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In sharing our tenth anniversary report , the PRME UK and Ireland Steering Committee would like to extend an enormous debt of gratitude to our outgoing Chair, Dr Jonathan Louw, whose inimitable leadership carried the Chapter from 2021-2023. We are extremely grateful for his tireless work and congratulate him on his appointment to the PRME Global Chapter Council.


Introduction by Dr Jonathan Louw, PRME UK and Ireland Chapter Chair 2021-23


I am delighted to give you, our chapter members and friends, this opportunity to read our Tenth Anniversary Report. I hope that in its pages you will not only recognise initiatives and events that you have contributed to but also find inspiration and hope for the future of Responsible Management Education (RME) in the decade ahead. The report offers a reflection not only on our 2023 anniversary celebrations but also on a cross section of activities over the preceding decade.


Since our foundation in 2013, our Chapter has grown, diversified and increasingly made its mark in the Business School sector. Today we have some 109 PRME signatories across the Republic of Ireland and UK, making us a voice for and symbol of responsible management education and research in some 80% of Business Schools within our region. Moreover, staff and students in our member institutions have played a visible and effective role in many PRME Global initiatives: the Climate Change and Environment Working Group, the PRME i5 Innovative Pedagogy project and PRME Global Students being just three examples.


As a Chapter, we have always sought to stay focused on our member interests, principally by providing vehicles for both staff and student involvement in advancing teaching, learning and increasingly research that make clear contributions to sustainability in all its forms. Within our Tenth Anniversary Report, you will see reminders of our now very established portfolio of awards and competitions (research, pedagogy and student writing) and a visual reminder of the journey taken by our Annual Chapter Conferences over the years. To all our conference hosts go particular thanks for the outsized contributions they have made to creating a vibrant and supportive Chapter community over the past ten years. For some five years, we have also invested significant time and resource in the establishment of seven Local Networks, the aim being to provide easy entry points into the PRME community wherever you are. Of special note too has been the increasing chapter commitment to peer learning and organisational development, most notably through our introduction of biennial PRME Leads' Onboarding events and our series of briefings on good practice in Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reporting.


Of course, as in individual institutions, so also at Chapter level these last ten years have not all been plain sailing. The Covid pandemic brought our in-person meetings and our 2020 conference to a grinding halt. Whilst we joined the switch to online events, participation in some of our activities did drop for a while. More significantly, in many respects the world in which we advocate for responsible and sustainable business practices and management education is now less stable and more confronted by ecological, social, technological and political crises than when we were founded. Our members’ active engagement with all these issues has been apparent in so many ways, not least in the papers and workshops presented at our conferences.


PRME whether at global or chapter level is but one player in an ecosystem of RME actors and, truism though it may be, we are stronger in facing crises and exploring solutions when working in collaboration. In this light, I have been particularly gratified as outgoing Chair to play a role in shaping an intended long-term collaboration on all RME issues with the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). The first example of this is our joint sponsorship of the “Future Fit Curriculum” strand of the upcoming CABS Learning, Teaching and Student Experience conference to be held in May 2024.


Since stepping down as Chair, I have taken up a role as a member of the PRME Global Chapter Council, following in the footsteps of my predecessor as Chair, Alec Wersun. In this capacity, I can already see the benefits that some of the other 16 regional chapters are gaining from collaborations in their spheres, and I look forward to spreading the learning from these initiatives both within what remains my “home chapter” and beyond. At the same time, I hope to share some of the UK and Ireland experience of successfully signing up new members and the benefits of providing multiple local as well as chapter-level points of engagement with the rest of PRME, because PRME globally is still a long way off the 80% sector density achieved in this region.


In closing, I would particularly like to thank Katie Lee, our 2023 intern, for her work in producing our Tenth Anniversary Report. As a joint appointment with the UN Global Compact UK Network, her work also represents just one facet of the invaluable co-operation and support we have enjoyed in our relationship with the UNGC over the years. My thanks also go to our original founders, and all the past and present members of the Chapter Steering Committee with whom I have worked since 2017 – it has been a collegial and rewarding experience. I have no doubt that the chapter will continue to play a robust and thoughtful role within the RME sphere in the hands of the current committee. Finally, thank you to all our Irish and UK signatories and chapter members for embracing the challenge of making ethics, responsibility and sustainability a living part of all that you do.


Dr Jonathan Louw, PRME UK and Ireland Chapter Chair 2021-23 

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