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  • UK & Ireland PRME Regional Chapter

South West and South Wales Local Network Event on Food, Sustainability, Business and Education

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

The South West and South Wales PRME local came together in May 2023 to celebrate our 10th anniversary with a thought-provoking event focused on intersections between food, sustainability, business, and education.

Attendees at the South West and South Wales Local Network Event on Food, Sustainability, Business and Education

Tom Batten (Future Leap, Head of Consultancy) outlined motivations and objectives which drive businesses to seek his guidance and that of his team. He provided insights into the processes which businesses must go through to assess their impact, challenges relating to certification and explored what are and are not sustainable principles and practices

Anna Blightman (The Assemblies, Head of Marketing) introduced attendees to the sustainability values of The Assemblies. Actions and commitments made by The Assemblies include engaging with city-wide schemes such as a new reusable cups initiative and adhering to the Green Claims Code. Anna highlighted unique challenges to sustainable hospitality such as the fact that removal of meat from some menus would not be economically viable.

Faith Terry-Doyle (The SU at UWE, Student Sustainability Coordinator) and UWE students Shayla and Mo discussed the significant student demand for food-based sustainability initiatives with the UWE student community. This interest has driven and facilitated numerous highly successful events and campaigns over the past two years including: a ‘Sustainable Food For All’ campaign, creation of a recipe book and qualification opportunities for students in food hygiene.

Following a coffee and cake break, attendees were prompted to use learnings from the first half of the session to engage in a critical workshop on embedding sustainability in management education.

The attendees came together to come up with the following ideas, issues and actions:

What should be covered in business and management education?

  • Impact of climate change on businesses (climate anxiety, future adaptions, market shifts and career implications)

  • The role of behaviour change in businesses (individuals, organisational, leveraging herd mentality)

  • How to change narratives in the business world, undo ‘shareholder value’ thinking and promoting degrowth and alternative ownership models

  • Macro-level sustainability influences (SDGs, The IPCC, nation state and city-level issues)

Where are the opportunities for deepening engagement with sustainable and responsible business principles and practice?

  • Work place and work-based integrated learning including utilising local business case studies and working with pro-bono clinics/ business advice clinics

  • Leading by example (individually and institutionally) to encourage change, asking for transparency from senior management, ensuring buy-in from module leaders and creating opportunities which motivate and train staff members

  • Emotional engagement with issues using art/non-academic reading e.g. Black Gold, Ministry of the Future

Overall, attendees reported that the event had given them ideas for working differently and were inspired to continue to push for sustainability by the speakers’ presentations. They also shared intentions to change their modules to incorporate sustainability more prominently and share information with colleagues on the event and the SDGs. Some specific comments from attendees noted that they would consider how to challenge the status quo of the purpose for business in business schools and that it was useful to have the chance to discuss experiences with others and to learn what others are doing in the classroom.

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 Georgina Gough, LN Coordinator for South West and South Wales, Associate Professor in Education for Sustainable Development and PRME lead for UWE Bristol. Edited by Katie Lee, 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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