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How to Make Business Schools More Resilient?

COVID-19 lets the future appear ever more uncertain. Will there be a second or third infection wave and, if so, will it trigger another lock-down? To what extent will the pandemic crisis shift learning behavior and, in the process, accelerate the switch to online provision? And finally, how will the impending economic recession impact demand for business schools and will displacement pressures by higher-ranked institutions seeking new revenue sources play an important role in this context?

Under the guidance of an expert panel, participants will explore the benefits of a proactive posture when dealing with these environmental uncertainties. Should it involve the deliberate build-up of resilience (ability to “bounce back”) or even anti-fragility (ability to profit from uncertainty)? What does this concretely imply in terms of pricing policies, degree delivery choices, etc?

Learn more about the webinar series by clicking here.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

  • 5:00am Washington D.C.
  • 6:00am São Paulo
  • 10:00am London
  • 11:00am Paris
  • 12:00pm Nairobi
  • 1:00pm Dubai
  • 2:30pm Mumbai
  • 4:00pm Jakarta
  • 5:00pm Malaysia


Click the link below to register for the webinar.


Ulrich Hommel

Ulrich Hommel
Founding Partner

Ulrich Hommel is an internationally recognized expert of accreditation, quality management, risk management and strategic leadership in higher education, and a prolific writer on business school topics. He has served in various leadership capacities at EFMD over a period of more than 12 years, including Director of Quality Services, Director of Business School Development and Director of Research & Surveys. Ulrich has completed more than 20 years of service as Professor of Finance at EBS University & Law in Wiesbaden (Germany), which included appointments as Dean, Rector and Managing Director. His academic research focuses on risk management, restructuring and entrepreneurial financing, all topics that mirror his interests in higher education. Ulrich holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has been awarded a Dr. habil in Business Administration by WHU.

Within XOLAS, Ulrich contributes particularly to the creation of knowledge and intelligence solutions and helps business schools to enhance their risk management capabilities; he develops restructuring solutions for clients and spearheads the development of XOLAS’ financial advisory capabilities.


Robina Xavier
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Education)
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Former Executive Dean
QUT Business School 

Professor Robina Xavier is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education) at QUT, based in Brisbane, Australia. Professor Xavier has more than 25 years’ experience in the tertiary sector including serving as Executive Dean, QUT Business School. Prior to joining QUT, Robina worked as a consultant to both the private and public sectors, specialising in corporate and financial relations.  She has received state and national awards for her work in public relations practice and research and has published in national and international journals.  Robina has sat on a number of government advisory groups, is a former National President of the peak industry body, the Public Relations Institute of Australia and is a former chair of the industry’s National Education Committee which oversees accreditation of Australian university programs.  She has served on international committees for the Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business in the US and the European Foundation for Management Development including the EFMD Executive Academy.  Robina is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia, a Fellow of the PRIA and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the co-editor of Public Relations Campaigns published by Oxford University Press.

John Vargo
Executive Director

Resilient Organisations NZ

Dr. John Vargo is Executive Director of Resilient Organisations Ltd. (ResOrgs) based in Christchurch New Zealand.  His interests focus on building organisational resilience in the face of systemic insecurity in a complex and interconnected world. Organisational resilience is the capacity to survive disruption and thrive in uncertain, turbulent environments. John and the ResOrgs group (www.resorgs.org.nz) have been researching and consulting on Organisational Resilience since 2004.  John’s interest began as an auditor in the US looking at financial risk to firms and extended in NZ as a University of Canterbury academic and a researcher in computer and network security. This interest grew to a broader perspective while he filled a range of senior management roles during the 2000s at the University of Canterbury, including Chief Operating Officer and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Services.  John and the Resorgs team were heavily involved in resilience research following the 2010-2011 series of devastating earthquakes that hit Christchurch, New Zealand.  This research has looked at the impacts of the earthquakes on organisations and economic sectors and the application of ResOrgs’ 13 indicator resilience model to systemic recovery. Other recent projects have focused on the resilience of critical infrastructure organisations in Australia and New Zealand and the keystone role they play in the resilience of a community and a nation. John was heavily involved in the Greater Christchurch 100 Resilient Cities initiative and Resilience Strategy development.  John is a science leader on the NZ National Science Challenge for Resilience.  John can be reached at: john.vargo@resorgs.org.nz 

Baback Yazdani
Dean of Nottingham Business School
Nottingham Trent University

Baback Yazdani is Professor of Product Development and the Dean of Nottingham Business School (NBS), UK’s top business school for personalisation and experiential learning, integrating research, teaching and industrial collaboration in business, economics and management research and education. During his Deanship since 2007, NBS has gone through a period of growth and transformation to become a leading business school by ranking and accreditations. He combines extensive senior academic and business and leadership experience and has invested in acquisition and the development of a world-class faculty; developed NBS’ research to international standards; deepened NBS’ links to business; developed a revolutionary programme of experiential learning and personalisation that has received international recognition and acclaim.

He plays a key role in the development of business research and education. As well as being the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Academy of Business in Society (ABIS), Baback is a Board Member of European Foundation for Management Development’s (EFDM), Council Member and Treasurer of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS).  He is also former regional chairman of the CBI in East Midlands and a member of CBI’s influential national chairmen’s committee, and a former member of Board of Trustees and Chair of the Remuneration Committee of Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Baback is an international expert in the Automotive Industry, Product Design and Development and Lean Management, advising CEOs and senior executives of major industries. He is fluent in four languages and has a wealth experience from his senior academic roles at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University, as well as extensive senior leadership roles in industry and international business (US and Europe), including Director of Product Development at Jaguar Land Rover, and Director of Business and Operations at Premier Automotive Group: JLR, Volvo, Aston Martin and Lincoln Mercury in the USA and also a member of the Anderson School of Management’s Advisory Board.

Baback is a Fellow of IET, Fellow of Chartered ABS, a Companion of the CMI, Principal Fellow of HEA and member of the Fédération Européenne d’Associations Nationales d’Ingénieurs, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and British Academy of Management. He is also an Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Science’s Graduate School of Management and a Visiting Professor at University of Technology Malaysia. He has degree in Mechanical Engineering (Wales) and is also Chartered Engineer, has an MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (Warwick) and a PhD in Product Development (Warwick) and also completed a Leadership Program for Senior Executives from Harvard Business School.