The Future Corporation – The Future Business School (part 3)

LEAD SymposiumThe 2014 LEAD Symposium challenges participants to sketch a vision of The Future Corporation, identifying key characteristics of what the sustainable corporation could and should look like in the future. They look to provide a beacon for the transition of the global business community that is already underway, fuelled by deeper integration of sustainability into strategies and operations. On 20 November, the PRME community is invited to watch the Live-stream and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #FutureCorporation and #GCLEAD.

To create The Future Corporation, we also need to explore The Future Business School. What kind of training is needed to ensure that future generations of employees, managers, and leaders have to create the future corporations we want and need? What, specifically, should future business schools look like, in terms of curriculum, partnerships, dialogues, campus greening, etc.?

Parts 2 and 3 of this series capture visions from PRME schools of what the Future Business School may look like. I encourage you to contribute your own. (Click here to see part 1 and part 2)

“Just as the 19th century has been described as ‘the British century’ and the 20th century as ‘the US century,’ the 21st century is ‘the Asian century’. If trends continue to 2050, Asia will regain dominance in the world as before the industrial revolution. This outcome is not guaranteed, however, because many challenges remain in institutional capacity, public and corporate governance, rising inequality, and acute competition for finite resources. If unresolved, these issues will trigger economic, social, and political complications within and across the region. The British century’ and ‘the US century’ also necessitated overcoming substantial economic, social, and political challenges including civil unrest, revolution, and war. The ‘Asian century’ will be different due to greater globalisation. The globalisation of business education with proliferating international alliances, networks, and offshore campuses–accompanied by increasingly mobile faculty and students–is producing convergence in the formerly more diverse approaches to management education. We must grasp this opportunity to unite behind and promulgate the principles of responsible management to the world’s future business and societal leaders. The leading business schools of the future will find innovative collaborations with like-minded schools, businesses, governments, and civil society in all parts of the world to do this.” - Colm Kearney, Dean Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Australia

“The world of business is changing rapidly and graduates at all levels must have the creativity and critical thinking skills to lead that change in sustainable directions. Looking forward, I think business schools must develop leaders who are well rounded and able to think and work in several dimensions, and see their inter-dependence. Business schools will move away from functional silos: students will learn how international finance affects production, how ethics impacts supply chains, and how customer service affects human resources. Students will learn in classrooms and via online resources from around the world and move fluidly between corporate and academic contexts. They will experience the global scope of business and appreciate the implications and challenges of working in diverse cultures. They will have access to a rich array of ideas, coming from their own campuses and others, and will have the skills and confidence to contribute to diverse conversations. At Gustavson, our vision is to pioneer business education that creates sustainable value. That means integrating the full spectrum of financial, human, and environmental value in decision-making.” – Saul Klein, Dean, University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business, Canada

“The biggest challenge is our mainstream management paradigm. Our short term, linear, and causal thinking in management means businesses don’t take responsibility. Participants need to understand a paradigm of holism, based on the principles of the quantum world and of complex systems behaviour. This paradigm has profound implications for leadership and innovation. It equally has implications for the pedagogical approach: action learning, and learning by and while doing, are becoming the pedagogical paradigm that will support responsibility. But maybe most important is the focus on relevance. Business schools should pay attention to be relevant, and not just good–relevant in the sense that we train people in order to go out and make the difference in the world. We have to train people to be able to lead, entrepreneur, and innovate in emerging markets: markets with high degrees of complexity, uncertainty, and inequality.” – Walter Baets, Director of the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa

“Practice gives important and valuable lessons that the university can’t provide exclusively by itself. That is why it’s fundamental to give students the opportunity to learn from challenges and issues that may happen in a real company. For The Future Business School, it would be interesting to implement programmes that allow a space between the university and businesses where students, in a real controlled environment, put into practice the knowledge and experience gained during their academic preparation, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It would help students to apply their knowledge and thus identify the weaknesses of the company generating knowledge to face real problems that SMEs may face. Gustavo Yepes Lopez, Director of Social Management, Universidad Externado, Colombia

