2016 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is once again it’s 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.

This year, 60 new articles were posted featuring over 143 examples from more than 65 schools in 38 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review the examples featured this year, organized roughly around the SDGs, and what we have to look forward to next year. (Click on the links to read the full article).

SDG1SDG2SDG3The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has developed an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Business School and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, call the Wellness Clinic. It provides preventive care programmes designed, promoted, administered and implemented by students. IEDC-Bled School of Management partnered with members of the UN Global Compact Local Slovenia to organize workshops around the theme of “Health promotion in the workplace as part of the corporate social responsibility and sustainable business development’.

For one week in March, EADA Business School’s campus transforms into a model refugee course where students taking the Managing Humanitarian Emergencies elective learn about the main components required to respond to humanitarian emergencies and extreme situations in general.



La Trobe Business School (Australia), ISAE (Brazil), Audencia Nantes School of Management (France) and Hanken School of Economics (Finland) founded CR3+ Network, a new program that provides a supportive platform to build international collaboration and enables the four schools to work together to build capacity in responsible management education. In the USA, Western Michigan University (USA) partnered with Christ University in Bagalore in India to create an experiential experience to engage students in sustainability discussions in India. Reutlingen University in Germany shared their experiences with the Ethikum Certificate awarded to students who complete a number of special experiences and courses during their time at university. Hult International Business School shared their experiences integrating the SDGs into the core Business and Global Society course. Hult International Business School and Ashridge Business School also shared their experiences integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their PRME Sharing Information on Progress Report. The University of St. Gallen and oikos work together to offer the PhD Fellowship Programme, a unique opportunity to support international PhD students writing their thesis on sustainability in economics or management.

PRiMEtime also explored a range of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) available on sustainability topics. These courses are free online and open to anyone with an interest in the topic. A series of posts provided an overview of the MOOCs available in the Spring (Part 1 and Part 2) and summer (Part 1 and Part 2).



The American University of Beirut’s University for Senior Programme aims to redefine the role of older people in society by providing them opportunities to remain intellectually challenged and socially connected through a range of lectures, study groups, educational travel programmes, campus life and intergenerational activities. The American University of Beirut also paired up with Citi to provide crucial support and mentoring for female entrepreneurs in Lebanon and the MENA region with the goal of increasing their numbers significantly. Altis Postgraduate School of Business and Society in Italy introduced us to E4Impact, a special programme aimed at training a new class of African leaders who will be able to create jobs in the sustainability sector in their country.



Ryerson University (Canada) designed a unique interdisciplinary programme that brings together faculty from all of the university’s six department called the Environmental Applied Science and Management (EnSciMan) with a focus on environmental management. In Italy, the University of Bologna’s Launch Pad aims to leverage the know-how of the hundreds of PhDs and post-docs studying at the university to facilitate its transformation into valuable products and services, many focused on social and environmental topics. PRiMEtime also looked at a range of global student networks engaged in sustainability that are active within and across business schools.



Antwerp Management School’s ID@Work research programme aims to support organisations in attracting, developing and retaining employees with an intellectual disability. The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience at the University of Wollongong is an educational programme that supports Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education. Also in Australia, Deakin University has been exploring how to encourage and train more Indigenous Australians to become accountants (currently of the more than 180,000 Australian professional accounting body members, only 30 identify as Indigenous). The Northwest Aboriginal Canadians Entrepreneurs Programme at the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business is a partnership between several organisations including regional and provision government to offer first class entrepreneurial learning to the Indigenous people of Northwest British Columbia with the aim to enhance the self sufficiency and full economic participation of Indigenous people

2015 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 2)

It is once again time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2015 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. Sixty articles were posted featuring over 182 examples from more than 114 schools in 38 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review what happened this year and what we have to look forward to next year. (Click here to view Part 1)

Principle 5Principle 5: Partnerships

A growing number of schools are partnering with local businesses to advance sustainability on campus and beyond. In fact, through a new project between Global Compact LEAD and PRME Champions many of these partnerships were highlighted this year including The American University in Cairo’s Women on Boards programme, the development of local sustainability networks by ESPAE, University of Guelph partnership around food, Novo School of Business and Economics’ partnership around children consumer behaviour and the University of Technology Sydney partnership around insurers role in sustainable growth. Additional resources were providing to assist schools in developing new partnerships including 5 Key Messages from Business to Business Schools Around Sustainability and 10 Tips.

