GBSN Conference

Winners of the Three 2022 GBSN Beyond Competitions

GBSN was very excited to host a series of competitions for the third year in a row! These competitions challenge and recognize participants from the three stakeholder levels of GBSN’s core network: Administrators, Faculty, and Students. Be sure to check out of all the submissions in the Whova app and to congratulate fellow participants and winners for a job well done!

2022 Going BEYOND Awards

This was the second year of the GBSN and EFMD partnership for the Going BEYOND Awards, which is a joint initiative designed to celebrate institutional programs and initiatives that serve our communities worldwide. Qualifying entries were submitted by adminstrators and described programs and initiatives that have demonstrated a positive impact on society BEYOND the traditional degree programs offered by institutions and academic research published in journals. Out of 60 total submissions from 54 schools and 31 countries, the elite panel of judges determined the following as winners for the 2022 Going BEYOND Awards, they are:

FIRST Place: Edinburgh Business School, UK with their MBA Lebanese Refugee Scholarships Initiative 

Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt Univerity has partnered with Theirworld, a global charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation, to offer fully funded Master of Business Administration (MBA) scholarships to Syrian and Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and vulnerable Lebanese citizens. You can view their submission here.

Second Place: HEC Montreal, Canada with their SEED Network by IDEOS Program

The primary mission of the SEED network of researchers and entrepreneurship program Promoters is to mobilize research, teaching and practice for the scaling of micro-enterprises locally and internationally. You can view their submission here.

Third Place: Bauer College of Business University of Houston, USA with their SURE Program

The SURE Program, otherwise known as, Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship, targets people who have been historically excluded from business education and professional development activities and connects students, entrepreneurs, and Business executives to economically empower entrepreneurs from under- resourced communities and train students in practical, human-centered skills. You can view their submission here.

This year, our Top Three Winners are invited to present their programs and initiatives on Monday, November 21 at 10AM EST. Register here!

2022 Capsim Microsimulation Development Lab

One of the most time-consuming and challenging competitions that GBSN hosts is the Microsimulation Development Lab, in partnership with CapsimInbox. This was the third year for this opportunity, and the competition began with a learning workshop/badge opportunity, which welcomed 56 registrants from 13 countries. The workshop concluded with the beginning of the microsimulation development process, which takes approximately 5 weeks to complete for a 15-30 minute microsimulation. In the end, five microsimulations were completed and the judges determined the following team as the winner of the $5,000 prize:

FIRST PLACE: Remoras Technology by Hinrich Voss, University of Bristol and Divya Singhal and V Padhmanabhan of Goa Institute of Management

The microsimulation follows the VP of Human Resources of the FinTech company Remoras Technology, Bangalore. As VP of HR, the participant is responsible for setting, enforcing, and evaluating HR procedures to align with the current administration. You can take the microsimulation for free here!

2022 Social Logistics Challenge

This year marked the third year for a GBSN Beyond-related student logistics competition, but the first year for the Social Logistics Challenge. This year, students were challenged with the fundamental reminder of the definition of logistics: coordinated separate activities which combine to one organized movement of goods, services, and people.  This challenge incorporated this essential philosophy of logistics into the new and innovative study of social logistics, which aims to introduce a social (human) factor in the systems and to apply logistics principles and methods in solving problems within society. Students were then asked to utilize their logistical knowledge and training to improve a societal access problem. They identified the community of this problem, the multiple stakeholders involved, and most importantly, how this solution supports one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Out of 158 registrations (53 teams) from 47 schools and 21 countries, Preliminary Judges determined the Top Five Teams who presented LIVE to a panel of Final Round Judges, who are industry experts in humanitarian and social logistics and supply chain both in commercial and non-governmental spheres. After all of these very impressive solutions were presented, the judges determined the following first place team, who will be receiving the $5,000 prize, as well as indentified the second and third place winners. You can check out all of the Top Five Team Projects here!

FIRST PLACE: Team Green Innovators, Asian Institute of Management, Philippines

The goal of their project was to bridge access of feminine care and education to uplift the lifestyle, mental health, and hygiene of Filipina women in remote areas, initially zooming on the schoolgirls. Bridging the gap, recognizing the capabilities and potential, aspiring sustainable activities makes the Filipina First initiative aims to help improve the role of women in the society better in the long run. Team: Nikki Isabel Laynes, Suzanne Sevilla, Kirk Anthony Camus, and Guian Carlo Mascardo.

