November 2009
October 2009

News - 3 December 2009

PRME/CBS International Conference on Responsible Management Education: Sustainable Leadership in the era of Climate Change

On 23-24 November Copenhagen Business School hosted the “PRME/CBS International Conference on Responsible Management Education: Sustainable Leadership in the era of Climate Change”. Contributing to the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP15) on 7-18 December 2009 a tangible outcome of the conference is The Copenhagen Conference Declaration: A Call to Action for Management Education that sets out three focus areas for the role of business schools in relation to climate change: 1. Integrate Climate-related Topics into Management Education 2. Research the Role of Business in a Low Carbon Economy 3. Lead by Example The conference structure was very interactive and through engaging panel debates and involving workshops the conference discussed how business schools can help solve the climate crisis through new educational approaches, sustainable leadership, innovative research models and new forms of partnerships. From the various sessions we distilled the following outcomes: 4 Competencies 1. Understanding of the political process 2. Understanding broader societal perspectives – long term perspectives 3. Creativity, interdiciplinarity, imagination and innovation 4. Personal leadership: communication, engagement, trust, tangibility, integrity 4 Best Practices of Curriculum Change 1. Flexible, imaginative formats, co-created with e.g. students 2. Climate change teaching should be integrated into core curriculum 3. President/top management’s commitment 4. Learning by doing - creating new business cases 4 Wishes for Curricula Change 1. Integrate and reward extracurricular student driven activities, not necessarily credits 2. Engaging inward (business school administration and faculty) and outward (strategic business partnerships) seeing initiatives as a part of a larger vision for society 3.Active students should act as ambassadors in promoting climate change curriculum 4.Sustainability needs to be integrated into mainstream curriculum 4 Most Important Research Topics 1. Development of holistic approaches to determine life cycle analysis for emerging new climate friendly technologies 2. Identifying the institutional ”acupuncture points” to lever for policy and institutional infrastructure change 3. Identifying the intersection of stakeholder skills interests and values and the institutional infrastructure necessary to promote collaborative networks and synergies that can overcome the complexities of climate issues 4. Business models for systemic changes (e.g. open innovation, technology platforms, cooperative models and frameworks, strategy under uncertainty, socio-economic dynamics) The input from the conference will be used by the “PRME Working Group on Climate and Curriculum Change” that was formally launched during the conference to produce a Practical Guide to Climate and Curriculum Change to be presented in Summer 2010. Please find presentations and other outcome documents from the conference at the conference website: In the near future we will be making a call for working group membership and the first webinar in for this working group will take place the first week of February. Check the Sustainable Leadership in the era of Climate Change working group page on the PRME website for updates on this topic.

03 Dec 2009

Important Change in PRME Foundational Document

In order to dispel some misunderstandings by potential PRME signatories, we would like to inform you that the PRME Steering Committee has decided to change the wording in the introduction to our foundational document, where the Principles are formulated. From now own, this introduction will read: "As institutions of higher education involved in the development of current and future managers we declare our willingness to progress in the implementation, within our institution, of the following Principles, starting with those that are more relevant to our capacities and mission. We will report on progress to all our stakeholders and exchange effective practices related to these principles with other academic institutions." You will notice that, apart from minor language changes, when talking about the commitment to implement the Principles we have added the wording "starting with those that are more relevant to [the institution's] capacities and mission." The reason for this addition is intended to address the perceptions of some schools that PRME signatories are obliged to immediately undertake new research inspired by the Principles. This concern has prompted hesitation on the part of these schools to become a PRME signatory. We understand that faculties have the autonomy to pursue their own research interests, and tenure makes it difficult for school administration to have direct control over each faculty's research agenda. We anticipate that new scholarship on sustainability and corporate citizenship-related issues will take time to develop. We would like to take advantage of this opportunity to make clear that PRME signatories are not expected to implement ALL principles at the same time or immediately. PRME is a voluntary initiative based on a commitment to make progress over time. Each institution will write its own history of change and updating of its curricula, according to its own capacities and in a consistent way to its unique mission statement. Therefore, the PRME principles are not a set of fixed standards, but a framework for continuous improved practice that will allow signatory academic institutions to raise the bar over time, inspired by the PRME learning community, and, in turn, inspiring PRME peers with their own example. We hope that this change in the wording of our introduction will help schools which are considering participation in the PRME initiative better understand its underlying philosophy. It is also an invitation to current signatories to genuinely walk the path of innovation, building gradually on the basis of the specific nature, capacity and potential of each institution. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact

03 Dec 2009

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