50+20 report on the future of business education to be presented at Rio+20 Earth Summit

The Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI and the World Business School Council for Sustainable Business (WBSCSB) with the active support of the United Nationals – backed Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Secretariat today announced a strategic partnership to deliver a high level report on the future of business education in the context of the United National Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED Rio+20) in May 2012.

The report aims to offer game-changing proposals on how to transofrm management education to enable business managers and leaders to make a relevant contribution to resolving the world’s evironmental and social challenges.

By combining parallel efforts in this arena, the parters aim to make a significant contribution at the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

Commenting on the announcement, co-founder of WBSCSB and Dean of Business School Lausanne, Katrin Muff said: “In the 1950s, the Ford and Carnegie Foundations sponsored two reports to promote the scientific rigor and the academic legitimacy of higher business education in the United States. These reports were followed by a substantial investment in the creation of doctoral education in business. This had a knock-on effect which transformed the entire system of management education. Today, business schools are challenged once more, this time to transform in the interests of making business sustainable. We need relevant, applied, integrative, transdisciplinary, holistic, and learning-oriented approaches in education and research.”

Mark Drewell, Chief Executive of the GRLI Foundation, said “We have been working for some time on a blueprint of the business and leadership school of the future which will have the development of a new generation of globally responsible business leaders at its heart. It is about moving from being the best in the world to an era where business success is predicated on being the best for the world. We are delighted to be able to bring our thinking and experience into the joint project.”
The report will be called 50+20 Report: Business Education for the World, making a link to the breakthrough reports of the 1950s and the need for the transformation of business that has become evident and needs to take place in the coming 20 years.

The United Nations Global Compact will host the first combined meeting of the three partners in New York in April this year. Jonas Haertle, the UN Global Compact Office’s representative on academic issues and Head of the Secretariat of UNGC’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) said, “This report has the potential to make a significant contribution to Rio+20 and we are delighted to give support to this efforts through the PRME initiative.” The project teams have already engaged many