Business schools with purpose: Walking the talk on social impact

Business Schools with Purpose: Walking the talk on social impact", Societal impact

The increasing amount and severity of the recent years’ environmental, social, geopolitical, and economic challenges have undoubtedly influenced the minds of business school students and aspiring leaders.

Current learners are progressively concerned about and aware of the complexity of challenges the world is facing, feeling the pressing need and desire to play their part, get actively involved, and contribute toward a wider societal impact.

Learner’s demands for modern management education

As a result, the demands for business education are changing. Students increasingly prioritise learning environments that correspond with their values, allowing them to build skills and live experiences that will serve them in today’s unpredictable and complex reality and enable them to create a positive change.

When attracting prospective students, it is therefore becoming a must for business schools to put societal impact at the forefront and to demonstrate a firm commitment to sustainable development, ethical business practices, and social justice.

This shift from the traditional profit-first mindset to a narrative that celebrates societal impact essentially signifies a fundamental change in how we view and approach management education. What is the role of business schools in the emerging learning ecosystem? How can business schools effectively drive social value creation? What does impact mean in the context of a higher education institution? How do we set frameworks for continuous improvement?

Business Schools with Purpose: Walking the talk on social impact

In response to these developments and the needs of the network, EFMD and Bradford School of Management have joined forces and developed a Professional Development workshop, “Business Schools with Purpose: Walking the talk on social impact,” taking place on 29-30 April in Bradford, UK.

The aim is to offer a platform to address these questions, engage in meaningful knowledge exchange, and provide participants with actionable items to bring back to their home institutions, accelerate efforts, scale initiatives, and support business schools on the journey toward social value creation.

The upcoming workshop addresses social impact in four modules, corresponding to the following areas of business school activity:

Building an impactful strategy

To find a distinctive voice in the area of impact, it is important to look closely at the basics – own story, vision, mission, purpose, values, and strategy. How do we determine priorities? How do we deliver on those priorities? How do we measure progress, and how do we integrate it into the DNA of the organisation?

Business & community engagement

Those best equipped to find solutions are those who personally experience the challenges. Therefore, facilitating direct collaboration between students and the local communities and businesses is crucial for driving social value. How do we design effective programs? What barriers do we face when undertaking business and community engagement activities? How do we incorporate community voices into our curriculum?

Teaching & Learning

Pedagogical practices and designing a curriculum that includes innovative learning experiences that allow students to immerse themselves in real-world issues are challenges to address. How can Business Schools “teach” social and environmental impact? What are the main challenges of redesigning the curriculum to develop students’ skills and competencies in this perspective? How can we foster students’ ability to actively contribute to businesses’ social and environmental transformation through innovative learning experiences?

Walking the talk: Communicating impact

Effectively communicating impact requires a different technique than communicating a service or product that has clear features.

  • How do we communicate impact effectively?
  • What are some innovative and engaging methods for sharing the contributions of business schools in impactful teaching & research?
  • How do we highlight the institutions’ activities contributing to broader societal objectives?

Business Schools with Purpose: Walking the talk on social impact", Societal impact

Please visit our events page for more information on the upcoming “Business Schools with Purpose: Walking the talk on social impact” workshop, or register now.

For additional insights, announcements and perspectives about Societal Impact, visit the conversation here.