PRME is a United Nations-supported initiative founded in 2007. As a platform for sustainable development in schools and institutions around the world – especially in promoting the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – it works to “provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals.”
Top items in its Call-to-Action for Ukraine:
- Call for PRME Signatory Members to volunteer free online courses for Ukranian students.
- Encourage PRME Signatory Members to offer scholarships and subsistence to (a) Ukranian students wishing to continue or pursue a course of study, and (b) to faculty and researchers wishing to continue their work while displaced.
- Encourage donations to UN agencies and other organizations executing relief efforts.
Support resources include:
PRME marshalling such support for Ukraine is the latest example of how global business/management higher education is evolving well beyond the traditional business skill set. These institutions are trying to take on deeper socio-political problems.
At business/management schools –
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School new curriculum.
Dean Erika James’ rationale: “The conversations in the classroom are changing because the students are asking for it. Their expectation is that, that’s in our syllabus. We’re going to have coursework and reading materials on corporate responsibility. We have to. If we want to be an attractive choice for business school students, then our curriculum has to reflect what they’re asking for…”
At Manhattan College (full disclosure: I’m an alum):
This creative cross-campus cooperative, “The “Green Power & Sustainable Energy – Advanced Certificate” is a post graduate credential developed by the college’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Engineering, and O’Malley School of Business. It “provides students with the tools to integrate and evaluate sustainable energy needs in engineering, management, finance, law and other fields.”
And beyond –
The Denny Center for Democratic Capitalism at Georgetown University Law School
The center “exists to reconcile the benefits of free market capitalism with the values and expectations of a democratic society. … [It] will search for potential solutions, especially those that consider all stakeholders and favor long-term objectives to measure success.”
On May 4, 2022 Stanford President Marc Tessler-Lavinge, introducing the first new school at Stanford in 70 years:
“The new school will build fundamental knowledge of the Earth and its systems, accelerate the development of solutions to the climate crisis at the scale needed, and educate tomorrow’s problem solvers and change makers in this urgent area.” .
PRME’s “Call-to-Action for Ukraine” manifests a new and welcome dimension for the role of higher education – and business – in society.
For more information on PRME and examples of how business/management schools are addressing ESG (environment, social, governance) issues, and related material see “Higher Education ‘Gets it’ on Sustainability” in the recently published book, “Global Public Relations in the Roiling Twenty Twenties”