GBSN Impact

The Global Business School Network Appoints Juliane Iannarelli as its First Chief Impact Officer

The Global Business School Network (GBSN) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Juliane Iannarelli as its first Chief Impact Officer. 

This year celebrating its 20th anniversary, GBSN is a Washington D.C. based non-profit of nearly 150 leading business schools across 50 countries with a mission “to improve access to quality, locally relevant management and entrepreneurship education for the developing world.” GBSN was built on the conviction that business knowledge and management skills are powerful drivers of economic and social development.

“Today our mission means helping business schools to build more inclusive and sustainable communities,” according to Soumitra Dutta, Chairman of the GBSN Board of Directors. “To do that we must help schools to work together with each other and connect with business, civil society, and government.” 

GBSN has been building programs that engage students, faculty, and leaders of business schools in meaningful activities that improve as well as develop economies across the globe.

As the first Chief Impact Officer, Iannarelli will lead the development and implementation of GBSN’s activities that align with GBSN’s vision — to enable business schools to profoundly impact sustainable development worldwide—through education, research, and community engagement.

“We achieve our mission by amplifying the existing commitments among our member schools around the world and creating opportunities for further collaboration and co-creation,” said Juliane Iannarelli. “I look forward to working to increase our community’s impact by building a more inclusive and connected global GBSN network.”

Iannarelli brings nearly 20 years of experience in global higher education. Prior to GBSN, she served as the senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at AACSB International, where she led the organization’s research team and agenda in support of thought leadership, advocacy, and global development objectives. Iannarelli facilitated innovation-focused workshops for thought leaders and led the association’s data benchmarking services and industry magazine. Juliane also serves in advisory roles for other mission-driven organizations, including Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM).

“I had the privilege of working with Juliane for 15 years,” said Dan LeClair, CEO of GBSN. “In addition to extensive knowledge of the industry, she has experience with the kind of programs and systems we’ve been building to support business schools in their impact initiatives.” 

GBSN Impact Communities connect faculty, students, administrators, and/or professionals in industry, civil society or government who share common professional and co-curricular experiences. Impact Communities amplify cooperation and engagement around a common research goal, theme, or challenge. Through peer to peer sharing and collective action, Impact Communities improve access to quality, locally relevant management education.

Central to the Chief Impact Officer’s role is leading efforts to better demonstrate impact and increase visibility of GBSN. Iannarelli will lead and develop the strategy behind programs that amplify cooperation and engagement across the network through GBSN Impact Communities.

Improving Access to Business Education is Not Enough

Have you heard about the best-selling author and professor who is building his own business school? He’s bringing in some of his friends, other superstar business professors, to teach short, intense courses called “sprints”, which are open to anyone. These “sprints” will attract tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of learners. The venture will disrupt higher education and earn a ton of money “making elite business education accessible to all.”

I’m rooting for our education entrepreneurs and others building online education for the masses. Making business education more accessible is a good thing—the first three words in the GBSN mission are “to improve access.” The demand for management education will continue to grow beyond our capacity to provide it. Great business professors and their insights and ideas can have a profound impact on society, as well as on business and the careers of individual learners, even at scale. 

What if superstar professors could indeed reach a massive global audience? Are “MOOCs” and online “sprints” the only answers we need for our mission? Unfortunately, as I often tell the GBSN team, “if we just improve access to management education, it is not enough.” Expanding access is not sufficient to achieve our vision “for the developing world to have the talent it needs to generate prosperity” or for our mission, which is “to improve access to quality, locally relevant management education for the developing world” when written in full. 

I have written before about the challenge of local relevance. Three years ago I started my monthly blog by asking “What if we took a group of high performing managers from Canadian paper mills and placed them in the Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia. Would they succeed?” What do you think? What about Chinese managers in a glass factory in Ohio? If this question interests you, check out the documentary American Factory.

The point is that cross-border differences in business and management limit the potential of education to scale globally. Some go further and say that because of these differences, especially cultural ones, bringing education from the Global North (with technology or not) to the Global South can do more damage than good and could distract leaders from the real task of building local capacity for business and management education. 

There is another nagging question about what has been taught in business schools. GBSN was created and built on the belief that management education is critical for international development, which is about enriching lives by reducing poverty, improving health, increasing access to education, protecting the environment, and more. Yet, business education was built on a different paradigm, one in which business prioritizes profit maximization and government and NGOs are responsible for international development. As we transitioned from the MDGs to the SDGs, all societal sectors, including business, have become key development actors and need to work together. Many GBSN schools have been leading the way in rethinking curricula and partnerships for the SDGs.

That’s why so much of the GBSN agenda is about responsibility, sustainability, and ESG. Simply expanding access to what schools teach in more developed countries will not be enough to help leaders in less developed countries build more inclusive and sustainable communities. Indeed, it is possible that the reverse could be more beneficial. It is not just about access to education; part of our job now is to work with other organizations, such as EFMD and AACSB to rethink the foundations of business curricula and research to achieve our development mission. 

Much of this work is being led by GBSN Impact Communities. For example, the Business & Human Rights Impact Community has been making the case and facilitating the research needed to strengthen human rights education in business schools. The Sustainable Finance & ESG Investing Impact Community convened a Seed Course to support efforts in rethinking finance education in the Global South.