“Developing a business school education that emphasises social and environmental impacts of business will have to at least partially rely on new platforms for dialogue between stakeholders so that students and faculty can get to understand business-related topics from the perspectives of different stakeholders. The role of the teachers will increasingly be to act as curators, assembling different modules and perspectives into meaningful packages. Thanks to technological developments, it is easy to envision a future in which different organisations (e.g., schools and NGOs) in different places increasingly collaborate with each other in the learning process of students. For example, two schools in geographically and culturally different locations could produce their own online lectures on a similar topic but from different perspectives. They could then either combine these online elements to a common MOOC (massive open online course) or exchange singular elements into each other’s courses. One example of collaboration could be a common Wiki on a particular subject that might have different meanings in different contexts, such as corruption or living wage. These types of developments will not be sufficient on their own to create meaningful dialogues or enable the students to fully understand various stakeholders but we think they will open up a new range of possibilities in the overall portfolio of approaches to responsible management education.” - Martin Fougère and Nikodemus Solitander, Hanken School of Economics, Finland

ISAE believes that the role of the business school is to inspire globally responsible leaders. In the future, integration between market and school will be essential, so that the student can be in contact through practice with local and global needs and capabilities. This future school will allow the student to take control of their own education and career. This synergy between the school and the market is indispensable, because it puts education as the transformation vector of our society and our future.” – Norman de Paula Arruda Filho, President ISAE, Brazil


For more ideas visit the Future MBA Project, a growing database of ideas from around the world on what the future of management education might/could/will look like.

The Future Corporation – The Future Business School (part 2)

LEAD SymposiumThe 2014 LEAD Symposium challenges participants to sketch a vision of The Future Corporation, identifying key characteristics of what the sustainable corporation could and should look like in the future. They look to provide a beacon for the transition of the global business community that is already underway, fuelled by deeper integration of sustainability into strategies and operations. On 20 November, the PRME community is invited to watch the Live-stream and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #FutureCorporation and #GCLEAD.

To create The Future Corporation, we also need to explore The Future Business School. What kind of training is needed to ensure that future generations of employees, managers, and leaders have to create the future corporations we want and need? What, specifically, should future business schools look like, in terms of curriculum, partnerships, dialogues, campus greening, etc.?

Parts 2 and 3 of this series capture visions from PRME schools of what the Future Business School may look like. I encourage you to contribute your own. (To view part 1 click here)

“Sustainability today is a fast evolving concept. If I have to summarise priorities on how PRME schools could best serve corporations committed to sustainability in the foreseeable future, I would choose thought leadership in the following areas. First, sustainability in the future will have to inspire and guide innovation and digitalization within corporations. Second, the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis presents us with growing inequalities of income and wealth, weakened middle classes, and obvious cracks in the social contract. Corporations will need to step up their responsible behaviour and effectively contribute to the resolution of this state of affairs. Third, with the advent of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), corporate sustainability will move to a new level. Corporations will have to imagine a new practice of goal-setting: sustainable companies will be evaluated not only with respect to their relations to stakeholders and their reporting excellence but by the extent to which they contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Finally, the SDGs will have to be “grounded” in the specific situations of each country. It is my belief that in each one of these four new challenges, thought leadership from committed academics could become a powerful ally of the innovative efforts of sustainable corporations.” – Manuel Escudero, Director Global Center for Sustainable Business, Deusto Business School, Spain

“The Future Business School will create intrapreneurs who have mastery in the art of change management. Graduates will not only understand global issues but will appreciate that the recommendations they put forth will not be implemented unless people have bought into their ideas at every level of the organisation, down to the level where the actual execution of the change will occur. At the Haas School of Business, students are not just learning about the issues (for example, with our Global Megatrends course) but are also exploring, testing, and even putting into place innovative solutions to the world’s business challenges (for example, through our “Intrapreneurship for Sustainability” course).” – Christina Meinberg, Associate Director Center for Responsible Business, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, USA