Another feature focused on examples of schools engaging with local governments in Turkey, Brazil, Australia, US, UK and Latvia.

Principle 6Principle 6: Dialogue

Most of the examples presented through the year have also involved dialogue around responsible management topics, across the campus and beyond. As always, many posts featured Sharing Information on Progress Reports including an overview of the newly released Basic Guide to Sharing Information on Progress, as well as a two part series on visuals to get inspired by for your next SIP report.

A number of Sharing Information on Progress Reports were featured and celebrated this year including Reykjavik University’s first report, Ivey Business School’s experiences communicating the big picture through their SIP, the recipients of the Recognition of Sharing Information on Progress Reports were highlighted including KEDGE Business School.

Principle “7”: Organisational Practices

PRME signatories globally are increasingly active in creating more sustainable campuses. Coventry University shared their experiences in gaining sustainability accreditation in the UK. A two-part feature on sustainable buildings on campus highlighted a range of approaches being taken by schools around the world.

Last but not least, 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 2015 included:

Thank you for a fantastic 2015 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 our Chapters and working Groups, as well as through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

2016 will be another exciting year in the field of management education and sustainability in particular through the Sustainable Development Goals and business-business school partnerships. If there are any topics in particular you would like to see covered, or you would like your initiatives to be featured, please do not hesitate to contact me at gweybrecht@thesustainablemba.com.

2015 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is once again time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2015 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. Sixty articles were posted over the year on responsible management education, featuring over 182 examples from more than 114 schools in 38 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review what happened this year and what we have to look forward to next year.

Principle 1Principle 1: Purpose

2015 of course was the year of the PRME Global Forum. A post of student views on business as a force for good as well as what the future corporation will look like, highlighted the power of students in being innovative thought leaders. Several key documents were launched during the Forum and featured on PRiMEtime including The State of Sustainability and Management Education.

In September a call to action was made to higher education institutions to join in making a commitment to support refugees in crisis. The PRME community stepped up with a number of initiatives featured in this post. Two posts on Higher Education for Climate Change Action coincided with the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative meeting in October and featured a number of examples of business schools taking action around this important issue.

As the international community is preparing to launch the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2016, a growing focus of PRiMEtime and the wider PRME community has been understanding how business schools can engage in the process and contribute to achieving the goals once they are put in place. Several updates were posted including this overview and update.

Principle 2Principle 2: Values

As the sister initiative to the Global Compact, several Global Compact resources were featured including Finance and Sustainability Resources and Ways to Engage and a look at the building blocks for transforming business and changing the world. We also looked at a number of other resources available to the PRME community including ways that schools are using technology in the classroom to teach sustainability, a selection of MOOCs on Sustainability/Ethics for Fall 2015 as well as for Spring 2015.

Several posts featured International Days focused on highlighting and celebrating specific sustainability related topics. This included a look at how management education is engaging high school students in sustainable business for International Youth Day, schools engaged in sustainable energy projects for the International Year of Light, a two part feature on schools engaged in sustainable food for World Health Day, and women and management education for International Women’s Day

Principle 3Principle 3: Method

PRME schools shared their experiences in re-designing their programmes to embed sustainability more fully including Stockholm School of Economics, University of New South Wales, Jonkoping International Business School, and the University of Wollongong. This included new courses such as Peter J. Tobin College of Business introducing all students to not-for-profit management, students engaging in their communities including innovative projects at Great Lakes Institute of Management, and Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management’s MBA for Life programme. ISAE/FGV shared their experiences in engaging stakeholders in prioritising their sustainability strategy moving forward.

Principle 4Principle 4: Research

Schools continue to conduct a number of important research projects around the topic of sustainability, ethics and responsible management focused on their particular regions, including the development of case studies on sustainable production and consumption for the business community at the Universiti Sains Malaysia.

