What's new with PRME?
I hope you are all well and will stay safe as you are returning to the physical or virtual classroom reality, re-engaging with the students.
With this message, I would like to provide a brief update on some of the activities and plans, we in the PRME Secretariat are working on these days – which of course already involves many of you! I have met with many of you, and you have generously invited me to your meetings, workshops, and other inspiring events. Several of you encouraged me to write this brief update.
It has now been five months since I took on the job as Head of PRME. This first period has been exciting and energizing. I arrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a time where management schools and universities are being radically challenged and busy adjusting to the new realities, I want to thank you all for welcoming me so warmly and energetically. I have received a great number of innovative ideas, suggestions, and input and much enthusiasm for how we can grow and strengthen PRME together into the future. So, it is with great optimism and energy that I am embarking on this essential journey ahead of us.
First, I am delighted that we now have the PRME Board in place, and that we have had the first meeting in August. It is a board that expresses a strong wish to be engaged and to assist PRME on our journey ahead. The PRME Board ToR (Terms of Reference) is currently being developed and the plan is for the Board to approve it during the next meeting in November. Hereafter, the details will be published on the PRME Secretariat website. Central for the board is to develop the PRME Strategy. With input from key stakeholders, I am working on developing the first contours of a proposal for the PRME Strategy to be discussed at the Board meeting on November 30. This proposal is based on the strategic reviews from 2016 and 2019 and input from the community.
Upon board members wish to be an actively involved board, a number of them are now engaged in some concrete activities: reviewing the PRME Chapter governance structure, setting up a process to have community input as we develop PRME strategy, exploring how PRME and UN Global Compact can build stronger ties and action, clarifying PRME value proposition (including how do we account for our success), exploring how to engage students more actively in PRME work, investigating how to make a PRME business model for the future as well as helping to develop new regional PRME Chapters. And, of course, several engaged individuals from the PRME community have generously volunteered to contribute and lead much of this work.
Today I am so very pleased that we decided to go ahead and make the PRME Global Forum 2020 a virtual reality. The 2020 Virtual PRME Global Forum was held in June and was the largest PRME Global Forum to date with more than 1,000 participants, including a successful Eastern Hemisphere session to accommodate for the time zone differences. Again: a big warm thank you to all of you who participated so actively on the stage, in the chat, as participants, and afterward in sending us many positive communications about the event. We are sending out a brief PRME Global Forum Survey to you all these days, inviting for your assessment and your ideas for PRME Global Forum 2021. Your input is highly appreciated.
The 1st Global Chapter Forum will be held on October 2. Here PRME Chapter Chairs take a lead on conversations related to our work in the context of COVID-19. You are of course all warmly welcome. You may also have noted how we are inviting a new Chapter each month to host and organize a one-hour PRME Chapter Talk on a particularly challenging topic related to responsible management education and the SDGs. The idea came out of consultation with Chapters where interest was expressed to hear more regional differences and experiences across the PRME community. In the same spirit, we have established a new video series: ‘PRME Deans Dialogue’. Every month, a Dean from a PRME signatory school is invited for a short ‘fireside chat’ style with me on a theme of their own choice, that is relevant for the PRME community. In this first round, I will invite the Deans of the current Chapter Chairs’ schools to the conversation. I am excited to see how the PRME Champions have launched the PRME Blueprint for SDG Integration into Curriculum, Research and Partnerships, which is a practical resource with concepts and frameworks, including the PRME SDG Compass, to support faculty in business schools in contributing to and achieving the SDG agenda. The current Champion cycle is now working systematically to provide content from schools to make it truly serve as a repository for inspiration and best practices globally.
Those of you who engage in social media will have noted how we are engaging the PRME community in a ‘two-way communication strategy’. The idea is to engage the PRME community more actively in PRME communications, and for example, we invite every month a faculty from a PRME signatory school to be the PRME Twitter Voice. The purpose is to air different regional perspectives on PRME-related work and share them with the community. In the same spirit, students from the oikos International network have been invited to develop a strategy for the PRME Instagram account. We are in dialogue with the PRiMEtime Blog and other PRME communication channels to assist with new ideas over the coming months. The PRME BOOK is coming on well and will be published by Routledge. We have received most of the manuscripts, and I am excited to see how it is progressing into a timely and highly relevant book about PRME. As you will know, the purpose is to present the achievements and aspirations of the PRME community to a wider global audience.
Finally, we are happy to have introduced the new PRME website. The website is key for PRME. It is the central infrastructure where we keep each other informed about our progress and action. Central to the website, is that now all Chapters Chairs (Working Groups to come) have access to their own Chapter pages on the website and are able to upload information on governance, share reports, and update their respective calendars themselves. This has been an important request from the community. We are aware that it will take some time till the website’s full potential is explored and engaged and till all information from the community is uploaded on a regular basis. But it will be good.
A lot more is going on in the PRME Secretariat, and of course even a lot more is going on in PRME signatory schools, PRME Chapters, PRME Working Groups and PRME Champions - and the wider PRME community. I encourage you to keep yourselves informed on the PRME Secretariat website, but also on the local websites that some PRME Chapters and PRME Working Groups have established. As we do not have all the information on the PRME Secretariat website yet.