The Quadrangle

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Spring 2018 Seminar Series Continues with Sustainable Development Goals

As a part of the Spring 2018 Seminar Series, the School of Business hosted Brendan Pastor, who is responsible for coordinating participants and communication of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

“Our mission is to advance the Sustainable Development Goals in business and management education,” Pastor said. “Students will eventually become managers, start their own businesses, and they’re going to understand that certain values are going to dominate their future lives.”

In 2015 countries adopted these Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years

Recent studies show how young people are more willing to work in a company that has a good corporate social responsibility plan, and PRME is focused on increasing the amount of companies that engage in the practices that make better companies, communities and environment as a whole.

As of today, there are around 700 schools operating in 86 countries around the world that are part of this program, and the goal is to integrate as many schools as possible out of the estimated 16,000 around the world.

“I think Manhattan College has a unique position within the New York City market,” said Brendan Pastor, the School of Business guest speaker

Although he started his career as a journalist, Pastor eventually became one of the key parts of this operation.

“Our mission is clear; to transform business education. How we do that, is less clear,” Pastor said. “Theoretically, if all the business schools in the world suddenly teach ethics and sustainability then our job is done. But our question now is, how do we accelerate it? What are the ways we get enough movement within academic institutions to create enough change?”

This event was put together by Jolie Terrazas, Ph.D., professor of the management & marketing department(s), who learned about this branch of the United Nations though her research on indigenous groups in the United States.

“[The next step is to] continue to dialogue with faculty and see what the reception of this talk is,” Terrazas said. “To become signatory is relatively inexpensive, the reporting requirements are very flexible and they only need to be done every two years… We’ll see if there is continuous interest and eventually become part of this program.”

Their sustainable goals do not only impact faculty and administration, but mainly students, who will inherit the planet and society we live in, and the main goal of this program is to help them become the leaders of the future.

“I would like to see more different seminars and talks,” Patrick O’Connor, senior of the school of business said. “ I’d also like to see actions in the school. Meeting with students to get an idea of how we would become more sustainable or actually working with organizations.”

In general, Pastor believes that due to the Lasallian values embedded in Manhattan College, this would facilitate an easy application to the program.

“I think Manhattan College has a unique position within the New York City market,” Pastor said. “I think that the school has values that are a great foundation for demonstrating that the school is already focused on ethics and responsible leadership. When joining PRME you are directly aligning with the UN organization; you’re saying that these global values are also our values, which would be a strong case for the school, especially when networking and coordinating with the other schools in the region.”

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