Current facilitators come from a variety of backgrounds and interests. The major ones are leadership development, strategy development, career discernment, philosophical inquiry, and there is a growing interest is in sustainable economic development.
What is shared by all the facilitators is an interest in helping their colleagues reflect, discern, and make better decisions for their organizations to help develop a more just and sustainable world.
Here is a current example in the domain of Sustainable Economic Development Inquiry.
This large Vincentian, Catholic (the largest Catholic University in the US), and Urban University is asking itself today, in keeping with the guiding Vincentian question: “What must be done”…to serve the needs of the poor.
We have further asked the question:
“In what ways does the focus on sustainability function to build DePaul’s capacity to be an agent of social transformation?”
We have used the UN Global Compact and Principles of Responsible Management Education to guide our thinking.
DePaul is a signatory of the UN Global Compact – a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Further, DePaul is a signatory of the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education which states as their first of six principles:
Principle 1 | Purpose: We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.
Here is one example of how DePaul is addressing the Sustainability issue with an MBA Concentration in Sustainable Management:
A practicum/capstone course is being developed, based on challenging students to inquiry pragmatically into a particular management challenge to further sustainable management development:
“Developing Sustainable Management Strategies”
The UN Secretariat for Principles for Responsible Management Education is planning a major Global Forum to be conducted June 2012 at United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio +20.
The purpose of the Global Forum is to test certain ideas of what business schools and management related academic institutions and universities can do to train current and future generations of management leaders to build the foundation for sustainable global economy, society and biosphere challenges.
For the first time, in the spirit of Pragmatic Inquiry, PRME Global Forum theme will be a question – rather than a statement – to frame the Forum: “
How can PRME facilitate individual and systemic changes in management higher education as the community addresses the vision of sustainable development through responsible management education.”
Participants will be provided with Pre-work hypotheses developed by a steering committee – and based on previous work – to test during the Rio+20 Global Forum..
We will be using pragmatic inquiry as a “red thread” through the Global Forum for the several hundred leaders in management education to test assumptions, gather data, interpret the data and develop action plans for the systemic change needed in management education.