Sustainability and inclusivity: Trinity Business School’s strategy for the coming years

Trinity Business School

Trinity Business School has seen significant change in recent years. From the development of a new €80M state-of-the-art eco-friendly building to securing ‘triple accreditation’ status’, the institution has a new strategy, ‘Transforming Business for Good’, and a new Dean in Professor Laurent Muzellec. Here, Muzellec shares his story, his vision and his new role as Dean of Trinity Business School… 

Could you tell us about yourself and your background?

I was born in Brest, in Brittany, and grew up in Angers, where I went to a secondary public school called Mermoz, located at the heart of the public housing projects of La Roseraie. My education here moulded a socio-economic consciousness within myself, deeply influencing my views on business and society to this day. I am also extremely conscious of climate change and the need for business to transform for good. Before my academic career, I held positions at the French Embassy Trade Office in New York, in a French start-up internet company in Paris, and at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany.

I joined Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin in 2015 as a professor in marketing and digital business. My research has featured in top international publications including Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, the Journal of Advertising Research, the European Journal of Marketing, and the Harvard Business Review Digital. Before Trinity, my academic career brought me to Dublin City University, ESSCA School of Management in France, and UCD Smurfit.

For the last 20 years, I have been living in Ireland, and I am now incredibly lucky to work at a place like Trinity College Dublin. Going to work at such a beautiful and historic campus is source of pride and joy.

What first brought you to Trinity Business School?

I heard that Trinity Business School was embarking on a growth strategy. I was eager to jump onboard as Trinity College Dublin is a truly international university brand. I was amongst the first “new” recruits in 2015, and I am delighted to have contributed to the development of the school by setting up the Trinity Centre for Digital Business and Analytics and successfully launching our MSc in Digital Marketing Strategy programme.

When you reflect on the school’s evolution in recent years, what stands out as the key moments that have defined the school’s trajectory?

Trinity Business School has gone through fast development under the direction of my predecessor. Over the past eight years we have gone through an incredible transformation from being a relatively unknown school within a famous University to becoming a Triple-Accredited Business School, ranked by the Financial Times.

Triple Accreditation places us within the top 1% of Business Schools in the world, and our additional awards and accreditations, such as the Athena SWAN Bronze Award for gender equality within higher education, shows our commitment to transforming business for good within the school, our community, and beyond.

We also expanded our portfolio of Master’s Programmes with generic programmes (e.g. MSc.  in Human Resources Management or MSc in Supply Chain) as well as more specialised programmes like our MSc in Business Analytics, MSc in Digital Marketing Strategy, or MSc in Financial Risk Management. In addition to this, we also launched a highly innovative Flexible Executive MBA and a suite of successful Executive Education programmes.

But really what stands out is the everyday effort of the whole team. The belief that we are individually and collectively building something good. A sense of shared privilege and responsibility amongst all of us.

Thinking about Trinity’s future, what do you foresee for the business school in the coming years? 

We are committed to delivering on our strategy of “Transforming Business for Good”. This means helping to build a sustainable and inclusive economy.

Sustainability is a big focus for usat the undergraduate level, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solutions will inform our curriculum, so future generations are equipped with the necessary skills to help tackle climate change and make an impact on the social injustices we see today.

At the postgraduate level, we will plan to incorporate ESG considerations by giving students the flexibility to pick different “streams” within their programme, e.g., focusing on sustainable finance within the MSc in Finance for example. We are also looking to expand our Master’s portfolio to include programmes focusing on responsible business.

We see social inclusivity as an essential aspect of improving society. So, we will be helping more and more students from disadvantage backgrounds to study at Trinity Business School.

We are also committed to reducing our carbon emissions. Flexible and online delivery can help us to achieve this goal. We will apply the learnings and success from the launch of our online Flexible Executive MBA programme to offer different modes of delivery for our most popular Masters programmes, such as the MSc in Business Analytics or the MSc in Digital Marketing Strategy.

We are aware that many students choose Trinity Business School to find employment in the vibrant digital, data, finance, and tech industries located on our doorstep. Dublin is home to the European Headquarters of many industry giants like Google, Microsoft, Linkedin, and SalesForce. Our students can take full advantage of this proximity through industry speakers and networking events, so we will continue building our relationship with these companies for the future success of our students.

The challenges facing us are huge, with some calling these issues an “existential threat”to society. Artificial intelligence and climate change will continue affecting all dimensions of our lives. Business schools must re-think what they research, teach, and the way we interact with all of our stakeholders.

To place “goodness” at the heart of education and business requires leadership that is inclusive, transparent, and, most importantly, collaborative. Together, with our students and various stakeholders, we will generate new and bold initiatives and drive the crucial shifts needed in business education.

Prof Laurent Muzellec, Trinity Business School