Sustainable Development Goals Scotland
Photo of business leaders supporting the Global Goals

Dr Alec Wersun: Academics fight for a better world

In January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit – officially came into force.

It means that until 2030, countries across the globe will continue to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change.

For the Sustainable Development Goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part, including universities such as Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

In July, GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE joined fellow leaders to help shape the future of business and management education, and to support the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, at the 2017 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education.

The 2017 Global Forum provided a platform to celebrate ten years of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative of the United Nations Global Compact, as well as raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and highlighting their relevance in teaching, research and business engagement.

At the Forum, over 660 business and management-related higher education institutions made a formal declaration to become sources of thought leadership, knowledge, and innovation to advance the 2030 agenda. I was delighted that my support for PRME was recognised through a Pioneer Award and the University also received a 2017 Recognition of Excellence in Reporting Award for its Sharing Information on Progress Report.

As the University for the Common Good, GCU is playing a key role in the global transformation of business management education, in which corporate responsibility and sustainability are now fundamental concerns for all thought leaders and organisations. In 2013, we became the first Scottish university to join the UN Global Compact, the world’s biggest voluntary corporate responsibility partnership. We are also one of only 30 members of the global PRME Champions Group, in recognition of the University’s leadership role.

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