Ivey will have an important role in shaping business education in sustainability worldwide through its upcoming involvement with Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a United Nations initiative aiming to advance business schools’ commitment to sustainability in research and curriculum.
Not only is Ivey’s Tima Bansal the new Chair of the PRME Board effective today, but the School’s Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) is also cohosting and participating in this week’s 2023 PRME Global Forum and Responsible Management Education Week activities.
Bansal is a professor of General Management, Sustainability, and Strategy at Ivey; Founder and Lab Leader of Ivey’s Innovation North; and holds a Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability. She also founded NBS and Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV). Bansal was appointed to the PRME Board in 2020 and was serving as Vice Chair prior to moving on to Chair. She said she’s honoured and excited to Chair the Board because PRME’s mandate – to advance sustainability in business schools for inclusive prosperity and thriving ecosystems – aligns closely with Ivey’s purpose: “Inspiring leaders for a sustainable and prosperous world.”
“Having driven the sustainability strategy at Ivey for almost 25 years, it is exciting to now have an opportunity to shape sustainability within business schools worldwide,” said Bansal. “PRME’s priority is to embed sustainability principles within business curriculum worldwide, so every business student keeps in mind the impact of today’s actions on future generations.”
Transforming business education on sustainability
Jury Gualandris, director of both NBS and the BSV Centre and an associate professor of Operations Management and Sustainability, said Ivey is not alone in hinging its purpose on sustainability and the PRME Forum provides a valuable opportunity for business schools to share ideas for achieving their goals.
“Business schools around the world are reimagining their purpose and questioning what it means to act in alignment with what society needs,” he said. “So why not learn from each other in the process? That is the value that networks like NBS and PRME provide.”
NBS has held a biennial conference for more than a decade that brings together sustainability centre leaders from around the world. Gualandris said this week’s PRME activities will build on that, connecting an even broader community in the sustainable business education sphere to collaborate.
“We’re excited to feel the energy of so many people passionate about transforming business education for the better, in one room,” he said.
Changing the system for the betterment of society
The programming led by NBS will focus on systems change, pushing participants to consider their role as agents of change within business schools and how that role sets them up to create a meaningful impact on systemic issues. Gualandris is one of two leaders facilitating a full-day interactive systems change workshop for approximately 100 attendees. To encourage equity and inclusivity, Gualandris said NBS offered bursaries and discounts to make it easier for participants from all continents to participate. Altogether there will be participants from 27 different countries, including Ecuador, India, and South Africa.
Ivey faculty, including Bansal; Gualandris; Oana Branzei, a professor Strategy and Sustainability; and Wren Montgomery, an assistant professor of Management and Sustainability; will participate in additional Forum sessions. Abby Litchfield, Community Manager for NBS, will contribute a musical performance highlighting humans’ relationship to the earth.