“When students enter our institutions they bring a wealth of experience already gained during their young lives. More importantly, they bear open questions and are searching for answers to unresolved riddles, in particular concerning the pressing global issues of our times: waste of resources, climate change, losses of biodiversity, poverty, and humanitarian crises. Future business schools will tap into this intrinsic motivation by offering innovative formats where open debate on these issues may unfold, enabling the development of creative responses and practical ways to move forward on their solutions by prototyping innovative models. They turn into living labs, interacting with the wider societal context and relevant stakeholder groups, where teaching staff–instead of offering prefabricated answers in edited formats derived from their disciplines–take the role of co-creators of social innovation. Hence, education aims at creating inventors, enablers, as well as enactors of social change. The role of research is to derive practical theories of social change, where insights gained from applied open innovation projects are operationalised, (re-)confirmed, and tested. In these collaborative spaces, students share the attitude that improvements for our world out of business schools will only occur if they are given the chance to materialise by means of creative experimentation while making use of inherent systemic levers. We are attempting this through our Student HUB for social innovation, a collaborative initiative of University of Tübingen, Germany, and HTW Chur, Switzerland.” Lutz E. Schlange, University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, Switzerland

“The Future Business School functions as a partner to business, continuously inspiring each other’s management and leadership needs. Besides being a support in leadership development, the business school must be able to assist in resolving issues at short notice. Functional topics will be integrated with topics and methods that promote creativity, imagination, inspiration, and the use of senses, because the red line for business will be sustainable innovation. For that reason, we have a film director and a gallery owner on the IEDC faculty list. Business leadership or corporate governance will have three major aspects: organisational effectiveness, power distribution, and ethical drive. The business school will also look different. IEDC is already also a gallery, not as a showcase, but as a place where art and leadership development can be integrated. Most of the future programmes will be executed as workshops and at outside locations, in order to have a greater impact. At IEDC, we are trying to continuously look for new answers to what leadership is and will be in the future, for example through our upcoming 2015 Academic Conference “Leadership: Today & Tomorrow”.”- Danica Purg, Dean, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia

“For some, the global financial crisis of 2008 and the worst recession since the ‘Great Depression’ was, in effect, the fault of business schools. Well, maybe not business schools per se, but certainly strong criticism has been levelled at MBAs, and a curriculum focussed primarily on corporate and personal gain, regardless. Not surprising then, we have since seen many B-schools try to soften their image, at least a little, by extolling the virtues of responsible business. But other than that, has anything really changed? The odd lecture or even course on responsible business is a step, but that’s often more symbolic–a ‘fig-leaf’ as it were, rather than real transformation. As others have suggested elsewhere, what we really need to do is change culture, where responsibility and sustainability become truly embedded as part of our corporate DNA. Great, but cultures grow, cultures evolve; they don’t ‘change on a dime’ (and universities are even slower)! As a start at least, at Guelph we’ve adapted the motto ‘Leaders for a Sustainable World’: aspirational for sure, and we’re certainly not alone in this quest. But these are just words: aspirational statements won’t get us very far, and we need to ‘walk the talk’ if we’re going to really affect change. So that’s what we’re doing. Our students are learning through experience about ‘business for good,’ for example, through ‘Micro-Tyco,’ where they become an entrepreneur to help fund an entrepreneur in the developing world by generating funds for micro-finance.”- Kerry Godfrey, Associate Dean College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph, Canada

“The Future Business School will be a place where profit is only part one. Students will know that, for each business action, there must be a part two: social benefit. Today, that concept is understood and enthusiastically embraced by some students—but not all. The business school of the future will turn the tables, changing the 10 percent exception into the 90 percent rule. Some of that change will be out of necessity. A 2010 Forbes study identified 17 social and environmental initiatives that consumers expect of “good companies.” As that number grows, students in all business fields will need to master corporate social responsibility. The International Energy Association forecasts carbon dioxide emissions to increase 20 percent more by 2035, affecting the climate in ways that will become urgent to business students, no matter what their academic track. Another piece of the change, however, will come from business schools themselves, as ethics and strong values become factors that all business schools realise they must put front and centre—not just some. That is already sewn into Fordham’s identity; we are grateful for our selection as an Ashoka Changemaker Campus.” – Donna Rapaccioli, Dean, Fordham Gabelli School of Business, USA


For more ideas visit the Future MBA Project, a growing database of ideas from around the world on what the future of management education might/could/will look like.

