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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

Training a New Generation of African Entrepreneurs – ALTIS and E4Impact

2-GraduationCeremony 2Sub-Saharan Africa is a region with enormous growth potential, but there are significant challenges to assure this growth is inclusive. In Africa, SMEs generate only 17% of the GDP and 30% of employment, while in OECD countries figures ram up to 50% and 60%, respectively. The «migration phenomenon» from the African continent is, in part, a consequence of the lack of local businesses able to generate sustainable employment opportunities and wealth for communities.

In response to this, ALTIS Postgraduate School of Business and Society launched E4Impact, a special MBA programme aimed at training a new class of African leaders who will be able to create jobs in the sustainable private sector in their countries. This perfectly fits ALTIS’ mission to foster impact entrepreneurship and management for sustainable development. I recently spoke with Jessica Vaghi, Communications Manager at E4Impact Foundation, about the impacts of this initiative.

What is the E4Impact MBA

E4Impact, launched in 2010, became a Foundation spin-off of Università Cattolica (ALTIS) in 2015 with the contribution of Securfin, Mapei, Salini-Impregilo, Always Africa Association, ENI and Bracco. The Foundation offers the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship in collaboration with Università Cattolica and a local university from the host country. The first MBA was offered in Kenya in 2010; now it’s also offered in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ethiopia.

The MBA is a unique 12-16 month executive program that guides active and aspiring entrepreneurs in starting or scaling their businesses, providing them simultaneously with an academic and business acceleration experience. It is comprised of a flexible blend of class lessons, distance learning, mentoring and networking events. Furthermore, participants are supported by a Business Coach: a dedicated business consultant that assists them in developing their business plan and establishing an industry network. There are also several occasions for participants to pitch their project to investors and the financial community in order to foster relationships of trust with these actors.

How did it come about?

Would-be entrepreneurs, owners of existing SMEs and successful impact entrepreneurs are hindered in various ways in Sub-Saharan Africa. They lack the business acumen necessary to have dialogue with financial institutions and struggle to find the structure and guidance to systematically test their ideas in the marketplace. Most MBA programs for African people are not aimed at entreprenuers and focus more on theory than on practice. African universities need to enhance their ability to offer educational programs for entrepreneurs, thus becoming a long-term driver of change.

The E4Impact MBA helps attenuate these problems and weakens the probability of collapse of new enterprises. It supports local universities in offering action-oriented entrepreneurial education and in becoming part of a pan-African system. The MBA is not an academic exercise, but applied learning, where entrepreneurs are guided in verifying the feasibility of their business project and in drafting an investor-ready business plan. The program is built around entrepreneurs’ business ideas and each academic module works on a particular aspect of running a business (Strategy, Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Operations, HR).

The first iteration of this course was set in Italy. In 2005, ALTIS launched an MBA program for African entrepreneurs. However, many students remained in Europe after the course instead of going back to their countries. Therefore, the program was moved to Sub-Saharan African countries and E4Impact was born with the goal of becoming the leading Pan-African university alliance for training and coaching a new generation of impact entrepreneurs capable of combining economic success with positive social impact.

What have been some of the challenges of E4Impact MBA? 

The biggest challenge has been finding an academic formula that suits not only to country’s context, but also to the entrepreneurs’ needs. The first two MBA editions in Kenya had a full-time formula. Although entrepreneurs liked the programme, it was soon clear that this wasn’t the right formula because they had no time to work on their businesses.

Moreover, the old editions followed a continental approach in the sense that people from all over Africa moved to Kenya to attend the MBA. However, creating a network around the entrepreneur and his/her business was not easy if he/she was out of the country.

In its third edition, E4Impact implemented its current academic formula: always aiming to assure students have an African CV that meets International standards.

The current formula is part-time (39 working days in class and distance learning modules) and has a country approach (participants are residents in the country where they attend the MBA). It enables entrepreneurs to keep on with their daily jobs while working on their business projects and helps establish a solid network of partners that are useful for business development, model testing and validation.

What about some of the successes? 

E4Impact counts 196 impact entrepreneurs under training and 185 already trained, 35% of which are women. We calculated that the 73% of alumni have a business in place and they provide 497 jobs.

