The mission of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative is to transform management education, research and thought leadership globally by providing the Principles for Responsible Management Education framework, developing learning communities and contributing to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The PRME initiative comprises over 600 business schools and management-related academic institutions in over 85 countries worldwide.
Our global community has thrived on the commitment and the ideas brought by people from around the world. We contribute to global knowledge through the free movement of students, teachers and researchers. Furthermore, as a UN-backed initiative, we are speaking up to defend universal values and principles of the United Nations, namely equality, non-discrimination, freedom, and diversity. We are convinced that these values and principles are one of our greatest strength. Therefore, we are deeply concerned about growing protectionism, nationalism and populism on the global stage. Any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality is against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies as well as educational and research activities are based. Scientific progress depends fundamentally on an open exchange of ideas, scholars and students. To meet global challenges like climate change that are threatening our lives and those of future generations, we must depend on a science-based system of evidence. In combination, these developments have significant negative impacts on our economies and societies, on cooperation and peace in the world.
We considered the implications for the 2017 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education – 7th PRME Assembly and PRME’s 10th Anniversary scheduled to take place in New York City, USA, this July. We have deep concern for those potentially restricted from attending our conference and the implications for our shared values. Like other academic organisations we deliberated on a potential cancelation. After intensive consultations we decided to continue planning the event in NYC for the following reasons:
- We want to signal our support for the values and principles of equality, non-discrimination, freedom and diversity.
- We want to make use of the opportunity to address the issues in a meeting with the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).
- We will adapt our agenda to provide space for discussing the reasons for our concerns in a constructive manner.
- We will make every effort to connect with those restricted from attending via technology.
- Future annual PRME conferences will be organised in locations providing equal access to all participants.
- PRME signatories are reminded that they are welcome to attend regional PRME Chapter meetings in other locations as well, a full overview of meetings can be found on the PRME website.
We are heartened by the leadership shown by academic institutions, corporations and graduates of business and management schools, particularly in support of refugees. Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are finding more and more borders closed and increasingly restricted access to the protection they need and are entitled to receive, per international refugee law.
We remain committed to our mission to prepare a new generation of globally responsible leaders and to preserve the freedom of research, teaching and learning in an international community. It is part of our responsibility to critically address any threats to these fundamental values and principles.
We call for more business and management-related higher education institutions around the world to join us and stand up for the principles and values we all share.
With warm regards,
Andrew Main Wilson
Chair, PRME Steering Committee