PRME Regional Chapter UK and Ireland, 6th Annual Conference

The 6th Annual Conference of the UK and Ireland PRME Regional Chapter will be hosted by Leeds University Business School.

This year’s conference theme directly engages with PRME's vision “to realise the Sustainable Development Goals through responsible management education”, and echoes the UN Global Compact’s call for “Making Global Goals Local Business”. 

We challenge delegates to consider how we can all contribute to realising the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our education, research, campus and community activities – making global goals local.

Higher Education Institutions are uniquely placed to address the SDGs, with an opportunity not only to develop the knowledge and research necessary to tackle the problems (eg SDG 1: no poverty), but also to inspire and educate our students to tackle these issues in their future careers (SDG 4: quality education), and; to play an active role within our communities to reduce the environmental impact of our campuses or services (eg SDG 12: responsible consumption and production) and to partner with the community to work towards the goals locally (e.g., SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities).

The conference aims to showcase teaching innovations and educational approaches used to engage students in the SDGs and to promote responsible management education more broadly. Research informs teaching, business practice and policy. We also welcome submissions sharing current research and outcomes relating to SDGs.

We encourage submissions that broaden understanding of how universities may engage staff, students and the community in these issues. For example: partnerships with community groups and social enterprises; discussion of practical steps to reduce universities’ environmental impact; the use of campus spaces or volunteering activities to aid student engagement; reflections on mapping programmes or institutional actions against SDGs. Students and early career researchers are key to building the knowledge and capacity to tackle the SDGs. We invite student groups to share their experience of running events and activities to engage students in tackling a specific SDG or raising knowledge and awareness of the issues. The conference is an ideal opportunity to gain experience presenting research to an academic audience, receive feedback on ideas and to network in a supportive environment. A number of subsidised places for students are available.

Keynote speakers will include leading figures from industry and civil society, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities localising the SDGs pose. Panels and workshops will feature social enterprises, businesses and sustainability specialists. Pre-conference informal cultural excursions, networking sessions and conference dinner will provide opportunities to connect and share ideas. 

More information on highlight sessions and keynote speakers can be found here

For general questions about registration and to check on eligibility for PRME member status and reduced registration fees, please contact the conference host on:

Event format

Monday 8 July
10:00 onwards Registration

Registration desk located in Liberty Building atrium

10:30 Optional nature walk on campus

University of Leeds Sustainability Service
Please register in advance for this activity. The walk will involve a tour of sustainability and community initiatives installed on campus. Delegates will begin the walk from the Liberty Building.

11:30 Buffet lunch
12:30 Welcome and overview of the day’s programme and themes

Professor Julia Bennell (Deputy Dean, Leeds University Business School)
Dr Matthew Davis (Chair of the Conference Organising Committee)
Dr Alec Wersun (Chair of the PRME Regional Chapter for UK and Ireland)


Keynote speaker 1

Heineken in Africa: A multinational unleashed

Speaker: Olivier van Beemenl (Investigative Journalist)
Discussion host: Professor Frank McDonald
(Leeds University Business School)

Olivier’s talk centres on his book “Heineken in Africa: A Multinational Unleashed”. The book is the result of six years of thorough journalistic research, not only in thirteen African countries where the Dutch multinational is operating, but also in the company’s archives and academic literature. An interactive discussion follows the keynote talk.


Keynote panel 1

Business ethics in international supply chains

Chris McCann (Founder of Resilient.World, Commissioner for Ethics and Sustainable Development at the Royal Institute of British Architects)
Profesoor Chris Megone (Director of Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied, University of Leeds)
Discussion Host: Professor Hinrich Voss (Leeds University Business School)

Revelations about workers’ conditions in the factory producing the Spice Girls’ Comic Relief T-shirts have highlighted just one of the ethical challenges for businesses operating within a global supply network. The panel will discuss their experience and perspective regarding the challenges for businesses operating international supply chains and how ethical business practices can be encouraged.

14:45 Coffee break

Workshop 1

PRME 2070?

Professor John Wilson (Donghua University)
Dr Alec Wersun (Glasgow Caledonian University)

The workshop is based on the facilitators’ ongoing ‘futures’ research into alternative futures for the UNs PRME way beyond the UN’s 2030 Agenda.


Paper Session 1

Collaborations and partnerships

Chair: Dr Alex Hope (Northumbria University)

Professor Ted Fuller (University of Lincoln)
Dr Dave Webb (University of Western Australia)
Rob Compton (Cass Business School)


Paper Session 2

PRME seed funding competition winner

Chair: Professor Sheila Killian (University of Limerick)

Dr Aurore Bardey (London College of Fashion)

17:00 Coffe break

Workshop 2

University engagement with SDGs

Dr Louise Ellis (University of Leeds Sustainability Service)

This workshop will provide an overview of how the University of Leeds has engaged with and embedded the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their research and operations. It will aim to share experience that delegates could consider for application at their own institutions.