The Future Corporation–The Future Business School

LEAD Symposium

Every year, a number of leading companies in the field of sustainability who make up the Global Compact LEAD group meet to discuss current issues and key trends and to shape future developments in this area. The 2014 LEAD Symposium challenges participants to sketch a vision of The Future Corporation, identifying key characteristics of what the sustainable corporation could and should look like in the future. They look to provide a beacon for the transition of the global business community that is already underway, fuelled by deeper integration of sustainability into strategies and operations.

On 20 November, LEAD companies want to hear from business school professors and students about their vision of The Future Corporation and invite the PRME community to engage via Twitter.ber, students are invited to watch the Live-stream and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #FutureCorporation and #GCLEAD. The live Twitter feed will be displayed in the conference, and attendees in the room will be encouraged to engage in dialogue with those watching the live-stream:

To create The Future Corporation, we also need to explore The Future Business School. What kind of training is needed to ensure that future generations of employees, managers, and leaders have to create the future corporations we want and need? What, specifically, should future business schools look like, in terms of curriculum, partnerships, dialogues, campus greening, etc.?

“The Future Business School will have to serve an increasing number of stakeholder groups and, at the same time, have to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. The successful Future Business School copes with these challenges by combining academic rigor and relevance for society. Relevance for society includes, first of all, the learning experience of students; it includes the close interaction with companies but will also include, to a larger extent, services and cooperation with other relevant groups of civil society. This prepares students for careers in The Future Corporation, which will be a more social responsible corporation. However, there is no single best answer on the main characteristic of “The” Future Business School–rather the expectation is that diversity will increase. Personally, I would like to see business school graduates as people beneficial for society–like dentists (this is what J. M. Keynes formulated for economists). Business schools, as institutions, should be independent players that provide thought leadership and are acknowledged partners of companies, which are not only striving for profits but understand their more complex role in society.” – Prof. Dr. Rudi Kurz, Pforzheim University Business School, Germany

“The Future Business School needs to position itself as part of a broader ecosystem of partners, both within and outside of the university, exploring ideas and innovation. To facilitate this, students, faculty, and staff need to learn about opportunities and solutions together as part of a larger learning community. Our Queen’s Social Impact Academy is a co-created campus-wide learning platform for students and faculty and the source of existing and new traditional and online courses in the areas of social innovation and human-centred design.” Tina Dacin, Director, QSB Centre for Social Impact, Queen’s School of Business, Canada

Parts 2 and 3 of this series capture visions from PRME schools of what The Future Business School may look like. I encourage you to contribute your own.


For more ideas visit the Future MBA Project, a growing database of ideas from around the world on what the future of management education might/could/will look like.

Universities Divesting in Fossil Fuels (part 2)

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 11.38.51Over the past year a growing number of student groups at schools from around the world have started up campaigns asking that their university divest from fossil fuels. Students, staff, faculty and alumni are coming together into groups that use a mix of open letters, petitions, debates, speaker series and events, film screenings, article writing, presentations, club meetings and online campaigns to mobilise their university around this topic. In part 1 we reviewed some of the background to this growing movement. Here in part 2 we will look at a selection of examples of what schools are doing in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.


