Building the markets of tomorrow

Business leaders, government ministers and heads of civil society are coming together for history’s largest and most significant event on the topic of leadership and corporate citizenship.

The United Nations (UN) Global Compact Leaders Summit will bring together more than 1000 experts, including Griffith Business School (GBS) Adjunct Associate Professor Jem Bendell, to discuss strategies for building the markets of tomorrow.

Among the ground-breaking developments and initiatives launched at the Summit will be the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Dr Bendell said the principles were the first global guiding framework for academic institutions to advance the broader cause of corporate social responsibility.

“The principles call for incorporating universal values in curricula and research, and have been developed by an international taskforce of 60 deans, university presidents and official representatives of leading business schools,” Dr Bendell said.

“The GBS backs the principles and will be involved in exploring systems for their implementation.”

The initiative was co-convened by the UN Global Compact, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the European Foundation for Management Development and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI).

The GBS is the first Australian business school to become an active member of the GRLI.

Dr Bendell said it was important to see the accreditors of management education backing the PRME so they become integrated into future accreditation requirements.

“This will drive a global upgrading of business education in line with the social and environmental imperatives now facing modern business,” Dr Bendell said.

“It will change the way business does business so it is an ally in tackling global challenges like climate change and poverty.”

During the Summit Dr Bendell will participate in a working session of international academics from business schools committed to advancing responsible business education.

Also at the Summit, Visiting Fellow at Griffith’s Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law Dr James Gifford will host a gathering of institutional investors who have signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Dr Gifford, who is also Executive Director of the PRI Initiative said more and more mainstream investors understood environment, social and governance (ESG) issues were material to long-term results and needed to be factored into investment processes.

The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit is being held in Geneva on July 5 and 6.