Energising and icebreaking session:

Why improv?

Ryan Offutt (Work Psychologist & Professional Development Trainer)

This workshop features a brief introduction of the main foundations of improvisation and how they can benefit us every day in our work and relationships. This workshop is designed to help you learn together through fun, low-stakes group exercises with your fellow conference attendees in a relaxed environment.  
19:00 onwards Informal dinner

Informal BBQ held in the Terrace Bar (Leeds University Union).

Tuesday 9 July
8:50 Welcome and overview of the day’s programme and themes

Professor Peter Moizer (Leeds University Business School Executive Dean)
Dr Matthew Davis (Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee)


Keynote panel 2

Approaches to Fostering Diversity & Equality in the Workplace (SDG 10.2, 5.5)

Professor Binna Kandola OBE (Senior Partner at Pearn Kandola)
Jane Kidd (European Talent & Inclusion and Diversity Manager at Kellogg)
Sophie Seddon (Head of Client Engagement and Communication at Novus Property Solutions)
Discussion Host: Professor Kerrie Unsworth (Leeds University Business School)

Many business leaders profess that diversity and equality are priorities for their organisations, yet aspiration often fails to reflect boardroom or corporate reality. Our panel share their experience of approaches used to foster diversity and equality. They reflect on the challenges that they see for businesses attempting to build a diverse workforce and consider the social, psychological and business factors that can influence success.

10:00 Coffee break

Keynote Panel 3

Localising SDGs for Business

Davide Stronati (Global Sustainability Leader of Mott MacDonald)
Bruce Learner (Senior CSR Manager at Kellogg Europe)
Katie Thomas (Low Carbon and Circular Economy Lead for York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership)
Discussion Host: Dr Mark Sumner (School of Design, University of Leeds)

The SDGs present business with a wide array of challenges to tackle. How can businesses identify the challenges most relevant to them? What practical approaches can businesses adopt? The panellists will share examples from their own organisations, highlighting the opportunities to reduce waste within the food industry, to tackle the big sustainability challenges in construction of collaborative action across whole regions and of the complexity of mapping against the SDG framework.


Keynote speaker 2

The myth of the ethical consumer

Speaker: Professor Timothy Devinney (University Leadership Chair at Leeds University Business School)
Discussion Host: Professor Chris Megone (Director of Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied, University of Leeds)

For decades people have been predicting the rise of the role of ethical attributes to influence individual decisions.  Despite survey after survey and article after article arguing that the ethical wave was driving consumption, investment and hiring, the reality has been more depressing.  Most large-scale corporate efforts on this front have failed to live up to expectations. The discussion is aimed at putting a dose of realism into the ethical consumption, investment and employment reality and ask what sort of research is needed to understand what truly influences individual decision making.

12:15 Networking buffet lunch

Workshop 3A

Using Model United Nations and freehand drawings to understand the impact of SDGs on managing businesses in a global business environment

Karla Prime (Northumbria University)
Dr Emmanueal Arakpogun (Newcastle Business School)  

The workshop will introduce the Model United Nations and freehand drawing technique as innovative and creative educational approaches to introduce students to the SDGs and their impact on sustainable and responsible business in a global business environment. D

Workshop 3B

Global Opportunities for PRME Engagement

Dr Alex Hope (Co-Chair for PRME Working Group on Climate Change and Environment)
Professor Carole Parkes (Co-Chair for PRME Working Group on Poverty, a Challenge for Management Education)
Dr Alec Wersun (Ambassador for PRME Working Group on Sustainability Mindset)

An opportunity to learn about the work of the different PRME working groups, current projects and activities. This will provide delegates with an opportunity to get involved with the PRME global community.


Paper Session 2

Teaching Innovations 1

Chair: Dr Jennie Robinson (Leeds University Business School)

Dr Laura Steele (Queen's Management School)
Professor Sheila Killian, Dr John Lannon, Dr Liam Murray, Dr Gabriela Avram, Dr Marta Giralt & Stephanie O'Riordan (University of Limerick)
Dr Yvonne Moogan and Dr Jen Dyer (University of Leeds)

14:45 Coffee break
15:00 UK and Ireland Chapter AGM

Chair: Dr Alec Wersun (PRME Regional Chapter for UK and Ireland)

PRME Regional Chapter for UK and Ireland Annual General Meeting. An ideal opportunity for member input to the design of Chapter’s programme of activities in the year ahead.

16:45 - 17:45

Paper Session 3:

PRME Seed Funding Competition Winners

Chair: Professor Sheila Killian (University of Limerick)

Dr Lila Skountridaki (University of Stirling)
Dr Mikko Laamanen (Royal Holloway)
Dr Soheil Davari (Hertfordshire Business School)
Dr Darren McGuire (University of Stirling) 

18:45 Drinks reception and dinner

Drinks reception followed by a locally sourced vegan dinner at University House.

