What is the real intent behind management schools? To develop the next generation of managers for major consulting and financial firms, such as Goldman Sachs? Or is it to develop further research in management practices? At the EFMD 2013 Annual Conference, Ron Nahser, Director of Urban Sustainable Management Programs Institute for Business and Professional Ethics at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business; Sarah Bailey, Co-Founder and Marketing Director of Single Planet Solutions Ltd; and Kurt Peleman, CEO of European Venture Philanthropy Association. “Beyond the Box” discussed the purpose for students of management education teaching, and the possibilities outside what one would traditionally conceive as the typical business school path.
In the panel, Mark Drewell began the discussion with participation from the audience on what they thought about management education and “beyond the box.”
Sarah Bailey began the discussion from amongst the panelists. Upon graduating from Exeter University, she had already accumulated experience with sustainability projects, notably the One Planet Initiative. She stressed the need for business schools and companies to pay attention to what young people are suggesting for solutions to sustainability. On the subject of MBAs, she noted that while one may have the adequate knowledge and tools upon graduating, that does not necessarily mean that the graduate may be ready for the working world. What helped her most in her transition into work was the experience she had obtained by working with local charities.
Kurt Peleman then began speaking about his current profession at the European Venture Philanthropy Association. At the moment, he runs a network of 160 members who all promote social entrepreneurship. The challenges facing social entrepreneurship are from within, and cannot be fixed with just a few sustainability courses in a business school, Mr. Peleman reiterated. The approach in making positive advancements for social entrepreneurship needs to carry more gravitas, and business schools should even consider changing their name to incorporate responsible leadership in their programming, according to Kurt Peleman. There are numerous opportunities in the realm of social entrepreneurship; however, we need to act now.
Ron Nahser then went on to discuss his position now at the university, in comparison to his past experience in the advertising business. In speaking to missionaries, he realized one central thing. Business and missionaries aim to achieve the same goal, though in varying capacities, and that is to try to help the poor.
This roundtable discussion led to the topic of management, initially viewed as a narrow topic and a set career path for those within it; nevertheless, while it is still a large concept, concepts such as sustainability and corporate responsibility can be thrown back on the table as they are relevant now more than ever. At the moment, a broad liberal education is becoming more necessary than any specialty in sustainability studies, as an all-encompassing education will be useful when approaching embedding sustainability in your business or organizations with not only the tools and knowledge, but with the external work experiences and a broad perspective.
To end the roundtable, Mark Drewell asked all three panelists to talk about one exciting idea that they had all gained.
Mr. Nahser mentioned he was now excited about social justice and entrepreneurship. Kurt Peleman told a story of his daughter who had drawn him on Father’s Day, as someone who saved the world. This strengthened his resolve on doing the best he can to achieve positive change, and advised everyone else to do the same to the best of their abilities. Sarah Bailey pinpointed the influence that business schools can have on local communities to really help them grow and develop.
To conclude, Mr. Drewell ended the roundtable saying how we must think big, act small, and start now.
EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Regions of the World: Latin America” by Maria José Tonelli and João Lins
Maria Jose Tonelli, Vice Director of FGV EAESP in Brazil and Joao Lins, a partner at PwC in Brazil both gave a lecture on the state of higher education and the business environment in Latin America at the EFMD 2013 Annual Conference.
EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Efficiency and Creativity: the Impact of Management Education upon Business and Economy in Asia” by Dong-Sung Cho
Dong-Sung Cho, Professor of Strategy, International Business, Management Design, and Sustainability Management at Seoul National University, gave a lecture at the EFMD 2013 Conference titled “Efficiency and Creativity: the Impact of Management Education upon Business and Economy in Asia.” This lecture discussed themes of management education, particularly through creative channels, and their influence upon the economies in the Asian markets, especially South Korea and China.
David Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of GMAC, presented a lecture at the EFMD 2013 Annual Conference titled “Fasten Your Seatbelts.” Higher education is facing an uncertain environment with differing approaches in pedagogy and turbulent markets. Wilson discussed the state of higher education now versus what it was like five years ago, and he gave his vision for higher education in the future.
At the opening address for the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) 2013 Annual Conference, Eric Cornuel, EFMD’s Director General and CEO, gave an inspiring introduction on the positive influence that management education has worldwide.