7th edition: Sustainability in Higher Education

Society is naturally looking at business schools as catalysts for sustainable development given their intersectional role linking management, technology and social sciences. The contributions in today’s Knowledge Bar touch on the need for business schools to revise their strategies and processes to become sustainable and inclusive organisations. Taking the lead and increasing business school impact on society requires schools to develop graduates who are not only able to work in organisations but also to lead the change.

By Griet Houbrechts
Director, Professional Development
EFMD Global

Can we back our beautiful discourse about sustainability with actions? The articles in this edition bring different examples of pedagogical approaches, student-led initiatives and school administration-led revisions of processes, all aiming at transforming the school and its graduates.

The reflections include a range of important questions from ecological transformation to diversity and inclusion. The examples of programmes aiming at preparing graduates to tackle the grand challenges of our time will hopefully serve as an inspiration.

Whether rethinking the strategy on an organisational level or a course level or even when developing a more specific strategy for, e.g. online learning or internationalisation, the first step should be the reflection on the purpose, the alignment with the overall mission and the impact on local communities.

As one of the authors suggests, when analysing the feasibility of any project or for any decision process, the question of sustainability should come as naturally to business schools and their graduates as the question of profitability.

Let’s not forget, as Dan LeClair puts it, the role of business schools in fostering sustainable development is a story of hope. Progress has been made, but there are still quite some challenges ahead of us. To tackle those, business schools have the opportunity to serve their communities, to connect with all players in their ecosystem and to act collaboratively within or beyond existing associations to increase their impact.


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