Campus - 19.12.2014 - 00:00 

Educating responsible personalities

As a signatory of the U.N. Principles for Responsible Management Education, the University of St.Gallen (HSG) has committed itself to exercising responsibility in research and teaching. The 2014 Report on Responsibility and Sustainability by HSG summarises its recent achievements.<br/>



23 December 2014. With the Principles for Responsible Management Education, or PRME for short, the United Nations promote the development of students' capabilities to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society and to work for a sustainable global economy. The 2014 Report on Responsibility and Sustainability documents activities in the fields of research, teaching, executive education, student engagement, campus, events and dialogue.

The challenge of educating responsible personalities is the integration of responsibility and sustainability topics into teaching. The report shows that in 2014, 130 courses in all study programmes on all levels incorporated such topics, thus reaching approximately 50% of all students.

Student engage for sustainability

Since its establishment in 1987, the student organisation oikos has been raising awareness of the issue of sustainability among students. Today, with more than 200 members and twelve initiatives oikos is one of the most active student organisations on the campus. oikos consulting, one of the oikos initiatives, was spun off in 2014 and formed Student Impact – Consulting for Sustainable Ideas, a new non-profit student consultancy, aiming to create social and ecological benefits for society.

Student Impact provides services for sustainable start-ups and SMEs. The report also presents the activities of other student organisations such as the Social Business Club, THINK, INDEED, Liter of Light and P.I.E.C.E.S. The project SnS Ventures supports students in realising social and sustainable ventures in cooperation with the University of Zurich.

PRME principles embedded in teaching

Students get familiar with issues of responsibility and sustainability in specially designed innovative courses. For example the Master in General Managment offers a course 'Strategies for Sustainable Development' where the 'collaboratories' teaching method is used facilitating interconnected learning via an online learning platform. In the autumn semester of 2014, the Master in Accounting and Finance offered the course 'Sustainability and Financial Management' for the first time which implements a very integrative approach incorporating perspectives from controlling, reporting, logistics, sustainability management, energy and climate, as well as business ethics.

Sustainable business education

Furthermore, the report reveals that HSG was one of Europe’s first business universities to establish an Institute for Business Ethics (1989) and an Institute for Economy and the Environment (1992). In recent years, the university has also made substantial improvements in the fields of responsibility and sustainability.

In 2011, it appointed a Delegate for Responsibility and Sustainability (Prof. Dr. Thomas Dyllick) and established a second Chair for Business Ethics (Prof. Dr. Florian Wettstein). In 2014, the new Competence Center for Energy Innovation, Governance and Investment (Head: Prof. Dr. Rolf Wüstenhagen) was founded. It includes 5 different HSG institutes and provides the scientific basis for decision-making in business and politics. It contributes directly to the implementation of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050.

Bild: Photocase / buba mara


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