Promoting business education to create a better world

Promoting business education to create a better world

Businesses are under pressure to prioritise issues affecting people and the earth over maximising profits since risks to human well-being like inequality and climate change are on the rise. Vocational education is also under pressure to do the same.

There are several examples of business schools responding to requests for reform from students, faculty, companies, and communities, as we demonstrate in our FT Responsible Business Education study.

The FT incorporates these concerns in its reporting on business education and is updating its approach for evaluating business schools in order to provide more attention to and credit for initiatives centred on sustainability and social good.

Metrics, however, have their limits. Some issues are challenging to assess easily, relatively, and extensively, as the larger discussion concerning firms’ obligations in the areas of governance, the environment, and social responsibility has demonstrated. The same is true for the sector of education, which is crucial for preparing the next generation of business leaders and managers.

To ensure that a wide range of activities are carefully examined in order to highlight, award, and reward specific examples of outstanding practise, we established our Responsible Business Education Awards last year. both possible and recommended.

We are appreciative of a brilliant panel of judges who come from the business world, nonprofit organisations, academia, and other fields and have extensive knowledge and enthusiasm in the subject.

This second year of the awards has shown us that the first-year winners were not an anomaly. Another outstanding list of entries came in from all across the world, and we were able to select a number of noteworthy initiatives for the shortlist and joint winners.

This year, we updated our standards. We shift our focus for 2023 after focusing on alumni “change-maker” entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs as the key “output” of business schools in 2022. In projects with outside organisations, students engaged in “learning while doing” actual work as part of their coursework, and we requested examples.

While the winners’ individual efforts are commendable, their work also emphasises the crucial function of the systems connecting them to successful projects. For instance, the Responsible Leaders Fellowship at ESMT in Berlin enables MBA and Masters graduates to offer free assistance to organisations dealing with social issues in developing nations.

The Hult Prize, a global competition that encourages university students to address social problems via business, served as a crucial foundation for another winner by providing funds to let them test their ideas. provides.

Our second award this year was for innovative teaching methods, with a special focus on decision-making for sustainability or climate change adaptation, in recognition of the crucial impact that what is taught in the classroom plays.

Many useful teaching scenarios are offered by a wide range of business schools, and these schools are influential because they reach many students. The judges came to the conclusion that some of the greatest content offers online training, simulations, coaching, mentorship, and even meditation in addition to regular cases.

Many were co-written by numerous authors from several business schools and made freely available online, allowing their colleagues the most access conceivable anywhere.

The final prize was given for academic work that had demonstrated social effect and practical application. The better ones were typically produced by several authors who were based in various institutions, colleges, and nations, and they were released in a larger variety of publications.

Causation is never simple to determine. But all too frequently, academics still perceive impact as the result of being published in specialised journals with strict peer review but a small readership. The superior ones would at the very least look for or acknowledge coverage of their research in business and media publications.

The finest entries, on the other hand, discussed the writers’ efforts to spread their views more broadly, participate in public discourse, and directly influence decisions made by both public and private sector entities. His success metrics in fields as various and significant as modern slavery and organ transplants were much more impressive.

The best people to spread or apply their ideas to a wider audience may not always be good academic scholars, nor should their intellectual independence be compromised by the drive to develop useful applications.

Business schools must continue to work to draw students’ attention to societal issues, relate their theories to practical applications, and change the incentives that lead to an excessive amount of research that is not connected to instruction or outcomes. Huh.

We invite comments on these awards, as well as suggestions for enhancements and assurances that we will get a larger range of applications in the future, particularly from business schools outside of North America and Western Europe.