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? Regardless of whether you answered yes, no, or maybe, your responses to questions like this one can reveal a lot about the work we’re doing at the Global Business School Network (GBSN). Since we were created by the World Bank 17 years ago, our vision has been for the developing world to have the management talent it needs to generate prosperity. We want to achieve that vision by “improving access to quality, locally relevant management and entrepreneurship education for the developing world.” As my experience grows with GBSN, so does my respect for the local relevance part of our mission. Here are three ways that we are prioritizing local relevance in our work.
It’s clear that business schools play a critical role in advancing the SDGs through higher education. But how can we ascertain these impacts and best practices for the SDGs? While good works advancing the SDGs proliferate throughout global business schools, presently, there is no comprehensive reporting system dedicated to sharing specifically how these schools contribute to the SDGs.To begin to address this information and management gap, the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University has developed the SDG Dashboard–a new reporting and data analytics tool that allows business schools to showcase and share their SDG-related best practices.
Given the enormous reach and impact of global corporations, it is quite clear that corporate leaders have a big role to play in shaping the world of tomorrow. If we are to solve the problems of ecological destruction, staggering inequality and chronic poverty, business leaders must become messiahs of change, championing and directing their companies’ journey to create an equitable and sustainable world.As educators, we need to ask ourselves what role business schools should play in this journey towards corporate sustainability. What type of business school curriculum can help produce future corporate leaders, who have the courage and the empathy to make a difference in the world?If we introspect a little, we can see that business schools today have become simply an extension of corporate hiring departments. Rather than being centers of thought leadership, which encourage managers to think, to question business models, and to derive meaningful paths for themselves, business school curriculum seems to simply reflect corporate hiring priorities. Clearly, there is an urgent need to completely rethink business education, particularly in a world where poverty and inequality persists.
This week I had the pleasure of representing GBSN at the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Global Forum in New York. The forum celebrated 10 years of growing business school commitment to responsible management education and, more recently, to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. I left the forum with a renewed sense of excitement and urgency for our mission. The 17 goals define the critical, interdisciplinary opportunities that will shape how businesses, governments, schools and international development organizations invest and measure impact within local communities and on a global scale. The intersection between these goals and GBSN’s mission is … Read More
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank are attracting thousands to Washington, DC, this year, an unusually large number. This year is particularly important for international development because it ushers in the United Nations’ new “Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030)” as the “Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015)” come to an end. The draft SDGs may be good news for developing world universities, including business schools. Higher education was not mentioned in any of the MDGs eight goals, but only primary education. That should not necessarily have prevented development agencies, such as the World Bank and regional development banks, from focusing … Read More