Quote from Green Innovators: ‚ÄúAnd for giving us the opportunity to share ideas. I think we‚Äôre all aligned here in that we wanted to make sure we do something ‚Äď not only for making sure our ideas are out there, but also to make sure that we uplift the lives of the people, socially and in terms of social logistics. So, thank you!‚ÄĚ ¬†

Second Place: Team WASH Advancement Centre, University of Ghana and University of Calgary

The goal of their project was solar-powered potable water systems and clean toilet facilities to be provided for rural Ghanian communities with insufficient infrastructure. Team: Eric Senoo, Linda Sampedey, and Jacob Amengor.

Third Place: Team CATH from University of Leeds, UK

The goal of this project was to solve the combined problems of food waste and homelessnes in Leeds, UK by a process similar to the “Too Good to Go” app. Team: Ayesha Shahzad, Hannah Godfrey Gonzalez, Timo Bonsels, and Craig McWilliam Cervera.

GBSN is proud of all of the teams, individuals, and schools who participated and we look forward to inviting you to more competitions in the future! If you have any questions, comments, or ideas regarding competitions, please email Maddie Handler at mhandler@gbsn.org.

Announcing the GBSN Beyond 2021 Competition Winning Teams

In true fashion of “Going Beyond” for the 2021¬†virtual conference, GBSN was honored to continue our partnered track competitions from last year – the¬†HUMLOG Challenge Student Competition¬†in partnership with the HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics and the¬†Microsimulation Development Lab¬†faculty competition in partnership with CapsimInbox, while also introducing our leader’s track competition, the¬†Going Beyond Awards¬†in partnership¬†with EFMD Global.¬† After several months of solution development, microsimulation creation, and sustainable initiative¬†submissions, we are proud to announce our winners for each track competition!

The HUMLOG Challenge

This year, GBSN welcomed 37 teams of 130 students from 21 schools in 16 countries.  After much deliberation, preliminary judges were able to narrow down the Top Six teams, who presented live for the elite panel of Finals Round Judges.  It was an absolutely close competition, and HUMLOG and GBSN are proud to introduce the following as the three winning teams from the 2021 HUMLOG Challenge Student Competition:


In third place, Team USB/Los Andes from University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa and Universidad de los Andes, Colombia for their solution for drought-induced water scarcity in the Xakabantu Informal Settlement in the Western Cape.


In second place, Team Real Consulting from Queensland University of Technology, Australia for their solution addressing severe storms in Brisbane, Australia by developing real-time storm alerts via a QR code.


And finally in first place and the winners of the $5,000 USD scholarship, Team CSU from Colorado State University Business School, USA for their solution addressing local community involvement on mitigation and response for climate-induced natural disasters in Mozambique via a resilience kit!

Congratulations Team Colorado State University!  Everyone is welcome to read their solutions via our webpage here.

Microsimulation Development Lab

This year’s Faculty Microsimulation Development Lab competition started with 31 faculty¬†members competing from 12 schools from 8 countries.¬† After a rigorous six weeks of simulation development, six faculty teams successfully completed their microsimulations. Last year’s 1st place winner, a faculty team from Ashesi University, participated as judges this year.¬† After reviewing each simulation, we were happy to announce the winner.

In first place,¬†and winning the $5,000 award, Jagdish Sheth School of Management India’s microsimulation¬†MakhanChor Milk!


Congratulations MakhanChor Milk!! Everyone is welcome to experience all of the microsimulations via our webpage here.

