Skip to main content

SERS Network advances education and research during pandemic with online activities

A series of SERS Network activities took place during 2021, with global experts sharing their knowledge on Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability topics.

30 November 2021

A series of SERS Network activities took place during 2021, with experts from across the globe sharing their knowledge on Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability (ERS) topics.

The series engaged Newcastle University Business School students, staff and partner institutions to further understanding of these topics, discuss how businesses should prepare for today’s ERS challenges, and stimulate partnerships across the Network.

Racial Justice and Social Theory

12 February 2021

The second webinar in the 2021 Series of Racial Justice at the Intersection of Business and Society was organised by the Racial Justice Committee, Social Issues in Management (SIM) Division, Academy of Management.

The event was hosted by:

A drawing on a wall of a fist clenched

 The webinar included three presentations from world-renowned academics:

  • Rabbi Gideon Pogrund (University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science): Insights and Perspectives from South Africa
  • Dr Smriti Sharma (Newcastle University Business School): Caste in India: Where are we today?
  • Dr Paul T. Harper (University of Pittsburgh): A primer on racial justice and philosophical business ethics

The aim of this series is “to expand the conversation of race and identity in the business academy…[and] to spur novel ideas for the development of new research programs and innovative pedagogical and practitioner approaches” (SIM Racial Justice Committee, 2021).

First annual MBA International Case Competition

March and April 2021

Over four weeks, mixed teams of MBA students collaborated virtually across borders, time zones and continents to address the competition brief. The teams were from:

  • Newcastle University Business School (UK)
  • LUISS Business School (Italy)
  • Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh (USA)

The challenging case focused on diversity and inclusion, with the outcomes providing insightful and actionable recommendations for our industry partner and case provider, Kaefer Ltd.

Congratulations to all participants, and especially our winners and runners up!

The Purpose Ecosystem: innovative private sector agency addressing the sustainable development goals?

15 June 2021

The Network's first research webinar welcomed guest speaker Associate Professor Wendy Stubbs (Monash School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Australia), who presented on ‘The Purpose Ecosystem'.

The private sector has long been seen to play a critical role in addressing sustainability challenges and providing potential solutions to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

It's been questioned whether businesses can address the complexities involved in interconnected sustainability issues. In response, forms of alternative organising are emerging that aim to drive wider systems change.

The webinar discussed the emergence of the ‘Purpose Ecosystem’ and how those within it seek to create favourable framings, incentives, systems and infrastructures to support the development of purpose-driven businesses.

Whistleblowing Webinar

21 June 2021

To conclude the academic year, the Whistleblowing Webinar brought together academics from Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Nottingham Business School (Nottingham Trent University, UK) and NUBS, to discuss pressing issues in whistleblowing research and share knowledge and research ideas more broadly across the three Schools.

A person shouts into a megaphone

The discussion was prefaced by two presentations:  

  • Professor Iain Munro (Newcastle University Business School) focused on transformations in whistleblower activism and journalism.
  • Professor Nicola Kleyn (Rotterdam School of Management/GIBS) discussed whistleblower voices: accounts from and about South African whistleblowing.

What's coming up

After the successes of 2020/21, the SERS Network plans to continue its activities in 2021/22.

Upcoming events:

  • Postgraduate Sustainability Forum Webinar on ‘The role of banks in tackling climate change: A practitioner-scholar perspective’. Guest presentation led by Wendy Dobson, Head of Group Corporate Citizenship at Standard Bank Group (South Africa). This event is scheduled for 1 December 2021 and is open to all SERS Network partners.
  • Postgraduate Sustainability Challenge Competition. Teams of PGT students from Network partner institutions will research an ERS problem, guided by industry and academic mentors. This event will take place in March 2022.
  • Second Annual MBA International Case Competition. Several mixed teams of MBA students from three or more Network partner institutions will address an ERS brief proposed by an international corporation. The competition will take place in March & April 2022.
A picture of Earth taken from space, with the lights of the cities looking like a network of light

If you’d like to find out more about the SERS Network and their work around Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability, please visit their webpage.