What happened at the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly

prmeOn September 25-26, the Principles for Responsible Management Education Secretariat and CEEMAN co-organised the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly in Bled Slovenia, held in conjunction with the 21st CEEMAN Annual Conference on September 27. The events brought together more than 200 members of responsible management education community and included some influential speakers including the former President of Slovenia, Janez Stanovnik, Dr. Jernej Pkalo, Minister for Education, Science, and Sport in Slovenia, Nikos Koumettis, President of the Central & Southern Europe Business Unit for The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Deans from a range of leading business schools around the world. The focus of the event was to discuss the creation of a new intellectual, research, and institutional agenda that develops leaders for the future we want.

A few outcomes of the Summit included a range of new and updated resources to assist signatories in their efforts to implement responsible management education. The second edition of the Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Learning to go beyond was released, featuring 27 new case stories from 17 countries. As with the first edition, launched at Rio+20, these inspirational guides highlight the real implementers of responsible management education.  A series of additional case stories were also selected in a blind peer review process for inclusion in the Summit and can be found here.

The second edition of the 2013 PRME MGSM MBA Study was launched, an international survey of MBA students and their attitudes towards corporate sustainability and responsible management. A total of 1,285 postgraduate students contributed to the online survey. Generally the students reported that their schools are preparing them well on issues of business ethics and social responsibility but at the same time there is evidence to suggest that academic institutions would be well served by maintaining and increasing the scope of responsible management education in across their curricula.

The issue area PRME Working Groups have also been very active over the past year. The PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption has developed an Anti-Corruption Toolkit, available online, which provides eleven comprehensive anti-corruption modules for business schools and management-related academic institutions around the world. The modules can be used individually or collectively and aim to address the ethical, moral, and practical challenges that students will face in the marketplace. The PRME Working Group on Gender Equality has continued to update the Global Resource Repository, which provides resources for faculty to integrate gender issues into management education, and includes an inventory of case studies, syllabi, text books, good practices, etc., for application in a variety of disciplines. The PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education will soon publish the second edition of The Collection of Best Practices and Inspirational Solutions for Fighting Poverty through Management Education: A Compendium of Teaching Resources.

A couple of recognitions were given out for Excellent in Reporting. In the first category of those PRME signatories that submitted more than 3 Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports, Hanken School of Economics from Finland was selected because of its report’s clear and coherent structure, readability, and the information regarding the evolution of their activities and their future goals and plans. A second school recognised in this category was ISAE/FGV from Brazil, which created a sustainability report that uses a range of different reporting frameworks (PRME, GRI, MDGs, UNGC) and combines readability with detail and technicality for those mentioned audiences. The second category of awards recognised the cohort of new signatories reporting for the first time. In this category, Glasgow Caledonian University’s SIP report was recognised for presenting initiatives for each Principle in an easily identifiable way, and actions undertaken have been show in concise, realistic, useful, and inspiring ways.

This year has also seen the establishment of a number of regional chapters, with several more in development. PRME Regional Chapters are now present in Asia, Australasia, Latin America, Brazil, UK and Ireland, German-Speaking Europe (DACH – Switzerland, Austria, Germany), Nordic countries, and the Middle East and North  Africa. There are several upcoming PRME regional meetings and activities, including the 3rd PRME MENA Regional Forum (9-11 November in Dubai), the 4th PRME Asia Forum (14-15 November in Manila, Philippines), the 3rd PRME Australia/New Zealand Forum (18-21 November in Waikato, New Zealand), and the PRME Chapter Brazil will meet in Curitiba on 5 November. Participation at these events, which are great opportunities to learn more about PRME, is open to all from the responsible management education community.

To read the 2013 PRME Summit Declaration click here.

What did you take out of the summit? New ideas? New partnerships? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Integrating Poverty into Management Education: 10 questions with Milenko Gudic about the PRME Working Group on Poverty (Part 2 of 2)

Al Rosenbloom and Milenko Gudić, Working Group coordinators, meeting to design the 2010 CEEMAN/PRME Survey on Poverty. The idea of developing socially responsible management students who might address the issue of poverty originated from a discussion with Al in 2006

The PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education (Anti-Poverty Working Group), launched in 2008, advocates for the integration of poverty-related discussion into all levels of management education worldwide. It is grounded in the belief that poverty is a legitimate topic for discussion and research in business schools and that business can and should be a catalyst for innovative, profitable and responsible approaches to poverty reduction.

According to the PRME Anti-Poverty Working Group, “Business schools, as the main providers of educational services, need to exchange views and ideas, collaborate and develop new ways and means to sustainable development and the development of responsible leadership for a better world. In this context, fighting poverty is not only one of the major Millennium Development Goals, but also a big challenge for management education.”

