With over half of Australia’s business schools in attendance, the 1st Australia/New Zealand PRME Forum helped establish the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative more firmly among universities and business schools in Australia, New Zealand and the region. Hosted by the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and co-organized by Griffith Business School, the Global Compact Network Australia and the PRME Secretariat, the Forum brought together nearly 80 deans and faculty from PRME participants across the region.
The forum provided a platform for collaboration and partnerships, exchange of good practices and experiences in embedding the Principles, and discussion of the operational capacities needed to advocate for PRME and the UN Global Compact.
In his opening remarks, UNSW Australian School of Business Dean Alec Cameron stressed the importance of responsible management practices as a distinguishing feature of the school and encouraged other institutions to develop similar processes. UNSW collaborates with fellow schools and administrators, including Tony Buono, Founding Director of the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility at Bentley University in the United States, who is working with the Australian School of Business to develop principles of responsible management practice for its curriculum. Griffith University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Michael Powell highlighted that being the first Australian business school to adopt the PRME helped differentiate the institution from its competition.
Participants showcased their efforts to implement continuous improvements among business schools and management-related academic institutions based on the principles of the UN Global Compact. Stephan King, Monash University Dean of Business and Economics, stated that management courses are reviewed to ensure that they incorporate issues of sustainability. The Graduate School of Management at La Trobe University – the first university to issue a third-party sustainability report following the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines – allows students to take for-credit courses at the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, thus building the basis for changes in curriculum and research. Global Compact Network Australia participants Mr. Matthew Tukaki, CEO, Sustain, and Mr. Greg Welsh, CEO, Sebel Furniture, further underscored the important role that the UN Global Compact principles play in their businesses in the context of a global economy.
“I applaud the actions taken by management schools in Australia and New Zealand to develop a new generation of business leaders capable of managing the complex challenges faced by business and society in the 21st century,” said Jonas Haertle, Head of the PRME Secretariat.
To close the Forum, Prem Ramburuth, UNSW Australian School of Business Associate Dean of Education, announced efforts underway to organize the next Australia/New Zealand PRME Forum, to be held at Griffith Business School in September 2012. In 2013 the Forum will be hosted by Waikato Business School in New Zealand.
Academic institutions are also welcomed to participate in and develop input for the 3rd PRME Global Forum for Management Education on 29-30 May 2012. The global meeting will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
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