Building Sustainable Legacies


Designing a university for the new millennium

Here is an inspiring model of desining a university for the new millennium.

The model described here has no silos (i.e. no departments), a circular building,  no faculty ranks, same teaching load for all, no lecturing or professing – only tutoring, classrooms built for roundtable discussions, curriculum setup to promote trans-disciplinary, question-driven and experiential learning etc. etc.

 

Following 35 years on the faculty of Columbia University in New York, more than half of that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Dr. Helfand developed a deep understanding of the problems of traditional universities. Seizing an opportunity to redesign higher education from scratch, he has served as a Founding Tutor and, since 2008, as President and Vice Chancellor of Quest University Canada. He is also President of the American Astronomical Society, the professional society for astronomers, astrophysicists, planetary scientists and solar physicists in North America.

Advertisements


More critical voices on business education

Here’s an article in Bloomberg Businessweek that reflects greatly the many critical voices on business education, increasingly also from the mainstream business schools:

Is B-School Research an Expensive Waste?

Larry Zicklin, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and a lecturer at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, says B-schools should put less emphasis on research, and students shouldn’t be footing the bill. Read More…

Patrick Awuah on educating leaders

Sharing an astonishing example of a business school and shaping the next generation of leaders. Hope you enjoy watching as much as I did!

A call to action – launching the 50+20 vision

During the 3rd Global Forum on Responsible Management Education the 50+20 vision is launched with the unveiling of the 50+20 Agenda and short film.


A call to service: management education for the world

The influence of management educators is vast. They train the majority of leaders of the most influential business organizations worldwide and they impose and promote their vision of the firm and their philosophy of management. If they chose to, they could become major change agents for a better world.  To understand the link between a better world and management education, we need to clarify and agree on some upfront parameters:

Figure 1: The call to service for management education for the world by holding the space for provide responsible leadership for a sustainable world

Business schools and institutions, public or private, engaged in educating managers and leaders need to extend their scope beyond business to educate existing and emerging leaders active in organizations of any type, shape or form in business and beyond. To stress this point, we shall consistently replace the term “business school” with “management school”. The challenges described above are summarized in a call to service to provide management education for the world by “holding a space for responsible leadership for a sustainable world”. Its parameters are leadership, entrepreneurship and statesmanship.


Complementing free education with action learning

It is simply a question of time until all leading thinking in terms of business expertise for each function (marketing, finance, HR, strategy, operations) will be available on-line and accessible for free. A number of emerging models in related fields are strong indicators for this – the Khan Foundation, Born-to-learn and dozens of other initiatives.

Business schools need to enlarge the customers of business schools to include any citizen in the world with a desire to make a positive contribution to our world. We should find ways to effectively teach her the necessary business and management skills and competences no matter where in the world she is located. We need to offer as much information as we can for free on-line.

It can well be argued that free on-line education is not sufficient to develop the kinds of leaders we need. Some educational entrepreneurs have embraced this challenge and may or may not proof us wrong. We believe that it is important to complement on-line education with face-to-face action learning. Part of this vision is to figure out ways to create action-learning platforms for citizens in any part of the world, not just within business schools.


1 Comment

The challenge for business educators

As business educators we must challenge the underlying assumptions of economic and business development, like the need for economic growth, unlimited consumerism, shareholder value. It is up to us to ensure that we create leaders who will focus on creating value for the world rather than only for a few shareholders. Leaders who act as servants for the common good operate a conscious business, they are engaged with society and the planet and they are asking for their real needs concerning economic innovation.

This is the contract we as management educators have with the world and with society. No more silos, no more tenure, no more clear-cut divisions between institutions, nor between business and other active players in the world (formally known as NGOs) , nor more citation indices to evaluate scholars.  This is what we must measure ourselves by and this is what we should strive to achieve. And we shouldn’t leave a stone unturned in order to get there, even if it means undoing some brick and mortar and doing away with some ivory towers.

Business executives – more than any other profession – have developed the capacity to deal with complexity and to adapt their strategy to an evolving environment. Businesses have evolved beyond national boundaries into global enterprises, uniquely able to address and act on global issues. As such, they do have an important contribution to make as co-trustees and co-actors, working with all stakeholders towards a larger vision for the world (“Living well and within the limits of the planet’s natural resources”, WBCSD).