Institutions as role models
Which cultural foundations and changes leave their mark on our society? How can we create optimal educational opportunities for our future leaders? A university in Germany has embraced culture, sustainability and entrepreneurship as its thematic focuses in research and teaching – helping address the future of social commitment to civil society in the twenty-first century. Institution: Leuphana […]
The current challenge for management education is one of re-legitimization, particularly in the context of unresolved humanitarian, political and environmental problems. One Swedish business school has already proven itself an admirable institutional role model, given its long-held tradition of collaborating with surrounding society by connecting their faculty and students to the larger scope of community and global contexts, and working on human rights and social sustainability issues in tandem with private, public, and not-for-profit organizations. The business school further employs ‘live cases’ in its courses, where students are placed into the field to solve real problems across different facets of society.
An Indian NGO provides services and solutions to problems in rural communities, aiming to make them self-sufficient and sustainable. Its philosophy is deeply rooted in Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of spirit of service and thoughts on sustainability. Gandhi believed that knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for its development, before skills are brought in from outside. This has been applied from the outset: the college itself was designed and built not by urban architects and contractors, but by the locals, who had ample experience of building their own houses.
UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves is, in effect, an example of the new style of business school. Its aim is to encourage sustainable development, and to do this it practices action oriented learning. This shared vision of sustainable development practices is creating an ever-evolving global campus for learning about how to develop human social and economic practices in order to increase levels of sustainability. Individually and collectively, biosphere reserves are one of the most powerful emerging business schools for creating a prosperous global future.
A US MBA Program has as its centerpiece a practicum where student teams build businesses at the Bottom of the Pyramid. They view those at the Bottom of the Pyramid as customers and partners, rather than charity cases, and build businesses to meet their needs and solve environmental problems. Students work on these ventures for all 18 months of the program, including 8-10 weeks abroad during the summer semester. Many of these student ventures continue after graduation.