Finally, improving access to education is not enough because we also need to ensure that the work of business schools translates into meaningful international development progress. The way GBSN used to achieve its mission was through grants—we were a project-driven development organization. Now, we still do projects but can be described more as a purpose-driven network organization. This means that we must build the connective tissue between business schools, helping them to work together more effectively for international development, and between business schools and other sectors, to help business schools to lead beyond their organizations

GBSN Beyond is designed to support these two initiatives: (1) rethinking education and research to address the issues that matter for inclusive and sustainable development and (2) building the platform to support the societal impact of business schools. At the in-person conference, 7-9 November in Amsterdam, we position business schools at the nexus between business, government, and civil society, and structure sessions to help business schools work more effectively together. 

Leading up to the in-person conference, we engage student teams in the Social Logistics Challenge in which teams apply supply chain and logistics knowledge and skills to build solutions for the SDGs. We also partner with Capsim for the Micro-Simulation Development Lab and with EFMD for the Going Beyond Awards in which business schools share their work to build more inclusive and sustainable communities. 
We look forward to seeing you there. Remember, as always for GBSN Beyond, to emphasize our commitment to inclusivity and access, the base registration package includes one ticket to the in-person conference AND unlimited virtual access to both the pre-conference track experiences and the conference program for the institution’s community.

Dan LeClair, CEO

Dan LeClair was named CEO of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) in February of 2019. Prior to GBSN, Dan was an Executive Vice President at AACSB International, an association and accrediting organization that serves some 1,600 business schools in more than 100 countries. His experience at AACSB includes two and half years as Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, seven years as Chief Operating Officer, and five years as Chief Knowledge Officer. A founding member of the Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM) initiative, Dan currently participates on its working board. He also serves in an advisory capacity to several organizations and startups in business and higher education. Before AACSB, Dan was a tenured associate professor and associate dean at The University of Tampa.

Dan played a lead role in creating a think-tank joint venture between the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and AACSB and has been recognized for pioneering efforts in the formation of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), where he served on the Steering Committee for many years. Dan has also participated in industry-level task forces for a wide range of organizations, including the Chartered Association of Business Schools, Graduate Management Admission Council, Executive MBA Council, and Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.

Widely recognized as a thought leader in management education, Dan is the author of over 80 research reports, articles, and blogs, and has delivered more than 170 presentations in 30 countries. As a lead spokesperson for reform and innovation in management education, Dan has been frequently cited in a wide range of US and international newspapers, magazines, and professional publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, China Daily, Forbes, Fast Company, and The Economist. Dan earned a PhD from the University of Florida writing on game theory.

Introducing Business and Human Rights at HEC Paris

Thirty-four students have just completed a dedicated course on Business and Human Rights at HEC Paris. Prior to entering an ever more complex labour market, they had the opportunity to take a deep dive into some of the most pressing human and labour rights challenges and discuss how to reconcile business imperatives and respect of fundamental rights.

On Sunday 15 May 2022, 4,000 delegates from around the globe will gather in Durban, South Africa for the 5thGlobal Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour. Anousheh Karvar, the chair of the Alliance 8.7 – the global alliance to eliminate child labour, forced labour and human trafficking – will be among them. Seven weeks earlier, she stood in front of HEC students for the first lecture of a new elective course entitled Business and Human Rights (#BHR).

During the three-hour lesson, Anousheh Karvar introduced the dire situation of contemporary child labour, sharing some of the figures and trends from the 2020 global estimates. Currently 160 million children aged 5-17 are estimated to be in child labour and progress in reducing child labour has stalled and is at risk of being reversed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Without concerted efforts and the active participation of the business community, progress towards the elimination of child labour is impossible. 

As they learned about this reality, students admitted being unfamiliar with the topic and, for most of them, being surprised at the magnitude of a problem they considered much less important. During this same lesson, they also learned about the difficulty for survivors of child labour to hold companies accountable for the mistreatment they have endured. They were given the opportunity to discuss the case of three Malian children, trafficked to work in Cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast, who have been litigating unsuccessfully for fifteen years against Nestlé, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, in the US federal court system.

None of the students in the course had any prior experience studying #BHR and two-thirds of them had never heard of the concept of #BHR prior to enrolling in this course. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the introduction of #BHR in business education is still quite recent. Without formal knowledge of #BHR, students had however expressed strong motivation to follow the course and were familiar, as citizens, newsreaders, or consumers, with a number of #BHR issues. The diversity of their origins – roughly half of the class was composed of exchange students coming from Asian, European, African and American universities – also increased the possibility to discuss examples from different geographies.

Harnessing this opportunity, different guest speakers participated – in person or remotely – to share their expertise and guide students through the multiple layers of contemporary #BHR challenges. With the help of Alix Nasri and Maria Gallotti, technical specialists at the International Labour Organization, students learned about the harsh reality of recruitment practices for low-paid workers in the Middle East and Central America. They learned about efforts made to reduce forced labour in the fishing industry as well as the international legal framework governing private employment agencies. 

