Since the acceptance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, there has been increased awareness about the existence and importance of these grand societal challenges. Because of this, the theme of the event was From awareness to impact. To get started, RSM and GCNL set up an alliance to challenge organisations to transform from awareness to more impact, and to share research insights and student initiatives for co-creation and partnerships.
The alliance aims to challenge organisations create more impact regarding the SDGs, and to share research insights for co-creation and partnerships. It will also connect the Young Professionals Program of Global Compact Network Netherlands with RSM and its students to add academic knowledge into the programme. And Global Compact Network Netherlands will offer internships to RSM students, and a representative of RSM is an advisor in the board of Global Compact.
“Connecting our research and insights to a powerful network as the Global Compact Network is important and in line with our mission to be a force for positive change in the world,” says RSM Dean Steef van de Velde. “RSM recognises the power of the SDGs as a common language for what the positive change is that the world needs. We have actively worked on developing educational materials on how business, and management science, relates to the SDGs.”
An example is the publication Business & the SDGs; a framework for effective corporate involvement by Rob van Tulder, professor of international business at RSM. This publication is the first of a series of frameworks, and is free to download. During the symposium, Prof. Van Tulder handed his publication to Lise Kingo, CEO and executive director of the UN Global Compact.
Another great example is the production of a series of videos in which we collaborate with a large variety of external partners in showing the various forms and ways impact can be created, by using insights from science. A number of them are already online.
In these videos, students from all levels of RSM are encouraged to think about various societal challenges. For example: what is the investment business case for clean water (SDG6, with PGGM), how can business model innovation help turn a company to fight climate change (SDG13, with Interface), how can safety management enhance shop floor performance and employee satisfaction (SDG8, with Ceva Logistics).