Manchester Metropolitan University

Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG)

Sustainability is one of the five strategic pillars of Manchester Metropolitan University’s strategy, and SEEG is at the forefront of sustainability and responsibility research & teaching within the Faculty of Business and Law.

SEEG was established in 2012 around the belief that sustainability, social responsibility and ethical conduct are critical issues for all organisations in the 21st Century.

Following its formal launch with an inaugural lecture by Jonathon Porritt in 2014, our primary objective has been to work towards a future which places the sustainable, fair, and ethical development of social, economic and environmental systems centre-stage in a world where rapid climate change, widespread biodiversity loss, depletion of natural resources, and widening societal inequalities make these imperatives more critical now than ever before.

In 2016, the University made the strategic decision to invest in a new Chair of Sustainability and Innovation within the Faculty of Business and Law. This gave impetus to a new phase of SEEG’s story, connecting our group to the new University strategy.

Linked to and supporting the work of the new University Environment Institute, and contributing to the existing and on-going work of the University Environmental Strategy Board, we seek to develop and sustain SEEG as a centre of internationally recognised research over the coming two to three years.

Our focus is on targeted areas and themes that bring SEEG’s expertise and strengths to bear on areas of existing and developing priority, strength and focus for Manchester Metropolitan University.

Our Mission

We are committed to providing strong and collective leadership, striving with our partners and collaborators to:

  • Produce evidence-based impactful research premised on stakeholder co-creation and inclusiveness
  • Translate our outputs into insights for policy
  • Provide inputs to support exciting and innovative teaching and learning for both the current and future generations

By combining the University’s respective discipline strengths and expertise, SEEG provides a window onto sustainability-related research and activities on topics such as:

  • Entrepreneurship and new business models
  • Community empowerment
  • Responsible innovation and management
  • Organisations, networks and institutional change
  • Eco-systems transformation

Selected Events

Previous Events


Celebrating SEEG: Relaunch Event 

Wednesday 25 October 2017, 9.00am–7.30pm

Keynote speakers included:

  • Professor Philippe Laredo, Directeur de Recherche in the Laboratoire Technique Territoire et Sociétés (LATTS), Ecole des Ponts, Paris
  • Professor Erik Fisher, Arizona State University
  • Professor Sally Randles, SEEG, Manchester Metropolitan University


An introduction to ABIS activities and members: Celebrating the Faculty of Business and Law becoming ABIS members 

Thursday 20 March 2017, 12.00–2.00pm

Speakers: Joris-Johann Lensen & Dr Ludwig Roger (Academy of Business in Society, Brussels, Belgium).


SEEG Lecture with Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchuran 
Tuesday 15 November 2016

Hosted by Professor Sally Randles.

Previous Meetings

  • Professor Frank Boons (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) & Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI), University of Manchester)
    Wednesday 20 September 2017, 12.00–2.00pm
  • Professor Janet Haddock-Fraser (Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Provost of MMU Chesire): ‘The Business Case for Sustainability’
    Tuesday 12 July 2016, 2.00–3.00pm
  • Chris Dessent (Creative Concern): ‘Selling Sustainability – Save One Planet, Get One Free’
    Tuesday 24 May 2016, 2.00–4.00pm
  • Jack Christian & Helena Kettleborough: ‘Post-Secular Research’
    Thursday 17 December 2015, 1.00–3.00pm
  • Nadine Andrews: ‘Psychosocial processes involved in influencing pro-environmental decision-making in the organisation: an individual-level interpretative phenomenological analysis’
    Tuesday 24 November 2015, 2.00–3.30pm

Team

More about SEEG

Sustainability is one of the five strategic pillars of Manchester Metropolitan University’s strategy. The Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG) is at the forefront of sustainability and responsibility research & teaching within the Faculty of Business and Law, also acting as an interdisciplinary bridge between our sister faculties in the University, such as Science & Engineering.

SEEG was established in 2012 around the belief that sustainability, social responsibility and ethical conduct are critical issues for all organisations in the 21st Century. Following its formal launch with an inaugural lecture by Jonathon Porritt in 2014, our primary objective has been to work towards a future which places the sustainable, fair, and ethical development of social, economic and environmental systems centre-stage in a world where rapid climate change, widespread biodiversity loss, depletion of natural resources, and widening societal inequalities make these imperatives more critical now than ever before.

