PRME Summit Concludes with Call for Management Schools to Align Activities with Sustainable Development Agenda of Rio+20

(Brussels) – H. Elizabeth Thompson, the Executive Coordinator for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), has called on academic institutions participating in the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative to convene at Rio+20 with a clear commitment to educate students and future business leaders according to principles of sustainable development.

Her remarks were delivered at this year’s PRME Summit in Brussels, which was attended by more than 220 deans and faculty of leading academic management schools and departments worldwide responsible for the implementation of PRME. Co-chaired by Elizabeth Thompson and Pierre Tapie, Dean, ESSEC Business School, the meeting was structured around the six PRME principles.

Plenary speakers included Josef Winter, Chief Compliance Officer, Siemens AG; Jean-Christophe Courtois, President, Microsoft International and Mark-Moody Stuart, Chair, Foundation for the Global Compact, who each stressed that leading companies must place increasing importance on high levels of integrity among their employees. Mr. Winter highlighted Siemens AG’s implementation of a strict code of conduct, including a clear anti-corruption policy and training for all its employees, following the company’s corruption scandal in the mid-2000s. “We have aligned Siemens AG’s internal management procedures in accordance with our core objectives of innovation, excellence and responsibility,” Winter said in his remarks.

Academic panelists and participants showcased the progress of management education institutions in aligning curriculum and research with responsible management practices. Good practices included the UK-based University of Exeter’s One Planet MBA in partnership with WWF International; learnings from experiential approaches by Nyenrode Business University, Netherlands, and Fundação Dom Cabral, Brazil, and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), China; and best practices for aligning academic activities with corporate responsibility values by Bentley University, U.S., Audencia Nantes School of Management, France, and others. Further, progress by PRME faculty networks was discussed, such as developing an anti-corruption curriculum. Harriet Jackson, President 2011 of oikos International, also reflected that a large number of students are demanding more from management schools in terms of integrating corporate responsibility into MBA coursework.

The PRME Summit was co-hosted by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) with the support of the UN Global Compact, AACSB International, the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Academy of Business in Society (EABIS), CEEMAN, Cladea, the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education and Net Impact.

Next year, the PRME initiative will convene its 3rd PRME Forum on Responsible Management Education in conjunction with Rio+20 on 29-30 May 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Speech by Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Coordinator for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
About Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)
The mission of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. PRME is inspired by internationally accepted values such as the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. The Principles for Responsible Management Education seek to establish a process of continuous improvement among institutions of management education in order to develop a new generation of business leaders capable of managing the complex challenges faced by business and society in the 21st century. For more information, please visit

Jonas Haertle
Head, PRME Secretariat, UN Global Compact Office