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09 June 2023

France

Audencia Business School

Audencia Business School

Introduction and Institutional Background

Capitalising on its role as a CSR pioneer among French management schools, Audencia continues to innovate, making its own contribution to the emergence and implementation of management business models, strategies and practice in support of economic, social and environmental performance and creating value for stakeholders across the board. As a signatory of the Global Compact since 2004 and of the Principles for Responsible Management Education since 2007, Audencia continues to take a leading role in embedding the principles of responsible management in the core of all our teaching, research and institutional activities. Audencia Business School is committed to the Six PRME Principles and to taking transformative action towards the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals across curriculum, research and partnerships. We consider that responsible management should not be a silo within the business school, but has to be integrated into all departments, programs and projects. We therefore try to involve as many colleagues as possible in our various PRME activities. In the past cycle 6 professors participated directly in creating an SDG module for the SDG Library Champion Project. Our PRME coordinator regularly shares information about PRME projects in department meetings and also through CARES research group. Our PRME activities have always been supported by our Dean and we also have a dedicated budget for participating in various meeting and activities.

One of the SDG integration Challenges

An example of developing a new degree course/programme with SDGs at its heart.

The Action

Three years ago, the academic director of our full MBA programme approached our department (Organization Studies and Ethics) to reflect about a one week introduction seminar to Grand Challenges. Given our school values we strongly believe that we need to educate responsible leaders. The CSR seminar is an opening seminar for ALL our MBA students, which helps them to begin their MBA journey with grand sustainability challenges in mind. With a team of four professors in Business and Society we developed the seminar that aims to examine the scale of global ecological, social and economic challenges, and explore how these pose both risks and opportunities for business. We have spent a couple of months to develop the content. After consultation with other professors, students, guest speakers of the course, we were persuaded that we need to deliver the course with alternative modes of teaching. Therefore, we made sure the learning was possible through different modes of involvement: visual to self-reflective writing; discussion based, creative approach to critical thinking; reflective approach giving students a 30 minutes writing moment each day to reflect on input and learnings for each topic; creative, theme-based group Zine assignment on a grand challenge; Individual reflective essay based on the development of the Zine.

The Outcome and Impact

The seminar has a very positive feedback. It brings lots of emotions to us and to the students. Below, we are sharing some of the students' feedback on the course.

Student 1: "Actually, what we did after the course or during the Zine assignment was incredible, I really enjoyed it especially during the teamwork , I appreciate the strategies and tactics that was applied by the teachers. In my opinion, it is necessary to focus on teamwork more than individual work".

Student 2: "The courses are very good, giving me profound thinking, which will help me to create a business with social responsibilities in the future. Thank you a lot, I really like it^^."

Student 3: "Good final project, that the teams were already formed helped to interact with other students. The activities were very interactive which helped to maintain the focus and attention. This week was a very good way to start the course, this really highlights Audencia."

Student 4: "Actually, I received more information than I had expected it. The topics have been a huge interesting for me because my background is accounting and finance, so I could learn new topics and make me more questions about that."

Student 5: "This was a really good course and the way they held the sessions were quite amazing... It made us think and analyze the the society we live in and their classes were quite interactive. However, these classes should not be curtailed to a week... there are contents that needs a lot of discussion and analysis."

Student 6: "I think that the course in general achieves the objective of raising awareness and showing students the challenges we face in environmental matters. I like the different resources used (movies, texts, news, etc.) and the group exercises (Zine, debates, writing, etc.)."

Lesson Learned: issues / challenges when introducing the innovation, and how to resolve them

While we can see the overall positive feedback from the student, we can also see (from other comments as well) how frustrated they are about the having only a week to discuss these important issues. Some students felt that the course ended while they only started to have so many important questions to bring to discussions.

Resources in Need to Adopt or Adapt this Approach

To create such a non conventional course/seminar ( in terms of the delivery method and the content), we need professors from various disciplines, guest speakers and a lot of creativity. In some school unconventional teaching methods are still not accepted, so this might be an issue. For the course we collaborated with a film festival 'Cinéma for change', which provided us with short action movies on SDGs for discussion.

Next Steps

We will continue to deliver this seminar to our full time MBA students of next cohorts and explore opportunities of teaching it in other programmes.

Supporting Documents

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gycVhu574ng

Zine example.

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