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  • UK & Ireland PRME Regional Chapter

10 Years of UKI PRME: A Look back at where it all started…

Welcome to the inaugural blog post of the UKI PRME 10th Anniversary Blog! As we commemorate a decade of promoting and embedding responsible management education, we embark on a journey of reflection, refreshing our approaches, and re-envisioning the future. The theme of this year's UK and Ireland PRME Chapter 10th Anniversary Conference and Doctoral Colloquium, "Reflecting, refreshing, and re-envisioning," sets the stage for critical introspection, lively debates, and charting a transformative path forward. Join us here as we delve into the impact of the UKI PRME Chapter in shaping responsible management education over the past decade and explore the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

Through this blog, we will explore key topics, share best practices, and highlight stories from our community from the last 10 years. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts, as we celebrate this significant milestone and our next chapter of responsible management education.

In May 2013, 32 delegates of PRME signatory business and management schools from across the United Kingdom and Ireland gathered at Aston Business School to establish the regional chapter of PRME. Led by Alan Murray and Carole Parkes, from Winchester and Aston Business Schools, these 32 delegates came together to clarify, discuss, and vote on the draft constitution and governance arrangements. The founding members of the UK and Ireland chapter played a crucial role in establishing the chapter and shaping its agenda, including Treasurer Alec Wersun, Secretary Natalia Yakovleva, and Steering Group members Paul Cashian, David Clemson, Joanne Cook, Sheila Killian, Jonathan Gosling, and Christian Herzig.

As we celebrate 10 years of the UKI PRME chapter, we are grateful to these founding members for their leadership and inspiration. In this first blog, we spoke to Alan Murray about the journey to the Chapter foundation meeting 10 years ago and how “sketchy beginnings” grew to the “vibrant PRME community” he left at his retirement in 2019.

Attendees of the UKI Chapter Foundation Meeting in 2013

Alan described the beginnings of PRME in the UK and Ireland to be “certainly a challenge”. The UN Global Compact introduced the principle-based global engagement platform in 2006 at the Global Forum and all participants were encouraged to go back to their home countries and encourage other institutions to join. Alan was on the executive at the British Academy of Management at the time and found “nobody wanted to engage with it except myself!”

The response to the call from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was led by Winchester and Aston Business Schools, who in Alan Murray and Carole Parkes had academics with a passion for what PRME was trying to achieve. What followed in the

period 2009–2012 was a concerted effort to mobilise business schools and academic associations to support the PRME initiative through a series of ‘town hall’ events.

Alan described the initial struggles to engage deans and academics. When attending the annual Business Schools conference, he found individuals “really were a difficult bunch in terms of sustainability topics. They were far more functional and looking at things like strategy and finance”. Alan found the 2013 IPCC report on climate change to be influential in turning the tide in the management education landscape. He explained that the 2013 report was a “turning point in the management landscape... in the last ten years, of course, climate change is now accepted, but up until 2013, well, maybe it is, maybe it's not.

Alan described his pride in seeing PRME develop until his retirement in 2019, “by the time I retired, I was happy that everything was in good hands, developing and large in communities”.

Alan offered this for the future of UKI PRME “Just keep fighting against the tide. There is still resistance to these social subjects being taught. Just challenge people and explain. It takes time, but we've got to keep the fight going because come round and realize that they can't keep pushing against the tide”

We extend our sincere appreciation to Alan Murray for sharing his insights and experiences. His dedication and passion have contributed immensely to the growth and success of PRME in the UK and Ireland. As we move forward, we echo his words of encouragement to keep fighting for the cause, challenging perspectives, and continue the pursuit of responsible management education. By retracing our steps back to the roots of the UKI PRME Chapter, we gain a deeper appreciation for the progress we have made and the collective efforts that have brought us to where we are today.

Stay tuned for more content on the UKI PRME 10th Anniversary Blog as we delve deeper into the themes of reflection, refreshing, and re-envisioning in the lead up to the UK and Ireland PRME Chapter's 10th Anniversary Conference and Doctoral Colloquium.

Sign up to our Newsletter and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date with the chapter. We look forward to seeing you at the Conference in June, register to attend now.

Written by Katie Lee (UKI PRME Intern)

The PRME Chapter UK and Ireland is one of 16 Regional Chapters of the global United Nations PRME movement (established 2007). All Chapters are joined in a collective mission to transform management education and develop the responsible decision-makers of tomorrow to advance sustainable development. Globally, PRME has over 800 Higher Education Institutions as signatories.

Established in 2013, the UKI Chapter currently has 62 institutional members and is led by a ten person Steering Committee elected by the membership. The Chapter seeks to nurture a mutually supportive community of committed responsible management educators and researchers. Members benefit from a Chapter-wide event programme, an annual conference and doctoral colloquium, a growing set of Local Networks each with its own event schedule, and three annual, Chapter wide competitions focused on Innovative Pedagogies, Responsible Management Research and Student Writing. Full details of Chapter activities can be found here.

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