GBSN Programs

Call for Preliminary Judges: The Victoria Forum Student Essay Competition | PhD Students and Research Assistants

We are excited to announce the launch of our first Victoria Forum Student Essay Challenge, in partnership with the Victoria Forum. This international competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and invites and challenges individuals/teams to write original, unpublished essays sharing actual experiences and stories of courage, grit, and transformation, to inspire efforts to bridge existing divides.

Essays should focus on one of the following sub-themes:

  • Bridging Economic Divides
  • Bridging Social Divides
  • Bridging Environmental Divides

Thus far, this international competition has submissions from 15 countries ranging across 6 continents. 


At this time, we would like to formally invite network members interested in becoming Preliminary Judges who would help determine the Top 10 essays.  These Top 10 essays would then go to the Victoria Forum final judging panel to award the winning essay.  We welcome you to please share this opportunity with your network of academic professionals.  We especially welcome PhD students, research assistants, graduate assistants, and professors who would be willing to assist us in judging the submitted essays and accompanying creative pieces. 

In addition to technical aspects, such as mechanics, organization, and narrative, essays will be judged for inspiration—the extent to which they have potential to tilt the conversation and inspire action towards a more inclusive and sustainable future. Preliminary Judges would read the essays and score them and the creative piece on a 100 point scale in four simple categories.

Preliminary Judges will be publicly acknowledged on the GBSN website and other external communications. In order to facilitate this, for those interested please email Julianna LaBelle at your preferred full name, official title and a brief bio with your confirmation of participating as a preliminary judge.

Call For Investors for Africa Business Concept Challenge

We are proud to announce the second annual Africa Business Concept Challenge (ABCC) in partnership with Peaqs. This virtual business concept competition for African undergraduate and graduate students will challenge teams to design a viable business concept that addresses a locally-relevant challenge or problem related to Agenda 2063, and inclusive and sustainable development.

As part of this experience, teams will compete on the Peaqs platform in a virtual stock market on the Peaqs platform.  We are recruiting investors to participate in this crucial portion of the competition.  You will be asked to invest on one or both competition games to determine which team has the best developed idea in each phase.  The following are the times for investing:

  • Phase 1: March 25th
  • Phase 2: March 30th through April 4th
  • Phases 3, 4, & 5: April 10th through 17th

This interactive part of the competition is fun and engaging and we welcome any professionals, researchers, teaching assistants, and more to participate as investors.  If you are interested, you can complete a form of expression found below and share with your network.

The more Investors and Investor Experts in the market game, the more realistic an experience the teams can have.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please email Maddie Handler at  We look forward to welcoming new investors this year and are very excited to see the ideas that are developed by students!

GBSN-INSEAD Africa Faculty Fellowship

The 4th Industrial Revolution and the pandemic have changed the way we work and live and has brought on a new normal in Africa and across the globe. Education is an essential tool to equip us to mitigate the challenges we will face.

In its effort to promote the continual improvement in quality learning and research across business schools in Africa, GBSN and INSEAD

are joining forces to offer a GBSN-INSEAD Africa Faculty Fellowship designed for educators who are committed to advancing the quality of their learning and teaching. The Fellowship is designed to support African faculty members from GBSN member schools to further develop their teaching practice. During the Fellowship, the Fellow will work with an INSEAD Faculty member(s) to develop a teaching resource or tool that can be brought back to their home institution and used in the classroom.

Through the Fellowship’s experience, activates and deliverables, they will help advance the quality of business and management education in their respective country. This fellowship is open to one faculty member from an African business school that is a member of GBSN and will take place in the academic year 2022.

Terms of the Fellowship

Beyond pursuing their own projects, the Fellows will be expected to attend research seminars and workshops, to sit in on class sessions at the invitation of faculty, to interact with faculty, administrative staff, and students, and to serve as a guest speaker in class if requested. This experience should be seen as an opportunity for both personal and institutional development. Upon returning home, the Fellow will be expected to share their learnings, strategies, and teaching tools with their home institution, and to maintain a relationship with the INSEAD Africa Initiative. Finally, the Fellow will be asked to write a follow-up report about their experience with the GBSN-INSEAD Fellowship, highlighting key learnings and activities. The report will be published on the GBSN website, and possibly on relevant INSEAD websites.

  • Time and work will be spread across 12 months
  • Majority of the Fellowship work will be conducted virtually
  • Potential for on-campus visit with sponsoring Faculty on INSEAD’s campus (Fontainebleau or Singapore). Travel is subject to COVID-19 restrictions and availability.
  • Other ancillary expenses such as food and local transportation may be covered by INSEAD, under specific mutual agreement between INSEAD and the Fellow.