Whilst positive gains and opportunities from the creation of green jobs, green technologies, and the benefits of what constitutes healthier, happier and meaningful lifestyles need our increased focus and attention, increasingly, the evidence suggests that while we have the technologies and knowledge to make a sustainable world, our cultural and sociotechnical lock-ins and ways of thinking hold us back.

How and what our students learn, and how our staff identify research and work together collaboratively, will be crucial to Manchester Metropolitan making a positive impact on the challenges facing the planet.

Relaunching SEEG

In 2016, the University made the strategic decision to invest in a new Chair of Sustainability and Innovation within the Faculty of Business and Law. This gave impetus to a new phase of SEEG’s story, connecting our group to the new University strategy.

Linked to and supporting the work of the new University Environment Institute, and contributing to the existing and on-going work of the University Environmental Strategy Board, we seek to develop and sustain SEEG as a centre of internationally recognised research over the coming two to three years.

Our focus is on targeted areas and themes that bring SEEG’s expertise and strengths to bear on areas of existing and developing priority, strength and focus for Manchester Metropolitan University.

As such, we developed a new mission for SEEG with a relaunch event which took place on 25 October 2017.

Celebrating SEEG: Relaunch Event 2017

On 25 October 2017 ‘Celebrating SEEG’ brought together over one hundred delegates and presenters to showcase the cross-disciplinary sustainability-related research, education and engagement activities of the Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG), which spans the Faculty of Business and Law and the Faculty of Science and Engineering

Chaired by Sally Randles, new Professor of Sustainability and Innovation at the Faculty of Business and Law, the event was co-convened by Dr Olga Kuznetsova and organised by Tom Hindmarch from the Faculty’s Marketing Team.


Professor Sally Randles outlining the future plans for SEEG


Professor Andrew Gibson, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, opened the day. Professor Gibson highlighted the sustainability, ecosystem and climate change challenges the world faces – a challenge embraced by Manchester Metropolitan University which as Sustainability as one its five strategic pillars.

Our international keynote speaker, Professor Philippe Laredo shared his personal experience of 15 or so years of growing and developing the the Laboratoire Territoires, Techniques, Sociétés (LATTS) at the Ecole des Ponts (Paris). Growing from two researchers in 2002 to over 100 today, LATTS is a centre with national and international visibility and global repute. LATTS’s wide portfolio of projects, programmes and themes is focussed around the social sciences of innovation. Philippe wished SEEG luck in establishing what he called ‘a new collective capability articulating sustainable development and innovation’ and sought to help us by providing key insights for developing a recognisable centre. These were:

  • Timeframes are very long – at SEEG we expect to grow with attention to the long-term.
  • Leadership is critical – SEEG is committed to building capability that will transcend and through different leaders.
  • Involve young staff but, as importantly, bring together senior staff, so that different topics can be mobilised around a few core themes able to address the hot issues and ‘big questions’ of the day – SEEG intends to develop as a community that embraces a variety of knowledge domains and competences and participates in academic training and learning.
  • Design, develop and share teaching programmes across disciplines – sustaining a cross-disciplinarily focus in research and informing the curriculum is expected to ensure SEEG’s longevity and continuity.
  • Develop strong postgraduate and PhD capability – SEEG aspires to become attractive to the young research talent.
  • Develop a shared research agenda to connect core academics and external stakeholders – SEEG will pursue opportunities for fostering collaborative and transformative research impact.

Professor Cathy Urquhart, one of the founding members of SEEG talked about the deep roots of SEEG initiated by herself and others in the room, with particular credit to recently retired Liz Walley for her passionate work bringing sustainability into the undergraduate curriculum at the Business School.

Professor Sally Randles outlined the future plans for SEEG developed in consultation with many of the existing SEEG members, whilst welcoming new members, new developments and new directions for SEEG. Current and developing SEEG themes were highlighted which prioritise cross-faculty working, in particular continuing and deepening bridges across the faculties of Business and Law and Science and Engineering.

SEEG will mainly focus on:

  • Education for Sustainable Development.
  • Social Enterprise, Networks and Communities.
  • Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, including Institutional Entrepreneurship.
  • Emerging Technologies, Responsible Innovation.
  • Organisations and Institutional Change.
  • Systems, Place, Waste and Territory – including Manchester as a Sustainable City.
  • Natural Ecosystems, Governance and Management.

