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The Next Frontier: Globally Responsible Management Education and Business

June 2015

By John North, Managing Director, Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative

Since 2004, the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) has served as the leading incubator for innovation and new practice in business schools and for collaboration with business in the space of ethics, responsibility, and sustainability. At the core of this strategic partnership of AACSB International and EFMD, cofounded with the United Nations Global Compact, are peer-based Innovation Cohorts that prototype and pilot globally responsible management education and business programs and approaches. Members of AACSB International are invited to help set the agenda for the next cohort by participating in a “Conversation Starter” meeting on June 7 in Brussels, Belgium, or by attending the GRLI 2015 AGM on June 21 and 22 in New York City, New York, USA.

Inspired by the vision, “Management Education for the World,” Innovation Cohorts aim to catalyze the education of globally responsible leaders, enable business to become the best for the world, and engage proactively in systemic and societal transformation. Management educators, leadership developers, and organizational leaders within the AACSB network who wish to innovate and transform their own organizations and offerings, and impact the broader management education and business ecosystem, will benefit from active contribution to the work of an Innovation Cohort.

The GRLI’s emphasis on relational innovation toward collaborative action helped catalyze the founding of the UN PRME (2007) and incubate the pilot of the Sustainability Literacy Test (2013), the latter of which is now being prototyped in 24 countries. The GRLI partners also led development of the 50+20 Agenda and continue to pioneer and develop transformative learning approaches and technologies such as Whole Person Learning and the Collaboratory methodology.

The previous Innovation Cohort (2013–14) engaged 18 individuals (including deans, directors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders) representing 15 organizations in three ongoing impact initiatives, including one focused specifically on the crucial role of accreditation standards in embedding issues of global responsibility in business schools.

Participants in the Innovation Cohorts jointly determine, based on collective interest and energy, which emergent issues and topics to emphasize during working sessions and virtual meetings. Prospective applicants develop proposal outlines highlighting their likely contribution to the cohort’s learning as well their intended action learning outcome. During the Conversation Starter meeting and AGM, these proposals are refined and help determine not only the agenda but also the final schedule for the next Innovation Cohort. The provisional dates for the four modules that make up the full Innovation Cohort program are as follows:

• October 12–14, 2015 (Barcelona, Spain)
• End of November 2015 (venue to be confirmed)
• February 2016 (venue to be confirmed)
• May 2016 (venue to be confirmed)

Please note that space is limited for the Conversation Starter sessions and that registration is essential. For more information about Innovation Cohorts, please see the GRLI website or contact John North at john.north@grli.org to register for either the Brussels or New York event.