Dinner includes a Global PRME Update by Professor Mette Morsing (Copenhagen Business School & Senior Advisor to PRME)
Wednesday 10 July
8:50 Welcome and overview of the day’s programme and themes

Professor Nicholas Scott (Leeds University Business School Pro Dean for Education)
Dr Matthew Davis (Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee)


Paper Session 4

Research Perspectives on Responsible Management and the SDGs

Chair: Professor Carole Parkes (University of Winchester)

Chloe Scott (University of Hertfordshire)
John Hirst (Durham University Business School)
Swati Bhargava (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad)
Kali Gibson (Glasgow Caledonian University)


Workshop 4

How can businesses and academia address the problem of plastic waste?

Dr Helen Goworek (University of Leicester)
Dr Christine Gillian (Sheffield Hallam University)
Colleagues from North and Midlands PRME Regional Network

This workshop aims to share and develop ideas around plastic waste and how we can address it in academia. It is based on a workshop held in Sheffield in April 2019 on the topic of how businesses and academia can contribute to the sustainability agenda at a local level by addressing the problem of plastic waste.

10:30 Coffee break

Paper Session 5

Responsible Management Education: UK approaches and challenges

Chair: Dr Jonathan Louw (Oxford Brookes University)

Dr Andy Brookes (University of Lincoln)
Nkeiruka Ndubuka (Robert Gordon University)
Dr Guénola Nonet (Jönköping International)
Rasha Ashraf Abdelbadie (Assiut University/Newcastle University)
Dr Amir Keshtiban & Mr Mark Gatto (Northumbria University)


Energising Session

Laughter for Wellbeing

Dr Natalie van der Wal (Academic and Laughter Yoga Teacher)

In this quick-fire session Natalie will explain why laughter may really be the best medicine and demonstrate how laughter therapy can be used to enhance wellbeing at work. The workshop is a fun, interactive introduction to laughter therapy techniques. Audiences will be encouraged to smile, laugh and energise themselves, ready for the final conference sessions. 


Paper Session 6

Responsible Management Education: International Reflections

Chair: Dr Martin Schnauss (ZHAW, Zurich)

Louisa Hill and Dr Jennie Robinson (Leeds University Business School)
Ovalia Rukmana, Dr Fernando Correia and Dr Geetha Karunanayake (University of Hull)
Xiang Li (Zhejiang Xiezhi Institute of Entrepreneurship)
Professor John Wilson (Donghua University)

12:55 Buffet lunch

Paper Session 7

Teaching Innovation 2

Chair: Dr Andy Brookes (University of Lincoln)

Dr Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas (London College of Fashion)
Isabel Fischer (University of Sussex)
Peter McCullen (Brighton Business School, University of Brighton)
Nishat Azmat (Birmingham Business School)


Workshop 5

University Communities and Climate Change Strategies

Dr Jonathan Busch, Dr Jen Dyer and Dr Chris Lyons (University of Leeds)

This workshop focuses on a methodology to create visions for a Climate Active Civic University. Three Horizons is a methodological approach for envisioning radical system-level changes and identifying pathways to get there while also making use of business-as-usual strengths. It is designed to articulate both unsustainable present-day practices as well as what a transformed future might look like for groups navigating complex and dynamic environments.


Keynote Speaker 3

Rethinking the Purpose of Business Schools:  To Responsible Management Education and Beyond

Speaker: Professor Helen Williams (Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching at Cardiff Business School)
Discussion Host: Dr Matthew Davis (Leeds University Business School)

Professor Williams’ talk questions how responsible management education can be achieved and how business school’s can support this mission. Cardiff Business School’s public value approach is provided as an example of how School level, strategic action can be leveraged to support individual or programme level actions. Prof. Williams reflects on the challenges that responsible management education poses and questions whether business schools alone can tackle this.

16:15 Closing Remarks from PRME UK and Ireland Chapter

Dr Alec Wersun (Chair of the PRME Regional Chapter for UK and Ireland)


Visiting Leeds and accommodation booking

City of Leeds and beautiful surroundings

The University of Leeds campus is on the edge of Leeds city centre. Leeds is conveniently located in the middle of Great Britain with excellent road, rail and air connections.

Leeds has a compact and vibrant city centre, attracting visitors for its world class live music, sport, culture, heritage, shopping, food and drink. Lonely Planet named Leeds as one of Europe’s top 10 destinations for international travellers for 2017.

Find out more:


The University of Leeds has delegate accommodation which is available to conference guests for a special B&B rate of £49 per room per night. If you book a stay at Storm Jameson Court you will also receive free use of the pool and gym facilities at The Edge, the University of Leeds’ state-of-the-art Pool, Gym and Fitness Suite. Please use Event Code: KX124152 to book the B&B rate using the following link:

Leeds also has a range of hotel accommodation in the city centre within easy travel distance of the University.