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Academic presents paper at UN PRME conference on pioneering summer school


The mastermind of a pioneering summer school presented a paper outlining her initiative to members of the UK & Ireland Chapter of the United Nations (UN) Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) this week.

Dr Mei-Na Liao, along with her colleague Dr Kyoko Fukukawa who leads the UK PRME at the University of Bradford School of Management, presented their work on establishing the International Master’s Summer School (IMSS) at the UN PRME conference in Nottingham this week.

Last month the School of Management held its second annual, with the number of participants doubling from its inaugural event in 2015 to 50 students this year from 17 nationalities, across four continents.

The theme of this year’s Summer School was ‘Sustainability in Business’.

And the theme of this year’s UN PRME conference was ‘Collaboration and Capacity Building in Responsible Management Education’ and was hosted jointly by Nottingham Business School and Nottingham University Business School.

Dr Liao, who is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Director of Studies for MSc Programmes at Bradford School of Management, said: "The Summer School was a huge success; all participants enjoyed the intensive week of seminars and activities and learned about sustainability in Business and organisations.

"The presentation showcased the International Master's Summer School which focus on building capacity for education for sustainable development (ESD) through collaboration among academics, companies and students. The IMSS aims to convert students into co-producers of ESD through engaging them with real world challenges and practices."

Dr Liao added: "The chairmain of the conference described the International Master's Summer School as ‘an inspiring programme’."

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The UN PRME conference ran parallel with the annual European Business Ethics Network Meeting (EBEN).

A spokesman for the UN PRME said: “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided a focus for the global business agenda with even greater ambition, and an emphasis to address the structural drivers of poverty, inequality and resource scarcity.

“As PRME signatories, our potential to influence business leaders of the future is widely acknowledged.

“As we consider the challenges set forth in SDGs, this may set a new emphasis for our research, teaching, relationships, and the capabilities that we need to enable responsible leaders for tomorrow.”

The spokesman added that the aims of the conference were to stimulate discussion on questions such as:

What are the capabilities and relationships that Higher Education Institutions need to enhance in light of SDGs?

How can we better create meaningful collaborations that engage multiple stakeholders and institutions?

How can we move forward powerfully together in service of the PRME principles?

* Pictured above are Dr Mei-Na Liao, centre, with fellow Bradford School of Management lecturer Dr Kyoko Fukukawa, right, and Head of the UN PRME, Jonas Haertle, at the conference in Nottingham

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