Through case studies, practical testimonies and readings, students discovered the great number of tensions – legal, economic, strategic, reputational, among others – which businesses must square in their daily operations. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, a respected figure in the field of #BHR, presented her research on issues such as sustainable fashion and cobalt mining. She also shared her engagement over the past years to professionalize and strengthen the field of #BHR in business education, notably through her participation in the establishment of two business and human rights centres in business schools at New York University and the Geneva School of Economics and Management.

As weeks passed, news from around the globe resonated strongly with the content of the course. The debate around the upcoming EU-legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence, the sentencing of executives of a food delivery company for misclassifying platform workers, or the decision by Harvard University to redress its ties with slavery all gave way to passionate discussions. They also provided concrete opportunities to study important elements of the theoretical #BHR framework and notably the United Nations Guiding Principles on #BHR and the associated three pillars: protect, respect, and remedy.

Guest lecturers working in sustainable investment – Benjamin Michel (OECD), Sabrina Ritossa Fernandez (Sycomore AM) and Claire Berthier (HEC 2008, Trusteam) – presented students with some of the most complex human rights dilemmas, those related to war. Should financial organizations ask companies to leave countries accused of war crimes? Can weapon manufacturers be considered socially responsible investments? In small groups, students had to answer these quasi-philosophical questions and quickly understood that they had different views and that none could be presented as a categorical answer.

After weeks of navigating these difficult, and often dramatic issues, students were given the opportunity to look at #BHR through a different lens for the final lecture. Rajeev Dubey, a former executive of the Tata and Mahindra Groups, was invited to share with them the story of RISE, an inspiring initiative to transform the purpose of the Mahindra Group, one of India’s largest multinational federation of companies. This experience, which has since become a Harvard Business School case, is a concrete example of how the public good and human dignity can be integral elements of a company’s philosophy. And how this philosophy can coexist with growth and economic performance.

For the next few weeks, students will write an individual essay and have the possibility to connect what they have studied with their personal and professional interests. Some will continue for several years of business education while others will soon graduate and enter the labour market. Most probably, the new perspectives they have acquired during this course will be of use when taking decisions on human and labour rights-related issues. And hopefully, other students will be given the opportunity to walk in their footsteps and advance the continuous effort to uphold fundamental human rights for all.

The Business and Human Rights course at HEC Paris is taught by Charles Autheman. Charles Autheman is former HEC Paris and Sciences Po Paris alumnus and a member of GBSN for BHR. He works as a consultant for the International Labour Organization and other UN agencies on human rights and labour rights related issues.

Chairman’s Corner: A Time to be Thankful and to Reflect – Making Progress on our Impact

 width=One of the most meaningful and beautiful holidays in the USA is Thanksgiving, celebrated on the Thursday of the last week in November each year. Thanksgiving is a wonderful celebration that cuts across religious communities and unites all in a unique moment of being grateful for the many privileges we enjoy and thankful to all those who makes our lives meaningful and happy.

Many years ago, when I was a foreign student at UC Berkeley, my host family, a Berkeley professor and his wife invited me and other foreign students at their home for Thanksgiving. Being alone in a foreign country for the first time and far away from my family in India, I still fondly recall the warmth and hospitality with which they invited us into their homes. Now my wife and I have embraced this tradition, and do our bit to give back by inviting each year a select group of students to our home over Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and the holiday period in December provide us with opportune moments to reflect on our lives, both personal and professional and be grateful for all that is good in our lives and also strengthen our resolve to work on areas where we need to improve. So I thought that I would use this last blog note of the calendar year 2019 to share a couple of reflections with you, especially as they pertain to business education and GBSN.

A strong network today, but how do we shape the GBSN family for the future?

We just finished a very successful GBSN Annual Conference in Lisbon. Special thanks go to Dean Daniel Traca and his colleagues who hosted the GBSN Annual Conference at their wonderful new campus. I have attended a few GBSN Annual Conferences over the last years, and I felt that this meeting was probably one of the best, if not the best. We had a very strong conference program and benefited from extensive participation by Deans, faculty and staff leaders from our member schools. The GBSN member network has expanded and become significantly stronger over the last year. This is both due to the leadership provided by incoming GBSN CEO, Dan LeClair and the particular resonance which the mission of GBSN continues to have with business school leaders around the world.

As we have successfully grown the GBSN member network, we have also been forced to confront the key challenges in advancing the mission of GBSN which is to improve access to quality, locally relevant management (and entrepreneurship) education for the developing world. The demands for quality management education in emerging markets is too large to be satisfied by the current group of GBSN member schools, no matter how good we are and how dedicated we are to the mission of GBSN.

To exponentially scale up our impact and influence, we will need to become more inclusive of which students we aim to reach and which institutions (including both teaching orientated academic institutions and selected corporate members) we invite to the GBSN family. This will allow us to create models of collaboration and delivery of management education that brings together GBSN member schools along with interested corporations and non-traditional academic partners. An early example of this are the programs for frontline healthcare professionals (nurses, field practitioners etc) which GBSN coordinates in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and GBSN member schools in key African geographies. The target students for these programs do not have the usual MBA or executive profiles, yet, their real impact on the ground is significant.

Making progress on our impact, but are we asking the right questions?

