Our journey: Collaboration in action

A collaboratory prototype

The 50+20 vision itself was written in an evolving, collaborative process where contributions informed each other, creating a process of continuous integration and information updates. Rather than embarking in competitive projects, we travelled to meet each other, to sit together and decided before long to join forces and work on a common vision. The way we worked was the way we envision the functioning of a collaboratory.

The retreats, surveys and meetings

A very international group of stakeholders of management education met in a number of retreats working on progressively evolving elements of the vision. Every time, at least 50% of the participants were first-timers, ensuring an inclusive and open approach. We used professional facilitation processes that served the different purposes of the retreats:

  • Otto Scharmer and Thomas Dyllick,  New York,  April 2011the New York retreat was about visioning what needs to happen in management education to ensure that we contribute to a world worth living in (26 participants, incl. business school deans, directors and professors, artists, consultants, innovation and educational experts and thought leaders).
  • a global stakeholder survey clarified expectations and inspired the vision (140 participants from 36 countries, incl. management scholars, students, business professionals, NGO’s and not-for-profit employees, educational experts and coaches, artists, opinion leaders and concerned citizens).
  • St Gallen Collaboratorythe St Gallen retreat was about discussing first drafts the vision team had put together (35 participants, incl. in addition to New York students and representatives of student organizations, NGOs and not-for-profit organizations).
  • the Stuttgart GRLI-conference served to critically evaluate the preliminary vision and its scope (40 participants, incl. thought leaders in responsible leadership from business and academia world-wide).
  • the global Challenge:Future student competition demonstrated how concerned and engaged young adults saw the future of management education and helped sharpen our vision (309 students from 76 countries working in small teams of 2-3 people for 3-4 months).
  • the Munich WBCSD-conference was about testing the preliminary vision and getting feedback from the business community on the vision (15 participants, incl. corporate sustainability directors from around the globe).
  • the Lausanne retreat was a steering committee and editor session assessing the results of an intense collaborative vision writing exercise involving 22 writers and opinion leaders over a period of two months. It was the first time the vision took on a clearly recognizable shape (7 participants from 3 continents).
  • Brussels Retreat Group Photothe Brussels retreat helped getting alignment behind the vision and actions to engage different stakeholders (25 participants from New York, St Gallen and Stuttgart).