Last week, EADA’s International Master participants participated in electives dedicated to sustainability and responsible management during the Sustainability Week. The electives are taught by visiting experts and professionals from all over the world, providing the opportunity for students to engage with leaders in the field in a multicultural environment. This year, due too the Covid-19 outbreak, classes took place online.
According to visiting professor Dr Stefan Groschl, EADA participants can be catalysts of change in any company or organisation. “Students should know that organisational change can start at all levels,” he says. “They have an important role in creating and shaping organisational transformation and change toward greater sustainable business practices and processes.”
In previous years, electives have focused on sustainability as it relates to topics including strategy, entrepreneurship, customer involvement, social businesses, neuroleadership and mindfulness. This year’s electives continue to cover the latest trends in sustainability and corporate social responsibility:
- Activist Shareholders and Corporate Sustainability Agendas: The controversial dilemma for food staples taught by Professor Ivan Cuesta (France). Students learn to leverage facts and perceptions about the impact of activist shareholders’ to strengthen sustainable agendas.
- AI and IoT for Circular Economy and Impact taught by Saman Sarbazvatan (Iran). Participants analyse the principles of the circular economy as well as the implications of AI and IoT in new ventures and business modelling for sustainability and impact.
- Digital Innovation as a Driver for Sustainable Economies taught by Richard Ferraro (Italy) and Olivier Buigues (France). Participants analyse how technology has changed mindsets and behaviours with lessons on how this can drive positive change.
- Doing Business as Usual taught by Dr Stefan Gröschl (Germany). Students explore individual and organisational responsibilities and identify the changes needed to address today’s complex and pressing socio-economic and environmental challenges.
- The Effect of Corporate Innovative Entrepreneurship on the Sustainability of Businesses taught by Dr Felipe Jánica (Colombia). Participants learn about the role of innovation and corporate entrepreneurship in preventing business failure and driving long-term sustainable growth, both economically speaking and in terms of the ecosystem.
- Ethics and Effectiveness: The challenges of good leadership taught by Professor Ferran Velasco (Spain). Students learn how to manage conflicting goals and engage complex decision making to reconcile ethics and effectiveness.
- Financing Climate Change taught by Dr Christian Schmaltz (German). Students focus on the importance of the financial sector for climate change and strategies for improving impact.
- Making a Social Impact at the Bottom of the Pyramid through Marketing taught by Dr Harvinder Singh (India). Participants analyse the strategies of companies for growing their business through untapped emerging markets while making a positive social impact.
- Managing Humanitarian Emergencies taught by Dr Nines Lima Parra (Spain) and Professor Núria Salse (Spain). Students gain the tools and knowledge needed to manage highly independent, results-driven teams while ensuring that the goals are aligned with company or organisational strategy.
- Social Enterprise Business Model Design taught by Dr Yuwei Shi (U.S.). Participants learn a business model design framework based on human-centred design thinking, business exchange networks and strategic management.
- Sustainability and Competitive Advantage taught by Dr Paolo Taticchi (Italy). Participants analyse sustainability from a strategic perspective, with a particular emphasis on decision making and trade offs.
- Sustainability and Strategy in Latin America: Balancing multiple challenges taught by Fabrizio Noboa (Ecuador). Participants identify opportunities for strategic value creation through the sustainable use of natural and human resources.
- Sustainable Fashion: Challenges, strategies and future scenarios taught by Dr Julia Wolny (U.K.). Students explore the prominent business models in fashion before analysing innovative solutions.
The Sustainability Week is one of the cornerstones of the International Masters programmes, enabling participants to study subjects outside of their specific programme’s curriculum and network with students from all nine of EADA’s full time Masters.
Dr Singh is particularly impressed with the diversity in class. “The classroom environment in EADA is really unique,” he says. “In my course, there were 23 students representing 15 nationalities, and all the nationalities had a balanced representation.”
Dr Josep María Coll, director of the International Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation, confirms that the experience is a positive one. “The Sustainability Week offers a unique opportunity for International Master students to test their knowledge and dig deeper into key issues related to sustainability and responsible management,” he says. “The added bonus it that they are able to do this in a unique learning environment, engaging with well-known experts from all over the world.”