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About GRLI PDF Print E-mail
Background (Phase 1 from 2003-2008)

The Global Responsibility Initiative (GRLI) was initiated by the Board of Directors of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in early 2003 after one-year of intensive preparations. Towards the end of that same year, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) signed an agreement with EFMD an invitation to businesses and business schools to work on and answer one question in action: “How do we develop a next generation of globally responsible leaders?”

In October 2004 executive team members representatives from 21 pioneering businesses and learning institutions gathered in Limelette outside Brussels (Belgium) to start a one-year long entrepreneurial process of six work meetings, each three days long. The initial invitation to business and business schools globally as well as the pioneering group's work was based on the entrepreneurial approach of the Foresight Group and its principle of "FIRST WHO, THEN WHAT”. In September 2005 the last work meeting was held at the IBM Executive Learning Centre, Palisades (USA).

This was immediately followed by a decision to continue and enlarge the original group and establish it as an independent entity – a foundation of public interest – under Belgium law. Thus, The Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) Foundation was born.

The guiding principles from the beginning were (and remain) that whatever we engage in must:

  1. Be result oriented: Whatever the initiative decides to do must clearly increase the capability to deliver visible results on the ground.
  2. Have long-term effects: Whatever the initiative decides to do will only qualify if it stands a strong chance to live on, and continuously affect the development of globally responsible leaders.
  3. Be unique: Getting things done innovatively, quickly and effectively while honouring and sustaining the unique combination of the partnership of businesses and learning institutions. and not done elsewhere.

The concept of uniqueness was particularly important in the sense that it would have been (and remains) easy to slip into the mode of taking on all issues related to the role of business in society. This principle forces our focus to stay firmly on the development and education of the next generation of globally responsible leaders.