Originally published online at EFMD Global Focus. Click on 'Downloads' for the PDF version.
When Global Focus magazine published its very first special issue in 2007 it was dedicated to the work of a small and newly formed foundation – the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI).
As a joint initiative of EFMD and UN Global Compact, the GRLI began its work in earnest during 2004 when 21 companies, business schools and leadership learning centres formed a unique working partnership focused on how leaders can contribute to the creation of economic and societal progress in a globally responsible and sustainable way.
Nearly twenty years later the enquiry held by the GRLI Foundation stands in contrast to a global context where responsibility in leadership and practice is sadly not yet the norm. The impact of the grand challenges we face collectively are growing more evident by the day and encroaches on the very livelihood of people and the planet alike. There is urgent and radical work to be done to bring this continually emergent paradigm of Global Responsibility to prominence – to help shift the collective consciousness from “I” to “We”, to “All of Us”.
There is urgent and radical work to be done to bring this continually emergent paradigm of Global Responsibility to prominence
In the management education landscape, we see an increasingly crowded playing field of networks and initiatives focused on advancing responsible leadership and responsible management education, and this is where the unique work and approach of GRLI is invaluable and why the special relationship between EFMD and GRLI continues to grow and now includes AACSB International (since 2015) and oikos International (since 2021) as strategic partners.
Being an independent partner-driven initiative focused first and foremost on the impact of its ongoing enquiry GRLI remains uniquely positioned to challenge the status quo and to work with the hard questions for which there are no easy answers. In a context where borders, boundaries and divides are increasingly seen and felt the GRLI works on initiatives that have sparked over the years a wide-ranging impact on teaching, learning, research, accreditation, rankings and more.
This special issue of Global Focus provides a glimpse into the ongoing learning and experimentation held with and driven by the GRLI Partner and Associate network. In sharing the insights and experiences with you, the reader, we would like to emphasize that there is no silver bullet or ready-made solution when it comes to catalysing the development of global responsibility in how we learn, live and lead. . The GRLI community spirit and work of learning with and from others, of fostering deep and genuine collaboration for collective impact and of engaging as whole human beings helps keep the hope alive for whole system change. That is the direction of travel we advocate for and pledge to adhere to.
Global Responsibility? GRLI continues to hold the question.
Will you hold and work on it with us?
Executive Director of The Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative