6 major business school initiatives that are changing the world

Business schools’ research and initiatives can be used to shape policy, change minds, and create real change. Business school PR consultants Chloë Lane and Stephanie Mullins from BlueSky Education take a look at some of the innovative new research labs, centres and other initiatives that six business schools have launched.

Hult International Business School

Hult International Business School is a triple-accredited business school based across international campuses in Boston, New York, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Ashridge. The school places a focus on learning by doing, because – as Hult says – business is about getting things done, not just theory.

In March 2023, Hult International Business School launched Hult Impact Research, a renewed research strategy that supports the school’s purpose of making an impact that matters and driving innovation and engagement around broader societal issues.

This features three main impact labs:

  • Futures lab: Focused on global risk mitigation and future readiness, designed to strengthen resilience and readiness for a complex tech-driven world.
  • Sustainability lab: Focused on industrial and societal sustainability transitions, designed to accelerate the changes needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Coaching lab: Focused on building bridges between science and practice in the executive coaching field

As part of the initiative, Hult International Business School will start a Post-Doc Fellowship programme and will align its existing Doctoral programmes with the new research areas.

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

German-based Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is one of Europe’s leading business schools delivering excellence in management and finance education. It’s incredibly research focused, featuring one of the largest business administration faculties in Germany. The school’s professors work alongside policy-makers and executives to offer tailor made solutions to real world problems.

This year, Frankfurt School is launching a new Centre for European Transformation, which will feature two new professorships, funded by DWS. The new Centre will further strengthen Frankfurt School’s existing research activities.

Designed as a think tank, the Centre aims to help sustainable transformation and growth in Europe.

“Europe faces numerous of these challenges such as technological innovation, climate change and resilient supply chains,” says Professor Nils Stieglitz, President and CEO of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. “The Centre will tackle these topics and includes two new professorships further adding to Frankfurt School’s strong experience and reputation in the field of finance.”

University of Sussex Business School

At the University of Sussex Business School, innovation and sustainability are at the forefront of research. The school’s long-standing expertise grants them the flexibility to produce rigorous, creative research and analysis in times of major change.

The school’s Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) is already an impressive centre of research on science, technology and innovation policy and management.

The University of Sussex Business School uses its research to tackle real-world challenges to help create more sustainable, secure and equal societies. It does this in several ways:

  • Connecting experts and insights: Connecting experts and insights within its faculty and academic networks, across the social and natural sciences, engineering and the humanities.
  • Teaching the next generation: Teaching the next generation of innovation leaders and policymakers though its master’s courses, PhD programme and providing bespoke training for innovation policy professionals.
  • Developing leading research initiatives: Developing leading research initiatives in energy policy, sustainable development, science and technology policy, innovation and project management, and economics of innovation.
  • Engaging with a wide range of partners: Engaging with governments, policymakers, academics, industry and civil society around the world to find practical solutions to global challenges.
  • Tackling key global challenges: Helping to solve global challenges such as climate change, environmental destruction, healthcare, inequality and insecurity, through the use of science, technology and the management of innovation for transformative change.

GBSB Global Business School

With campuses in both Spain (Barcelona and Madrid) and Malta, GBSB Global Business School uses its specialisation on digitalisation, innovation and entrepreneurships across its selection of in-person and online programmes.

It has also opened the G-Accelerator, an exciting start-up hub for budding entrepreneurs. This entrepreneurship centre supports creative students in triple-impact (social, economic and environmental) ventures and connects them with companies and large corporations looking for fresh business ideas.

Asia School of Business

The Asia School of Business (ASB) is a young, forward thinking business school established in 2015 by Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with MIT Sloan.

In 2022, ASB launched their ASEAN Research Centre, which conducts impactful research on topics surrounding emerging markets in the ASEAN region. ASB hopes this research will be used to inform policy making and improve the lives of ASEAN citizens, especially in emerging markets.

Additionally, the Centre will be use to host public events for ASEAN-based research programmes to spark intellectual dialogue and public interest. It’ll also be used to host visiting scholars and students who will lecture and conduct research in the region.

emlyon business school

At emlyon business school, research centres combine curiosity, innovativeness, knowledge, rigor and relevance, while addressing the challenges and changes of our society.

In 2022, emlyon launched its new Ethnographic Institute as part of its Organizations, Critical and Ethnographic Perspectives research centre (OCE). The Ethnographic Institute is based on three pillars: research, education and public debate.

Primarily, it helps to strengthen ethnographic science, an approach to research that looks at people in their own environment to understand their experiences, perspectives and everyday practices. This will help students at emlyon gain three major skills:

  1. Sensitivity to people’s own experiences
  2. An ability to tell these experiences through specific stories
  3. An ability to question the obvious

David Courpasson, the Director of the OCE said: “The objective of the Ethnographic Institute is to take a new look at organizations and society, to go beyond appearances, to analyze social relations in depth, and to better account for the interactions that shape the human experience on a daily basis in organizations, and more generally the functioning of societies”.