PRME Conference 2022

PRME Chapter UK & Ireland 8th Annual Conference

2022 Conference Theme

'The UN's Decade of Action: driving it, slowing it or playing catch up?'

When the UN announced the 2020-2030 Decade of Action, it framed its urgency in the motto “Ten years to transform our world”. Two years have now passed, and much of this time saw the world grappling with new global challenges like Covid-19. The global pandemic has also raised further the awareness of our interconnectedness, and of how the way to tackle global challenges needs to be through widespread collaboration and sharing of solutions.

We now have less than a decade to go to deliver the 2030 promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UN is calling for the acceleration of action, with governments and institutions responding in different ways and different levels of urgency. Nationally, the last few years has seen the UK publishing a new Industrial Strategy with a focus on “Clean Growth”, the announcement of a “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution”, and a commitment to become net-zero by 2050. Other countries, regions, cities, companies and  organisations are announcing even earlier decarbonisation targets, many to be achieved within the current decade. Such commitments are just some of the examples of the kind of transformations being pursued in this ‘decade of action’. But while in same areas the flurry of public announcements of net zero targets and others is welcomed, in other corners, a post-Covid ‘build back better’ future appears to be quickly giving way to ‘build back the same’, as decision-makers retreat to the safety of the familiar. The ‘mixed’ results from last year’s COP26 show that positive progress to the scale required to meet global needs and ambitions is far from guaranteed. Plus, ‘Climate Action’, while of course an urgent and important matter, is also only one of the 17 SDGs, and the urgency is no less for the remaining 16.

Business Schools should,arguably,be ahead of the curve and preparing programmes and graduates that are equipped to drive, shape or at least navigate the times of transformation ahead of us. However, it can legitimately be asked if traditional Business School programmes and practices are still more focused on preparing graduates for the world “as it was”, rather than the future where their careers will develop and grow. Hence the questions implied in the title of this year’s Annual Conference of the PRME Regional Chapter UK and Ireland: what is the role of responsible management education in periods of profound and accelerated transformation like the one emerging? Are our choices and practices future-oriented, or legacy-driven? Should our role be about actively engaging with the shaping of an uncertain future, or is our main responsibility to maintain a safe and ‘critical distance’ from such matters? And are our programmes, staff and practices fully equipped to help drive sustainable change in the world around us or, as the metaphor goes, are we driving forward looking mainly in the rear-view mirror?

For this year’s conference we would like to invite our members and other contributors to explore answers to these and related questions, and join our platform to share their experiences and/or reflections on what the UN’s Decade of Action should mean to Business Schools. We welcome proposals in the form of conference papers, practical workshops or posters for any of the three strands below.

Theme 1: Transforming Programmes for Action

What are the types of interventions and changes that Business School programmes, modules and general educational portfolios need in order to align with the aims of the UN’s Decade of Action? What are the challenges and opportunities available to us as educators, module leaders, programme managers? What experiences (or ambitions) do colleagues have in these areas?  

Submissions for this strand can come from Faculty staff, but also from students to showcase their projects/initiatives. 

Theme 2: Students as Agents for Transformation

The first Principle of PRME is the pledge to “develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.” How do we pursue that in practice? What can we learn from student’s own initiatives and aspirations in this area? What are those capabilities and competencies we should all try to develop, to become effective ‘generators of sustainable value’? How can we work together to develop such competencies?

Submissions for this strand can come from Faculty staff, but also from students to showcase their projects/initiatives. 

Theme 3: Businesses and Systems' Transformation

Business Schools are normally proud of their ‘connections with practice’, and within Universities they tend to be some of the most active networkers with external business and societal organisations. This can be through their MBAs, Executive Education programmes and other post-graduate offers, partnerships with industrial or membership bodies, corporations or alumni, research projects and various other engagement formats. Initiatives like the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) have also increased the pressure on Universities to work with external partners to develop new and useful knowledge that can be used for the benefit of the economy and society. But how can we more effectively use such connections, frameworks, practice and research to influence transformation in the ‘real world’ towards more sustainable outcomes? And how effective are we in promoting ‘knowledge transfer’ from more sustainable working practices being tried in the “outside world” into our classrooms, programmes, research…?

This thread will be looking for contributions, experiences and reflections from academics (and/or practitioner partners) on how  research and work with practitioners can be explored as platforms to drive the goals of the UN’s Decade of Action.  

Conference Format

The conference will run over two full days in Hull on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 June 2022. It will be preceded by an online Doctoral Colloquium (for which there is a separate Call for submissions) on Monday 27th June.

Unless Covid 19 conditions require a change of plan, our conference will return to being a principally on-campus, in-person event to provide all the benefits of formal and informal exchange with peers. Presenting papers and workshops will therefore generally require a presence in Hull. However, to maintain the benefits of inclusion offered by virtual events, one half day of the conference will be offered in fully hybrid format. Proposals can therefore be made for online only sessions, but scheduling constraints may make this category of entries more competitive.

Extended Proposals deadline: 19 April 2022

Confirmation of acceptance of proposal: 9 May 2022

Submission of full paper/workshop materials: date tbc in June 2022

Key Dates

Monday 27 June 2022

Pre-conference Doctoral Colloquium

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Main Conference Day 1

Wednesday 29 June 2022

Main Conference Day 2

Call for Papers

We have identified conference themes, but recognise some papers might traverse a number if not all. Please select a theme you think most strongly reflects your work.  Proposals should outline practical wisdom others can learn from and/or adopt, be scholarship of teaching and learning-led, and will be selected based on evident success or lessons learned from the initiative described. Novel and engaging approaches to presenting work are welcome! Presentations may be pre-recorded. We welcome collaborative work, and encourage submissions from students, staff in all roles supporting teaching and learning, employers and university partners.  

Please refer to the conference format above to ensure your proposal is suitable for either online or in-person presentation.

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Submit Proposal

Conference Registration

Conference bookings now open

The conference is now open to registrations, which can be completed by clicking here.

This year our Annual Conference offers a fully “on campus” experience and conference format as in pre-Covid days. But we will also have a small number of keynote speakers livestreamed and one half-day session in fully hybrid format for participants who cannot attend the full conference.


One free delegate place per Member institution

To encourage maximum participation and to thank Chapter members who have so loyally supported all our activities over two challenging, pandemic years, this year we are offering one free conference place to each Chapter member organisation (with remaining delegates from Chapter members paying a reduced fee of only £50).

Each member organisation is being provided with one “free ticket code”, that you can use at registration to claim your free place. (If you cannot find within your institution who is your PRME representative, then please contact PRME’s Secretariat at