There are seven local university partners: Tangaza University College (Nairobi), Catholic Institute of Business and Technology (Accra), University of Makeni, Uganda Martyrs University (Kampala), Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix (Abidjan), Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (Mwanza) and Institute Supérieur the Management (Dakar). E4Impact has trained 35 people among local university staff and professors; in 2017 this figure will rise to at least 63.

In 2012, E4Impact was the first non-American program awarded with the Ashoka Innovation University Award.

E4Impact’s greatest success, though, is represented by its entrepreneurs and their impact businesses. For example, Jacqueline Kiage, entrepreneur from the 2nd edition of the MBA in Kenya is the co-Founder of Innovation Eye Centre, a health social enterprise that offers high quality, affordable and accessible eye care services to the community in the South Western Region of Kenya and beyond. Osei Bobie, entrepreneur from the 2nd edition of the MBA in Ghana,is Chief Operation Officer & Founder of Farmers’ Hope, a Ghanaian enterprise that produces a potent and affordable organic fertilizer with local raw materials that improves the soil structure over long period of time. Similarly, Jody Ogana, entrepreneur from the 4th edition of the MBA in Kenya, is General Manager of The GoDown Arts Centre, a non-profit enterprise that provides the first Kenyan multi-disciplinary platform for arts, and there are many more.

How are these shared in Italy with students as well?

In 2012, E4Impact launched an internship program for students of the Università Cattolica in Milan to take part in the E4Impact programme. Twenty-four Italian students have already been sent to different African partner universities during the MBA academic year. They have assisted business coaches in his/her job and helped the African entrepreneurs transform their business ideas into bankable business plans. Some of the students also worked on their theses, developing case studies based on successful businesses of E4Impact impact entrepreneurs.

Given the relevance of the experience, E4Impact aims at extending the internship programme to students of other universities focused on sustainability and sustainable development.

What’s next for the initiative?

E4Impact aims to offer the MBA in at least 15 African countries by 2020. The final objective is to become the leading Pan-African alliance of universities focused on sustainability, able to support a growing basin of African impact entrepreneurs. In 2017, E4Impact MBA will be offered also in Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa; by 2020,in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Congo DR and Angola.

Thanks to its MBA, E4Impact facilitates the expansion of African and International SMEs oriented to sustainability in the sub-Saharan area. By matching them with reliable local entrepreneurs, E4Impact offers small businesses a low cost, low risk opportunity to enter African markets in countries where the MBA is offered.

E4Impact launched the first pilot project, “First-Step Africa,” in the 2014/2015 academic year with the Italian enterprise, SIPA, which is interested in exploring Ghana’s market of plastic containers. They are currently working with 5 companies and there are already 20 interested companies for the upcoming academic year.

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Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative and the American University of Nigeria

AUN

The American University of Nigeria sees its role as a “Development University.” It focuses on the traditional roles of repository and transmitter of culture and knowledge as well as the creation of new knowledge. But, it also focuses on the practical role that universities must play in the development of a nation. One such role is to promote peace in their region. I spoke with Dr. Vrajlal Sapovadia, Dean at the American University of Nigeria about their projects in this area.

What is the Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative and how did it come about?

The Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative (API) is non-profit, non-political organization working to foster unity, harmony and prosperity in Adamawa state. After a nationwide strike against the removal of fuel subsidies in 2012, AUN President Dr. Margee Ensign and then Chairman of the AUN Board, Ahmed Joda reached out to religious and community leaders of Yola to understand the sources of tension and find ways to defuse them and promote peace and stability. API members identify “vulnerable youth” in the community who are then offered training and support in a number of AUN funded and organized initiatives. As at-risk youth are frequently targeted and recruited by Boko Haram, API’s peace model focuses on bringing youth back into the fold, enhancing their tolerance across social, ethnic and cultural divides through sports and peace workshops, and preparing them for education and practical training programs.

Who is involved in the Initiative?

The Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative is a partnership that unites academic leaders of the University and religious and community leaders of API in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation. Members of API are drawn from religious groups, business and government across Adamawa State, including representatives of the Lamido of Adamawa, the Traditional Ruler of the Adamawa Emirate, the Society for Support of Islam, Christian Association of Nigeria, Inter-Faith Mediation Center, Muslim-Christian Forum, Muslim Council, Traders’ Associations, and the American University of Nigeria.

