credibility. I can go and share these plans with other instructors and say that students were behind this and this is how they felt the course should be designed. That goes a long way to making these changes adoptable.” Leo Wong, MacEwan University, School of Business, Canada (Click here for more)

70. Involve students in the entire process: “I would advise other schools considering a similar programme to include students in the planning and implementation process. For the past several years of Business Leadership Week, we have made a concentrated effort to involve students in the entire process. Students gain more from the week by being able to get to know the business professionals one on-one through these opportunities. The students are also more invested in the programme when they help to plan and run the events.” Brittany Chrisman, McCoy College of Business, US (Click here for more)

71. Empower them. “Once the framework and basic foundation is designed, let the students themselves “drive” their own experience. I have found that when students are empowered (and they have the requisite skills and knowledge to proceed), they can accomplish truly amazing things together. When given the opportunity to fully utilise their contacts, resources, and motivation, their own leadership should drive their self-set goals and choice of activities through “true” experiential learning. All that said, it is critically important that the design of the programme (content, team structures, learning objectives and expectations, etc.) is thoughtful and clear so that the students can truly excel in their efforts.” Jennifer Marrone, Albers School of Business and Economics, US (Click here for more)

72. Encourage participation: “I would stress the importance of student input and participation; make it as interactive as possible and avoid “lecturing” when things can become apparent through fun activities.” Janjaap Semeijn, Maastricht University, Netherlands (Click here for more)

73. When appropriate, pay students. “Paying students, even a modest hourly rate, makes your position competitive with other campus jobs, and provides a level of accountability and responsibility. It also teaches students that you can get paid for something you are passionate about and that they can look for similar jobs beyond their time at Babson.” Michael Chmura, Babson College, US (Click here for more)

The Importance of Partnerships

74. Engage partners in the classroom. “The challenge in any modern business subject in sustainability is an emphasis on both the development of graduate skills and students’ disposition towards sustainability and ethical decision-making. This requires modern educators to span the boundary of the classroom and identify opportunities to engage with industry partners and other stakeholders to continuously produce innovative teaching materials and approaches that inspire and motivate students to pursue business ideas that align with the SDGs.” Swati Nagpal, La Trobe Business School, Australia(Click here for more)

75. Use partnerships to meet your goals. “Our advice would be that management education institutions adopt a corporative approach to advancing the sustainable development goals in their spheres of influence. Partnership with the private sector and other stakeholder groups can ensure that the goals are met faster and more effectively.” Oreva Agajere, Lagos Business School, Nigeria (Click here for more)

76. There are plenty of potential partners available. “It’s worth the effort – there are more than enough researchers and policy makers out there interested in bridging the gap between African research and innovation and policy making processes.” Willem Fourie, University of Pretoria, South Africa (Click here for more)

77. Think about what partners you need. “It is crucial to approach the right partner. Identify a partner who is known for its development and focused on the long term, who is interested in what your school can offer as well as in recruiting your students. Think big and look to create opportunities where academia and businesses can work together to help students while improving their industry as well.” Bruce McAdams, University of Guelph, Canada (Click here for more)

78. Find partners willing to put in the time. “The keys are to find good organisations willing to put some time into mentoring students as they formulate their strategies and who are available to attend the presentations.” Linda Sama, Peter J. Tobin College of Business, US (Click here for more)

79. Look locally. “Local business networks focused on sustainability are the perfect partner to develop initiatives in the PRME framework and strengthen links among business schools and firms. For us this has been a great learning experience.” Virginia Lasio, ESPAE, Ecuador (Click here for more)

80. Don’t just focus on big companies. “I would recommend engaging with sustainability start-ups, cleantech companies, social entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs. There are many ways to do this, from inviting them to the school, organizing social impact career fairs, etc.” Jost Hamschmidt, St. Gallen University, Switzerland (Click here for more)

81. Start with the partners you know. “All business schools have networks of companies that they already work with and also alumni who work for companies so this is a good place to start. Find one or two corporate champions amongst your corporate supporters. Get them on board first and then go with them to get the others on board. From there the membership numbers have spread in part by word of mouth.” CB Bhattacharya, European School of Management and Technology, Germany (Click here for more)

82. Get the discussion started. “We think that there are various ways a School can partner with a United Nations (UN) organization locally. Reaching out and visiting these UN bodies locally may be the starting point. In addition, UN bodies are invited by our School to participate or adjudicate student competitions. For UN bodies like UNHCR, we have invited them to set up booths during student-led bazaars to sell items made by refugees to raise funds. In our experience, these initiatives open avenues for collaboration relating to multidisciplinary research, education, student engagement and others, thus building relationships of trust and confidence for future partnerships.” Priya Sharma, Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia (Click here for more)



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