I recently had the chance to speak with Milenko Gudic, IMTA Managing Director at CEEMAN and the co-facilitator of the Working Group, about their current and future activities. (To read Part 1 of this interview click here.)

6.     You have developed a collection of best practices. What are your plans for this?

The Collection of Best Practices and Inspirational Solutions that we presented as one of the Working Group’s deliverables for the 3rd PRME Global Forum and Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum is only an embryo of the future online platform for sharing experience on how to integrate poverty-related issues into management teaching. The collection encompasses 13 different inputs related to educational content and processes, including new cases, articles, books, up-to-date course designs, programme development materials, and partnership arrangements with other learning partners. Through the open access platform, faculty and business schools from around the world will have the opportunity to learn from and also contribute to this output. We are happy that there is an increasing interest for both learning and contributing. The latter is particularly encouraging.

7.     What are some examples from the collection of solutions?

In conceptualizing and designing our survey, we followed to some extent the approach from the UNDP Growing Inclusive Market Initiative (GIM). This project developed more than 100 cases on specific solutions that business developed to address the main constraints they face in low-income markets. Each of them offers interesting learning lessons, while all of them remind us once again that business schools are lagging behind businesses in responding to market needs and opportunities.

Our Collection of Best Practices and Inspirational Solutions provides equally interesting and inspirational solutions on how to integrate poverty-related issues into management education. One of these solutions, GLOBE (Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs), by Linda Sama from St. John’s University, received the 2012 Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award from the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division and McGraw Hill in recognition of the development and implementation of a social entrepreneurship course. GLOBE is a student-managed microloan programme that provides loans, sourced through donations, to entrepreneurs in the world’s most impoverished communities with the goal of helping those living in poverty elevate themselves to a higher standard of living.

8.     Is there a growing interest in this area?

In presenting the survey/report results to undergraduate students, participants at different MBA, MSc and doctoral programmes, and faculty members at Bocconi University and SDA in Milan, Italy, and ISM-University of Management and Economics in Vilnius, Lithuania, I witnessed tremendous interest in this area, from both the the schools, student, and faculty champions. I have found it very encouraging.

Recently, the 2012 Academy of Management, held this August in Boston, enlisted the session on the Informal Economy, Poverty and Responsible Management Education as one of the All Academy Theme events. The discussion there was filled with passion about what business schools could and should do in fighting poverty.

Turning this passion into action is what the Working Group, with support from PRME and CEEMAN, has been trying to facilitate and will continue to do so in the future. That is our mission and passion, too. It is really a great privilege and pleasure to collaborate with and learn from so many outstanding professionals and wonderful personalities.

9.     What changes do you think business schools can make to play their part in fighting poverty?

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.

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.

The most effective way to deal with all this is through faculty development. This is an absolute priority and precondition for any other change. The experience of the CEEMAN’s International Management Teachers Academy (IMTA), a faculty development programme aimed at creating a new generation of management educators for the new generation of business leaders, confirms that it works. By educating 450 management faculty, IMTA has made an impact on 135 institutions in 37 countries around the world. The new disciplinary track on how to teach the issues related to business in society will include also the issue of poverty.

10.  What’s next for the Working Group and how can others get involved?

Following our vision statement and the general frame of work that we agreed upon when the group was established, and building on the work done so far, our current priorities include:

  • Further building the case for businesses and management development institutions to include poverty-related issues into their respective strategies and programmes. Promoting the Collection of Best Practices and Inspirational Solution and contributing to its further growth and development into an online platform for experience sharing among management educators around the globe.
  • Producing new deliverables for the 2013 PRME Summit, which CEEMAN will host in September 2013 in Bled, Slovenia.

To facilitate achieving these priorities, the Working Group will organize an international conference/workshop on Fighting Poverty thorough Management Education in conjunction with the PRME 2013 Summit, which will provide for sharing and reviewing the work in progress. The event will be open for all those who are interested in the topic of integrating poverty-related issues into management education, including from PRME movement and beyond.

Equally open will be the upcoming call for contribution to the two books that the Working Group is now beginning, which will be published in cooperation with PRME, CEEMAN and Greenleaf Publishing. One of them will be on the question of WHY poverty-related issues in management education, and the other on the question HOW.

For more information about the working group and to participate please contact Milenko Gudic at milenko.gudic@iedc.si or prmesecretariat@unprme.org

Integrating Poverty into Management Education: 10 questions with Milenko Gudic about the PRME Working Group on Poverty (Part 1 of 2)

Designing the CEEMAN/PRME Global Survey for Rio, July 2011, Bled, Slovenia

The PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education (Anti Poverty Working Group), launched in 2008, advocates for the integration of poverty-related discussion into all levels of management education worldwide. It is grounded in the belief that poverty is a legitimate topic for discussion and research in business schools and that business can and should be a catalyst for innovation, profitable and responsible approaches to poverty reduction.

