Sustainable University Day 2015
18 March 2015 | University of St. Gallen

Responsibility and sustainability - a demanding challenge for higher education
Opening keynote
Dieter Euler
Professor for Business Education and Educational Management, University of St. Gallen


The commitment of universities to the promotion of responsibility and sustainability is growing – at least in terms of programmatic statements. Many bodies propose standards and principles for ethics or social responsibility in general terms or related to specific disciplines. Many universities respond to the challenges by adjusting their mission statement and launching promising initiatives within the programmes.
At first, all of these activities are to be regarded as political initiatives. They set and suggest new objectives for teaching and learning. As such, they don’t provide answers but raise new questions, namely on how such objectives can be achieved in the context of existing practices and conditions at universities. In particular, what capabilities should graduates develop to act as a responsible leader? What principles and methods may guide the development of such capabilities? What obstacles need to be overcome? Can good practices be identified which may serve to catalyse the transformation processes?

Slides (pdf, 670 KB)

Dieter Euler holds a professorship for business education and educational management and serves as Director of the Institute of Business Education and Educational Management at the University of St. Gallen. He has published extensively in the fields of business education, educational management and university development, focussing on social competences, innovations in teaching and learning, and quality development.
University contributions to responsible leadership: Stakeholder expectations
Uwe Schneidewind
President Wuppertal Institute


Based on the St. Gallen Management Model, Uwe Schneidewind shows that a Responsible Leadership Education needs to move beyond the traditional perception of society-oriented corporate management in terms of “Corporate Social Responsibility”. A Responsible Leadership Education needs to be based on a comprehensive understanding of the interactions of society, management, and science. This understanding includes a deep understanding of science based transformations in society and the management of these societal transformations, in order to respond effectively to the current societal challenges. Universities and other institutions offering leadership education, therefore, are asked to embrace a leading role in supporting and guiding societal transformation processes.

Slides (pdf, 880 KB)

Since 2010, Uwe Schneidewind has been President and Chief Research Executive of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. He is appointed as Professor for Sustainable Transition Management at the faculty of Economics (Schumpeter School of Business and Economics) at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Uwe Schneidewind is a member of the Club of Rome and the German Advisory Council on Global Change.

Gabriele Zedlmayer
Vice President and Chief Progress Officer, Hewlett Packard


In a constantly changing world where we are facing challenges like a rapidly growing population, effects of climate change, economic instability, and global health crises, business as usual is not an option. But challenges also present opportunities for action and innovation. Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President & Chief Progress Officer at HP outlines how corporations can address societal challenges and how universities can help prepare students to develop the skills they need to be successful in the corporate world of the 21st century.

Slides (pdf, 4.9 MB)

Gabriele Zedlmayer is Vice President & Chief Progress Officer Corporate Affairs, Hewlett-Packard Company. She drives HP’s Living Progress initiatives that help improve the communities HP serves aligned with HP’s business strategy. Her goal is to create solutions that improve communities and advance human, economic, and environmental progress. In 2011 she was honoured by Newsweek and the Daily Beast as one of 150 “women who shake the world”. In February 2015, InspiringFifty named her as one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology.



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