Call for Contributions-Global Champions of Sustainable Development

Opportunity to contribute to a new global book project on:

Global Champions of Sustainable Development

Opportunity to contribute to a new global book project on:

Global Champions of Sustainable Development


Patricia M. Flynn, Bentley University ([email protected])

Milenko Gudić, PRME Anti-poverty Working Group Coordinator, ([email protected])

Tay Keong Tan, Radford University ([email protected])

Part of the Greenleaf/PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Book Series

Routledge and the global network of teachers and scholars at the PRME have published a series of books on the principles of social responsibility and global sustainability for business and management education.

This new volume is a compilation of stories and case studies from around the world on how individuals, in their roles as corporate executives, public officials, or civil society activists, contributed to the global development agenda promulgated by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adopted by the UN member states on 25 September 2015 “to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all”, the SDGs include the most ambitious development agenda collectively undertaken by the nations of the world.

Contributions are sought from academics, practitioners, policymakers, business leaders, journalists and entrepreneurs.

Background to the Book Series

The mission of the UN PRME initiative is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally under the auspices of the United Nations. The PRME works to bring together academics and practitioners to promote the integration of sustainability issues into management education and foster related research. This new volume, an initiative of several working groups of the PRME.

The SDGs represent the world’s most ambitious development targets in 17 broad areas: from eliminating poverty, hunger and gender inequality to creating thriving cities and green economies. This book looks at the epic struggles, productive failures, and hard-won successes in the pursuit of the SDGs worldwide. It chronicles the experiences, accomplishments, and life lessons of leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists who have overcome tremendous challenges, achieved remarkable results, and made profound sacrifices in the pursuit of sustainable development around the world. This book is dedicated to these unsung heroes.

Description of the Book

The 17 SDGs embody the collective aspirations of the world’s peoples: peace, freedom, development, and sustainability. Operationalized into 169 specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives, the SDGs address some of the most serious challenges facing humanity today. Governments, development agencies, corporations, civil society and communities have been mobilized to work on these intractable issues humanity will face over a fifteen-year timeframe from 2015 to 2030.

The challenges associated with the struggle for attainment of these goals and objectives are as diverse and complex as the variety of human societies, national conditions and natural ecosystems worldwide. The problems to be addressed range from extreme poverty and pandemics to racism and refugee crises. Some of the best strategies and solutions to these problems emerged from unlikely places; ranging from the corporate boardrooms and halls of administration to the fields of civic engagement and the vortices of crises. Often, a single person is the dauntless driving force behind these innovative programs and courageous experiments that made all the difference to the poorest and most disadvantaged social groups. Somehow, they were able to turn the abstract goals and principles of sustainability into concrete programs and effective action.

In the trenches of practice, results are far from guaranteed, while sacrifice and obstacles are inevitable. These champions forge the paths forward – advocating ideas, mobilizing support, and exercising leadership – in diverse nations, organizations and communities. In their struggle, they develop plans and solutions that inevitably involve adaptation, sacrifice, trade-offs, and compromises that address the concerns of competing groups.

Hence, the lessons from their early successes, productive failures, and personal practices should be identified and celebrated in stories and case studies. Through them, this book hopes to inform and inspire future generations of global citizens to instill in their lives and professions the values and character exemplified by these champions of global sustainability and social responsibility.

The primary focus of this book is the individual experiences and personal studies of champions around the world that ‘make sustainability work’ in different contexts. What have they done that is unique in contributing to the advancement of sustainable development? What contributed to their successes and failures in the contexts in which they operate? How have they made a difference in advancing the SDGs, when so many others have failed or simply given up? What can we learn from them?

This book offers a platform for authors (both academics and practitioners) to share their stories from the trenches of sustainable development and help the world learn from the perspectives of advocates and protagonists fighting to advance the new global development agenda.

The SDGs, adopted by world leaders to mobilize global efforts on sustainable development, are:

  1. Poverty - End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. Food - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Health - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Women - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Water - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Energy - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all
  8. Economy - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Infrastructure - Build resilientinfrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Inequality - Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Habitation - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Consumption - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Climate - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Marine-ecosystems - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Ecosystems - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

  17. Sustainability - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

This bookwill be an edited collection. Editors are particularly interested in stories that involve audacious and innovative action that made a difference in overcoming challenge, and finding solutions, in attaining the SDG’s 2030 agenda to “reach the furthest behind first” and to ensure that “no one will be left behind”. They include the experiences of public leaders, business executives, and civil society activists and citizens using innovative program designs and pragmatic leadership strategies. Both inspiring stories of successes and heroic tales of failure are welcome.


This book aims to celebrate the personal victories and laudable failures of sustainability champions from all cultures and all walks of life, whose work is directly related to the advancement of the SDGs worldwide. Submissions based on different approaches, whether reflexive, empirical, or inspiration, will be considered.

All chapters should be between 2,500 and 4,500 words in length, and contributors should ensure that stories and cases are placed in the context of the sustainability agenda promulgated by the SDGs. The editors are particularly interested in chapters that critically evaluate illustrative examples of leadership practices and programme innovations.

Papers must be submitted, without exception, as per the editorial guidelines, including those of Routledge, which can be found at: Potential contributors are encouraged to visit the websites of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the PRME for further information. They may also contact the editors, whose email addresses are noted above, if they have additional questions.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 1,000 words, together with a full CV for each author, to Rebecca Marsh, no later than 1 October 2017: [email protected]

TimelineAbstract and CV submission 1 October 2017
Selection of abstracts and notification to successful contributors no later than 15 January 2018
Full chapter submission 15 July 2018
Revised chapter submission: 15 November 2018
Publication Spring of 2019