Academic Supervisor

  • Vinika D. Rao

    Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, Gender Initiative & Africa Initiative; Director, Hoffman Global Institute for Business & Society, Asia; Adjunct Professor,
    Singapore Management University

Selection Committee

  • Mark Stabile

    Professor of Economics; The Stone Chaired Professor in Wealth Inequality; Academic Director, The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Centre for the Study of Wealth Inequality Hoffmann; Global Institute for Business & Society Deputy Academic Director
  • Ithai Stern

    Associate Professor of Strategy; The Akzo Nobel Fellow of Strategic Management
  • Vinika D. Rao

    Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, Gender Initiative & Africa Initiative; Director, Hoffman Global Institute for Business & Society, Asia; Adjunct Professor,
    Singapore Management University
  • Prashant Yaduv

    Affiliate Professor of Technology and Operations Management

The Application Process

Applicants must be active faculty with the potential for – or actual duties of – academic leadership at a GBSN member school on the African continent. Professors of all academic fields of business and economics are welcome to apply. 

Candidates for the Fellowships should submit the following documents in support of their application:

  1. An expression of interest and proposal of personal objectives, activities, and desired project deliverables (e.g., research working paper, teaching tools, course syllabus, simulations, etc.) during the visit to INSEAD
  2. the completed application form and a current curriculum vitae
  3. a letter of support from the Dean or Director of their institution. The letter should explain the suitability of the candidate for the Fellowship and how the institution expects to benefit from the Fellow’s engagement with INSEAD.

A selection committee of INSEAD faculty members, put together by the INSEAD Africa Initiative, will review each submitted application package and shortlisted candidates will move onto the Interview Phase.

Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews will be scheduled with the selected top applicants. The interviews are designed as a way for the INSEAD Africa Initiative Selection Committee to learn more about the applicant’s background, research, experience, desired learnings and objectives during the Fellowship as well as scheduling, timeline and availability. A major part of the selection will consider how the applicant plans to bring back value and implement the Fellowship deliverables across its home institution. 


The goal is to begin Fellowships within the academic year. Timelines are part of the discussion during virtual interviews. Other key dates and deadlines are outlined below.


MARCH 31Application DEADLINE
APRIL 4 – 8Virtual Interviews Conducted with Top Applicants
APRIL 8 – 29INSEAD Selection Committee Application Review Period
May 2Selected Faculty Fellow Announced


Contacts for this fellowship can be found below.


Nicole Zefran

INSEAD Africa Initiative

Jean Lim

GBSN-EPIC Fellows Program

The GBSN-EPIC Fellows Program is a partnership between the Global Business School Network and the Social Ventures Foundation. GBSN-EPIC Fellows are business school faculty members, retired faculty members and entrepreneurs in residence providing volunteer mentorship to undergraduate students participating in the inaugural year of the EPIC Teams Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Program. 

The program begins this February of 2022, in Costa Rica and then expands to other Central American nations in September 2022.  The EPIC Teams Program engages student teams to ideate, incubate and pitch their social venture solutions to local poverty challenges. 

GBSN-EPIC Fellows will virtually mentor a student team of up 5 students to facilitate their entrepreneurial development of a social venture. They will then mentor their Team’s preparation for their EPIC national competition. to help them win prize money that will enable their Team to conduct a commercial proof of concept.  The GBSN-EPIC Fellow will commit to spend up to 5 hours a month for up to four months mentoring their assigned EPIC Team.

The inaugural year of the GBSN-EPIC Fellows Program has only 25 mentor positions available and is seeking those with extensive entrepreneurial experience and a passion for using their experience to make a social impact.



About EPIC

EPIC engages the next generation of entrepreneurs in developing social ventures that provide solutions to poverty reduction challenges. Apply to EPIC to participate in a world class competition, with winners receiving help to scale their social ventures. The top 10 social venture ideas will be selected to compete in the final round Live on Zoom January 20th, 2022 for monetary prizes.

Apply to Be a GBSN-EPIC Fellow

To apply for this opportunity, please complete the online form found on the EPIC website.

Call for Submissions – GBSN Going BEYOND Awards


The Going BEYOND Awards are designed to highlight institutional programs or initiatives that demonstrate community impact, embody the spirit of inclusive and sustainable development and represents the spirit and values of GBSN Beyond. Institutions from across the globe are invited to submit an entry for the Going BEYOND Awards.

Leaders from institutions submitting qualifying entries will be invited to deliver short talks (8-10 minutes) about the program at one of four Impact Roundtables as part of the Leaders Track of GBSN Beyond. This open sharing process will involve not only other Leaders presenting, but also an audience of leaders from business, civil society, and government.

Submission Details

Qualifying entries describe programs that have demonstrated positive impact on society BEYOND the traditional degree programs offered by institutions and academic research published journals.

Entries will follow a standard format that includes:

  • Program Description
  • Program Impact and SDG Progress
  • Program Outlook
  • School Profile

Important Date/Deadlines

  • October 10, 2021 – Call for Awards Submissions Closes
  • October 2021 – Impact Roundtables are Hosted (Dates TBA)
  • November 15-17, 2021 – GBSN Beyond
  • November 17, 2021 – Virtual Awards Ceremony announcing the winner of the Going BEYOND Awards

Learn more about the award values, submission details and Impact Roundtables.

FOSTERING Belonging™ in Business Schools

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs aren’t working for a surprising reason.

In collaboration with EPC Learning Labs, GBSN is pleased to offer a FOSTERing Belonging™ a customizable program to member institutions. This custom program is designed to help business school administrators be better leaders and educators.

