Academics, researchers and PhD candidates at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) are highlighting their role in making business research into a force for positive change on World Science Day for Peace and Development on Sunday 10 November. World Science Day is hosted by UNESCO to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in daily life as an important part of development and prosperity for all.

RSM uses the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for its research and education in its mission to become a force for positive change in the world. As one of Europe’s leading research facilities, RSM hosts several platforms and events to spread its new knowledge about development and prosperity for all, and to make it available to society. RSM's ground-breaking academic research addresses real issues and challenges, and presents routes to sustainable business.

Research as backbone of education

Professor Pursey Heugens, RSM's dean of research said: “World-class research is the backbone of all our educational programmes; such research plays a significant role in widening the scientific debate and in finding ways for business to be part of positive change. Almost 20 years ago, RSM co-founded the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) with the Erasmus School of Economics, to provide the best possible environment for research. ERIM will celebrate its 20th anniversary in late November.

“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. I see that as an important part of the UN’s aim for peace and development. RSM has 10 centres of expertise representing mechanisms for research innovation, impact, knowledge exchange and dissemination by connecting academia with practice.”

Here’s an outline of RSM’s activities that contribute to the aims of World Science Day for Peace and Development:

RSM’s centres of expertise have a focus on positive change:

sustainable value creation; data analytics, future energy, partnerships, public safety management, entrepreneurship, leadership, and women and organisations.

RSM academics turn their specialist expertise into tangible solutions for business

  • RSM’s Chair in International Business and Human Rights is held by Professor Cees van Dam. He aims to contribute to enhancing human rights protection of people adversely affected by multinational corporations – about which he has blogged. His chair was established in 2013 by the Foundation for Peace Studies and sponsored by Amnesty International Nederland to complement existing business and sustainability expertise in the department of Business-Society Management, with legal expertise in business and human rights.
  • Of RSM’s seven academic departments with distinct research and teaching focuses, the department of Business-Society Management was one of the first of its kind in a European business school when it was founded in 1998. Within this department, assistant professor Corinna Frey-Heger’s award-winning research focuses on refugee crises and global displacement. Corinna feels today’s ‘grand challenges’ are under-researched, and her research focused on the displacement of people. 
  • Crime and risk are often at the forefront of research into safety. Self-titled ‘happyologist’ and researcher Dr Ilona Suojanen has researched promoters of safety and the factors that increase the perception of safety. These are the ‘positive safety’ factors. 


Massive Online Open Courses make education freely available over the internet to very large numbers of people. RSM’s four MOOCs open up the School’s science and research to society. They enable RSM to engage with communities outside of the university – and of the city and the country – to spread its expertise on global issues and trends. Currently, RSM MOOCs cover:

  • the implementation of the UN’s SDGs in business (award-winning)
  • how businesses use innovation management to generate new ideas for products and services
  • a business approach to restoring landscapes
  • innovating business models for sustainable landscape restoration.


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 Irene Bosman, media officer for RSM, on +31 10 408 2028 or by email at

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