The divesting movement began in the US with several hundred small- and medium-sized schools that have either already made commitments, or currently have strong student and staff movements pressuring them to do so. San Francisco State University committed to divest from coal and tar sands and set up a committee to explore full divestment. The University of Dayton committed to divestment in stages earlier this year of its USD$670 million investments pool. A number of larger universities in the US also have active campaigns including Stanford University, who announced earlier this year that it would make no direct investments in coal companies, and Harvard University, where faculty members have signed a letter to the dean urging the university to divest. The University of California Faculty Association recently urged the university’s Board of Regents to divest funds from fossil fuel companies (about USD$3 billion worth). The committee decided not to sell off stock holdings, but to have environmental and social issues more deeply influence investment decisions. A USD$1 billion plan was proposed to invest in direct solutions to climate change. In the US a growing number of cities have also decided to divest including Seattle, San Francisco and Portland.


At Dalhousie University, students and staff started a campaign called, “100 Days of Action,” aimed to pressure the university to divest its endowments from fossil fuel companies. They have delivered an extensive proposal to the university’s Investment Committee and are calling for a decision by the Board of Governors during their upcoming meeting at the end of November in relation to their CDN$470 million endowment fund. At Simon Fraser University the Faculty Association voted to develop a fossil-free pension fund option on the 7th of November, and faculty are currently preparing a letter to pension trustees expressing the will of the meeting. Faculty at the University of Victoria recently voted 66% in favour of divestment from fossil fuels in pension funds and endowment. Faculty, students and alumni were urged to sign an open letter calling for divestments, and are calling for a freeze on all new investments in fossil fuels in the university’s endowment fund. Concordia University, University of Guelph and Saint Mary’s University also have active campaigns underway.

United Kingdom

Over 50 campaigns have been launched across the UK to push institutions to divest from fossil fuels in the over GBP£5billion held in UK university endowment funds. After a year of campaigning by over 1,300 students and staff, the University of Glasgow became the first university in Europe to divest its entire GBP£129 million endowment of fossil fuels. Oxford University is currently conducting a staff consultation on divestment after 2,000 students and academics joined a divestment campaign. University of Surrey shifted funds from two unnamed fossil fuel companies into a renewable-energy-focused company. Additional campaigns are currently underway at the University of Exeter, the University of Portsmouth, the University of Reading and the University of Leeds.


The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra agreed to begin divesting AUS$16 million in seven fossil fuel companies. The decision was made based on a review of their Socially Responsible Investment, commissioned by the university to an outside research company, which was followed by a referendum showing 82% of ANU students supported the idea. The university’s decision was strongly condemned by the Prime Minister and other members of parliament, yet strongly supported by 50 prominent Australians, who put their names in an open letter published as a full-page newspaper advertisement in support of ANU’s decision. Inspired in part by the success of ANU, campaigns have started at other universities across Australia including La Trobe University. Monash University’s Fossil Free campaign has pressured the university to establish an investment advisory committee that could direct the university to divest from coal and gas. The University of New South Wales Student Representative Council recently voted in favour of fossil fuel divestment however the University Council voted overwhelmingly to hold on to fossil fuel assets because they believe that working closely with industry and government will have a greater impact in addressing climate change.


Is your school organising a divestment campaign? Should universities divest? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Universities Divesting in Fossil Fuels (Part 1)

Monash University

As universities around the world are exploring how to embed sustainability into their programme offerings, curriculum and campus, a growing number of them are also looking deeper to see how they can ensure that they are being consistent in how they run their own operations. For example universities are increasing taking a closer look at their endowment funds and the kinds of companies that they invest or choose not to invest in.

One movement that has gained momentum this past year has been for universities to divest from fossil fuels. These universities individually and collectively hold endowments that invest millions, sometimes billions, into fossil fuel companies. Strong campaigns, lead by students and staff, focus on several reasons why their institutions should not be investing in fossil fuels. It is seen as a sound financial decision to take a closer look at an institution’s financial portfolio and the risks that certain investments decisions take for the university, but also for the planet. Universities have a responsibility to shape public discourse, change through influence and raise awareness about this topic.

