Recently the France Benelux PRME Chapter met for the second time in Marseille, France as part of a larger conference hosted by Kedge Business School called Global Responsibility Now. The conference saw different international initiatives around fostering sustainability in higher education and sustainable leadership all coming together. The initiators met on their own but there was also a cross-over day allowing for inspiring mixing and cross-learning.
The UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) now have over 700 signatories in over 88 countries, divided into 14 different Chapters, the recent France-Benelux Chapter being the newest addition. The Chapter was founded at the launch meeting hosted by Antwerp Management School in November 2017. The meeting laid the foundations for a vision and mission for the Chapter as well as objectives and activities. Over a period of 6 months these were finalized by the Steering Group and officially launched during the second Chapter meeting in Marseille a few weeks ago.
The Chapter has the following vision:
The France-Benelux PRME Chapter envisions transforming the mindset of business and society in the region, by making ethics, sustainability, and responsible management education the norm.
Supported by the following mission:
The France-Benelux PRME Chapter aims to embrace, engage and achieve our vision in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, and through a proactive co-creation of solutions by: steering an agenda for impact by going above and beyond the achievement of the SDGs through developing joint research and educational projects.
Some guiding principles, better referred to as values, were also defined:
Collaboration ideas and projects
A vision, mission and values are all very well but the real proof will be found in how the Chapter manages to set up and collaborate in projects that will support those and create an actual impact. The participants enthusiastically spent a whole afternoon suggesting projects for collaboration, including:
- setting up a joint summer school program, creating an annual PRME summit for the Chapter involving all kinds of stakeholders, as well as students and alumni of EMBA programs, and creating an Award scheme;
- setting up PRME Scholarships for helping talented potential students from underprivileged situations; learn from each other on SDG Student engagement campaigns and involve them in the PRME Chapter activities;
- setting up an Alliance for Sustainable Denim, design a Sullitest module for the region; set up a PRME PhD community, set up an SDG Barometer for the region, a project on gender bias in business schools that investigates nurturing and encouraging female students to become leaders in their future careers as well as tackling the gender bias in the curriculum;
- setting up intra-university case challenges with companies in the region for students would create possibilities for a project that bridges the gap between education and business.
Sustainability & education
Further inspiration was given through a key note by Dr. Katrin Muff, a thought leader in the transformative space of sustainability and responsibility at Business School Lausanne, where she acted as Dean from 2008 to 2015. As co-founder of the 50+20 vision “Management Education for the World”, a collaborative initiative of education providers from around the world who critically question the current thought and practice in the field, she set the tone for our next meetings and captured nicely the truly collaborative and inclusive character of the Chapter.
"As educators we have an important and transformative role to play
in fostering sustainable mindsets."
As educators we have an important and transformative role to play in fostering sustainable mindsets, planting those seeds with students in our institutions so that they can become the change agents and leaders that are needed in order to tackle the challenges that society is facing today and to implement The Sustainable Development Goals agenda. It is high time for the educational sector to take up a leading and active role and organizations like PRME play an important role in raising awareness on the importance and fostering collaboration to make an impact. After all, we cannot expect yesterday’s teaching to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s future.
"After all, we cannot expect yesterday’s teaching to prepare
today’s students for tomorrow’s future."
So the real work for the Chapter has begun with lots of ideas and people putting their names on projects. The next few months will see these projects come to live, keep watching this space to stay informed on the impact the FRANCE BENELUX PRME CHAPTER will be making. The next meeting is in early spring 2019 and hosted by one of the Dutch PRME members.
Want to stay informed on the projects of this PRME Chapter? Do you want to know more about how AMS is playing this important and transformative role?