The focus of the GBSN Annual Meeting was on measuring the impact of business schools. I was impressed to hear about the many different and innovative ways in which GBSN member schools are measuring their impact on not just student success, but also on a variety of other stakeholders including corporations, not-for-profits and even society at large. Driven by the actions of key accreditation bodies such as AACSB and EFMD, many business schools are formally incorporating measures of learning outcomes and overall impact in their programs and school strategies. From my discussions with delegates at the GBSN Annual Conference, I am convinced that there is a lot more that we can do within the broader GBSN family to learn from each other and to improve our collective ability to measure our impact.

An essential component of good leadership, it is often said, is the ability to ask the right questions. At the GBSN Annual Conference, Dean Peter Tufano from Oxford’s Said Business School outlined a process of rethinking that he is now leading with the help of his faculty and school’s advisory board. He has posed the following question to his faculty: what is our purpose? Or in other words, why do we exist as a business school? He categorized the responses he received from his faculty in the following categories: (a) to carry out our activities (research, teaching etc) in an excellent manner (b) to train leaders who do good things for their companies (c) to have a positive impact on the world (d) to tackle big problems like the UN’s sustainable development goals and (e) to instill virtues such as justice, courage, etc.

Dean Tufano then conducted a simple exercise with the conference attendees Ð asking them to rank where they thought the purpose of their respective schools was today and where they thought the purpose should be. As one can imagine, there was a gap identified in the conference group, with most thinking that their schools should move “up” from the initial goals of (a) and (b) to the later goals of (d) and (e). This simple exercise forced me and others to ask the question if we are asking the right questions of ourselves Ð of our own business schools (like what Dean Tufano is dong)? Of GBSN and why we exist as a larger family? I am not sure we all have the “right” answers for these hard questions but now is a good time to start reflecting on them.

With gratitude and best wishes

As I look forward to the end of the calendar year and the start of another new year, I am filled with gratitude for my own family, my professional life at Cornell and my role as Chair of GBSN. I am grateful to Guy Pfeffermann who founded GBSN many years ago and made it possible for us to come together as a larger family. I am thankful to Dan LeClair, Nicole Zefran and many others in the GBSN staff team who are doing all the heavy-lifting for us within GBSN. I am also grateful to the Deans, faculty and staff leaders of GBSN member schools for their many contributions and support.

As a final note, I would like to wish you all the very best for the forthcoming holiday season. May we all have a wonderful break with family and friends and look forward to another exciting year ahead. Happy holidays and best wishes for 2020!

 width=Soumitra Dutta is a Professor of Management at Cornell University and the Chair of the Board of Directors for GBSN. Previously he was the Founding Dean of the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell and Chair of AACSB Intl. He also co-chairs the Global Future Council on innovation ecosystems for the World Economic Forum.

Email:; Twitter: @soumitradutta; LinkedIn: soumitra-dutta;

Life at Hanken – An Experience Beyond Expectations

Hi! My name is Zara and I come from Pakistan. When I applied to Hanken for the MSc. Program in Business and Management, my main motivator was the excellent reputation of the Nordic education system, but little did I know that I was about to experience not just impeccable classroom learning, but also an extra-ordinary peer-to-peer network. Working in groups with people who teach you something new every time is an experience I am truly grateful to Hanken for. One of my classmates taught me some techniques to more effectively interact with people. Yet another classmate taught me a great work-management method. The MSc. candidates at Hanken are individuals who have worked at top companies and already accomplished a lot in their professional and personal lives. They inspire you to be a better version of yourself during each and every interaction with them!

Apart from the excellent education and networking, the practical learning experience that Hanken provides is something really unique and valuable, especially for an international student like me. Knowing that I am not familiar with the Finnish language and the professional etiquette of the Finnish society, I was really scared about integrating into the working culture here, but thankfully the innumerable company projects, case studies, and seminars enlighten us with exactly what is expected of us and in which dimensions we must extend our efforts in order to succeed. Currently I am working on a case project with Hanken and SSE related to Marketing and not only is it helping me to gain more insights into the real-world application of marketing concepts but also helping me to stay connected with the managerial dimension of the work as I prepare to present my findings in a final review to the management later this month.

From enabling us to do our best work by providing us with all the needed resources to making sure that we are continuously aware and inspired by all the latest developments in business around the globe, Hanken really takes care of all the professional and personal needs of its students. It has only been less than three months since I arrived in Helsinki but I have already made some meaningful connections, worked on some rewarding projects and learned more than I ever had in such a short duration. I have even signed up for volunteering in the world’s leading startup event ‘Slush’ which happens in Helsinki every year.

There are also many international opportunities provided by Hanken, such as exchange programs and internships which the students can participate in. All in all, life at Hanken has been truly rewarding up till now and I cannot wait to make the best out of all the wonderful experiences and opportunities this place has to offer!

Zara Usmani, Master’s student, Marketing.

The Hanken School of Economics offered two scholarships to students currently studying at or alumni of GBSN member schools from developing countries who apply to and are accepted into Hanken’s 2-year Master’s Degree program in the 2019-2020 academic year. The GBSN scholars received the Hanken Premium Scholarship, which covers full tuition fee for two years and 8000 EUR/year for living expenses.  The same scholarships will be offered in the 2020-2021 academic year starting in Fall 2020. The application period will open in early 2020. More information can be found here.