GBSN-EFMD Going BEYOND Awards

Finally, in the GBSN-EFMD inaugural Going BEYOND Awards, 54 total submissions from 22 countries and 36 schools (of which 6 were non-members) were received.  All of these incredible programs and initiatives additionally went through a detailed round of preliminary judging before announcing the top 20 teams.  Afterwards, a Top Four initiatives were announced and welcome to present their work at the Going BEYOND Award Showcase (which can still be accessed on the HUBB event platform).  The Top 4 Initiatives included:

  1. IMD’s EMBA Social Innovation and Impact Investment Program¬†
  2. Management Skills for Wildlife Conservation Leadership and Management Program for Indigenous People and Local Communities
  3. Lagos Business School’s¬†Sustainability Centre¬†
  4. Strathmore Business School’s¬†Macheo Program

In first place,¬†EFMD and GBSN were proud to award Lagos Business School’s Sustainability Centre with the first Going BEYOND Awards Winner.

Overall, GBSN is absolutely thrilled with all of their partnerships and fruitful competitions.  We hope you enjoyed following along and/or participating in the events.  We cannot wait to see where these winners lead next and we look forward to seeing you next year!

This Year’s Annual Conference: The Intersections of Business Education and Economic Development

This year’s annual conference (gbsn.org/2017dc) will go back to the raison d’¬źtre of GBSN: the intersections between business education and development. Everyone knows what “business education” is, but “development” is one of those fuzzy Alice-in-Wonderland words that mean very different things to different people. Sociologists, psychologists, engineers, economists, political scientists and others each think of “development” in very different ways; not even within academic disciplines is there consensus on what constitutes “development”. One of my economics professors used to say that, like a giraffe, it is very hard to describe a developing country but when you see one, you know it.

Having worked most of my life as a “development economist”, let me share some thoughts about “economic development”. To me, the most basic and important measures of “development” are longevity and the quality of life. For centuries, life, for most people, was, in Hobbes’ famous words, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. As the graph for the United Kingdom shows, it is only quite recently, towards the middle of the 19 th century, that longevity began to increase, and to increase remarkably steadily at that.

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Perhaps most remarkably, longevity increased even faster in some of the poorest countries. The second graph shows changes between 1800 and 2012 in the shares of the world population by life expectancy. Today, people in Somalia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Mozambique can expect to live ten years longer than was the case for the populations of the United States, the Netherlands and Belgium back in 1850.

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Source: https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy/

Leaving aside the quality of life, which it would take whole books to trace between countries and over time, the key question in “development economics” is: how do societies go about improving their standards of living, or as Francis Fukuyama put it so strikingly: “getting to Denmark” ?

Social scientists have been mulling this question for centuries, pointing in turn to various “fundamental factors” associated with “development”. There is consensus on the most basic enablers of progress: peace; clean water and eradication of mass diseases, but beyond that, when it comes to government “development policies”, there have been many different views over time and the debate continues today. Differences focus on government policies; on the respective roles of state, businesses and civil society organizations; and on “development priorities”.

I would argue that in spite of the sound and fury surrounding core government policies, there is, in practice, broad consensus about major macroeconomic policies (high inflation is a bad thing, excessive protection harms consumers). Also, while in some countries the boundaries are still changing, the vast majority of countries have “mixed economies” in which government, private firms and NGOs all play fairly well-defined roles. There is much less consensus when it comes to “development priorities”. In the wake of the Marshall Plan, there was a strong belief that more than any other factor, capital investment would fuel development, a strategy that had worked well in post-war reconstruction of Europe and Japan. This emphasis on infrastructure investment didn’t work so well in the developing world, and eventually the focus of academia and aid programs shifted to education √ź what today we call “human resources”. Later still, the emphasis moved to meeting “basic needs” such as health and caloric intake, and “integrated rural development”. As always, these approaches worked in some places but not in the majority of developing regions, especially Sub-Saharan Africa. Especially when it came to restructuring the economies of the former Soviet Union, attention centered on “institutional economics” √ź rule of law, property rights, modes of governance and such; the word “corruption” came out of the official development community’s closet as well as human rights and became a prominent part of the aid discourse. Meanwhile, infrastructure investment declined steadily until China revived it big time across the developing world. These successive “fads” tell me that it is quite easy to draw up a list of policies and interventions that are necessary ingredients of successful sustainable development, but that so far, nobody has been able to list sufficient conditions.

