Monday, September 10, 2012

Call to Service: Teaching Sustainability at Business Schools

Business schools have a critical role to play in helping students to see why and how they must reign in GHGs and scrutinize business activities with sustainability in mind. Ideally business people should come out of business school with a sense of their emerging societal and environmental responsibilities.

In a February 9, 2012, message, Business School Lausanne (BSL) Dean-Katrin Muff makes the point that we need a radically new vision of business schools that can best be described as a "call to service: To educate citizens to act responsibly for the world."

Here is a review of the major definitions in Dean Katrin Muff's conception of how business schools can communicate the call of service to their students:

  • A call to service = a clear purpose beyond and above keeping our institutions alive, enriched by the understanding that education stands on equal footing on external knowledge and internal wisdom. 
  • To educate = an issue-centred education complemented by subject or domain knowledge focused on the big issues of this world, replacing teaching with a powerful and safe learning environment. 
  • Learning embedded in action-learning platforms of collaborative laboratories (collaboratories). 
  • Research supporting global issues by involving stakeholders in the definition of research topics and delivering results to them in appropriate formats. 
  • Citizens = you and me, business professionals, artists, activists, consultants, coaches, women in emerging countries, micro entrepreneurs, collaborative networks, seniors, everybody with a desire to make a positive contribution to this world. 
  • To act = empowered learning to enable action, facilitating participants to wake up to what is inside of them, embracing the adventure ahead, becoming eco-literate and fluent in divergent thinking and courageous action, learning to act as a result of being. 
  • Responsibly = creating a space to reflect on action and choices, to connect with true purpose and inner values, embracing the choices and consequences for society and planet in the long-term. 
  • For = rather than against, rethinking strategic product & service needs, complementing competition with collaboration and understanding that we are all part of the same larger Unit. 
  • Sustainability is the obvious and essential guiding principle of life, business and anybody with a desire to act. Example: waste-free closed-loop cycle inspired by nature. 
  • The world = beyond the current paradigm of capitalism: serving society and the planet.

Related Posts Business Education in Sustainability (Video)
The Role of Business Schools Embedding Sustainability (Video)
Green Memes and Schools
Green Schools are Bridging the Knowledge Gap
Sustainable Education is Key to Accessing the Green Economy
Investing in Education is the Key to Developing the Green Economy

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