A growing focus is being put on interdisciplinary collaboration and projects including at Stockholm School of Economics, Aarhus University and the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and the development of an interdisciplinary sustainability research network at University of Nottingham.

Several new publications were introduced which highlight research and the key role that faculty play in embedding sustainability and responsible management into the curriculum including Faculty Development for responsible management education and an Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME featuring examples from UK and Ireland.

 Part 2 will be posted on January 4th, 2016.

April 7th is World Health Day (Part 1)

large-poster300April 7th is internationally recognised as being World Health Day. This year’s theme is improving food safety, from farm to plate. According to the World Health Organisation, unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually. With increasingly globalisation come new threats to our food including harmful bacteria, viruses and chemicals. World Health Day is an opportunity for governments, manufactures, retailers, the public, and business schools to look at the importance of food safety.

Outside of the theme chosen for the year, April 7th is an occasion to introduce, discuss, raise awareness and take action on health issues that are material to your community, whether that be your campus, your country or on an international scale. To celebrate World Health Day, here is a small selection of what business schools around the world are doing related to health issues.

Haas Business School’s Healthcare Association (USA) is a student group that aims to be the “healthcare hub at UC Berkeley.” They host an annual Haas Business of Healthcare Conference, which attracts over 300 participants. They also organise Hacking Heath, an annual hackathon focused on developing software for health care. Professional and student coders, builders, designers, marketers, health experts and clinicians from across the University and the area meet to design, build and pitch solutions over a 2.5 day period. The students in the Haas Healthcare Association also organise a number of company treks, “lunch and learn” sessions and networking opportunities for students, as well as guidance and connections for summer internships in the area of healthcare.

Members of the Association can often be found at healthcare business-case competitions around the nations. Boston University (USA) has two healthcare case competitions. The Global Health Sector Interdisciplinary Case Competition challenges teams of students from 12 of the world’s leading MBA programmes to solve a health sector market challenge. The competition is unique due to its interdisciplinary nature—in addition to MBA students, each team includes public health, medicine, engineering or law students. The School also organises the Grand Business Challenge in Digital Health, sponsored by Merck, where teams of students from leading business schools answer the question: How will information technology influence and transform global healthcare to create value for the world? Last year’s winner was a team from Fudan University School of Management, with a project that looked at bringing the gap between rural and urban populations by providing online consulting and education for rural doctors.

Several Universities offer MBAs or other management programmes with a focus on Health Care. Boston University has a Health Sector Management Programme that has been running since 1972 that prepares students for leadership roles throughout the health industry including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health information technology, health systems management, consulting and public policy. Many students also take advantage of the dual degrees offered, including an MBA/JD in Law and Heath Care Management and an MBA/MPH in Global Heath Management. ESPAE (Ecuador) has a Hospitals Management Programme that aims to create competent professionals in the management of health-care organisations, who are socially and ethically responsible. Several other schools such as University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (USA) are also looking at developing Heath Care Management Programmes.

Related to health topics as well, the International University of Monaco (Monaco) has a Master in Sustainable Peace through Sports. As part of the programme, students attend the International Peace and Sports Forum in Monaco, which allows them the opportunity to interact with more than 700 influential decision makers and high profile opinion leaders from world sport governance, politics, international organisations, NGOs and the private sector, plus academics and top-level athletes from over 100 countries on topics related to sustainable peace.

Several business schools hold public dialogues around health and sustainability topics. The Global Security Research Institute, Keio University (Japan) has held a lecture series called “Dedication to Health,” its first lecture series for PRME, which was made into a fully credited course at Keio University. Its aim was to provide opportunities to reconsider CSR activities from the keyword health. Starting from the physical and mental health of individuals, the concept expanded to include healthy organisations, communities and even healthy global economies. IEDC (Slovenia) partnered with members of the UN Global Compact Local Network Slovenia to organise workshops around the theme of “Health promotion in the workplace as part of the corporate social responsibility and sustainable business development.” Participants (managers) of the morning workshops jointly developed their baselines and expectations in this area, which were later presented as challenging questions to the speakers of a high level round table on the topic.