OurPeace work derives from the philosophy of the university that is to set itself as the first development university in the country where students are trained to understand and solve problems in accordance with their deepest values and beliefs, using interdisciplinary approach to education.” This philosophy commits the university to helping its community and society achieve equitable and sustainable prosperity, where all have the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, based on respect for the traditions, religion and cultural heritage of the students.

What are the key features of the programme and how does it work?

API has a number of ongoing projects, including:

  • Peace through Sports: Recruiting marginalized youth to attend peace studies workshops and participate in soccer and volleyball tournaments in order to promote cross-cultural communication and understanding.
  • IT Training Programme for students from at-risk communities at the AUN’s African Center for Information and Communications Technology Training & Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship Training Program teaches students the basics of entrepreneurship, including financial literacy, market research, entity formation and proposal development
  • Grand Alliance for Employment coordinates and develops projects that will increase employment in the region, especially for the vulnerable

API has ongoing projects such as “The Peacemakers” television show, annually celebrated Peace Day, Peace Lecture Series, IT training and literacy programs, tutoring programs aimed at combatting high illiteracy rates in the state and a programme to motivate students towards science-related careers.

What have been some of the challenges?

One big challenge is local language. Few faculties know Hausa or Fulani. Local volunteers are used to translate key messages during conversation. Transport to interior part of the region is another challenge, particularly under security threats. The roads, electricity and telephone work also contributes to our challenges..

Successes?

The university has made a huge investment in information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. It has one of the best data centre in the world. The programme leverages this excellent ICT infrastructure through a range of programmes aimed at providing ICT-based entrepreneurship training. Youth from the community take part in an 8-week free training course where they learn basic ICT skills and training to set up small businesses. So far, over 2000 youth have been trained through this programme. It also provides training principals and teachers in ICT. Likewise, over 100 teachers have been trained on how to use ICT in the classroom. We just recently completed a six-week literacy programme for staff (drivers, cleaners, gardeners) and members of the community identified through our poverty programmes.

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

The world is so big and problems are many. No one institute can cater to all the needs of the community. Any school can do what AUN is doing. We all need to be willing to learn from the experiences of others and willing to share our own. Everything is replicable. If we cannot eliminate poverty, literacy and environmental problems, at the very least we can reduce it and Universities and business schools play such a key role in this.

What’s next for the initiative?

We have several plans moving forward. We are looking at providing training and coaching of women entrepreneurs as they really have the potential to greatly contribute to the development of our communities. We are also looking into putting in place a programme to help commercialize local low cost innovations that often go unnoticed. We would also like to reach out more to small businesses in the community to identify problems that they have and work with teams of senior students to come up with possible solutions.

 

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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.

2014 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is that time again for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2014 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. More than 60 articles were posted over the year on responsible management education, featuring over 200 examples from more than 100 schools in 37 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

As the international community is preparing the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, a growing focus of PRiMEtime and the wider PRME community has been how business schools can get engaged in the process and be a part of reaching the goals once they are put in place. The Post-2015 process provided an overview of how the goals are being put together through international consultations, and in particular about the business sector contributions to the process through the UN Global Compact (part 1 and part 2). In July we looked at the thoughts of a panel of distinguished guests at the PRME Champions meeting in NYC around what role business schools have in the Sustainable Development Goals. More recently, an overview of resources available for business schools was presented related to the UN Climate Summit and Private Sector Forum—the largest climate meeting yet—bringing together more than 125 heads of state as well as business leaders. We also looked at the discussions happening around Carbon Pricing, one of the main themes of the Private Sector Forum, as well as the growing number of resources available through the Global Compact for faculty and students in particular around Human Rights and Business for Peace.

2014 celebrated a number of International Days (Jan-May) organised by the United Nations, aimed at raising awareness about different sustainability topics, that provide numerous ways to engage students and staff. On World Food Day we took a look at what business schools are doing to raise awareness about food issues at a local level (Part 1 and Part 2). The 2014 International Year of Small Island Developing States gave us a chance to celebrate the approaches taken by Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (Trinidad and Tobago), Lee Kong Chian School of Business (Singapore) and Barna Business School (Dominican Republic). In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day on the 9th of December, two posts focused on engaging students in this topic, the first, Ten ways to bring anti-corruption discussions into the classroom and then a second, ten more ways to bring anti-corruption discussions into the classroom.