Research, out of the Wharton School of Business (1), shows that despite the almost $8 billion invested in DEI programs each year, this training falls short of changing behaviors and has a negligible positive effect on organizations. 

A newly published study offers a clue about what is missing: belonging.

Belonging is different from—and perhaps more important than—inclusion. When employees feel they don’t belong, they experience inauthenticity, sadness, and anger. Research suggests efforts to improve organizational DEI will inevitably fail if employees don’t come to the table, or leave from it, with a sense of belonging. Other research supports this conclusion, too, reporting that when organizations do foster a culture of belonging, every aspect of organization performance skyrockets (see graphic).

What’s more, those employees who harbored a genuine sense of belonging reaped even greater individual accomplishments: doubling the rate of raises and breaking through promotion ceilings far more easily. Belonging is not only the nucleus of true organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion; it is also a cornerstone of individual and organizational success and advancement for everyone. 

Fostering belonging matters in the classroom as well as the conference room.

So, what’s the difference between Inclusion and Belonging?

The Society for Human Resources Management defines inclusion as “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.” Let’s face it: inclusion is an administrative policy enacted by organizational leaders, and it’s also only part of the answer to a complex organizational—and human—challenge.

Belonging is completely different.

The desire to belong stems from our innate human need for self-esteem and acceptance as part of a supportive group. Even with the most inclusive set of organizational policies in place, employees may not feel like they truly belong. As a result, performance flounders, employees suffer negative health consequences, and turnover soars, especially among underrepresented groups.

Workplace belonging originates in the way people are treated—day in and day out—especially in meetings, where employees typically spend more than half their time. But few leaders and colleagues understand how to generate consistent feelings of belonging during these meetings. All too often, people unwittingly trigger the exact opposite sentiment—alienation and loneliness—especially for those from underrepresented groups. When team cohesion fragments, organizational performance suffers. This is where EPC Learning Labs comes in.

Why does the failure of typical DEI programs matter to business schools?


business schools themselves need to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive if they are to lead in this area.


business schools want to generate a bigger impact from the DEI programs they offer to students and organizations.

That is why GBSN is partnering with EPC Learning Labs to offer this transformative program for business schools worldwide.

How can you create feelings of belonging…across your institution?

FOSTERing Belonging™ is a unique program that helps participants, especially leaders, spark feelings of belonging for everyone. The content comprises two parts and is delivered in an unparalleled learning process (see below).

The first draws on brain science to introduce a framework describing three modes of thinking. This framework provides surprising insights about when and how individuals experience “threat” responses. These responses trigger sets of biases, decisions, and behaviors that lead to alienation and loneliness.

Building on these modes of thinking, the second part of the program introduces FOSTER, a set of five strategic principles that, if followed, can generate genuine feelings of belonging and inclusion in meetings. These principles gain traction with specific processes and facilitation techniques and methods designed to transform every meeting into a high-performance, culture-building opportunity. Mastery of this content ensures that all meeting participants feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued. 


2-Hour Virtual Training Sessions


Fortnightly EPC sessions to develop microlearning communities


Final meeting to assess mastery and celebrate meaningful change

Gather Colleagues and Bring a FOSTERing Belonging™ program to your Institution.

EPC Learning Labs’ program approach delivers a key ingredient missing in most DEI initiatives. It also transforms individual and team performance while helping to create the organizational culture that most leaders, managers, and employees are desperate to establish.

Learn more:

Customized for your institution

This program is designed to be customized and delivered to one institution at a time.

It is not an open enrollment program.


For optimal results, program cohorts must be between 15 and 30 participants.

Virtual Format

All programs are delivered in a virtual format and specially structured and delivered to avoid “Zoom” fatigue.

Meet the Expert

Jackson Nickerson

Executive Vice President and Chief Social Scientist, EPC Learning Labs

Jackson Nickerson has a long and distinguished career teaching, researching, consulting, administering, and entrepreneuring (see Wikipedia here). Starting out as an assistant professor in 1996, he became the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy at Olin Business School, Washington University.  Jackson was a co-creator of Critical Thinking@Olin, which won the inaugural MBA Innovator’s Award from the MBA Roundtable.  With AACSB he created Leading in the Academic Enterprise, a series of leadership development seminars for administrators from assistant deans to provosts.

As the Associate Dean and Director of Brookings Executive Education from 2009 to 2017, he led many innovations including one of the first Executive Master of Science in Leadership degrees in the nation, doubled executive enrollment, and increased revenue by 75%. He was the first ever senior fellow at the Grameen Foundation.  He is a Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance at Insper in Sao Paulo and a frequent collaborator with Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Post Graduate School. His research spans organization and strategy topics best described as strategic leadership. A consultant for scores of companies and government agencies, he advises on strategy development, inclusion and diversity, and processes to ensure that leaders solve the right problem the first time. Jackson is the chief social scientist for EPC Learning Labs LLC.

Jackson holds a Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy, an M.B.A., and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, all from University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  Before entering academia, he was a control systems engineer with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Interested in bringing the FOSTERing Belonging™ Program to Your Institution?

Connect with us to learn more about how you can help your institution master FOSTERing Belonging™.