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Reflecting on GBSN Beyond

Objective of the Conference

As CEO Dan LeClair previously noted, the Global Business School Network planned its 2020 Annual Conference, GBSN Beyond, with three main objectives in mind:

  1. Inclusivity: We wanted to be more inclusive by engaging business students and faculty in addition to business school leaders. By reimagining the conference, we were also able to involve a larger, more diverse set of schools, especially from developing and emerging countries.
  2. Moving the “needle”: We believed we could accomplish more than we would at a face-to-face event. In the new virtual format, we could actually “move the needle” on the mission by working together to solve challenging problems, develop new skills, and invent innovative programs.
  3. Supporting business schools: In the journey to creating GBSN Beyond, we learned a lot about some of the current financial challenges schools are facing. We therefore introduced an institutional rate that allowed an unlimited number of persons (students, faculty, and administrators) per institution to register and participate, and were in a position to provide assistance to multiple institutions in low income countries.


From October 3rd through November 13th, GBSN organized seven full weeks of engaging and carefully curated content, which focused on the ways in which business schools—motivated to address the most pressing needs of society and enabled by digital innovation—have been redefining the boundaries of their work.

The virtual event consisted of over 60 workshops, webinars, and roundtable discussions that explored the critical role of business and entrepreneurship education in our global future. We are happy to share that more than 2,500 students, faculty, and administrators registered for these sessions, representing over 110 institutions in 50 countries.

Keynote Presentation Spotlights

In his keynote address, “Higher Education on the Fault Lines of Globalization,” Santiago Iniguez, President of IE University, discussed the changing landscape of globalization and what it would mean for higher education, an industry that has globalized and thrived on the mobility of people and ideas.

Along a similar thread, focusing on “Globalization and Talent Mobility,” Sangeet Chowfla (GMAC), Bill Boulding (Duke, Fuqua School of Management), and Anne Kiem (CEO, Chartered ABS) considered the effect of restrictive immigration policies on international cooperation among business schools and the admissions process, as well as the way COVID-19 has intensified these challenges.

In their presentation “Leading High Performance Teams in Turbulent Times,” Professor Manfred Kets de Vries and Professor Graham Ward of INSEAD led an insightful discussion on how the psychodynamic orientation to leadership can be helpful to guide people through the present crisis.

Three Tracks

GBSN Beyond brought together students, faculty, and leaders through three parallel tracks.

The Leadership Track engaged deans, chairs, and directors across all functions and disciplines to solve problems and to develop leadership skills “Beyond the Administration.” The core experience included leadership roundtables, leadership development webinars, digital transformation workshops, and networking opportunities.

The Student Track brought together undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines to solve problems, learn about job opportunities, and develop career skills “Beyond Graduation.” The track involved a humanitarian logistics team competition, career development opportunities, access to a Virtual Career Fair, and learning development workshops and webinars.

The Faculty Track engaged academic faculty across disciplines in interactive and creative experiences that took knowledge “Beyond the Classroom.” The core experience included a simulation lab, teaching development webinars, and research workshops that focused on relevance and impact.

Student Competition: The HUMLOG Challenge

Through the HUMLOG Challenge, GBSN and the HUMLOG Institute at the Hanken School of Economics worked together to bring students an interdisciplinary, team-oriented, interactive digital competition experience that brought solution development to their local communities. The program was built with the goal of moving beyond the traditional competition and allowing for creativity, innovation, and exploration of sustainable humanitarian solutions.

The first-place winner of the competition, receiving a $5,000 USD scholarship prize, was Team Los Andes of the Universidad de Los Andes School of Management in Colombia. Team Los Andes developed a fog catcher system in order to provide sanitized water to the Wayuu indigenous peoples in La Guajira, Colombia, one of the driest and most deserted areas in the country.

Learn more about the competition and the top five finalists here.

Faculty Competition: Capsim Faculty Simulation Lab

As part of the Capsim Faculty Simulation Lab, GBSN and Capsim partnered to bring faculty an interactive and creative experience that takes knowledge Beyond the Classroom. Participating faculty had the opportunity to form teams and utilize their own research, case studies, data, experiences, and more to develop a 45-60 minute CapsimInbox scenario where they tested students on skills of their choosing.

The winner of the faculty competition was Team Ashesi, receiving a $5,000 USD cash prize along with recognition as a CapsimInbox author and royalty rights. This faculty team from Ashei University focused their simulation on the development of environmental solutions for a mining company in Bogoso, Ghana.

Learn more about the competition here.

Beyond Engagement Game

GBSN Beyond participants were challenged to make the most of the virtual platform, which offered a variety of channels to connect and interact with other participants from around the globe. In true business education style, a point system was incorporated to track those who were most engaged on the platform. 

The top 5 individuals (listed below) will receive prizes that include complimentary access to next year’s conference, one-one-one meetings with the industry, gift cards, GBSN SWAG, and more! 

  1. Mayur Phatak from Universal Business School with an outstanding 8973 points!
  2. Divya Singal from Goa Institute of Management with 2999 points!
  3. Maninee Dhola from Universal Business School with 2990 points!
  4. Pravat Surya Kav from Goa Institute of Management with 2902 points!
  5. Mohamed Aadil Dalvi with 2230 points!

GBSN could not be more pleased with the success of its reimagined 2020 Virtual Conference. The strength of the network relies heavily on the engagement of its membership. GBSN is encouraged by, and thankful to members and non-members alike who contributed to and attended GBSN Beyond, and looks forward to continuing the mission collectively.