Among new SEEG, initiatives were highlighted:

  • A CELT-funded research project on Enquiry and Problem-Based Learning leading to a new joint MSc on Sustainability delivered both by the Business School and Science and Engineering Schools, and Technology and Innovation Management (STIM).
  • Cross-disciplinary supervisions for new PhD recruits.
  • SEEG community building and communications through newsletter and emails.
  • An annual programme of events including keynote lectures.
  • Doctoral and early career networking and knowledge exchange workshops.
  • Themed research workshops to facilitate the development of new grant applications.
  • An annual main SEEG event.
  • International research, including new H2020 grant submissions.
  • External engagement with the support of a new informal external Advisory Board.

Professor Richard Preziosi


Dr Olga Kuznetsova, co-convenor of SEEG and one of the founding members led the panel that exposed the audience to the thought-provoking research on alternative business organisation formats (social enterprise, co-operatives). The input of the early career researchers unquestionably helped to make the event interesting and inspiring. Olga invited serious discussions on the limits to the carrying capacity of the planet, presenting the need to radically review macro-economic philosophies and models, and proposing the need for and how we might achieve justice-centred degrowth. The panel speakers included:

  • Dr Mike Bull
  • Dr Javier Lloveras
  • Cécile Berranger
  • James Vandeventer
  • Adam Marshall

Richard Preziosi, Professor of Ecological Genetics and lead of the new Manchester Met Research Centre for Ecology and the Environment took us on a very different journey with an illuminating talk illustrated with large pictures of frogs, lobsters, fish and many other threatened species. His presentation was memorable for both highlighting the gravity of species decline and the accessibility of his delivery for the lay and social science audience members. He discussed the reasons and consequences of species decline across habitats, and the many initiatives he and his teams are involved in around the world on habitat protection and recovery, and species conservation in the face of enormous impacts such as climate change, over-fishing, and habitat destruction from car parks and coastal hotels. He left the audience shocked, sad, and simultaneously energised.

Demonstrating our links with the University of Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) and Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI), the next panel was led by the SCI. Chaired by Professor Alan Warde the session turned to the theme of pluralising consumption and implications for sustainability. Dr Tom Schroeder (University of Heidelberg) talked about proliferating food trends and Dr Dan Welch (SCI) looked at weaknesses in current consumption research. Research which has tended to polarise a practice-based view of consumption which over-emphasises socio-structured effects on how people consume (allowing little room for the autonomous decision making of consumers) and a freely autonomous consumer (allowing little room to acknowledge the effects of socio-technical structuring on decision making and consumption habits and patterns). This caused the audience to reflect on their own consumption and buying habits and led to a number of comical questions and discussion on the audience members’ own practices.


Valeria Vargas


In the afternoon, Dr Elizabeth Price, Head of the School of Science and Environment introduced Sally Randles’s inaugural lecture ‘What is De-facto Responsible and Innovation and Why Does it Matter?’ This work draws on ten years and six years empirical and conceptual work at MIOIR and SCI and funded EU projects and case studies undertaken by doctoral students across Europe and beyond. The lecture was followed by a video presentation from collaborators at Arizona State University. Professor Erik Fisher and Dr Lauren Keeler introduced their work on Responsible Innovation and Education for Sustainability and Responsible Innovation. Erik and Lauren will be visiting Manchester Metropolitan in 2018.

The highlight of the afternoon was the lively 5-minute ‘elevator pitches’. These allowed us to showcase sustainability-related work of academics: six from FoBL (including Jamie Agombar from the NUS) and nine from Faculty of Science and Engineering. They were ably chaired by Tom Hindmarch with the help of his ‘5-minute whistle’, which brought fun and energy to the sessions.

The topics covered, however, were far from humorous. They were very significant, serious and informative. They covering the work of SEEG members on education initiatives, engaging communities in sustainability research, driving sustainability through business supply chains, and survey work across six countries covered by the EU SMART-Maps project on Responsible Research and Innovation. From the natural and physical sciences, more presentations covered the chemistry of waste and waste remediation facilities, waste to resource innovation network and waste regulations, sustainable aviation and aviation industry business models, fuel cell innovation and new opportunities for hydrogen technologies, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation in Brazil, and environmental measurement and management systems consultancy with local organisations. We are happy to put readers in touch with the presenters you are interested in these topics.


