Fordham steps into role as U.N. leader in business education

by Carey Weiss
Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator 

This year, the United Nations selected 24 schools worldwide to be exemplars of responsible business education, based on their emphasis on ethics and social values.

The Fordham Schools of Business are one of those 24 — chosen from among 514 candidates.

Members of this “Champions Group” have embraced the U.N. initiative known as Principles for Responsible Business Education, which sets out six guidelines for teaching students, both inside and outside the classroom, to conduct business in ways that benefit their fellow man and the environment.

The focus is how to shift teaching away from traditional business-school models based on profit motive and maximizing shareholder wealth. The new teaching model will strive for a balance of three motivations: “people, planet and profit.”

It will ultimately lead, the United Nations hopes, to sustainable businesses that help serve society’s needs while not depleting natural resources needed for future generations.

Within the Champions Group, Fordham’s main role will be to co-lead a curriculum development effort along with representatives from ESADE in Spain and the Graduate School of Business at University of Cape Town in South Africa. Other schools will come aboard as their team members.

Membership in the U.N.’s PRME initiative has been one of Dean Donna Rapaccioli’s priorities since 2009. Even before that, Fordham had, under her leadership as dean of business faculty, become part of the U.N. Global Compact, PRME’s umbrella organization. The Global Compact now includes more than 10,000 corporations and other organizations that have signed onto 10 principles of ethical and caring leadership.

“It is an honor to work with renowned, forward-thinking schools from all over the world to change the nature of business education,” Dean Rapaccioli said. “We have a lot to talk about with them and to learn from them.”

 

 

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