5 business schools inspiring sustainable leadership
The University of Exeter. Source: Shutterstock

In 2015, the United Nations adopted a blueprint consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The aim is to build a world of peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Political will and global cooperation will not be enough to realise this shared vision – the business world has to step in. It has the capability and duty to help solve massive economic, social and environmental challenges.

For that, it will need stronger, smarter and more principled leaders. We often think that leadership means making decisions that steward an organisation and its employees through challenging times. What we have learned from crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic is that, while that’s true, it takes something more to be a leader today: the acumen and initiative to go above and beyond to help society at large.

Business schools can develop managers with the requisite skills and knowledge to help the world achieve economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Here are five with the track record to do so: 

University of Exeter, Business School

It took just over ten years for the University of Exeter Business School to establish itself as one of the UK’s leading institutions. Inspiring, internationally-respected teachers; world-shaping research, and students who often rank as the most satisfied and most successfully employed in the UK – these remarkable features are what fostered its quick progression from new to established.

The school’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in accounting, business, economics, management, and finance were designed so students leave with the skills and knowledge to build a dynamic future ahead. These are programmes developed by professionals for professionals – industry partners often consult on curricula.

The University of Exeter, Business School

Source: The University of Exeter, Business School

As the world charges ahead to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the University of Exeter Business School is producing the responsible and purposeful leaders to lead this drive. This ethos shines through in the ways the school is contributing to alleviate the uncertainty caused by the pandemic: sharing research-backed mindfulness practices to help individuals and highlighting the potential high levels of white collar crimes due to the pressure to meet unprecedented corporate targets during COVID-19. 

This is the vitality the school inspires and encourages, and for students who are interested in generating research in this way, it is definitely achievable in a school where 94% of its research findings are internationally recognised. At the University of Exeter Business School, you can make a difference – to find out how to be a virtuous and profitable manager, entrepreneur or C-suite executive, click here.

UCLA Anderson School of Management

At UCLA Anderson, their mission is to transform management thinking and to future leaders for lives of significance and evolving careers in ever-changing organisations and  markets. This has been the mission since their founding in 1935, and it is still relevant today in 2020.

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Source: UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Their five-year plan in reaching their goals consists of: research on subject areas that have the greatest impact; the development of exceptional human and organisational talent; the cultivation of an inclusive and welcoming community; investment in deep and meaningful connections with academic colleagues; taking pride in the vital public purposes of the university; and the management of people and resources with respect and care.

The plan was set in place to adapt to technological advances and globalisation which affect the markets and organisations that graduates will end up working in. These shifts motivate the school to create a way for students to be adaptable and d for a lifetime of continuous learning and development.

UCLA Anderson, located in sunny Los Angeles, facilitates this progression of students through a superb faculty, research programmes, a culture that nurtures success, and their grounding in Southern California, a hub for innovation.

George Washington University School of Business

George Washington University, School of Business

Source: George Washington University, School of Business

The George Washington School of Business (GWSB) was founded in 1928 with an innovative spirit. Since their founding, they have stood on the cutting edge of bold new ideas. Today, they are still focused on the same – creating and building for a new century through education. 

This school is no stranger to change. For decades they have amended and added to their offerings to adapt to current needs. GWSB is fully dedicated to these traditions of growth, excellence, and innovation. It adapts to changes through their vision to provide their graduates with multidisciplinary knowledge, critical thinking skills and ethical standards – the necessary foundation to make a positive impact on economies and societies.

Here, you will receive a distinctive educational experience that prepares global business leaders through niche programmes. They combine curriculum from traditional business concentrations with industry-specific knowledge. These programmes emphasise academic rigour, learning outcomes, and teaching excellence in delivery and content.

Durham University Business School

Founded in 1965, Durham University Business School is known for sharing insights, supporting innovation and dedicating their teachings to preparing tomorrow’s leaders. With Durham Business School, learning goes beyond purely instilling knowledge. They provide their students with both academic teaching, and a career development and skills programme that nurtures independent thinking, acumen, and interpersonal skills.

Durham University Business School

Source: Durham University Business School

Apart from instilling knowledge, the school is committed to producing world-leading and world-changing research that is directly aimed at addressing issues of environmental sustainability. Through academics, they provide their students with a transformative education that develops global citizens who can make a positive contribution to society. They do this by incorporating their research into their curriculum, starting within the community to achieve their vision of making Durham University one of the most environmentally sustainable universities in the UK.

All programmes, across all levels, combine academic excellence and sharp research with exceptional global connections. Whether you are looking to find your place in the business world with a degree in business, shape a successful career in a specialised area with a master’s programme, gain the knowledge to lead with an MBA, pursue the highest level of critical thinking with a DBA, or join academia with a PhD – Durham’s programmes will equip you for success. 

Monash Business School

What makes Monash Business School stand out is the fact that it is among the 1% of business schools worldwide to have the elite “triple accreditation” by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. 

As one of the world’s leading business schools, Monash is internationally recognised for excellence in research and education. From its humble beginnings with only 57 students enrolled in its Bachelor of Economics programme in 1962, the school now has seven departments and four multidisciplinary research centres. Today, they educate more than 16,000 students across 25 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a year.

This business school’s vision is to be recognised as one of the world’s leading academies of scholarship in business and economics; and its mission is to engage in the highest quality research and education that will make a positive impact on a changing world.

Their research is guided by a regard for human rights, social justice and by a respect for diversity in individuals, communities, and ideas. This goes hand in hand with their teaching that aims to equip students with a passion for their discipline. Programmes are designed to inspire and develop graduates who are able to look beyond their discipline to better understand the world’s problems and find solutions. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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