Kate McLoughlin


The evening panel welcomed more speakers:

  • Stephanie Lynch from the Manchester Climate Change Agency talking about inspirational grass-roots initiatives of the Agency.
  • Dr Rachel Harding from Cooler talking about successes in Carbon Literacy Training across Manchester.
  • Dr Dane Anderton and Dr Tamara McNeill from Manchester Metropolitan. Dane discussed place-making and leadership competencies at the local level, and Tamara provided an overview of the global reach that Manchester Met's sustainability and enterprise training through the SAUNEC project works with cities in Vietnam.

The discussion, which followed, focussed on Greater Manchester’s ambitious zero-carbon reduction aspirations that will be focus of the new Metropolitan Mayor Andy Burnham’s Manchester Green Summit in March 2018. Whilst there was some frustration expressed from the audience that in recent years such ambitions have been weakly matched at the systemic, institutional and political level in Manchester, there was a hope that focus of devolved local government and the commitment of Andy Burnham and Alex Ganotis, Leader of Stockport Council, will be able to make real change happen this time around.

Feedback after the event confirmed for us that we had captured the interest and imagination of the audience in a way that was fun and full of positive energy. One participant from a local small business said in her feedback:

“A great and engaging event that was informative and stimulating. Would love more of these events to take place, more discussions, more solutions… As a member of the business community, I think it is crucial to have a collaborations framework.”

Evening panel including Dr Dane Anderton (left), Dr Tamara McNeill (second from the right) and Professor Sally Randles (right)


We received a number of follow-up suggestions from the audience and hope to take these forward into SEEG’s forthcoming initiatives, including:

  • A PhD/early career researcher event and network, bringing together SEEG and the University of Manchester SCI.
  • Opportunities for Manchester Metropolitan undergraduates to become more involved in SEEG as part of the wider range of Sustainability related initiatives that the University already organises and facilitates for our undergraduate community.
  • Opportunities for the business community to become more involved with SEEG.
  • An idea to further the community engagement via hosting an open public SEEG event in 2018 around food systems, sustainability, and well-being with specific tailored sessions involving the business community and business networks.

Original schedule

Day session

 

08:30 – Registration, Coffee, Juice & Croissants.

09:10 – ‘Welcome and Introduction to SEEG’ – Professor Richard Greene, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University.

09:15 – KEYNOTE: ‘Active transformations: Processes of designing and leading new international research centres’ – Professor Philippe Laredo, Directeur de Recherche in the Laboratoire Territoires, Techniques, Sociétés (LATTS) at the Ecole des Ponts, Paris.

09:45 – ‘SEEG’s proposed new vision and 3 year plan’ – Professor Sally Randles, Chair of Sustainability and Innovation & SEEG Co-Convenor, Manchester Metropolitan University.

10:15 – PANEL: ‘Alternative and New Business Forms: Ethical & Social Enterprise’

  • Chair: Dr Olga Kuznetsova, SEEG Co-Convenor, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Mike Bull, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Javier Lloveras, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Celille Berranger

11:00 – Coffee break

11:15 – ‘Bringing natural ecosystem conservation, biodiversity, management and governance together’ – Professor Richard Preziosi, Professor of Ecological Genetics & Head of the Centre for Ecology and Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University.

11:30 – PANEL: ‘Sustainable Consumption: Pluralising strategies of trying to “do good”’

  • Chair: Dr Alan Warde, Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester
  • Dr Tom Schroeder, University of Heidleberg, Germany
  • Dr Dan Welch, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester

12:30 – Lunch, networking and viewing posters

13:30 – KEYNOTE: ‘De-facto Responsible Innovation, What is it and why does it matter?’ – Professor Sally Randles

14:00 – KEYNOTE: ‘International Collaborations: Responsible Innovation & Futures of Innovation in Society’ – Professor Erik Fisher, Arizona State University

14:15 – SHOW and TELL: 5 minute Elevator Pitches from SEEG Members in Manchester Met’s Faculty of Business and Law