Hanken is a World of Its Own – Reflections from a Scholarship Recipient

A young man who had spent a good part of his formative educational years dissatisfied with the education system in his country soon found his niche in the world of Finance. Now, studying at the Hanken School of Economics, that very young man sees hope that with his experience he will be able to bring about the change his country so desperately needs.

Growing up in a country like Pakistan has never been easy if you do not come from a background of privilege. For the struggling middle class even basic rights such as quality education become a matter of allotment at birth:  if you are born into privilege, you will get the best education and if not, you are on your own. Seeing this disparity, I began to lose my motivation to study. I was by no means lazy, nor was I someone who refused to do well just because it was not handed to me. But because the universe works in its own mysterious ways, I somehow found it in me to strive to do well in life and ended up getting admitted to one of the top-tier universities in Pakistan.  During my time in the Accounting and Finance Program at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, I met Dr. Hilal, who introduced me to Hanken, having completed his PhD from there.

The more I heard about his experiences, the more I began to live vicariously through him. All the reasons for my lack of motivation began to seem more like a bad dream, the more I envisioned myself studying here. And it wasn’t just the quality of education that had me sold on Finland. Here I was seeing myself spend time in one of the safest and happiest countries in the world. I knew no matter how much I imagined what the Northern Lights would look like, my imagination would never do justice to the real thing. I dreamt of trekking in the forests in the summers and going skiing in the winters. I even began looking forward to all-nighters if I could drink famous Finnish coffee.

But I knew the odds were never stacked in my favor. As much as my parents supported my dream to study at Hanken, they didn’t have the financial means to help fund my master’s education. As I was assessing my options, I came across the GSBN Scholarship Program. It was as though the program had been hand-crafted especially for me. I ticked all the boxes: I came from a developing country on their list, I had maintained a strong 3.5 GPA in my bachelors, I had work experience at one of the most sought out MNCs in Pakistan. Yet part of me feared rejection. After envisioning my life in Finland and Hanken, the fear of rejection was almost crippling. I cannot possibly put into words the happiness, relief and excitement I felt when I got accepted into Hanken School of Economics. There are way too many words and yet they still are not enough to encapsulate the feeling. It was almost empowering because I saw a future not just for me but for my country and my countrymen. I knew from the minute I got my acceptance that I would use all that I would learn in the upcoming two years to play a part on bringing about economic change in “Naya Pakistan” (New Pakistan), as it is being called in recent times.

It is fair to say that my time here has lived up to all the expectations I had. Hanken is a world of its own. With so much diversity, it is as though all the world network is connected at a single platform.  These international networks that we are forming during our time here will prove to be so much more important when we all go out in our respective fields and find that we are all still connected and available to help each other whenever the need may arise.  The learning environment at Hanken is a safe space. Competition is healthy and we have student unions in place to make sure whatever needs and concerns we have, are given a proper voice. We have both mental and physical health services available to make sure that our time here is well utilized and that the pressure that comes with any university experience does not get too much to bear.

Hanken is also invested in our future. It has provided career counseling services so that students do not get overwhelmed when the time to step out in the real world arises. They also serve as a link between students and future potential employers to ensure that we make the best use of our education.  Similarly, there are various opportunities to get help on assignments and thesis work without any registration required. Hanken also encourages us to grow into multi-dimensional individuals and allows us to study non-degree modules. So not only can we dip into other interests but can do it in universities other than Hanken to have a diverse experience. To put it in a nutshell, everything about Hanken is essentially wholesome.

It also goes without saying that the faculty at Hanken is unparalleled. With highly esteemed scholars, doctors and well experienced professors, there is nothing more a student could want. My time here at Hanken is probably the best time of my life. It has steered me in the direction I want to go. I have already made plans for my doctorate and it doesn’t end there. I have decided that I want return to Pakistan and not just teach, but actively partake in the new technocratic government as the country make its Hail Mary attempt to undo decades of malfeasance. I also want to be a success story, if not for anyone, at least for my family that privilege is not the key to success.

Sohaib Ahmed, Master’s student in Finance.

The Hanken School of Economics offered two scholarships to students currently studying at or alumni of GBSN member schools from developing countries who apply to and are accepted into Hanken’s 2-year Master’s Degree program in the 2019-2020 academic year. The GBSN scholars received the Hanken Premium Scholarship, which covers full tuition fee for two years and 8000 EUR/year for living expenses.  The same scholarships will be offered in the 2020-2021 academic year starting in Fall 2020. The application period will open in early 2020. More information can be found here.

WU – Vienna University of Economics and Business International Summer University Program Highlights

In 2018, for the 29th time, WU Ð Vienna University of Economics and Business hosted the International Summer UniversityWU (ISUWU) program during the months of July and August. ISUWU is one of WU’s many international short summer programs, which represent an important part of WU’s internationalization strategy.

ISUWU Participants

The student group, composed of undergraduate as well as graduate students, came from all parts of the world to participate in the ISUWU 2018. The group totaled 149 students from 32 different countries of origin and 52 different universities.

