When we talk about sustainability, we don’t usually talk about the potential of business students and graduates in making that vision a reality. Every year hundreds of thousands of students graduate from business schools around the world. What if they all not only understood what sustainability was but more importantly knew how to put it into practice in ways that benefit their organizations, society and the planet? What if business schools were a crucial and indispensable part of a more sustainable, prosperous and profitable society for all? If they were, what would that business school of the future look like? What do we need it to look like in order to make business schools key players in the Sustainable Development Goals and the global sustainability agenda?
For 100 days, from June 23rd to September 30th 2014, I posted one short idea a day exploring different aspects of the business school. I included both ideas that could be put into place today as well as some that would require a complete rethinking of the way we view business education. I gave myself no rules and didn’t judge my ideas. Many ideas were hatched during 3am feeds of my newborn, and everyday when I sat down at my desk I would type up the idea and post it along with a little illustration that I hoped might help me and others think about the idea in different ways.
I didn’t promote my project heavily, but readership steadily grew. The ideas were republished on various media outlets globally. Faculty starting contacting me, telling me how they had been inspired by the ideas and even some had implemented them. Followers were not limited to business schools but came from a range of other fields, education, business, the arts, even small businesses and an elementary school.
In late 2015, eight months pregnant with my second child, I had the chance to revise the ideas, rethink and rewrite them as well as come up with quite a few new ideas and publish them in a book with Greenleaf. The book,The Future MBA: 100 Ideas for Making Sustainability the Business of Business Education is exactly that, a collection of 100 short ideas. The ideas are not meant to be a roadmap or an exact picture of what the MBA of the future will look like, but rather be a source of inspiration. Some ideas could be put into practice tomorrow, some would require a complete rethinking of the way we view business education, and others are meant to encourage more ideas and action to turn management education into a key player in moving the sustainability agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals, forward. Even if an idea doesn’t seem possible, the point is to explore it, to see how it could be possible, or to use it as inspiration for an idea that is possible.
There are several ways that you can get involved in the project.
- Browse through the ideas in the book and use or adapt them for your own programmes/school. Give copies to your team to start your own brainstorming session or contact me to arrange a workshop.
- Read through the 100 examples of innovative practices posted shortly after the book was published on this site.
- Take a short email based course (free) about The Future MBA and developing your own ideas.
- Email me your innovative example so it can be included in the example database and shared.
- Comment on and share the ideas that you find most interesting (#100futuremba).
- Learn more about sustainability and the SDGs and how your business school can become a player in reaching these goals.
- Kemmy Business School uses the book in the classroom. They encourage students to draw up their own dream curriculum. They are then presented with the SDGs and locate them within their newly- designed curriculum. This has the effect of broadening their engagement with the SDGs, and seeing how their own passions align.