  • Chair: Professor Sally Randles
  • Helen Wadham – ‘Pedagogy and Training Methods for Sustainability Education: experimenting with enquiry-based learning blended with online learning’
  • Dr Helena Mary Kettleborough – ‘Action Research & Creativity: engaging communities, bringing about change’
  • DrKonstantina Skritslovali – ‘Political CSR’
  • Kate McNeill – ‘Driving sustainability for innovation through supply chains’
  • Mohammed Hajhashem – ‘H2020 SMART-Maps: Baseline study of Responsible Innovation in 6 countries and 3 Health Technologies’
  • Jamie Agombar – ‘Student Action for Sustainability National Union of Students’

15:15 – SHOW and TELL: 5 minute Elevator Pitches from SEEG Members in Manchester Met’s Faculty of Science and Engineering

  • Chair: Professor Sally Randles
  • Valeria Vargas – ‘Education for Sustainable Development: uncovering different policy responses in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales’
  • Amanda Reid – ‘The Waste2ResourceInnovation Network’
  • Dr Ed Randviir – ‘The Science of Waste: Partner projects with Viridor Lang’
  • Carly Fletcher – ‘Waste regulation standards and their impact on the behaviour of waste managers’
  • Dr Chris Paling – ‘The wicked problem of Sustainable Aviation’
  • Dr Graeme Heyes – ‘New Business Models In Airport Retail’
  • Future Technologies and their role in Greening Futures – ‘Fuel Cell Innovation ’
  • Future Technologies and their role in Greening Futures – ‘Biodegradable fabrics’
  • Dr Hannah Matthews – ‘Working with regional organisations on environmental management systems’

16:30 – Audience Discussion and Q&A

16:55 – Thanks and Close – Professor Sally Randles & Dr Olga Kuznetsova

17:00 – Reception drinks and light refreshments

Evening session

 

18:00 – KEYNOTE: ‘Sustainability and the City’

18:30 – PANEL: ‘Sustainability and the City’

  • Chair: Professor Sally Randles
  • Steph Lynch, Manchester Climate Change Agency: The Manchester 2050 Zero Carbon Strategy
  • Manchester City Council: Manchester Active in European Sustainability Partnerships: EU Triangulum Project
  • Cooler: Local Innovation Passion and Excellence: Carbon Literacy in Greater Manchester
  • Dr Dane Anderton, Institute of Place Management, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Tamara Mcneill, Global International Reach: the SAUNAC project. Manchester Metropolitan University

19:30 – Reception drinks and light refreshments

Videos








Videos

SEEG Relaunch Event

 

Overview of the SEEG relaunch in 2017.

Interview with Professor Philippe Laredo

 

Professor Laredo, Head of at Reseach at Laboratoire Territoires, Techniques, Sociétés (LATTS), Ecole des Ponts (Paris), was the keynote speaker at the SEEG relaunch.

Sally Randles on Synthetic Biology in the UK

 

SEEG Co-Convenor, Professor Sally Randles, explains why the synthetic biology situation is so particular in the UK, especially with regard to responsible innovation.

Industrial Dialogue on Synthetic Biology

 

The third Industrial Dialogue of the SMART-map project held in Manchester on 9–10 March 2017 was focused on responsible development in synthetic biology. It was brought together by two of the SMART-map partners: University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Manchester Met hosts the World Symposium on Sustainability and Research

 

This event provided an opportunity for researchers from across the spectrum of the natural and social sciences to come together to discuss research methods, the results of empirical research or exchange ideas about on-going and future research initiatives focusing on sustainable development.

Liz Walley on sustainability as stand-alone units in the curriculum

 

In this film Liz talks about where she thinks sustainability fits into the curriculum and discusses some of the advantages of having stand-alone units in sustainability in addition to embedding sustainability across units. Understanding and being involved in curriculum review processes has been key to achieving stand-alone core units around sustainability.

Jack Christian sustainability in the curriculum

 

Here, Jack talks about his novel way of embedding sustainability into the curriculum: a Sustainability Walk. Rather than stay inside where the effects of sustainability might be shown on Powerpoint slides, Jack chooses to take his students outside on a three mile walk around Manchester.

Prof. Walter Leal on sustainability in the curriculum

 

For more Good Practice Exchange videos go to:
http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/good_practice/index.php

Links