In the July session there were 54 undergraduate students and 37 graduate students. Most students indicated North America as their country of origin (USA 22% and Canada 14.3%), followed by China (14.3%) and Australia (11%).

In the August session there were 39 undergraduate students and 19 graduate students. As in the previous session, most students indicated North America as their country of origin (USA 19% and Canada 10.3%), followed by China (17.2%) and Russia (8.6%) and the UK (6.9%).

There was a great diversity of cultures in both sessions, which was also demonstrated during the International Cultural Evening. On this occasion, all participating students join together to represent their culture by demonstrating traditional dances, sharing local food or likewise.

The gender balance was in favor of the female participants; 88 female and 61 male students participated in this year’s programs.

ISUWU 2018 Class


The large diversity of nationalities is also evident looking at the two scholarships offered by WU this year. Students from selected developing countries coming from GBSN (Global Business School Network) member universities and students from chosen universities in Europe’s CEE region were accepted into the program.

GBSN scholarship recipients received a full scholarship including all services offered in the program, as well as a financial support in regard to their travel expenses. CEE scholarship recipients received a deduction of the program fee and a full waiver in regard to tuition.

The WU scholarship was awarded to 6 students from 5 GBSN member schools from Columbia, Ghana, Egypt and Pakistan (4 for the July and 2 for the August program) out of 29 applications for this scholarship in total. These scholarships were provided to both graduate and undergraduate students. Even though the GBSN scholarship recipients from Pakistan had initial troubles getting their visa, all students who received a scholarship received their visa on time and could ultimately also attend the program.

Academic Program

Overall four academic programs were organized at the ISUWU 2018: the graduate program in July, the undergraduate program in July, the graduate program in August and the undergraduate program in August. Classes were held by 15 different lecturers. These included 9 guest lecturers and 6 WU lecturers. Two lecturers offered two different courses, hence there were 17 classes in total. The class size at ISUWU ranged from 14 students to a maximum of 31 students. In general the undergraduate classes were larger than the graduate classes.

Unique Aspects

Some favorite aspects mentioned by a majority of the participants was the multicultural atmosphere and the support that was given to them by the ISUWU team, as well as the social activities that were organized. Some students were very impressed by their lecturers and have commented, that they have never attended a better class before. Overall, the students felt very well taken care of, and hence they could enjoy their time in Vienna and ideally benefit from this program from an academic, as well as a social perspective.

The International Summer University WU program established itself once again as an effective tool for WU’s internationalization strategy. It has a great reputation amongst its partner universities and the program also helps to continually improve the image of WU. The program benefits from its long-standing reputation and shapes the global image of the university.

The ISUWU was successfully carried out this year and it is recommended to run the 30th edition of the ISUWU in 2019.

Below are testimonials from the 6 GBSN scholarship students.

[x_feature_box title=”Shazabeen Nabi Khan” title_color=” text_color=” graphic=”image” graphic_size=”60px” graphic_shape=”circle” graphic_color=”#ffffff” graphic_bg_color=”#2ecc71″ align_h=”center” align_v=”top” side_graphic_spacing=”20px” max_width=”none” graphic_image=”” graphic_image_alt_text=”Shazabeen Nabi Khan”]ISUWU July Session
Lahore School of Economics
Lahore, Pakistan[/x_feature_box]

ISUWU academic program:

The learning experience throughout the ISU WU was a combination of discussions, group activities and lectures providing intriguing insights into the global perspective of management and marketing. During this time, I met incredibly helpful teachers and classmates from all around the world that made the learning environment fun and challenging.

ISUWU leisure program:

The leisure activities were the most exciting part of the program. I got a chance to explore the beautiful city of Vienna, where I saw neo-gothic architecture of the City Hall, the making of the famous Strudel dessert and a view over Vienna from the top of Kahlenberg. With great company, stunning architecture and extremely breathtaking visits, the leisure activities made the most memorable three weeks.

ISUWU program in general:

Kudos to the team for creating such an immersive program which balanced study and leisure together and made it extremely easy for students to fit into the city. I’m extremely grateful to GBSN for making this opportunity possible and to the ISU WU team for providing immense help in the first place!

[x_feature_box title=”Patience Nsiah ” title_color=” text_color=” graphic=”image” graphic_size=”60px” graphic_shape=”circle” graphic_color=”#ffffff” graphic_bg_color=”#2ecc71″ align_h=”center” align_v=”top” side_graphic_spacing=”20px” max_width=”none” graphic_image=”” graphic_image_alt_text=”]ISUWU July Session
Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
Accra, Ghana[/x_feature_box]

ISUWU academic program:

I have learnt in three courses in three weeks what normally takes a whole semester to learn. The academic courses were very practical, interactive, and gave insights to real life situation which I am going to use to build my business in the future. I have become more confident through group presentations and being able to analyze problems and finding solutions.

ISUWU leisure program:

I have made new friends from different continenst , built relationships and at the same time got the opportunity to see the beautiful city of Vienna and its neighbouring countries. The company visit were awesome, especially Pioneers, I am thankful for this experience.

ISUWU program in general:

Thank you to the ISU WU team for putting this life changing program together. I am grateful for being a part of this great experience.The whole program is well organized and very educative. The ISU WU team is great, patient and helpful. Thank you once again, I really appreciate every bit of this program.

