PRME Working Group on Poverty, a Challenge for Management Education


Business schools, as the main providers of educational services to future leaders, need to collaborate and develop new ways and means towards sustainable development and the development of responsible leadership for a better world. Poverty alleviation was not only one of the major Millennium Development Goals, but has also been set as the first among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, fighting poverty through management education is a major challenge to business schools worldwide. 

Following the first global survey from CEEMAN on the relationship between management education and poverty—the results of which were presented at the 1st Global Forum for Responsible Management Educationheld on 4-5 December 2008 in New York—PRME suggested establishing a special PRME Working Group on Poverty, a Challenge for Management Education.

The aim of this collective effort is to work towards a proposal that introduces the issue of poverty in the curriculum and the learning methods in the education of future professionals, as part of the social environment in which business management operates.

Vision & Goals

The vision of the PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education is to be advocates for the integration of poverty-related discussions into all levels of management education worldwide. Our vision is grounded in our beliefs that:

  • Poverty is a legitimate topic for discussion and research in schools of business and management
  • Business should be a catalyst for innovative, profitable and responsible approaches to poverty reduction
  • Multiple stakeholder engagement is needed for innovative curriculum development

In our role as advocates, we will:

  • Create opportunities for multi-stakeholder discussions
  • Foster discussions that lead to concrete results
  • Disseminate reports
  • Serve as a global repository for innovative curricular approaches, learning methods and educational materials that embed poverty in management education
  • Support the development of a community of management educators, researchers and professionals committed to integrating poverty into the business curriculum

Our working group will disband only when the issue of poverty is deeply embedded in all levels of management education worldwide.

Activities, Deliverables & Resources



  • Socially Responsive Organizations and the Challenge of Poverty (Publication) The first of two books on WHY to integrate poverty-related issues into management education, Socially Responsive Organizations and the Challenge of Poverty, was published in July 2014, co-edited by Milenko Gudić, IMTA Managing Director - CEEMAN, Al Rosenbloom, Dominican University, USA, and Carole Parkes, Aston Business School, UK. The book was co-sponsored by PRME and CEEMAN. This edited collection consists of 24 academic chapters and cases written by 50 authors/co-authors from around the globe. The book, officially launched at a special ceremony at the WG conference in Managua in July 2014, and promoted at the 2014 AoM Annual Meeting in August in Philadelphia, USA, addresses the global, regional and local leadership challenges of poverty, the implications for management education and presents thoughts on what lies ahead in bringing poverty-related issues into a new intellectual, research, educational and institutional agenda. Order the book here
  • The second book in the series published by Greenleaf Publishing, Responsible Management Education and the Challenge of Poverty: A Teaching Perspective, will come out in winter 2015, and focuses on HOW to fight poverty thorough management education. The book sections include: frameworks for understanding, course design and topic integration within courses, extra-curricular approaches or community based approaches, contemporary issues, and concluding reflections on taking stock and moving towards next steps.
  • Beyond the Bottom Line: Integrating UN Global Compact into Management Education, is a joint project with the PRME Anti-Corruption Working Group and PRME Working Group on Gender Equality. The book, which was announced at a special session within the 2015 PRME Global Forum, focuses on the role that business schools can play in implementing the “beyond-the-bottom-line” philosophy in their own approaches and practices, and help businesses better understand the complex, multi-faceted and cross-disciplinary issues, including those addressed by the three PRME Working Groups. The book is scheduled for publishing in winter 2016.


  • The Working Group organised and held the international experiential learning conference on Leveraging Innovative and Cross-country Learning for Poverty Reduction: Climbing the Economic Ladder – Examples from and for Nicaragua, in July 2014 at INCAE in Managua, Nicaragua. The Conference Notes and Proceedings of the event, which pioneered bringing PRME on the ground and real-life context, were published online in December 2014.
  • The Working Group was actively involved in the design of the 1st RME Research Conference on The Future of Management Education, held on 31 October in Chur, Switzerland. The presentations made at the Working Group’s Research and Teaching sessions were published online.
  • The Working Group was also among the proponents and co-designers of the 2nd RME Research Conference on Inclusive Business, held 7-8 September at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, for which it organised a series of panels, roundtables, and research and teaching-focused sessions on poverty alleviation, inclusive business and management education.
  • At the 2012 Academy of Management annual meeting in Boston, USA, the Working Group organised an All Academy Theme session on the Informal Economy, Poverty and Responsible Management Education (Presentation slides)


  • The workshop held in July 2011 in Bled, Slovenia discussed the results of a 3-round Delhi survey conducted among Working Group’s members with an aim of collecting ideas on the thematic foci and work methods to be used in the future activities of the Working Group. The workshop was preceeded by the 5 May 2011 PRME Working Group Webinar (Power Point Slides) co-organised by the Working Group and PRME Secretariat. Among the results of the workshop was also the design of the global survey on fighting poverty through Management Education: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions.
  • In conjunction with the 2013 PRME Summit - 5th PRME Annual Assembly, held in September 2013 in Bled, Slovenia, the Working Group organised a series of workshops, which included also a joint session with the winners of the Working Group and CEEMAN co-sponsored Challenge:Future Competition Make.It.Work on Fighting Poverty through Fighting Youth Unemployment, as well as a planning session on the future activities of the Working Group.
  • The Working Group’s May 2014 Poverty Reduction in Management Education Webinar, co-organised in collaboration with the PRME Secretariat was aimed at promoting and supporting the international experiential learning conference held in July 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua.
  • At the occasion of the 2015 PRME Global Forum – 6th PRME Annual Assembly, held in New York on 23-25 June 2015, the Working Group organised a focused meeting/roundtable discussion on Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: Gaps and Opportunities in Research and Teaching on Poverty Alleviation. The Roundtable Notes include also the Working Group’s Commitment Statement to the 2015 PRME Global Forum: Towards “zero” poverty through understanding of the root causes and an action/impact oriented communication and collaboration.


  • At the occasion of the 2013 PRME Summit, held in September 2014 in Bled, Slovenia, the Working Group members contributed with a series of inspirational individual video stories on their activities related to poverty alleviation and management education.
  • An interview on the Anti-poverty Working Group and its activities was published in the September 2012 issue of the PRiMEtime blog.

How to Join

To join the Working Group, which now includes close to 150 members from more than 120 institutions in 46 countries around the globe, please contact Milenko Gudić, Founding Director, Refoment Consulting & Coaching, Belgrade, Serbia, and/or Al Rosenbloom, Dominican University, USA, or

**See the Millenium Development Goal poverty reduction video, Stand Up, Take Action, Make Noise for the MDGs 2010**


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