Panoramic view of the Chicago skyline By Marcin Klapczynski - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68796
GSB 595 Developing Sustainable Strategies shares the same purpose as the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) to “develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy” (Principle 1). As such, it seeks to integrate the concept of strategy development into the larger ecological economic context of serving market/society needs in a finite world. The goal of strategy in organizations has traditionally been defined as one of value maximization, from the shareholder perspective exclusively. To generate sustainable value for business and society, strategy must guide organizations in competitively defining and meeting market/society’s needs.
Values. An inclusive and sustainable global economy demands a clear commitment to “the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact” (PRME Principle 2). The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact will serve not only as a set of ethical standards to be recognized but, more importantly, as a morally imaginative lens through which students will identify, define, and respond to a particular set of market/society needs in a way that builds a sustainable global economy. That is, the ten principles of the UN Global Compact concerning human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption will be positioned in terms of sustainable strategy development and not merely moral obligation.
Method. With the primary aim of developing strategy that creates sustainable value for business and society in a global economy, GSB 595 will employ an educational framework – Pragmatic Inquiry® – that enables “effective learning experiences for responsible leadership” (PRME Principle 3). Responsible leadership able to develop sustainable strategy demands that students locate the broader aims and values of the UN Global Compact in an ongoing arc of inquiry that emerges from and responds to a particular Challenge / question (Cq). Because responsible leadership must operate on all levels of human consciousness, not merely the level of planning or tactics - Pragmatic Inquiry asks students to begin attentively, explore openly, interpret imaginatively, decide responsibly, and act courageously. Theory, practice, and self-knowledge must inform each another if students are to become the kind of responsible leaders able to develop sustainable strategies.