[x_feature_box title=”Mariam Mahmoud” title_color=” text_color=” graphic=”image” graphic_size=”60px” graphic_shape=”circle” graphic_color=”#ffffff” graphic_bg_color=”#2ecc71″ align_h=”center” align_v=”top” side_graphic_spacing=”20px” max_width=”none” graphic_image=”” graphic_image_alt_text=”]ISUWU July Session
American University of Cairo
Cairo, Egypt[/x_feature_box]

ISUWU academic program:

The academic program of the ISU WU is one of the most well-organized academic programs ever. Although the program is just 3 weeks long and only includes two courses, everything was done and accomplished perfectly and completely. Moreover, the in-class discussion were really enriching and very international, as I got to know more about other students’ cultures and countries. This knowledge helps me to see the world from a different and more open perspective – a new perspective with more respect to diversity and new ideas.

ISUWU leisure program:

The ISU WU program also includes cultural and social program besides the academic program. This social and cultural program helped international students like me to overcome the cultural shock and to adapt and mingle very quickly with other international students during this short period of time. From my own experience, I enjoyed a lot the variety of things to do and places to visit that were recommended by the ISU WU program. One of my favorite events was the International Cultural Event (ICE), as every student haf the chance to let other students get to know more about his or her home country, and to correct certain stereotypes.

ISUWU program in general:

Every day, there is something new to see and to do in Vienna after lectures, so I never got bored during my stay in this beautiful city, and I wish to return back to study at WU one day.

[x_feature_box title=”Sania Moazzam” title_color=” text_color=” graphic=”image” graphic_size=”60px” graphic_shape=”circle” graphic_color=”#ffffff” graphic_bg_color=”#2ecc71″ align_h=”center” align_v=”top” side_graphic_spacing=”20px” max_width=”none” graphic_image=”” graphic_image_alt_text=”]ISUWU August Session
Lahore School of Economics
Lahore, Pakistan[/x_feature_box][cs_element_column _id=”89″]

ISUWU academic program:

Overall speaking, the courses were intensive and interactive; the professors probably condensed what is taught in a period of semester over a period of five days. The courses were well organized and expectations were clearly communicated. Overall, I believe my learning curve has immensely improved in this short period of time. It was easy to adjust and become part of the class discussions since everybody and was open and friendly.

ISUWU leisure program:

I cannot forget to mention the hiking trip where I wanted frequent breaks during the hike and had to make everybody wait because of myself. With immense support from ISU team members and fellow classmates, I was able to make it to the hill top and was thrilled to see beautiful views of Vienna. In the end, I felt it was totally worth the effort we made to reach there.

ISUWU program in general:

Just like any new place, initially I struggled a little bit and it took me a few days to adjust to the place where I was staying. However, the transition was smooth due to consistent support of the ISU WU team. A big thank you to the ISU WU Team members that always made sure I was having a comfortable time.

[x_feature_box title=”Farah Ibrahim” title_color=” text_color=” graphic=”image” graphic_size=”60px” graphic_shape=”circle” graphic_color=”#ffffff” graphic_bg_color=”#2ecc71″ align_h=”center” align_v=”top” side_graphic_spacing=”20px” max_width=”none” graphic_image=”” graphic_image_alt_text=”]ISUWU August Session
American University in Cairo
Cairo, Egypt[/x_feature_box]

ISUWU academic program:

Joining the ISUWU has been an enriching experience on both the academic and personal levels. The academic courses deepened my knowledge in my field of study. Moreover, the discussions and group work with other international students like myself helped me broaden my perspective on numerous issues as well as developing my critical thinking skills. The diversity within the classroom created a challenging environment where everyone tried to share and communicate their thoughts as clear as they can.

ISUWU leisure program:

In addition, the social program was packed with amazing activities: from palaces and museums to hiking, a wine tavern visit and a brewery tour. Exploring Vienna, the food, the culture and the arquitecture was such a pleasure.

ISUWU program in general:

I’m going back home and leaving a piece of my heart in this delightful city and its amazing people and atmosphere. I got the chance to make friends from literally every continent and built a global network. Until we meet again, Vienna!

IMT Dubai MBA Students Launch a Project to Bring Light to Kenyan Villages

A professor at GBSN member school, IMT Dubai Business School, Dr. Gita Bajaj, mobilized a group of MBA students to develop a cost-effective sustainable solution to bring light to rural Kenyan villages and in the process improve healthcare, and create opportunities for employment.

It all started when Dr. Bajaj met Ken Aim, CEO of the SOWO Foundation at a conference over a year ago. The two began talks of ways to collaborate for capacity building to impact Kenyan communities.

The SOWO Foundation’s mission is to empower communities through capacity building and economic support. From a small village in Siaya County, Kenya and Kibera slum village in the heart of Nairobi City, an idea was hatched by a small number of men and women to better their lives SOWO embraced these vulnerable groups and mobilized the community to help alleviate the wanton suffering. School going children had little or no educational support, widows had poor shelter, some had none at all and food was scarce to many of this group. SOWO provided basic needs for poor families, school uniform for needy orphans and school fees for destitute children. In 1995, it became a community based organization which mobilized local communities to enable change.

