On the 24th and 25th of October, La Trobe Business School hosted a successful seventh CR3+ Conference. The theme this year was “Using dialogue to build partnerships for sustainability” and explored how partnerships can bring about sustainable solutions as we work together on progressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 60 people from more than 15 countries attended the conference. This blog summarises some of its highlights.

Prof Suzanne Young opening the CR3+ conference

Day 1

Prof Dennis McDermott, La Trobe University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), was the first keynote speaker of the conference. Dennis talked about authenticity, partnership and change, and how indigenous knowledge can assist partnership building for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The second keynote was delivered by Jillian Reid from Mercer. Jillian discussed the climate scenario analysis Mercer has developed, investing for positive impact and how the SDGs are used as a framework for responsible investment.

The panel discussion on the first day focused on multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainability where we learned that partnerships are complex and that dialogue, trust, respect and being open minded are critical to advancing the partners’ individual objectives, and those of the partnership.

panel discussion focused on multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainability

The day was wrapped up at Charcoal Lane – a Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant that provides guidance and opportunity to young Aboriginal people in need of a fresh start in life. The Executive Chef of Charcoal Lane, Greg Hampton, gave an insightful talk about the social development aspect of the restaurant, but also their menu and the origin of the food they use.

Day 2

The second day of the CR3+ Conference was off to a good start with a keynote from Dr Leeora Black from Deloitte (and also LBS advisory board member) discussing the social aspects of sustainability, corporate social responsibility and particularly Australia’s Modern Slavery Act.

keynote from Dr Leeora Black from Deloitte

Later in the morning it was time to get creative with Lego SeriousPlay©. Dr Heather Stewart and Dr Rob Hales from Griffith University provided a workshop using Lego that focused on building relationships and collaboration with the aim of exploring the embedding of sustainable development goals in learning and teaching within business schools.

The last speaker on the second day was Dr Raghu Raman from Amrita University. Raghu introduced the university’s Live-in-Labs® – a program that breaks classroom and lab barriers by applying learned theory in real-world settings. It uses principles of lean research for the development and deployment of sustainable solutions for current challenges faced by rural communities in India.

After the conference

The day after the conference, the Australia New Zealand PRME Chapter meeting took place on the theme ‘Students as Partners’. The day was about sharing stories and learning from students about how universities can partner with them more effectively to co-create curriculum and extracurricular activities that advance knowledge about the SDGs. Eleven students from across Australia and New Zealand were in attendance and had the opportunity to ask academics what they are doing to advance Sustainable Development across the region.

Australia New Zealand PRME chapter meeting
Australia New Zealand PRME chapter meeting

Besides the Australia New Zealand PRME Chapter meeting, there was also a PRME Champions group meeting with representatives of 40 business schools from all continents. The meeting was co-hosted by La Trobe Business School and Deakin Business School.  This was the fourth and final meeting of the 2018-2019 Champions cycle, with a key outcome of the meetings being the development of a Blueprint for SDG integration across Business Schools in the areas of teaching, research and partnerships.  Once completed, the blueprint will be available to the 700+ Business School signatories worldwide.

PRME Champions group meeting

The week of PRME-related activities hosted by LBS demonstrate our continued commitment to be a Business School with purpose. This was showcased through the week’s focus on partnerships for sustainable development, highlighting the role of indigenous values and ‘ways of knowing’ in our approach to partnerships, and the wider academic community’s recognition of the student voice in our thinking about sustainability. Furthermore, through our international partnerships with the CR3+ network, PRME and the Champions Group, our staff and students had the opportunity to engage with a global network of academics who research and teach in sustainability, partnerships and CSR.

If you have any questions about the Business School’s involvement with the UN PRME or any of the events discussed in this blog, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is the last blog in the SDG Series, a series that focused on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference.

More blogs in the SDG Series:

- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 9
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 10
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 11
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 12
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 13
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 14
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 15
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 16
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 17