The campaigns to divest from fossil fuels have been slightly different at each school, but generally push for some, or all, of the following points:

  • To freeze any further investments in fossil fuel companies
  • To divest from fossil fuel companies completely in five years
  • Disclose the potential greenhouse gas emissions in the university’s investments
  • Shifting funds to lower risk, ethical investments (such as renewable energy, local community projects, and so on)
  • Calling on pension funds to exclude fossil fuel companies from their portfolios
  • Cutting research, advertising and career ties with fossil fuel industry
  • Create, strengthen and adhere to a Socially Responsible Investment Policy
  • Publicly declare divestment in order to encourage other universities, institutions and individuals to do the same

Most of the campaigns are specifically looking at a group of 200 or so publicly traded companies that hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas reserves. However, quite a few other schools have publicly stated that although divesting is a strong gesture, they do not see the necessity or utility in doing so. They argue that universities should keep their ownership in these companies and instead exercise leverage as a shareholder. The act of divesting will not have real impact other than raising awareness and that although it is inspiring to see the students organise such strong campaigns, divesting completely doesn’t actually make sense for the universities. Instead they are choosing to respond in a number of different ways including strengthening their Investment Policies and investing in alternative energy companies.

Despite mixed thoughts on the matter, the movement now also includes a number of companies (Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund), religious organisations (a petition for the Vatican to divest is underway), cities (Seattle, Oxford) and countries (one of the Swedish national pension funds announced they are divesting from 20 fossil fuel companies) from around the world.

A number of toolkits and resources are available for students and staff interested in learning more including,,, and

Part 2 will look at specific examples from signatories in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.



Should Universities divest in fossil fuels or not? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below. 

Aligning Sustainability Across Campuses- KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business

KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business

Following a long process of reorganisation within the Flemish higher education landscape, KU Leuven acquired and integrated several academically-oriented degree programmes from the University Colleges Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussels (HUB) and Thomas More (Antwerp) in 2013. The new KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) is now responsible for research and academic offerings across four campuses: Leuven, Kortrijk, Brussels and Antwerp.

As part of the integration process, FEB is currently combining the various initiatives happening on the different campuses around sustainability and ethics, strengthening them, and learning from each other. I recently spoke with Dean Luc Sels and Talia Stough, Sustainability Coordinator at the FEB, about their experiences.

How was the process of creating a shared platform for ethics, responsibility and sustainability?

The two new campuses came to the integration process with different educational offerings, research centres, policies, visions, etc. The goal of the integration was to create a shared vision, mission, policies, and goals while maintaining the strengths of each of the four unique campuses. The Faculty used the EQUIS framework as a backdrop during the integration process. The EQUIS Standards and Criteria 2014 include expanded coverage of ethics, responsibility, and sustainability (ERS), which, “reflects the need of business schools to contribute to the resolutions of societal challenges and to act as ‘good citizens’ in the environment they operate in,” (EQUIS Standards and Criteria 2014, pp. 6).

What have been some of the challenges?

There is potential in economic and/or business education for the link with “sustainability” to not be initially evident. While business management programmes can easily integrate and align with topics such as CSR, stakeholder engagement, etc., uncovering the link between purely economic programmes proved to require deeper examination. During the process of EQUIS accreditation, schools must identify a certain programme that will be used as an exemplar for the visitation committee to examine. We chose the Master in Business Economics (MBE) on our Leuven campus, where the link with ERS is not initially evident based on the list of core courses. When we examined courses more closely, it became clear that ERS was being integrated as a theme for case studies, project work, etc. within seemingly unrelated courses. A major challenge for the near future is to bring these ERS themes to the forefront and to integrate them into one coherent learning trajectory with which students and faculty can easily identify.

What have been some of the successes?

The four campuses came to the integration process with different strengths and experiences. In regards to ERS, the Brussels campus had a long history of integrating sustainability and corporate social responsibility into education, research and operations, while the Leuven campus had strong research links to ethics and policy development, and several strong ERS-related student initiatives. The Brussels campus had been a signatory to PRME and had already been reporting on its sustainability performance for four years. As an integrated faculty, we are now a PRME signatory as well, and the EQUIS Self-Assessment Report Chapter 9 on ERS served as the framework for our first PRME SIP report. Currently, we are discussing what the sustainability indicators will be for the integrated faculty and how we will report in the future. By having different experiences and expertise, we can learn from each other.

