Launch event at WIF 2014

The Business Schools for Impact network was launched
at UNCTAD World Investment Forum!

“To change the mindsets of global investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs, we need to literally go back to school. The role of business educators is fundamental to help equip a generation of entrepreneurs and managers to invest in communities where they can make a difference.”

James Zhan

Director of Investment and Enterprise UNCTAD

On 16 October 2014, as part of the World Investment Forum, Palais des Nations, Geneva, UNCTAD announced the launch of the Business Schools for Impact initiative to bolster the contribution business schools and management education can make to development.

The initiative, undertaken in partnership with the Global Alliance in Management Education, the Global Business Schools Network and top business schools around the world, is part of UNCTAD’s proposed action plan for investing in the sustainable development goals – the set of targets being formulated by the international community to guide development efforts for the period 2016–2030.

According to UNCTAD calculations, meeting these goals will require annual investments of $250 billion in sectors such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, water and sanitation, health and education in least developed countries.

To activate this level of investment will require an enormous pool of entrepreneurial and managerial skills on the ground. However, a dearth of business schools in low- income countries means that not nearly enough of these skills are honed where they are needed most.

Introduced to schools, students and impact investment practitioners under the banner Business Schools for Impact, the initiative seeks to reorient business education to teach skills students can harness to find solutions for the development challenges in low-income countries.

Mr. Zhan called on business schools to form partnerships with UNCTAD and contribute to the initiative to amplify its impact.

A network to share knowledge and opportunities

The initiative sets up a network of business schools, and develops courses, case studies and internship opportunities to prepare students for the challenges of doing business in low-income environments and motivate students to work and invest there. Ultimately, the programme will set up a Global Impact Masters curriculum to give students a complete grounding in impact-oriented business methods.

The initiative will make available:

  • A platform and network for business schools, students and development practitioners worldwide to share information and knowledge;
  • Freely available course content, research, modules and case studies;
  • A roster with project and internship opportunities in low-income communities and regions;
  • At a later stage, a complete Global Impact Masters curriculum with core and specific course elements relevant for investing and operating in low income environments.

Mr. Zhan said: “It is not only about making students aware of business opportunities in the poorest countries or about different business models. It is essential for them to acquire the competencies that they need to operate in a challenging environment, build partnerships with local organisations, use unconventional distribution channels, or deliver basic services in the most remote places.”

About 110 participants attended the Business Schools for Impact launch event. On this occasion, more than 40 people or institutions expressed their wish to contribute to, or partner with, the initiative.

”It is essential to engage current and future business leaders in the fight against poverty. This work is rapidly moving from an exercise in marketing and public relations to core business for organisations around the world, including with the emergence of social businesses, impact investing, and concepts of shared value. Business schools need to both respond to these developments and help shape them through a transformation in the way management is taught around the world.”

Robert Glasser

Secretary General CARE International

Pilot workshops

It was announced at the meeting that the Business Schools for Impact initiative and its elements will be introduced to business schools and students in different regions of the world through five pilot workshops to be held in 2014 and 2015:

Barcelona, Spain
3-5 Nov 2014
Mumbai, India
3-4 Feb 2015
Johannesburg, South Africa
17-20 May 2015
Valparaíso, Chile
Sept 2015 (date to be confirmed)
Manila, Philippines
Nov 2015 (date to be confirmed)

Speakers at the meeting

“We have seven billion people living on the planet. Business focuses mostly on only 15 per cent of this population. We need to change that mindset.”

Ted London

Director, Base of the Pyramid Initiative, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan

PANEL 1 - Which role can business schools play to advance sustainable development goals?

Keynote: Dr. Robert Glasser • Secretary General, CARE International

Moderator: Mr. Richard Bolwijn • Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

  • Prof. Elsa del Castillo • Rector, Universidad del Pacífico
  • Prof. Alfons Sauquet • Global Dean, ESADE
  • Prof. Javier Yáñez • Dean, Universidad de los Andes School of Management
  • Mr. Guy Pfeffermann • CEO, GBSN
  • Mr. Kimball Chen • Chairman, Global LPG Partnership
  • Mr. Ralph Schonenbach • CEO, Trestle Group
  • Mr. Joseph Nkandu • CEO, National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm En- treprises of Uganda

PANEL 2 - What needs to change in management curricula?

Keynote and moderator: Prof. Ted London • Director, Base of the Pyramid Initiative, University of Michigan

  • Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi • Deputy Dean, HEC, University of Lausanne
  • Prof. Marie Lisa Dacanay • President, Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia
  • Prof. Mario Molteni • Director, ALTIS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Prof. Vinika Rao • Executive Director, Emerging Markets Institute of INSEAD
  • Prof. Hedda Pahlson-Moller • Professor, Sacred Heart University John F. Welch College of Business
  • Ms. Susan Oguya • COO, M-Farm
“Don’t teach entrepreneurship. Train entre- preneurs!”

Mario Molteni

Director, ALTIS Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
“The farmers that we are working with have doubled their revenues thanks to us linking them to the market, and four times as many workers are now employed, both on their farms and within our organisation.”

Susan Oguya

COO, M-Farm
Hedda Pahlson-Moller
Professor, Sacred Heart University
John F. Welch College of Business
Marie Lisa Dacanay
President, Institute for Social
Entrepreneurship in Asia
Vanina Farber
Dean, Graduate Business School
Universidad del Pacifico

They also said...

“The real goal is to accompany students in the process of developing innovative result oriented schemes that co-create simultaneous economic, social and environmental value.”

Elsa del Castillo • Rector, Universidad del Pacífico

“Emerging market communities will benefit the most from having business school graduates factor in the dimension of ‘impact’ into their business decisions, besides the risk-return decisions they are used to.”

Vinika Rao • Director, Emerging Markets Institute, INSEAD

“The relationship between the demands of the private sector and what business schools teach and what research does is too weak. Nowhere are these deficiencies more critical than in agriculture, Africa’s dominant industry with millions of farmers, youths and women.”

Joseph Nkandu • CEO, National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises of Uganda

What is the World Investment Forum 2014?

The UNCTAD World Investment Forum is a multi-stake-holder biennial gathering designed to facilitate dialogue and action on the world’s key and emerging investment-related challenges.

Recognised by governments and businesses as one of the most important events for the international investment community, the World Investment Forum brings together State leaders, top-level policy makers, global CEOs, thought leaders and other investment stakeholders, serving as a high-level platform for dialogue and policy formulation on global investment challenges.

The 2014 edition was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 13 to 16 October 2014. It discussed investment needs and strategies for the post-2015 development agenda. The meeting aimed to define the role of the private sector to help meet the Sustain-able Development Goals (SDGs). Its outcomes will feed into the formal UN process of formulating the SDGs.

The World Investment Forum 2014 attracted over 3’000 participants from 150 countries, and heard from 300 speakers in 50 events. Previous events were held in Ghana (2008), China (2010) and Qatar (2012).

http://unctad-worldinvestmentforum.org/

More pictures of the event

James Zhan

WIF 2014

Richard Bolwijn

WIF 2014

Robert Glasser

WIF 2014

Guy Pfeffermann

WIF 2014

J. L. Bonardi

WIF 2014

E. del Castillo and A. Sauquet

WIF 2014

Audience at WIF 2014

WIF 2014

E. del Castillo

WIF 2014

K. Chen

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Audience at WIF 2014

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G. Pfeffermann, K. Chen and J. NKandu

WIF 2014

M. L. Dacanay

WIF 2014

Ted London

WIF 2014

Vanina Farber

WIF 2014

James Zhan

WIF 2014

J. Nkandu

WIF 2014

Jay Mitra

WIF 2014

H. Pahlson-Moller

WIF 2014

R. Siegers

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M. Rao

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Panel WIF 2014

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Panel WIF 2014

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M. Sauquet and M. Yañez Arenas

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M. Sauquet

WIF 2014

Audience at WIF 2014

WIF 2014

Audience at WIF 2014

WIF 2014

Audience at WIF 2014

WIF 2014

Audience at WIF 2014

WIF 2014

Robert Glasser

WIF 2014

Audience at WIF 2014

WIF 2014

M. L. Dacanay

WIF 2014

Panel at WIF 2014

WIF 2014


Statements at the Launch

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