Partnering with Local Business Networks to Advance Sustainability on Campus and Beyond – ESPAE


Developing partnerships with local business networks is an important way for schools to progress with their sustainability goals. ESPAE-ESPOL in Ecuador has developed over the past seven years a successful and ongoing partnership with local sustainability-focused business network CEMDES, the Ecuadorian chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) made up of the leading companies in Ecuador working on sustainability topics.

I recently had the chance to speak with Virginia Lasio, the Director at ESPAE as well as Ines Manzano, President of CEMDES Board, and Jimmy Andrade, CEMDES Executive Director who shared their experiences working together.

What is happening in Ecuador in the area of responsible leadership? 

There is no clarity on the concept of sustainability in Ecuador, and consequently, its applications are diverse here. It is often mistakenly associated only with environmental and/or social issues, while the economic growth and strategic development of business in our country lacks a vision of sustainability.

The National Institute for Statistics and Census (INEC) reports about 78% companies are non-compliant on local environmental standards. However, every day there is more awareness of the sustainability strategies and actions of international companies that act as role models to us. This is precisely one of the challenges of CEMDES, the Ecuadorian Chapter of WBCSD: to invite firms to abandon “the business as usual.” In achieving this goal, the role of academia is critical in helping to disseminate concepts, strategies, sustainability models, best practice cases, etc.

What are some of the leading companies in this area and why are they interesting?

Several Ecuadorian firms are advancing sustainability plans and projects at diverse stages of development. Pronaca, a leading Ecuadorian and export company in the agrifood industry has led a successful project to increase corn production by small farmers from 3 tons per hectare to 6.5 ton/ha on average, with some farmers reaching 11 tons/ha. The project has had a significant impact on the lives of the 1042 farms involved in the project, 64% of which were small farmers with less than 10 hectares of land.

Other companies of interest include San Carlos and Valdez (sugar mills), Ecuasal and La Fabril (edible oil, palm plantations, and biofuel projects), as well as Industrias Lacteas Toni, Holcim Ecuador and Syngenta.

What is the Cooperation Agreement you have with CEMDES?

ESPAE first signed the Cooperation Agreement in 2009. At the time we were relatively recent signatories of PRME and looking at ways to integrate the principles into our programmes and curriculum. Since it was not possible to introduce new courses or make major changes to the curriculum at the time, we decided to work in collaboration with CEMDES. The initial objective was to develop a Breakfast Seminar series on Sustainable Business Development that addressed mostly environmental issues, which the school does not currently include in its MBA programmes. The Breakfast Seminars are intended to engage faculty, students, and alumni—from across the University and not just the business school—as well as the business community. These events have been going regularly since then and 2015 marks our 7th year. Some of the most popular themes of our seminars recently, have been our sessions on inclusive economy as well as sustainable value chains and carbon footprints.

What kinds of lessons have you learnt through this partnership?

I believe that this joint activity in particular showed us that to take certain initiatives business looks for role models, and they are willing to learn from their peers. The cases presented at the Breakfast Series allow that interaction, discussion and learning. In addition, as a school we realised the importance of business/firms collaboration in the fulfillment of the PRME principles. We have learnt a lot from CEMDES and its members, which is helping us integrate PRME more across the school.

Beyond the Breakfast Series, are there any additional links/partnerships that have been created because of this partnership?

Our cooperation agreement with CEMDES goes beyond organising the Breakfast Series, to developing activities of mutual benefit. We are now also members of CEMDES and I am a member of the CEMDES Board, which has been a great learning opportunity for both institutions.

Through our relationship with CEMDES we have been able to invite key speakers into the classroom. We collaborate on a series of three annual conferences facilitating the exchange of learning from good practices in sustainability, and we receive funding for events from past participants and business attendees of our joint events.

What is next for this partnership?

We have several new projects underway. We have developed a new Master’s in Sustainable Agribusiness, which was definitely influenced by this partnership. We are also currently working on an executive programme on sustainable value chains in collaboration with CEMDES. We are also planning on running a self-assessment on social responsibility practices with CEMDES to receive specialised advice for improvements.

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

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.



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