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09 June 2023


IEDC-Bled School of Management

IEDC-Bled School of Management

Introduction and Institutional Background

The IEDC–Bled School of Management, founded in 1986 as the first business school of its type in Central and Eastern Europe, is one of the leading international management development institutions in Europe. IEDC-Bled School of Management believes in ethical and socially responsible leadership which can be promoted through learning from art, science, sport and other different professions, drawing parallels around them and making people reflect. IEDC has integrated a Business Ethics component into all its longer management programs more than twenty years ago. As an additional innovation, sustainable development was added to the curriculum ten years ago.

IEDC is committed to the PRME initiative as we believe that educational institutions play a vital role in realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and thus in creation of a more sustainable society.

IEDC hosts the IEDC Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development, an interdisciplinary initiative aimed at creating cutting-edge knowledge in the field of sustainability, promoting the concepts of sustainable development, sustainable value, and embedded sustainability, and providing support for the needs of the CEE while connecting the international sustainability community to the realities and innovations of the region.

IEDC is also home to the WISE Institutute which ims to serve professionals in the field of sustainable business (encompassing business ethics, CSR and environmental responsibility) within rising economies through practice relevant research, education and networks.

The Coca-Cola Chair and the Secretary General of WISE institute work closely in development of a common research and teaching agenda and facilitate joint projects which focus on sustainable development. The work of both institutions is complemented by cooperation of a wide network of IEDC’s visiting scholars as well as international partnerships. The two organizations share the responsibility of leading the IEDC PRME Team and various initiatives and provide sufficient resources.

One of the SDG integration Challenges

An example of embedding a specific SDG / or the overall challenge of the SDGs in the content of a module/project

The Action

In cooperation with other universities, two of them also PRME members (CBS, Germany; BBS, Hungary), IEDC worked on development of a SDG Toolbox.

The Outcome and Impact

One of the core outcomes of the research and development project was the SDG Methodology Handbook Series which provides a collection of 13 best practice examples of sustainable practices from the corporate sector and 12 examples from the educational sector. The first part provides examples which can be used by professionals from the corporate sector as well as be integrated into the curriculum of business schools. The second part is particularly aimed at leadership and faculty staff of higher education institutions and provides them examples of sustainable practices and encourages them to integrate similar practices at their own institutions.

All best practice examples have an easily understandable structure with a description of challenges, best practice and benefits to the organisation and other stakeholders. Each of the Examples is clearly linked to one or more SDGs and a description of how it links to a particular SDG is provided.

The Handbook was promoted and disseminated at a recent academic conference with 50 participants. Within a couple of days, the Handbook was downloaded over 150 times, which indicates that the conference participants also shared the Handbook with their colleagues.

Based on a survey conducted within partner institutions, the feedback showed that the Handbook was perceived as useful by faculty members and several of them have indicated that they have integrated one or more Best Practice Examples from the Handbook into their classrooms.

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

As development of the Best Practice Examples was conducted within a broad partnership of different institutions, IEDC had to provide very clear instructions with research and writing guidelines. IEDC was in constant contact with the researcher in order to provide them with guidance. Each partner initially created a list of at least six best practice examples which were then reviewed by IEDC and one additional reviewer. A selection of two to four best practice examples for each institution was made. Here, a specific attention was given in order to assure diversity of Examples both based on the types of industries and contexts that they cover, as well as to provide examples addressing different SDGs and not overemphasise only a few.

After the selection process was complete, partners received additional instructions on how to prepare expanded examples. Part of the quality check process, a peer review process was held with each example being reviewed by at least two reviewer plus a final review by IEDC. Additionally, a P2P exchange session was organized at one of the consortium meeting and partners were able to present and test their examples in an academic environment as well as receive comments which helped improve the examples even further.

Resources in Need to Adopt or Adapt this Approach

While the approach of creating best practice examples and integrate them for classroom use is a demanding and time consuming process. However, by working in a partnership, the IEDC provided detailed instructions and guidelines for partner researcher which helped distribute the workload over several institutions. All in all, each partners had to dedicate approximately 12-17 days to develop the best practice examples. Each institution contributed up to four examples. The IEDC had to invest some additional workdays in order to properly review and edit the publication. Additional resources were needed also for a graphic designer.

Short, medium, and/or long term Goals

IEDC is working on developing a digital library of best practice examples of sustainable practices linked to SDGs. When digitalized, IEDC will work on updating the database which will be openly available for use at other educational institutions. The possibility of opening the platform to other PRME signatories and Champions is being explored in order to help attract more cases and keep the database up to date.


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