Paul Romer’s development framework speaks to me._ He contrasts “objects” and “ideas”. In simplistic terms, there exists in the world a phenomenally large store of accumulated knowledge. The challenge for developing countries is to nurture the domestic conditions needed to draw selectively from that store of knowledge, transferring and adapting the most relevant ideas in order to solve local problems. In Romer’s words: “It is ideas, not objects, that poor countries lack√Č If a poor nation invests in education and does not destroy the incentives for its citizens to acquire ideas from the rest of the world, it can rapidly take advantage of the publicly-available part of the worldwide stock of knowledge”. What works for poor nations also applies within nations, from capital cities to remote villages. Romer adds: “Perhaps the most important ideas of all are meta-ideas √ź ideas about how to support the production and transmission of other ideas.”_ One can readily see how a knowledge network such as GBSN fits well in such a development framework.

_ Currently Chief Economist of the World Bank.
_ Paul Romer, Stanford Graduate School of Business: “Economic Growth, the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics” (http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/EconomicGrowth.html)

Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder & CEO of the Global Business School Network.

Markets Shaping Management Education in Africa: Join GBSN and EFMD in Ghana

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guy_pfeffermann_webThe theme of the upcoming GBSN/EFMD Joint Conference in Africa – Markets Shaping Management Education √ź touches on a question of huge global concern: why do so many of the world’s employers have such a hard time finding the talent they need, while massive unemployment persists?

One of the answers is that in all too many countries employers and educational institutions live on different planets. A recent World Bank country report notes that “Kenya’s education system is failing to meet market needs, as it does not prepare the labor market entrants with appropriate skills. Although the quantity of graduates is rising rapidly, businesses are increasingly complaining about shortages of skills in the labor market.” According to the African Management Initiative, “In Nigeria, there is a significant and growing mismatch with graduates not prepared for the job market.”

A second mismatch, which is prevalent especially in low-income countries, is the fact that most people earn their living in the “informal sector” and not in sizable companies. Improving their living standards requires entrepreneurial skills, yet most business schools are still geared to producing recruits for established companies.

In the words of an excellent report by the Association of African Business Schools and the Association of MBAs: “Demand for better management education is increasing throughout Africa, and there is a real need for provision to expand to meet this demand. There is a predominant focus on executive education, short interventions and business support services. Shorter, flexible and more hands-on learning are increasingly seen as the most effective ways to deliver management education. Entrepreneurship education has become a critical aspect of the offer with a raft of initiatives looking to support small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs alongside a greater emphasis within post-graduate management education on enterprise. The MBA is not widely seen as the most relevant choice for many students.” In other words, a second mismatch exists in the developing world between markets, which demand “bootstrapping” entrepreneurial talent, and traditional business schools that produce managerial employees.

An article entitled “Graduate Unemployment In Ghana: Who Is To Blame?” lays the blame as follows:“There are fewer job openings relative to the vast number of students who graduate from the various tertiary institutions in the country. One root cause of the current graduate unemployment is the mismatch between the supply (by schools) and the demand in the labour market. The skills and experience that employers require are quite different from what jobseekers possess. √Č Most universities have virtually ignored giving training in entrepreneurship and innovation to equip students for self-employment; therefore most graduates have tended to be jobseekers rather than job creators.”

A sad testimonial to the disconnect between markets and education is the existence in Ghana, Nigeria, and probably other countries, of unemployed graduates.

Nor is the disconnect unique to Africa. A report by the Asian Development Bank notes that “A paradox of higher education particularly evident across Asia is that, even at a time when countries are producing a record number of graduates, employers complain of a shortage of qualified workers, and graduate unemployment continues to creep higher. There is growing concern among employers that graduates’ knowledge and skills are not consistently aligned with labor market needs. Indeed, whether countries have too few or too many graduates depends on what kind of graduates are being produced.” Alarming surveys of India show that a majority of business and engineering graduates are for all practical purposes, unemployable.

Specific skills most often thought to be lacking are precisely those which high-quality business schools are particularly good at imparting: critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, strategic thinking, being good at team work, and effective communication. Good business schools ground teaching in real-world problems by means of experiential learning, developing and teaching relevant cases and other pedagogical tools. They leverage the power of the internet, tapping relevant educational materials and nurturing learning communities. Mobile education, which is in its infancy, also holds a huge potential to narrow the skills gap. Leading business schools in Africa as elsewhere work in close partnership with the private sector as well as public sector employers in shaping their offerings. They share best practices by engaging their leaders and faculty in international, regional and national fora. And in doing so, they contribute their energies toward achieving the new global Sustainable Development Goals.