How did you bring all of this together in your first faculty wide SIP report?

As the Brussels campus had experience with reporting on sustainability performance, they significantly contributed to our EQUIS Chapter 9/PRME SIP. When examining the MBE programme, the Brussels colleagues were able to help the Leuven professors of the MBE programme identify which activities (case studies, project work, etc.) were contributing to ERS in the curriculum, even though it was occurring outside courses specifically on ERS themes. This changed the conversation from, “maybe we are not really doing anything on ERS,” to “look at all these interesting examples we have on ERS in curriculum.”

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of or going through a similar process?

Change can be a moment when things are lost or gained. For us, the synergy between change and quality standards that gives serious weight to ERS created the opportunity for ERS to be a major topic for the integrated faculty moving forward.

While assessment tools for sustainability in higher education ask for inventories of courses on sustainability, assessing the content of courses is still rare. Looking beyond just the courses titles, although more time consuming, can really change the picture—and the institution’s perspective—on how ERS is integrated into education.

For faculties with multiple campuses, having an integrated approach to ERS is important. In the case of FEB, we are developing a cross-campus team to oversee the themes of ERS and diversity, focusing on education and research initiatives as well as stimulating student initiatives. Having an integrated approach allows each campus to excel in different areas (i.e., research centres with different emphases, ERS educational activities catered to different study programmes, etc.), but also gives common vision and goals, and the potential to learn from exemplars at other campuses.




Feeding the World – Business Schools Taking the Challenge on a Local Level (part 2)

UnknownThe food industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and a key part of food production is family farms—the theme of this year’s World Food Day. Family farms play a significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

In celebration of World Food Day on the 16th of October, PRiMEtime is taking the opportunity to feature some of the initiatives that business schools have put in place to raise awareness about local food challenges, as well as celebrate local food. To see the examples from part 1 click here.

Partnerships – local community

Bournemouth University Business School has been working in collaboration with the Sustainable Food Cities Partnership Board, an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations committed to promoting sustainable food. Through this partnership, a number of project areas were identified for students to engage in discussions around sustainable food. The school also hosted workshops on sustainable fish sourcing and consumption, and consumer attitudes to sustainability issues—such as protection of local and regional food and drink.

The recovered food CSA was founded at the University of Maryland in 2013 as a student run, revenue-generating club. The food stand embodies the community-supported agriculture model. Surplus produce is collected from local farmers and sold through the food stand on a regular basis. The produce is sold by 5-pound bag (for $5) and for every bag bought, a bag is donated to a hungry local family.

Western Michigan University has also collaborated with local farmers through their Food Diversion Programme, where food waste is gathered and picked up several times a week by local farmers and used as feed for their pigs. (The university also converts 100 gallons of used filtered oil from Dining Service fryers for use by Landscape Services lawn mowers).

Degree Programmes

JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland launched a specialised programme on Sustainable Gastronomy at the bachelor level. The aim of the programme is to consider the whole food system through the sustainable food lens, enhancing the dialogue between the food system stakeholders and education. In order to be able to develop their branch in a responsible way, graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the sustainable food chain and eco-gastronomy both on local and global level, and understand their value for responsible business.

The Alma Mater Studiorum at the University of Bologna’ MBA in Food and Wine explores the topic through the knowledge of the most successful Italian enterprises in gastronomy and oenology (the study of wine and wine-making). Bologna is famous for its excellent tradition in this field and renown for being “the City of Food.” This 12-month programme includes a focus on sustainable agriculture, exploring the specific food and wine characteristics at the local level.

For more examples see previous PRiMEtime blog posts Sustainable Food on Campus (part 1 and 2), which provide a range of examples of how universities are making the food on campus more sustainable by focusing on the local contexts, putting in place community gardens, creating farmers markets, and collecting food donations.


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