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Message from Morsing One Year of PRME Global Students
01 November, 2021 New York, United States

One Year of PRME Global Students

“PRME Global Students: Building an initiative for and by students” (PGS, 2021)

Dear Friends of PRME,

One year ago, we started dreaming about PRME Global Students (PGS). It has been a longstanding desire in the PRME community to focus our work more on students and to develop offerings to engage students from around the world in PRME’s mission.

Over the past two decades, I have myself have had the pleasure of working with a large number of business school students on a variety of projects related to sustainable development. Like many of you, I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting our students’ ideas and efforts and I have been privileged to follow their achievements as they established workshops, film clubs, newsletters, conferences, case competitions and as they managed to raise funds, establish governance structures for student organizations, and gain support from the wider student body in their institutions.

Reports and surveys show that students are asking for more and better education on sustainable development, and governments, institutions and organizations are responding, including the EU Commission with its various initiatives, for example. European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel has said: “Education has a key role to play for inspiring sustainable behaviour and helping citizens move from awareness to action. Schools, higher education institutions, training centers should be empowered to provide quality education for environmental sustainability. The Commission is fully committed to supporting national efforts and to enable more cooperation and exchange on these issues at European level.’ (EU Commission, 2021).

In many business schools around the world, students have formed student organizations with a focus on sustainability, where they engage in raising awareness among fellow students, challenging the business school leadership to improve waste management systems and requesting that the professors integrate environmental improvement and human rights into the curriculum. Often, students are also excellent in engaging the local business community in debate and activities related to sustainable development.

However, sparingly do students engage with student organizations from other schools in the country or with other like-minded student organizations from other countries. Based on the PRME community’s global and growing Signatory base of more than 850 management schools around the world, this forms an ideal base for developing a global infrastructure across the many existing students organizations, to engage students from around the world to meet, exchange ideas, generate novel insights and challenge each other to progress sustainable development.

After one year, which included the official launch of PGS in June 2021, I am delighted to say that PRME today has established a PGS Steering Committee of 9 student Regional Leaders from students organizations on all continents of the world. And because PGS aims to empower students to develop their own ambitions and their own initiatives, PGS is an “initiative for and by students”. The PGS Steering Committee formulates it this way:

“PGS aims to empower student organizations with a focus on sustainable development and responsible management by increasing their local and global connection to each other and further players in the university ecosystem, accelerating their and PRME's collective impact in the Decade of Action.”( PRME Global Students, 2021)

Today PRME has mapped more than 300 student organizations in its database, with 40 of these actively engaging with PRME. Over the coming months, PGS will be developing and deciding on a concrete action plan of activities to focus on, all with the intention of creating global spaces for fellow students. This includes, for example, a PGS Newsletter and a PGS Conference, or other global ventures, where leadership school student voices from around the world can be heard and stimulate debate and action.

So stay tuned on the PRME website and follow PGS's future action!

Warm regards,

Mette Morsing

References:

EU Commission (2021) ‘Education for a greener, more sustainable Europe’ https://ec.europa.eu/education/news/greener-more-sustainable-europe-public-consultation_en

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