by Le Thi Ngoc Giao on 6th July, 2011 at 12:15 PM CEST
I must say I did not hold much expectation before coming to the 2011 UN PRME summit as among some hundreds of deans and professors from prominent business schools around the world, my very presence did actually catch many by surprise. And yet, the one and a half day conference has been a life-changing experience for me with many impromptu and thought-provoking conversations, both officially on the agenda and around lunch tables.
At the PRME Summit: Jonas Haertle (Head of UN PRME), Le Thi Ngoc Giao, Olga Veligurska (C:F Vice President)
The format of the summit has been designed as interactive as possible to allow participants to share information, discuss and suggest action items for the PRME Working group in the next few years. For me, it was indeed very thrilling to be part of such momentum knowing that issues being discussed today will have a big impact on the future of business leadership as well as the impact of business on the society.
I remember one of the topics we discussed is challenges to implement the third principle of PRME, in which Dean Burgan Barry from Adelaide School of Business suggested that the mindset of students played a very big part in the feasibility of a sustainability-oriented MBA program. I agreed with him in that one of the barriers to embedding sustainable values in every element of a MBA program is the fact that some students regard their MBA degrees merely as a mean to find a better job or increase their payroll.
However, from a student perspective, I suggested that it would not be effective for educators to try to fix this mindset among the students only. I reckon that for this challenge to be overcome, businesses who are potential employers of these MBA graduates should truly embrace these values and take proactive steps to communicate this message to students. Yes, it is very true that you can find these messages being advertised and broadcasted on companies’ websites and other communication channels. Yet, I feel that such signals must be deeply rooted in business hiring and human resource policies for a change in the MBA job market mindset can actualize.
Our C:F President, Andreja Kodrin (second from the right) as the panel speaker at the UN PRME Summit
On another regard, the conference has been a brilliant opportunity for me to present my idea of using legal clinics to empower poor people to fight against corruption in Vietnam to various experts and seek help to develop the idea further. I would like thank Andreja, Olga as well as the organizers at PRME and EFMD who have made efforts to connect me to very important people in their respective fields of expertise who were receptive to youth ideas and expressed encouragement to my difficult journey ahead. Among them are professors in law, economics, international relations and politics from Australia to Costa Rica, from Japan to Italy as well as Chief Compliance Officer from Siemens, Josef Winter. After my presentation at the conference cocktail, Professor Duncan Bently from Curtin University of Technology also offered to connect me to a respected Vietnamese lawyer who may be interested in my idea.
Indeed, it has been very encouraging to see the way experts from the previous generation received new ideas from the youth and offer their support to realize those dreams. I am very much looking forward to working with various stakeholders to try to implement my anti-corruption idea, hopefully seeing a positive impact on the community where I am from.
Josef Winter (Siemens AG Chief Compliance Office), Andreja Kodrin (C:F President & Founder), Jonas Haertle (Head of UN PRME), Le Thi Ngoc Giao, Olga Veligurska (C:F Vice President), Matthias Kleinhempel (C:F Judge)
Thanks and have a nice week ahead!
Note from the C:F Team: Le Thi Ngoc Giao is the winner for UN PRME Challenge on Anti-Corruption - do check out her entry right here. If you have other brilliant world changing ideas join other on-going Quick Challenges like Sustainability in Business, the Preservation of Lake Baikal or something fun on designing our C:F T-shirt! Drop by and take the chance to shape the future :)