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News - 25 June 2015

Chancellor Yunus to address 2015 UK & Ireland PRME Conference at GCU

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus will deliver a keynote address at the 2015 UK & Ireland PRME Conference, which will be held at the University on Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30.

The two-day conference aims to create a forum to bring together advocates of responsible citizenship, management and leadership from universities and institutions across the UK and Ireland.

Chancellor Yunus, Nobel Laureate and world thought leader in social business, will address delegates in a keynote address entitled 'Reflections on Social Business,' which will be chaired by GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE.

The programme will include sessions on social innovation, led by GCU’s Professor Simon Teasdale and Professor Olinga Ta'eed of the University of Northampton, and on 'Business as a Force for Good,' led by Jane Wood, CEO of Scottish Business in the Community; Richard Taylor, Director of Communications at Scottish Power; and Sefton Laing, Head of Sustainability Services at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

GCU became a signatory to PRME in January 2012. The University’s participation, led by Glasgow School for Business and Society, demonstrates its commitment to ensure that the PRME principles are central to teaching, learning, and research across all disciplines.

GCU is a founding member of the PRME Chapter UK & Ireland, which was established in 2014, and now has 56 members. The Chapter’s remit is to work with higher education institutions and related bodies to support the integration of PRME in the UK and Ireland.

Dr Alec Wersun, Senior Lecturer in Glasgow School for Business and Society, is Vice-Chair of the UK & Ireland Chapter of PRME. He said:

The 2015 UK & Ireland PRME Conference comes straight after the PRME Global Forum in New York and just months before the UN General Assembly announces its plans to address further the structural drivers of poverty, inequality and unsustainable development by 2030.

 The potential of higher education institutions to make significant contributions to this UN agenda is widely acknowledged, be that through research, community engagement and education, to produce the responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

Hosting the conference is further recognition of the leading role that GCU is playing in this area and of its commitment to deliver economic and social benefits at home and across the world. It is important that higher education institutions and business come together to discuss such matters of importance and GCU is delighted to create a space where these important conversations can take place.

The conference is open to academic and non-academic audiences and is not limited to members of the PRME Chapter UK & Ireland or signatories of PRME. It will take place in the University’s Centre for Executive Education (CEE).

25 Jun 2015

Management Education, Business and Government Leaders Met at PRME Global Forum to Celebrate and Reaffirm Commitment to Sustainable Development

(New York, 25 June 2015) – Over four hundred participants from higher education institutions, business, government, and civil society gathered at the 2015 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education – 6th PRME Assembly in New York, welcoming 137 new participants that have joined PRME since the last global meeting in Bled in September 2013, celebrating the ongoing work of the regional PRME Chapters, PRME Champions and PRME Working Groups, and addressing the path forward for management education and business to take a leading role in shaping and achieving the global sustainable development agenda.

On the growth of the PRME, Jonas Haertle, Head of the PRME Secretariat noted that “the PRME initiative, now in its eighth year, is a thriving network and a truly global platform for learning and action…[comprised of] over 600 institutions in over 80 countries, all of which have heeded our call to ‘place sustainability at the heart of management education.’” Over the last one and a half years, 18 PRME Chapter and Regional Meetings have been held, with new PRME Chapters now reach 12 around the world and new resources and tools have been launched, such as the Anti-Corruption Toolkit developed by the PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption in Curriculum Change with the support of the Siemens Integrity Initiative, and the PRME Chapter UK & Ireland region-specific Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME. Also in this time, many collaborations have taken place including the PRME Champions meeting with the Global Compact Board, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Advisory Council, and ambassadors at UN Headquarters to discuss the historic opportunity that business has to shape and advance the post-2015 development agenda. 

At the PRME Global Forum new PRME Workstreams were launched on Business for Peace, Business and Human Rights, and Climate Change, Resilience and Environment Protection. The Forum also saw the launch of the Flourish Prizes project, which was initiated at the 2014 Business as an Agent of World Benefit conference. The PRME Advisory Committee—which enables signatory institutions and the different constituencies of PRME to directly influence the strategic direction of the PRME initiative—met, and committed to work together with the PRME Steering Committee to jointly revise PRME's strategy, in light of learnings from the initial eight years of PRME and in an effort to focus PRME's work for the coming three to five years.

In a Declaration issued at the conclusion of the 2015 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education, participants reaffirmed support for PRME, made commitments to enhance the quality of the PRME initiative individually, institutionally and collectively as a community, and called for governments, business leaders, accrediting bodies, rankings providers, and UN system entities to support management educators in their key role in developing future leaders and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Throughout the development of the proposed SDGs, higher education institutions, and management schools in particular, have emerged as one of the core focus areas in discussions on the required architecture for achieving the goals. In her closing statement at the PRME Global Forum, Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet, spoke on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying, “today, I am encouraged to see the progress you have made—individually, at your academic institutions, and as a community” and recognising that “as educators, researchers, and thought leaders, your role [in achieving the SDGs] is essential.”

25 Jun 2015

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