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GIBS _ Driving corporate sustainability

Globally, business schools - like the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) - are instrumental in shaping business leaders of the future. The United Nations aims to bring the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the forefront of business education through the Principles for Management Education (PRME).

Founded in 2007, the PRME is a United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) initiative aimed at integrating SDGs into the activities of business schools and universities to give current and future leaders the skills needed to navigate the complexities of global challenges including ecological, social and economic issues.

These ideals are central to the GIBS philosophy. As such, the school's mission statement is, "To significantly improve responsible individual and organisational performance, in South Africa and in our broader African environment, through high-quality business and management education". 

To help it deliver on this mission, GIBS joined PRME in 2009, and has had the privilege of being a member of the PRME Champions group since 2018. In its role as a Champion of the PRME, GIBS actively involved in working collaboratively as an advocate and champion of responsible management education, serving the broader PRME community and contributing to broader UN goals.

Dr Morris Mthombeni, GIBS Interim Dean, explains why this is a critical focus for GIBS, "We stand for improving society. Our ongoing focus is on significant and continual improvement to responsible individual and organisational performance."

June 2021 – THE PRME Global Forum

On 16 and 17 June 2021, PRME will be hosting the virtual PRME Global Forum. This year, for the first time in its nine-year history, the annual forum will linked with the UNGC Leaders' Summit being held on the 15 and 16 June.

Not only are there several panel sessions on collaboration between PRME and UNGC local networks. There will also be a host of international speakers sharing their insights, including notable academics from GIBS, who will give a valuable African perspective to the discussions.

  • Dr Tshidi Mathibe will be speaking at the Leaders' Summit in a panel discussion hosted by the Global Compact Network South Africa on the role of youth in business and leadership to accelerate innovation on the SDGs in a post-Covid world. Log in on 16 June at 10h30 CAT.
  • Interim Dean Morris Mthombeni, a member of the PRME Global Chapter Council,  will be sharing his insights on The Development of PRME Chapters as part of a panel discussion at the PRME Global Forum on 17 June at 16h25 CAT.
  • Dr Jill Bogie is then participating in a panel discussion on Learner-Centred Responsible Management Education, on 17th June at 18h35 CAT. She is also introducing the judges of the PRME Recognition Awards later that evening at 20h25 CAT. 

For the first time, this year has seen GIBS make submissions to both the Student Award for Excellence in SDG Impact and The Faculty Award for Excellence in SDG Integration. The business school will be competing against many high-quality submissions from around the world. Bogie says, "Even if the school does not get nominated for the short list, the submissions show just how much work the business school is doing in the area of corporate sustainability. We are immensely proud that we are able to stand its ground amongst some of the most prestigious business schools across the globe."

GIBS plays active role in PRME

In addition to the international events taking place in June, GIBS's other PRME activities in 2021 are worth noting.

Mthombeni says of GIBS's involvement in the PRME, "At GIBS, our role is to help companies and individuals seize this moment to shift, strategically, towards a new tomorrow. We are passionate about guiding businesses and individuals through shifting landscapes, equipping them with the tools to navigate change and embedding the strategic and ethical depth required to mould impactful and socially responsible companies."

Register for The PRME Global Forum and the UNGC Leaders' Summit

These UN forums are about holding global conversations around the opportunities for business in working towards a better world that leaves nobody behind.

Both forums are free to all students of PRME schools. The forums will feature a "Hop-In platform", meaning delegates can hop in and out of any session. As the two summits will be linked this year, students are urge to register for both events.

Click here to register for the PRME Global Forum and/or the UNCG Leaders' Summit.

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