50+20 Agenda

The 50+20 Agenda describes a vision for the transformation of management education, in which the common tenet of being the best in the world is revised in favor of creating businesses that are designed and led to achieve the best for the world.

The vision was developed over the course of 18 months and through a series of consultative workshops, retreats and meetings across 5 continents with contributions from more than 100 thought leaders and academics, with many more participating in online stakeholder surveys. It also showcases a number of “Emerging Benchmarks”; these are examples of institutions setting new and relevant standards indicative of a collaborative rather than competitive approach.

Endorsements for 50+20

50+20 not only raises the sights for those charged with the  evelopment of our future leaders, but also provides a clear roadmap for delivering on that ambition. As such, it is an important contribution to a journey of transformation that affects not only the future of business, but the very planet itself.
Paul Polman – CEO, Unilever

The 50+20 initiative is an ambitious effort that highlights the urgent need for radical change in what we teach and how management education is delivered today. In a world that faces so many different and fast-evolving challenges, the initiative is indeed timely and needed.
Peter Bakker – President, WBCSD

The future of humanity depends on the quality of its political and business leaders. The 50+20 vision gives us hope in a despairing world, direction for a lost journey, energy to an apathetic generation, and inspiration for a new model of management education and research aimed to develop transformational and responsible leadership for a better world, a better future.
Anne S. Tsui – Motorola Professor of International Management, Arizona State University

We now finally have a blueprint that can be used as a foundation for a new contract between business schools and society. Changing the way we educate our business leaders for tomorrow
will change the world for the better.
Rakesh Khurana – Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Harvard Business School

50+20 is probably the best analysis of the challenge facing business and business schools I’ve seen. It fully embraces the fundamental nature of the sustainability crisis we confront and has the courage to ask the hard questions about our economic model of progress and to demand a profound rethink of businesses role. If this represents cutting edge thinking in the business world then it gives me great hope for the contribution leading companies can still make to our way forward.
Paul Gilding – Independent writer and consultant on sustainability

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Ideas for stakeholders

Whilst a process of engagement is paramount in importance for implementing the vision, other stakeholders may also wish to contribute to bringing about the necessary changes. Some (or all) of our ideas may prove to be obsolete or otherwise deemed unsuitable well before any attempts at implementation are attempted. Our hope is that these preliminary ideas will spark a wider debate amongst the players in management education and the wider community.

Buyers and clients of management education include decision-makers, leaders and managers in organizations and companies of various sizes, and individual prospective students and their immediate influencers.

Influencers of management education include a broad range of players, including international and national accreditation bodies, the media, rating and ranking agencies, and civil society organizations (including social media).

Funders of management education include those who directly or indirectly control funding towards management education, such as policy makers, alumni, donor agencies, foundations or wealthy individuals. Here we also consider governments in their specific capacity as issuers of licenses to operate.

Providers of management education include existing business schools and institutions, universities, leadership and executive development centers, corporate universities, professional training institutes, research institutes, think tanks and academic and professional journals.


A full and updated bibliography will be included in the comprehensive book, due to be published after June 2012. The provisional bibliography can be downloaded from this page.