26th Annual Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education Meeting

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Linda Irwin, Global Movement Initiative James Weichert, Dr. James Stoner, Ariane Saney

What Should We Teach Instead? Business Curriculum for a Sustainable Future

Educators across the globe are realizing that current business curriculum harms the ability of life to thrive on a warming planet and contributes to unjust societies. Our immediate challenge is to determine what we should be teaching instead of current curriculum to be consistent with, or address concerns reported by, the IAJU Inspirational Paradigm for Jesuit Business Education, Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’; and the recent United Nations IPCC Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report. Efforts by PRME, AACSB, and others have built forums and conferences to discuss how business curriculum could and should be changed for a sustainable future. While PRME developed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and principles for management education (https://www.unprme.org/), and AACSB states it has a vision “to transform business education globally for positive societal impact” (https://www.aacsb.edu/about-us/advocacy/societal-impact), no new curriculum has gained traction in revolutionizing business education. This paper (and potential interactive workshop) will summarize how creative brainstorming could be used to help Jesuit educators and administrators envision a new business curriculum or degree programs that helps students succeed in an uncertain and perilous future. We compare current discipline topic areas and their learning outcomes to creative concepts that could be taught instead and how that might embrace the IAJU Inspirational Paradigm for Jesuit Business Education. In the paper (or interactive workshop) we challenge educators to consider how we might replace current neoliberal economic theory with economic principles and practices that support an economically just world. How could we replace current marketing and sales theories that contribute to unnecessary resource consumption with other practices that support long-term business success? What should we teach to implement sustainable supply chain management practices that support equality? Using similar questions about current business disciplines, we challenge creative and critical thinking skills of Jesuit education leaders to identify a new business curriculum that will sustain a thriving society. Is it necessary to build on current theories and practices and incorporate SDGs or other sustainability concepts? What would a fresh new curriculum or degree program look like if it considers the fast-changing and interconnected world we live in. The paper (and workshop) is both a brainstorming and a strategic planning exercise. Using the values of the IAJU Inspirational Paradigm, what curriculum strategy do we – the Jesuit business education community - wish to develop? This paper/workshop challenges us to aspire to do more and be more for the good of society and the ability to sustain life on earth.