UN Global Compact Partnership

On February 26, 2019, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram, Dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management announced that the school had won a bid to become the official academic partner of the Global Compact Network USA, which is the national network for U.S.-based companies that are members of the United Nations Global Compact.

This dynamic partnership includes joint research with the Global Compact, faculty and the larger ASU community; joint events to link the public and private sector; student engagement that includes research, member engagement, and internships; and more. As Network USA’s knowledge partner, Thunderbird and others within ASU provide expertise to support members’ work through wide-ranging activities in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which consist of a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet, and produce peace and prosperity.

This partnership comes at the heels of increasing awareness that the private sector can and must play a critical role with sustainability and the achievement of the United Nations SDGs. The business sector is facing pressure to take part in the fight against climate change and operate as model corporate citizens – while operating in a complex landscape where markets can be interrupted by unexpected crises, disruptive technology, natural disasters, and political upheaval. However, purpose and planet over profit is becoming mainstream, as the SDGs gain traction in the fight against poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, peace and justice.


The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 13,500 signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 70 Local Networks.  Global Compact Network USA represents US-based signatories and consists of more than 500 members.

Launched in 2007, the Global Compact Network USA (GCNUSA) is the local network chapter of the United Nations Global Compact. Network USA is a non-profit organization that supports U.S.-based entities in:

  • Operating in alignment with the Ten Principles of the Global Compact

  • Engaging with and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Leveraging their association with the Global Compact and United Nations and its global resource network

  • Facilitating and creating opportunities for multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration


The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption.  

The Principles are derived from some of the most important work of the UN: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

·     Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

·     Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses

·     Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining

·     Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor

·     Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor

·     Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

·     Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

·     Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

·     Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

·     Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery

Project DreamCatcher 2015 - alumni and studentA Force for Sustainable Prosperity

Thunderbird for Good works to tear down the barriers to entrepreneurship through management education programs that support nontraditional students who lack access to top quality training.

An initiative that began with women in emerging markets has spread, and today includes men and women around the globe who are generating outcomes that create sustainable prosperity worldwide.  More than 120,000 graduates of these programs across 60+ countries– sponsored by corporate partners, delivered by Thunderbird faculty, and often supported by Thunderbird alumni who live and work in these underserved markets -- create jobs, share knowledge and improve living conditions in their communities.

It is a program that changes lives and in so doing, changes the world – for good.

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