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UK & Ireland Chapter Chair Alec Wersun (L) with keynote speaker John Elkington (centre) and Dr Yasmin Ibrahim, conference chair and Reader in International Business and Communications. 

The Chapter’s 5th Annual Conference at Queen Mary, University of London attracted over 60 participants from member Institutions in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland along with guests from France and Malaysia. Delegates left the Conference with a renewed commitment to the PRME initiative, having been inspired by three days of knowledge sharing, networking, and inspiration from fellow delegates and guest speakers. The conference programme can be downloaded here.


Highlights of the Conference included:


  • A pre-conference session on “Global Engagement Opportunities for PRME Signatories and UKI Chapter Members, co-chaired by Alec Wersun and Alex Hope, Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the Chapter. Delegates were encouraged to take advantage of opportunities offered by PRME Working Groups and Engagement Platforms to collaborate with PRME signatories around the world.

  • A Keynote Panel setting the scene for the conference entitled: “Inclusive Responsible Management Education in an Era of Precarity”. This opening session was Chaired by Frances Bowen, Dean of Queen Mary, where she was joined by Ian Parkes, Chief Executive, East London Business Association (ELBA), and Payal Vasudeva, Managing Director, Talent and Organisation Lead, and Human Capital & Diversity Executive Sponsor, Accenture UKI

  • A Keynote Presentation from John Elkington, Chairman and Chief Pollinator of Volans, renowned for establishing the “Triple Bottom Line Concept”, the 25th anniversary of which falls in 2019. John presented his ideas on “Breakthrough Innovation” required to achieve the SDGs, and provoked lively discussion about the next 15 years, which he described as being “the most exciting and challenging”. He challenged Business Schools to rethink approaches to management education as there is a danger of us educating in a paradigm that is no longer relevant.​ You can view his presentation here.

A Keynote Presentation from BBC Sustainability Advisor, Jeremy Mathieu, on “Creating a Zero Carbon TV Industry”. Jeremy argued that film and TV has a huge “brain print” given its audiences, and thus huge potential to catalyse positive change. Jeremy presented the case of the BAFTA ‘Albert’ initiative, which aims to transform sustainability practices in the sector through a process of carbon literacy training, company certification, and programme accreditation. To date, the Albert initiative has certified 450 companies in the UK sector, trained 2000 people in the industry, and achieved 4000 ‘footprints’ that carry the Albert logo.​

In addition to the above, delegates were treated to 25 papers and workshops over two days, including an introduction to global student-engagement initiatives supported by PRME: The Sustainability Literacy Test (Sulitest); The Wikirate platform; and Aim2Flourish. 

A selection of the presentations given on the day are available here, and a book of abstracts can be downloaded here. 

The Chapter also held its Annual General Meeting during the Conference, where Chapter Officers summarised the successes of the past year* and plans for the year ahead. Now in its fifth year of existence, the UK & Ireland Chapter now has over 70 members and is in good financial health. In addition to the Annual Conference, the Steering Committee supported its members over the last year by organising:

  1. Two faculty development workshops on educating for responsible management education;

  2. A workshop to support PhDs and early career researcher with a PRME-SDG focus;

  3. A PRME writing competition to promote student assignments on PRME and SDG-related topics;


For the coming year, plans were announced to:

  • Develop further the PRME UKI Chapter writing competition to include doctoral research;

  • Launch our first UK and Ireland PRME-SDG Collaborative Research Funding Competition;

  • Support the growth of more PRME regional events throughout the UK and Ireland;

  • Undertake a review of the Chapter’s Constitution to increase member involvement.

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