According to the PRME Anti-Poverty Working Group, “Business schools, as the main providers of educational services, need to exchange views and ideas, collaborate and develop new ways and means to sustainable development and the development of responsible leadership for a better world. In this context, fighting poverty is not only one of the major Millennium Development Goals, but also a big challenge for management education”.

I recently had the chance to speak with Milenko Gudic, IMTA Managing Director at CEEMAN and co-facilitator of the Working Group, about their current and future activities.

1. Why was the working group created and who is involved?

The suggestion to  establish the Anti-Poverty Working Group came from the PRME Secretariat after the 1st Global Forum for Responsible Management Education in 2008, where the results of the CEEMAN-sponsored global Survey on Management Education: Corporate Social Responsibility and Poverty were presented. The survey, which received 164 responses from faculty and administrators from business schools in 33 countries, demonstrated that it was possible to mobilise management educators around the world to address the question of what business schools, the institutions that create business leaders, could do to help achieve one of the main Millennium Development Goals, poverty alleviation.

Because this project and CEEMAN‘s value platform resonated with the mission of PRME, the Working Group was launched and, in 2010, CEEMAN became a PRME Steering Committee member. CEEMAN now represents a network of more than 200 management development institutions from 51 countries around the globe and continues to support the Working Group, which as grown to include nearly 100 members from 75 institutions in 37 countries representing all the continents.

2. Why did you decide to start the survey?

The 2012 survey is the third in a series. While the 2008 survey showed that 72% of respondents believed that global poverty was a legitimate topic to be included in the management education curriculum, the 2010 CEEMAN/PRME Survey on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education, which gathered 377 responses from 51 countries, sought to capture innovation and creativity in integrating poverty-related issues into management education. Asked about how they teach about poverty, the respondents said that they preferred action learning rather than theory, and the use of consulting projects and student study trips in order to engage their students. Respondents also indicated that the integration of poverty-related issues into management education requires a broader agreement among school’s faculty and administration, which was not identified as common place.

These results informed the focus of the third survey on challenges, opportunities and solutions. Expected interest in the results by both the management education and business communities resulted in additional support from the International Association of Quality Assessment and EQUAL (the European Quality Link), a network sponsored by PRME Steering Committee member EFMD.

Further encouragement for the solution-focus of this survey/report was the invitation extended by the PRME Secretariat and UN Global Compact Office to present the results on the occasion of the 3rd Global Forum and the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum.

3. What role does management education play in fighting poverty?

Not as strong as it could and should be. Fighting poverty is just one part of a bigger story. In general, business schools need to take a more proactive role in educating responsible leaders for sustainable development and a better world. This is their social responsibility, though it is not yet so widely recognised and/or accepted.

CEEMAN’s Survey on Business Schools’ Response to Global Crisis, carried out in 2009, indicated that business schools perceived the current global crisis not only as financial, but rather as an economic, social, and ethical and moral crisis. When asked about their own responsibility for the crisis, the schools were very reluctant to admit any. The reason being, as the schools stated, that their students and participants came to them with already formed values and attitudes, which business schools cannot change. Even a glance at business schools’ missions and marketing messages would lead to finding the statement a bit hypocritical.

4. What are some of the most interesting results from the Fighting Poverty through Management Education Reports?

The key message from the whole series of surveys is that, in spite of a number of challenges, there are also huge opportunities and already numerous solutions. In this respect, it is important to notice that the presence of one or two faculty champions, strong leadership from the dean and congruence with the business school’s mission are among the key factors that make a difference. It is the same as with any other attempt to make change happen.

Equally, if not even more importantly (at least for me personally), were the findings related to faculty and administrators’ perceptions of market expectations and preferences regarding the inclusion of the poverty-related issues in management education. Instead of accepting the assumption that businesses, and therefore students, are not interested in the topic, the results may instead be interpreted as a sign of insufficient identification of the customer needs and/or lack of dialogue with the major stakeholders.

Of course, the most encouraging are the results that demonstrate high commitment, passion, and capabilities of faculty and administration to find creative and innovative solutions to the challenges they face.

5. What are some of the challenges that were identified in this area?

Amon the main challenges is still the question of the topic’s legitimacy. In turn, this is related to other important issues, including the very understanding of the term “poverty.” What does “poverty” actually mean? We must also overcome prevailing mindsets and attitudes about this issue, address the existence of a “silo mentality”, and recognise the primacy of the quantitative disciplines. There is the additional challenge of integrating new things into an already “over-packed” curriculum and finding qualified experts whose teaching would be based on relevant research. Finally, we must find a method to address external incentives from the major international accreditation and ranking systems and schemes.

– Part 2 will be posted September 14th-

%d bloggers like this: