Mission to incorporate SDGs in curriculum inspires at UN forum

Dean Steef van de Velde inspired the audience at the 10th Global Forum for Responsible Management Education by sharing how Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) uses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework in its education and research to work on its new mission: RSM is a force for positive change in the world. The Forum, which took place at Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus in New York on 18-19 July, was organised by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative.

RSM’s dean took part in a panel discussion themed ‘Making global goals local business: bringing the Sustainable Development Goals to every classroom’. Dean Van de Velde and RSM’s SDG project leader Eva Rood explained this in more detail in one of the group discussions. Rood shared best practices of what RSM faculty members and staff have been piloting, using the SDGs as a framework in their course material over the past six months.

Responsible management education

“It was really good to exchange best practices and get inspired, energised and comforted in that we all share the same challenges,” Rood said after the Forum. “And to see that we can be proud of the fact that we are ahead of the pack with our new mission and our SDG initiatives.”

More than 300 pioneers and thought leaders of responsible management education from all over the world attended the Forum, all helping to shape the future of business and management education, aiming to support the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Attendees included deans, university presidents, professors, researchers, business school accreditation bodies, and students, in addition to high level guests from the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, and the media.

Achieving SDGs

Jointly, a PRME outcomes declaration was compiled by the participants to reaffirm their commitment to the role that responsible management education has in society towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and presented to the chair of the UN General Assembly.

Three focus areas were defined for the coming years, being:

  • To align all the activities of the PRME initiative in support of achieving the goals and targets of the SDGs.
  • To increase our impact as a community of business and management schools and HEIs by co-operating more intensively with the business community (especially through strategic links with the UN Global Compact and its sister initiatives the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Global Compact Cities Programme) and with youth, including our students and student organisations.
  • To strengthen the PRME initiative through quantitative and qualitative growth and financial resilience.


It was also decided to co-launch the PRME France/BeNeLux chapter, which is expecting to launch in late 2017.

As one of the first movers among academic institutions, RSM signed up to the UN's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative in 2007. The School recently released its bi-annual progress report that offers a snapshot of sustainability initiatives over the past two years – and how far it has progressed in reaching its sustainability goals.

Alumni in New York

In addition to the PRME Global Forum, a networking event took place for around 25 New York-based RSM alumni on 18 July. They met with Dean Steef van de Velde on the beautiful sky terrace of the Hudson Hotel. Alumni from all programmes gathered to informally meet and exchange RSM experiences and network. The gathering was organised by Sofya Shuster (MSc Finance & Investments 2011) and Stefan Hendriks (Executive MBA 2003).

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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