Part 2 of 3 on Global Responsibility during and after crisis
By Milenko Gudić
Milenko is Founding Director Refoment Consulting and Coaching, Belgrade, Serbia and Co-chair, PRME Working Group on Poverty, a Challenge for Management Education
Editor’s Note: On 19 October, Milenko Gudić chaired a panel at the 7th Responsible Management Education Research (RME) Conference called “Building RME implementation Coalitions for impact in the Decade of Action”. His preparatory notes on Global Responsibility during and after a crisis — as well as his decades of research on the subject — are so relevant for GRLI’s ongoing inquiry into our “direction of travel” that we invited him to share them here.
This is Part 2 of a three part series, in which Milenko shares the story of how poverty reduction — previously not seen as a priority for business schools — came to be embedded into the UNGC PRME initiative as a core responsibility via the Anti-Poverty Working Group. Read Part 1.
I would like to go back to 2006 when Prof. Al Rosenbloom and I discussed what business schools could do to address one of the main global concerns, the issue of poverty, which was the UN Millennium Development Goal 1 at the time. However, our suggestion to launch an international survey targeting management educators and business schools’ administrators was not well received. The explanation was that business schools are focused on businesses and not on social issues. Even more, even using the word poverty was ill-received, because it was considered to bring some negative and undesired connotations.
This changed with the launch of UNGC PRME in July 2007. The results of the 2008 global survey were presented at the first PRME Global Forum in New York. This led to the establishment of the PRME Anti-Poverty Working Group, as the first Working Group within UNGC PRME.
The Working Group conducted several more related surveys for the same target groups in 2010, 2012 and 2017 (the 2017 Survey included also the SDGs). They were presented at the Global Forum held in conjunction with the Rio+ 20 conference in 2012, and the 2017 PRME Global Forum in New York, but also at the PRME Brazil and LAC Chapter Annual Meeting held in Curitiba, Brazil in2017
All these surveys showed the following:
- Management professors and business school administrators around the globe recognized poverty (now also the SDGs in general) as major global concerns and legitimate topics in management education.
- This positive attitude and new approach were very much facilitated if there were faculty champions in the school, or supportive deans and directors, or ideally both. Another supporting and facilitating factors was membership in various international associations like UNGC PRME, UN Global Compact, and alike.
- We have also learned that there were numerous innovations taking place in all aspects of management education: content, process, actors involved (professors and students), as well as the institutional and organizational arrangements.
They covered all segments of management education: undergraduate, post-graduate studies, executive education, as well as PhD research.
As the interest was increasing, our Working Group took effort to publish or get involved in the publishing of six books. The first two books were on poverty and management education.
The second mini-series was on integrating sustainability into business and management practice and into management education.
The third mini-series, published in 2000, included Global Champions of Sustainable Development and Struggles and Successes in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development.
In each of those books, we had chapters from Latin America. Out of the 13 Global Champions that were presented and described in the book, three are from Latin America: Brazil (ISAE, a school as a champion), Nicaragua (Grupo Fenix, a local cooperative supported by a University from the USA)) and Colombia (a multinational company Grupo Latina).
Go to Part 3.
Milenko Gudić is Founding Director Refoment Consulting and Coaching, Belgrade, Serbia and Co-chair, PRME Working Group on Poverty, a Challenge for Management Education