Building Sustainable Legacies

A radically new vision for business schools: towards a Call to Service

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If we consider what the world needs us to do and what is expected of business schools in order to contribute to successfully address the existing and emerging societal, environmental and business challenges world-wide, we recognize that we are invited to embrace a call to service:
A call to service: To educate citizens to act responsibly for the world.

Let us look in more detail at this call of service in order to understand the amplitude of what is implied by this vision:

  • A call to service = a clear purpose beyond and above keeping our institutions alive, enriched by the understanding that education stands on equal footing on external knowledge and internal wisdom.
  • To educate = an issue-centred education complemented by subject or domain knowledge focused on the big issues of this world, replacing teaching with a powerful and safe learning environment. Learning embedded in action-learning platforms of collaborative laboratories (collaboratories). Research supporting global issues by involving stakeholders in the definition of research topics and delivering results to them in appropriate formats.
  • Citizens = you and me, business professionals, artists, activists, consultants, coaches, women in emerging countries, micro entrepreneurs, collaborative networks, seniors, everybody with a desire to make a positive contribution to this world.
  • To act = empowered learning to enable action, facilitating participants to wake up to what is inside of them, embracing the adventure ahead, becoming eco-literate and fluent in divergent thinking and courageous action, learning to act as a result of being.
  • Responsibly = creating a space to reflect on action and choices, to connect with true purpose and inner values, embracing the choices and consequences for society and planet in the long-term.
  • For = rather than against, rethinking strategic product & service needs, complementing competition with collaboration and understanding that we are all part of the same larger Unit. Sustainability is the obvious and essential guiding principle of life, business and anybody with a desire to act. Example:  waste-free closed-loop cycle inspired by nature.
  • The world = beyond the current paradigm of capitalism: serving society and the planet.

If we consider what the world needs us to do and what is expected of business schools in order to contribute to successfully address the existing and emerging societal, environmental and business challenges world-wide, we recognize that we are invited to embrace a call to service:
A call to service: To educate citizens to act responsibly for the world.

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Author: Dr. Katrin Muff

Dr. Katrin Muff is a thought leader in the transformative space of sustainability and responsibility at Business School Lausanne, where she acted as Dean from 2008-2015 until self-organization made such a title redundant. Under her leadership, the school focused its vision on entrepreneurship, responsibility and sustainability in education and research. Her business experience includes 10 years at ALCOA (GM in Russia, Industry Analyst for Global M&A in the U.S. and Business Analyst Europe), 3 years as Director, Strategic Planning EMEA at IAMS Europe (Procter&Gamble), and 3 years as a co-founder of Yupango, a coaching consultancy dedicated to start-ups and training management teams.

One thought on “A radically new vision for business schools: towards a Call to Service

  1. Great statement I totally agree with it, and it’s always helps to say things twice 😉