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Muhammad Yunus calls attention to social business models at 2nd UK & Ireland PRME Conference

(Glasgow, 20 August 2015) - The 2nd UK & Ireland PRME Conference was held in Glasgow, Scotland at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) on 29-30 June 2015, attended by over 50 delegates from the region.

Keynote speaker Professor Muhammad Yunus, GCU Chancellor and Nobel Laureate, addressed delegates in a keynote address entitled “Reflections on Social Business,” in which he discussed his experience of alleviating complex social problems through social business, rather than a traditional for-profit business model. He highlighted successful examples, such as the Grameen Bank, which he started in Bangladesh in 1976 and which has been instrumental in lifting millions of people out of poverty. He also spoke of his desire to create “a world of three zeros – zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions” – See more at the conference website.

On the panel, "Business as a Force for Good," guests Jane Wood, CEO of Scottish Business in the Community, Richard Taylor, Director of Corporate Communications Scottish Power, and Sefton Laing, Head of Sustainability, Royal Bank of Scotland, shared first hand insights into the challenges facing companies in inherently problematic areas such as energy and banking, wishing to integrate sustainability into the strategies and DNA of their organisations. One panel member spoke not of 'dilemmas' for businesses, but ‘trilemmas.’

For a link to the GCU newsroom and photographs, please see the link here; for more information about the conference please see here.

In total, there were twenty-four presentations by delegates, including doctoral students, on a range of issues related to implementation of PRME in the UK and Ireland: institutionalising PRME; curricular development; pedagogy for PRME; engaging students with the PRME agenda; social innovation and PRME; and measuring social value.

On the occasion of this 2nd Annual Conference, the PRME Chapter UK & Ireland held its Annual General Meeting (AGM), Chaired by Chair Carole Parkes and Vice Chair Alec Wersun. Participants heard that the Chapter is doing well in its second year, with about 60 institutional members and a new, active website (see to make knowledge exchange and communication with members more efficient. Updates on a number of exciting projects run by members, include:

  • A series of 8 workshops over the next three years, to take place in different parts of the United Kingdom, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals, organised by Kathryn Haynes (Newcastle University) and Alan Murray (Winchester University), and sponsored buy Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Development of a competence-based framework to assess the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for responsible managers and leaders, led by Dirk Moosmayer (Nottingham University) and Oliver Lasch (Manchester University)
  • A number of fascinating doctoral research dissertations well underway in UK & Ireland PRME Chapter institutions

Find background and information on joining the PRME Chapter UK & Ireland PRME here.

20 Aug 2015

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