Principle 2Principle 2: Values

KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business shared their experiences aligning sustainability efforts across numerous campuses after a merger, and described how they created their joint Sharing Information on Progress Reports (SIP) report. We also had the chance to learn about how Hanken School of Economics put together their Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report and what tips they have for others.

Soegljapranata Catholic University, in Indonesia, and Management College of South Africa, are both developing their own “Green” and “Ethics” strategies for their students while UASM-Universidad de los Andes, in Colombia, is currently exploring the impact of internalising PRME and exploring the extent to which academic programmes and research in this area influence students. EMFD shared information about their Business School Impact Survey launched this past year.

Schools continue to organise several special events for students and staff to engage in sustainability related topics. Louvain School of Management (Belgium) organised the “LSM Cup: Ethics in Business,” an inter-faculty, multidisciplinary business game focused on CSR. San Francisco State University College of Business (USA) reported on their Business Ethics Week with ethics related modules and speakers. Universidad del Cono Sur de las Americas (Paraguay) has an annual event called “Contest of Crazy Ideas,” which invites students to develop creative ideas focused around social responsibility. Lviv Business School (Ukraine) five-day interdisciplinary retreat brings together faculty, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, artists and other individuals to discuss and explore leadership, ethics, values and trust. Cameron School of Business (USA) and ESIC (Spain) have both created microcredit lending programmes. IE Business School (Spain) Venture Lab incubates the development and consolidation of social and responsible startups.

Principle 3Principle 3: Method

Several schools engage their students in thinking about business in different ways, right from the first day on campus. The University of Guelph College of Business and Economics (Canada) runs a student competition where students are given 1$ of seed capital and challenged to take their ideas, develop and operate a business, and generate as much real wealth as possible within a month. At Gustavson School of Business (Canada), “MIIISsion Impossible” is an innovative one-day programme that engages students to build a social responsible business idea in teams.

Schools continue to develop a range of different ways to teach students about responsible management topics. Several MOOCs were run quite successfully between September and December (part 1 and part 2). Otto Beisheim School of Management (Germany) shared their approach to using online tools to engage students in sustainability through their Sustainability Lab. HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany) is using co-teaching as a better way to communicate responsibility and ethics to students. Stephanie Bertels from Beedie School of Business (Canada) shared with us an example of an assignment she uses in the classroom focused on sustainability.

Several schools continue to provide more structured options for students to get hands on experience. “Humacite Service Learning Mission,” at La Rochelle Business School (France), is a mandatory three-month service learning mission for students. University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business (Canada) has 3 four-month work terms through its Co-op Programme, giving students the opportunity to try out different jobs, build competencies and earn income. Auckland University of Technology Business School (New Zealand) requires students to reflect on ethical decision-making during their nine-week work placement.

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 Nova School of Business and Economics’ (Portugal) research on business and economic development in Africa. Management Center Innsbruck (Austria) focuses on social responsibility in eastern Austria and the University of New England (Australia) focuses research around carbon taxes. ESCI (Spain) has been exploring how to improve the recycling of clothing and fabric in collaboration with Spanish company Mango. Universidad del Norte (Colombia) is creating a database of case studies focused on sustainability in collaboration with the Global Compact Local Network. Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (South Africa) launched the GIBS Dynamic Market Index, and is the new host of the Network for Business South Africa in partnership with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.

Milgard School of Business (USA) shared their experiences in creating the effective Centre for Leadership & Social Responsibility and the impact it has had on the University and beyond. European College of Economics and Management (Bulgaria) created a new peer-reviewed journal for students called Science and Business. The Benedictine University’s College (USA) has created new innovative PhD programme focused on ethics. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg students work with the German Development Agency (GIZ) to analyse projects carried out by the organisation.

Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) has launched a collection of cases around responsible management available for free through their website.

Part 2 will be posted on January 1st, 2015.

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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