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Message from Morsing PRME at Transforming Education Summit Before the 77th UN General Assembly & UN Global Compact Board Meeting
03 October, 2022 New York, United States

PRME at Transforming Education Summit Before the 77th UN General Assembly & UN Global Compact Board Meeting

PRME at Transforming Education Summit (TES) Before the 77th UN General Assembly, New York

Dear PRME Community,

For the first time in 77 years, the United Nations (UN) brought EDUCATION to the forefront of its General Assembly agenda with the Transformative Education Summit (TES). While education in organizations like the UN, UNESCO, and UNICEF have traditionally focused on access to education and primary/secondary schooling, the United Nations Global Compact was invited to provide a private sector perspective to this summit. Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Sanda Ojiambo, thus invited PRME to contribute to the programme as the sister initiative that bridges academia to the private sector. I am proud to say that PRME Secretariat managed—in a competitive bid with other UN entities—to host two panel discussions in the official TES programme.

This participation comes on the heels of UN Global Compact’s Executive Director and former CEO, Sanda Ojiambo, being appointed Assistant Secretary-General for the private sector in March 2022. There are only around 20 ASGs in the entire United Nations ecosystem. ASG Ojiambo’s elevation presents new opportunities for both the UN Global Compact and PRME to contribute to future UN action to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are excited about what this means for both organizations’ Participants and Signatories, respectively.

On the second day of the Transforming Education Summit, “Solutions Day” on 17 September, UN Global Compact and PRME co-hosted one event on ‘Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Education.’ Other hosts included UNESCO Global Education Coalition, UNICEF NextGen, and the Global Business Coalition for Education. The panel was moderated by Anne-Birgitte Albrechtsen, CEO of The LEGO Foundation, and featured Ministers of Education from Costa Rica and Colombia, and speakers from Google, OECD, IBM, Jacobs Foundation, Microsoft, and Erandi Aprende.

The second panel on Solutions Day was hosted solely by the UN Global Compact and PRME, titled ‘Educate the Educator.’ This panel had a specific focus on the need for business school faculty to be rewarded for their excellence in novel pedagogies, building PRME’s Impactful Five (i5) programmatic work.

On both panels, we were delighted to have the attendance of Ministers of Education, UN Permanent Representatives of multiple Member States, CEOs, and students discussing the importance of leadership education for sustainable business.

But the action didn’t stop there. PRME also hosted a side event to TES during the UN General Assembly, for the first time, on ‘Leadership Skillset and Skilling for Sustainable Business.’ As one of our few in-person gatherings of this year, we were excited to gather in our New York office to hear from a series of keynote speakers and have an intimate discussion. Keynotes were presented by PRME Board Chair Ilian Mihov, PRME Board Member John Goodwin, PRME Chapter Africa Chair Sherwat Elwan Ibrahim, and Financial Times Global Education Editor Andrew Jack, with a discussion moderated by myself.

To add to these exciting events, the PRME (i5) Advisory Board held its second board meeting virtually. With a focus on the leadership skillset needed in private business (arguing for the importance of the i5 program), CEO Charles Bergh from Levi Strauss & Co. (PRME (i5) Advisory Board member) made a passionate case for the urgent demand for social-interpersonal and emotional skills for leading contemporary business to focus on societal betterment.

PRME at UNGC Board meeting

Now more than ever, we are seeing greater interest in partnering with PRME and supporting our work. Just this month, I was invited to present PRME’s work and platform to the UN Global Compact Board meeting in person in New York. Over a 45-minute discussion of ‘Leadership Skillset and Skilling for Sustainable Business,’ the Compact’s Board members gained a greater sense of the importance of this initiative and its growing impact on business and management education. I was pleased to conclude our time together with a discussion led by Paul Polman, UN Global Compact Vice-Chair of the Board and PRME Board Member.

This month’s events serve as an important reminder of the power of collaboration between academia and the private sector. We at PRME know the two go hand in hand and have the potential to carry one another to new heights. Thank you all for being at this intersection with us.

Sincerely,

Mette Morsing

Head of PRME, Principles for Responsible Management Education

UN Global Compact

New York

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