At the conference in Accra this November we look forward to a vibrant dialogue with educators from across Africa and around the globe on advances and trends that will shape management education for the Continent going forward. Leaders from the business sector and academia will come together with students for conversations around industry-specific needs. Innovative educators from Africa will share new programs and approaches to management education. Researchers will give insights into the various markets that business schools serve. And delegates will have the opportunity to debate, network, share and learn with a diverse group of colleagues who share a commitment to improving access to quality management education in Africa.

GBSN and EFMD are excited to be partnering for this special conference hosted by GIMPA and encourage any educator with an involvement, interest or even curiosity around business education in Africa to join the conversation.

Earlybird registration ends on September 15, and thanks to the support of our sponsors a discounted rate is available to African faculty and deans who register. Find out more and register today at gbsn.org/africa2016.


Guy Pfeffermann is the founder and CEO of the Global Business School Network.

The “un-Conference”

guy_pfeffermann_webWe all have sat through conferences replete with formal statements and endless powerpoint presentations, Appropriately, as it deals with Disruptive Education Models from the Developing World, ours will be a refreshing “Un-conference,” inspired by Lewis Carrroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.” You remember Alice, congratulating Humpty Dumpty for his splendid cravat. The White King and Queen gave it to me, he said, for an unbirthday present. GBSN’s conference includes an Un-Keynote, and even a Mad Hatter Networking Tea (Party) Break. We are proud to boast an innovative un-conference and a ‘not so typical’ agenda, designed to be proactive, relevant and rewarding for all conference participants. The un-conference format creates space that encourages peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity.

I am excited to be part of it. The conference will, actually, drill in on some of the main challenges confronting educators in the developing world. For example:

Do bricks and mortar matter anymore?
How to offer experiential learning at an affordable cost?
How to reach low-income learners, even in remote areas?
How “big data” can be combined with a focus on individual cultural values?

Deans and senior faculty from many countries of high and low-income will discuss, mainly in small groups, how they are going about overcoming these challenges. On the third day of the conference, join us for our Field Site Visit to GK Enchanted Farm- a “voluntourism” opportunity to see social enterprise in action in the Philippines!

This will be GBSN’s 10 th Anniversary conference and our first in the East Asia Pacific region. I feel really excited about it and my colleagues and I are looking forward very much to welcoming you at the Asian Institute of Management, November 4-6.

Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder & CEO of the Global Business School Network

Don’t Miss This Year’s Conference Field Visit: The GK Enchanted Farm For A Wealthier Countryside

Join GBSN on Friday, November 6th, the last day of our conference in Manila, Philippines as we explore this year’s venue for experiential learning. Our destination will be the GK Enchanted Farm, Gawad Kalinga’s platform to raise social entrepreneurs and aid local farmers.

The Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation (GK) is a Philippine-based movement that aims to eradicate poverty for 5 million families starting by restoring the dignity of the poor. GK sees the road out of poverty as a continuing journey, where providing physical homes is only the beginning. The GK Enchanted Farm came to fruition from the recognition that the Philippines is a country abundant in land resources, and harnessing this strategically will lead a great deal of Filipinos out of poverty.

So what is the GK Enchanted Farm? It is envisioned to be three things: a farm village university, a Silicon Valley for social entrepreneurship, and a Disneyland for social tourism. As a farm village university, the Enchanted Farm aims to make productive use of its land, break disconnectedness within its community, and incorporate the agricultural industry into its education system. The Farm hopes to create an environment like that of Silicon Valley that fosters creative Filipino entrepreneurs and their ideas through mentoring, networking, and basic resources. Finally, the Farm works to stay true to its name by enchanting visitors through lived stories and pioneer centers, allowing everyone to discover the beauty of the Philippines.

At the very core of the GK Enchanted Farm lies a firm goal shared by GBSN: to utilize business and professional tools to find solutions to social problems.

Don’t forget to register for the GBSN Annual Conference!

Click here to learn more about GK Enchanted Farm

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