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Top prize for student essay on modern day slavery

ByDave Stopher

May 10, 2020

A student from Northumbria University, Newcastle, has won a prestigious international writing competition held annually by the UK and Ireland Chapter of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UNPRME) initiative.

As well as taking first prize in the undergraduate (UG) category for her essay exploring modern day slavery, business student Autumn Irving-Carr was also awarded £500. Led by Oxford Brookes Business School, the PRME Responsible Business and Management Writing Competition for 2019/20 focused on the significance of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and attracted entries from 19 universities across the UK and Ireland. The Chair of the PRME chapter for the UK and Ireland Dr Alec Wersun, Chapter Chair, reflected that the urgent nature of the SDGs could “not be clearer in these pandemic times”.

Summarising the judges’ findings, Dr Jana Filosof and Dr Amir Keshtiban, Co-Chairs of the UG Judging Panel, commended Autumn on: “An outstanding essay demonstrating deep understanding of the topic and a personal interest…taking into account this was written by a second year student it was truly exceptional.”

Autumn’s essay was titled ‘Vulnerable people: The hidden world of modern slavery’. It aimed to raise awareness of modern slavery practices, discuss causes and consequences, and highlight system-wide solutions that involve all elements in society. Commenting on her success Autumn said: “Achieving first place in the competition is a huge achievement and I couldn’t be happier. The PRME writing competition is a brilliant platform to encourage responsible management research and writing among students. The competition was meaningful to me as it combined my personal values with an academic and professional outlet. I felt empowered to peruse topics outside of the curriculum, raise awareness, and to work towards becoming a responsible business professional.”

Autumn paid tribute to her course lecturer Dr Gyuzel Gadelshina for offering valuable guidance, knowledge and support, adding “Gyuzel’s first year module Global Business Environment, motivated me to enter the competition as it developed my perspective on sustainable development goals”. She also acknowledged support from Dr Ian Fitzgerald for contributing excellent resources to the essay.

Professor John Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria, said: “This is the first time a Northumbria student has won this award and we are extremely proud of Autumn’s achievement. It is a measure of the quality and calibre of our students, and the strength and depth of teaching and research at Northumbria.”

Founded in 2007, PRME is a United Nations-led initiative to raise the profile of sustainability in business and management schools around the world and equip students with the understanding and ability to deliver change for a better tomorrow. Newcastle Business School at Northumbria is part of a prestigious group of 38 higher education institutions from around the world to be designated as a PRME Champion School.