Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
Administration
Speaker(s): 
Marco Tavanti
Authors: 
Marco Tavanti, Professor, University of San Francisco’s School of Management mtavanti@usfca.edu Elizabeth E. Davis, Dean, University of San Francisco’s School of Management ebdavis@usfca.edu

Integrating Sustainability in Management Education: Innovative Approaches through Conscious Leadership Mindsets & Stakeholder Engagement Models.

Sustainability cannot be effectively integrated into management education without a cross-sector approach and integrated strategies. Numerous AACSB accredited schools have been advancing the design and addition of sustainability courses and programs into their curricula and portfolios. Yet, sustainability in business schools is often advanced through a piecemeal approach making its effective integration a challenge for most business school and management programs. Giselle Weybrecht, author of the bestselling book, The Sustainable MBA: A Business Guide to Sustainability, attributes this lack of integration to a silo culture and the perception of sustainability as a ‘green thing’ unnecessary to business practices. Sustainability itself, is an integrated notion better explained in the context of sustainable development in the fulfillment of present and future needs through shared values of social (People), environmental (Planet), economic (Prosperity) and political (Policy) solutions. Unfortunately, sustainability is still not fully understood in its multidisciplinary distinctiveness and stakeholder engagement conditions. John North, ED of Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), a strategic partnership of AACSB International, EFMD, and United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) has been promoting social responsibility and sustainability among Deans of business schools. Indeed, the administration can be instrumental in promoting sustainability in business education, but the process and strategy, to be effective needs to be a comprehensive one, where a collaborative dialogue across sectors and stakeholders is properly integrated into the design, delivery and evaluation of its impact. The systemic values of sustainability would also need to be understood and integrated in a such a process. This means ‘changing the world’ by affecting the mindsets of future influential leaders. Embedding sustainability, social responsibility, and shared values in AACSB schools make it crucial for positively influencing sustainable future business decisions. This should not be taken lightly by any management educational programs. For Jesuit business schools, sustainability cannot simply be an elective in the curricula. It would require a strategic integrated approach based on Jesuit and Catholic Social Teaching Values for an equitable, bearable, feasible and sustainable future. The Principles for Responsible Management (PRME) and the United Nations Global Compact provide a very good starting point with many examples and resources for integrating sustainability and the SDGs in academia. Giselle Weybrecht’s more recent book The Future MBA: 100 Ideas for Making Sustainability the Business of Business Education provides examples of possible initiatives and ideas for integrating sustainability in business schools. However, an effective integration should start with the university’s mission reinterpreted thorough a serious commitment toward a triple bottom line or even a quadruple if we also integrate necessary systemic change and ethical outcomes. Jesuit business schools can implement this process at the university and school level engaging students, alumni and the industry in exploring the future of sustainability values through a comprehensive and strategic process. This presentation is intended to establish a conversation for strategies and best practices among Jesuit Business Schools who have implemented or intend to integrate sustainability into their management education. The authors will present the experience at University of San Francisco and provide a background based on the literature, the international developments and industry’s innovative approaches. They will also coordinate an open, dialogical and critical discussion on the values and strategies for integrating sustainability in Jesuit business/management education.