Dr. Bajaj introduced Ken and SOWO to IMT Dubai Business School, which whole heartedly embraced the NGO and offered to support it in ways that a Business School could. The B-School stood committed to causes of sustainability and was only too forthcoming to support. The process of exploration was initiated and Ken shared challenges of farmers and fisher women who had little means to alleviate their lives. One of the challenges of these villages is that they have no electricity and are pitch dark in the evenings. No access to electricity affects children’s performance at school as well as limits working times for the adults. Kerosene lamps are the only source of light in the evenings. Research shows that solar lanterns reduce kerosene consumption by half and lead to a reduction in discharges, which helps in terms of climate change and indoor air pollution. In far flung villages of Kenya, the majority of the population does not have access to electricity, since the country’s national grid is unreliable and too expensive for the average citizen to buy into.

However, Kenya has abundance of solar light and some form of solar lighting is a common solution, but most solar-powered lighting systems are expensive for an average Kenyan villager.

How could solar lighting be delivered to these rural villages at a low cost?

Samprikta Sahu, one of the MBA students who had worked in India to deliver a similar solution to an Indian slum came forward presented the ‘Litter for light’ solution and discussions of redesign to make the solution feasible and viable were initiated. ‘Litter for light’ is an innovative design where a wasted Pepsi or Coke plastic bottle is used to light up a pitch dark room with minimal additional apparatus such as water, bleach, a solar panel and a bulb. Two more students, Adhithyan and Sriram volunteered to join in and the design thinking in context of the requirements of the villages in Kenya were initiated and a prototype of the solution was developed.

However, the technical solution was only a part of the problem. How would one deliver such a project in a far flung village in Africa? Who would make the equipment? Where will it be made? How and from where would they get the raw material? Who would fund the project? The project wasn’t part of the course curriculum, so even the time spent had to be pulled out from the busy routines of a B-School.

Discussions with Ken on how SOWO could help mobilize women in the villages to form groups were initiated. As part of the learning experience, the MBA students were tasked with delivering a report that outlined the solution, timeline, training and implementation plan and finalized under the guidance of their faculty.

The pilot was designed to bring light to the Niyadhi and Kogelo villages, which totals to 600 homes. The plan is for SOWO to build trust with the people of the villages and identify locals who would support the implementation of this technology by training community members. By commissioning a group of locals to train the community, the project would also generate employment. The MBAs would travel to the villages to deliver initial trainings to the local trainers.

Dr. Bajaj and SOWO teamed up to secure sponsorship funding. Godrej Kenya, which is a leading FMCG company with Darling as one of its flagship products, and a major commitment to women communities in Kenya, signed on to support the pilot. “This one change can be life transforming” Gaurav Kaushal, CEO Godrej Kenya had observed. With the blessings of Mama Sarah Obama and good wishes from Former President Barack Obama, project “Light up Kenya” was launched on July 16, 2018. This project will light up 600 households in the villages of Siaya County with the help of inexpensive renewable solar energy. These solar lamps will not only bring light to the homes but will also create employment opportunities for those trained to assemble and install these solar lamps, thus providing a feasible solution to address energy and poverty challenges in rural Kenya.

Nicole Zefran is the Communications Officer at the Global Business School Network.

Celebrating 20 years of Progress, Partnerships and Accomplishments

GBSN member, Nanyang Business School (NBS) is celebrating 20 years of their Nanyang Fellows MBA program.

The Nanyang Fellows MBA is a one-year, full-time program designed for senior executives from public and private sectors. The program has generated over 400 graduates from more than 35 countries that hold influential positions worldwide.

Fellows are typically mid-career executives, mid-30s to early 40s, with at least 8 years of management or senior professional experience.

The celebration was held at Capitol Singapore Theatre, where alumni heard from Nanyang Technological University’s President, Subra Suresh, Producer and presenter of the BBC World News, Sharanjit Leyl, and other global business professionals. Nine Nanyang Fellows were awarded the Nanyang Fellows Distinguished Alumni Award for their transformational differences made in their areas of expertise.

Nanyang Business School is among the world’s top-tier business schools offering various degree programs to business students. NBS is the first business school in Singapore, and the third in Asia, to be accredited by both the European Quality Improvement System and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. NBS continues to be globally recognized, making them one of the most established and comprehensive providers of business and management education in the Asia-Pacific.

Click here to view the original article


Tiana Morris is the Summer/Fall Communications and Event Planning Intern at the Global Business School Network

IBA Karachi and Engro Energy Collaborate to Provide Scholarships

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Engro Energy Limited have teamed up to support local students Pakistan. Based on their recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), four scholarships will be provided to students from the Tharparkar district.

This initiative is just one of the many undertaken by IBA to attract the best talent throughout Pakistan. At the event, Dr. Mohammad Nishat, executive director of the IBA remarked “Through this concerted effort, we have been able to help hundreds of financially challenged yet deserving students to get admission into the IBA, which has helped transform their lives and that of their families.” Programs such as these have been funded by the IBA since 2004. In the past school year alone, IBA provided over $3.3 million to students in their respective programs. All these scholarships are provided on a need-cum-merit basis.