Business schools up the grade on sustainability

Top schools say the time is now to get serious about greening MBAs

There have been some promising signs of progress in business education of late. Special issues of top-tier academic journals are being devoted to sustainability and the climate crisis. New core and elective business-school courses are exploring United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. More scholars interested in sustainability are being hired.

Much heavy lifting remains, but sustainability-linked topics are increasingly being integrated into core and elective courses at business schools – an encouraging development as Corporate Knights publishes its 2019 “Better World” MBA global rankings. This year, 146 schools (up from 141 in 2018) were evaluated for their sustainability performance, based on publicly available data, on faculty research, citations in top journals, core course content and relevant research institutes and centres.

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MBA grads paying big dividends for the world

Meet three business school graduates leading ventures with social impact

For three business school graduates, one common thread is a commitment to communities and clients. Here are their stories:

Cristine Sousa

Managing director of New Generation Consulting

Cristine Sousa, with a strong family history of community engagement, arrived in Portugal in 2014 on a full scholarship for a master’s of international management at the Nova School of Business and Economics. The two-year program, including a six-month exchange at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management, is offered through Nova’s membership in a global alliance of business schools known as CEMS. For her degree, Sousa specialized in social enterprises.

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Oxford includes public impact as part of tenure; McGill students green business school

Sometimes, a small change sends a big message.

Evidence of impact will be included as an optional component of tenure applications this fall at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, beyond the usual measures of research output, teaching and service.

Those seeking a permanent post can submit evidence of their research impact on, say, improving corporate practices, public policy or social good, with an evaluation by internal and external reviewers as in a traditional tenure process.

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Training the next generation of Indigenous leaders

More business schools are introducing Indigenous-focused programs

There’s an urgent need to equip a new generation of First Nation, Métis and Inuit leaders for success. A small group of Canadian business schools are responding with for-credit, Indigenous-focused programs, and they’re looking for others to join them.

“We’re in survival mode,” declares Joy Cramer, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, a long-time aboriginal advocate and, as of last January, the director of Indigenous programs at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. According to Cramer, Canada’s dark history of residential school abuse has meant that Indigenous people “are trying to survive after decades and decades of what we’re now saying is attempted genocide and genocidal activities towards us as people.”

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