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  • UK & Ireland PRME Regional Chapter

Midlands Network’s ‘Just Desserts’ Event 

In the run up to the UK and Ireland PRME Chapter 10th Anniversary Conference and Doctoral Colloquium, our 7 local networks have been commemorating 10 years of responsible management education by running showcase events and student competitions on the theme of Food. Join us here on the UKI 10th Anniversary Blog with coverage from our network coordinators on their local celebrations.  

Credit: Alex Kad, Pexels

On the 9th November 2022, the first of the PRME UK & Ireland Chapter’s food themed local network took place. Organised by the Midlands region, the ‘Just Desserts’ events took centre stage at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. Attendees explored sustainability issues from the perspectives of production and supply, retailers, consumers and waste and also satisfied their sweet tooth.

The highlight of the event was a collaborative presentation given by students from Birmingham Business School, Birmingham City University, Aston and Nottingham Business School. The students had worked in partnership to interview local food and drink SME’s about their sustainability practices and produce a video that showcased their findings. The video will form part of our 10th Anniversary Celebrations pedagogic toolkit which will be available for all at the end of the Local Network cycle. Students outlined the benefits they had gained from the project and provided suggestions for future teaching and learning opportunities.

Attendees at Birmingham Business School

Attendees were privileged with a series of thought-provoking academic presentations.  Professor Ian Thomson, Director, Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business, led with a talk on ‘Sustainable Development Goals, Responsible Management Education and Chocolate’ exploring a range of methods that can be used to engage students with key business tools utilising chocolate as a means to evaluate an assessment of SDGs within the supply chain. Participants were given lots of food for thought as well as ideas to consider in their teaching practice.  

Professor Daniel Chicksand, Professor of Operations and Supply Management, Birmingham Business School, then spoke about ‘Food Waste to Energy: Making Waste Pay’, an examination of how food waste can be converted into power through Anaerobic Digesters, comparing case studies of practice in the UK, USA and Australia. This cutting edge research focuses on the collaborative relationships between supermarkets and waste management organisations as a route to address this important, if not very glamorous topic. The presentation provided fascinating insights into the challenges and benefits that technology can provide to develop more sustainable ways to deal with food waste.  

The penultimate presentation by Dr Sarah Montano, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Birmingham Business School, ‘To buy or not to buy, that is the question’, highlighted the dilemmas that consumers face in their everyday purchasing decisions and the barriers they face in acting in a sustainable way.  

To conclude the event, attendees had the opportunity to connect and share their experiences over delicious cakes provided by a local community bakery in Birmingham. The Midlands Network event left attendees with inspiration for their teaching practice and satisfied their dessert cravings. As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the UK and Ireland PRME Chapter, our chapter events serve as a reminder of how every bite we take can contribute to a more sustainable future.

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 Dr Rachel Welton (Midlands network co-coordinator and edited 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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