The 2019 GBSN Annual Conference was a huge success. Over 170 leaders in business education, industry, development and government gathered in Lisbon, Portugal to participate in a 3-day conference on Measuring the Impact of Business Schools, co-hosted by the Nova School of Business and Economics.
The conference was sponsored by Monash Business School, Johnson &Johnson Foundation, Hanken School of Economics, Cabells Scholarly Analytics, MIT Sloan School of Management, CarringtonCrisp, ETS Global, Global Engagement Institute and Absolute Internship.
We had the pleasure of welcoming:
- 148 institutions from 46 countries from Mexico, Colombia, Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, Ghana, Denmark, Finland, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Australia.
- Colleagues from the private sector, including Johnson & Johnson and Ecobank
- Peer organizations, including representatives from AACSB International and EFMD Global
The role of business in society is changing rapidly, especially in emerging markets. While continuing to act as an engine of economic growth, an increasing number of companies, large and small, are adopting notions of shared value creation and taking a larger stakeholder view of the firm. There is agreement that businesses can address social as well as economic challenges effectively and efficiently in partnership with governments. This view is reflected in the explicit incorporation of business as a change agent in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact initiative. Student attitudes also reflect this shift. More students aim to make a positive impact in the world and are seeking careers that share these values. 
The above trends are relevant for schools in both developed and developing countries. Examples abound of business schools embracing this new and wider role actively, questioning traditional (probably more Western) views. They do that through consulting, applied research, experiential learning or by acting as catalysts of economic and social change. In this changing context, the question arises of how business schools can assess their relevance and impact in the economy and society at large, including a wider range of stakeholders (students, local communities, NGOs, policy makers, corporations, governments, entrepreneurs, etc.) This central question of impact assessment forms the focal point of discussion in the GBSN 2019 Annual Conference.
Some important questions that will be addressed include:
- How are business schools changing their positioning and services against this new role of business and society?
- Which impact measurement methodologies are being used by schools and businesses and what are their advantages and shortcomings?
- How should the current ranking systems change to more adequately capture the broader role of business schools in the economy and society?
Nova School of Business and Economics
Campus de Carcavelos, Rua da Holanda
n.1, 2775-405 Carcavelos, Portugal
Who Should Attend?
Business School Deans, Directors, Faculty and Administrators
from developed, emerging and frontier markets
Professionals from industry, aid organizations, and civil society
dedicated to addressing social and economic challenges effectively and efficiently
with an interest in wider stakeholder collaboration to address social and economic challenges