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Intended Audience: 
María de Pino Ramos Sosa, Loyola University Andalusia, Spain María José Vazquez, Loyola University Andalusia, Spain José Rincón, Loyola Marymount University, U.S.A. Anatoly Zhuplev, Loyola Marymount University, U.S.A.

Jesuit B-Schools: Powering Regional Socio-Economic Development and Problem Solving through Analysis & Application of Best Global Practices

Our proposed exploratory research and development project is a joint undertaking by two Jesuit institutions, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), U.S.A., and Loyola University Andalusia (LUA), Spain. We aim to leverage collaborative potential of Jesuit B-schools to facilitate regional socio-economic development and growth through the analysis and application of best global practices. Universities have rich intellectual potential and information resources that are often underutilized. Our project leverages these resources to foster positive impacts on regional socio-economic development and problem-solving. The project aligns with Jesuit educational values and aims to redirect the creative power of the young generation from dependency toward positive values and meaningful socio-economic engagement. While progress and growth happen through innovation and imitation, much of the effort and resources are often dedicated to innovation without sufficient analysis of existing best global practices and their regional/local applications. Our joint project leverages Jesuit values and educational principles, such as academic excellence, experiential learning, and community service, to position Jesuit B-schools/universities as catalysts of regional transformation nationally and internationally. We also aim to bridge the gap between the real world and academia by engaging intellectual power and information resources across Jesuit universities to facilitate regional socio-economic development and growth. Our joint project will identify several regional/ municipal socio-economic problems or development priorities of common nature in Southern California, U.S.A., and Córdoba, Spain, respectively. Tentatively, we identified the following common socio-economic problems/priorities: for Southern California: access to healthcare; crime; housing affordability/homelessness; poverty/income inequality; racial/ethnic inequality; for Córdoba: access to healthcare; aging population; lack of economic opportunities; poverty/income inequality; unemployment. We plan to conduct a teamwork project in which students at both universities will conduct a comparative study of best practices worldwide associated with socio-economic problems/ development priorities of common nature selected. Based on their analyses and identification of the best global practices, we will organize an online seminar in which LMU and LUA students will interact and exchange their ideas. From their analysis and exchange of information with students from the other university, they will be able to develop and offer policy recommendations or strategic recommendations to respective governing bodies/government agencies in the selected regions. Our pilot project initially involving problem-solving and development on limited scale and two countries can be further expanded to larger-scale projects and multiple countries, prioritizing the Europe/U.S./Latin America (North-South) connection supported and guided by the Jesuit network. Successful implementation of our proposal will facilitate efficiencies in the use of public resources in addressing socio-economic problem-solving and development priorities of mutual interest. It can be aligned with the UN sustainable development goals and contribute to socio-economic progress and growth by applying best global practices. LMU, LUA, and other institutions that are part of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) can make an impact in bringing together academia and the local community by leveraging intellectual resources to foster socio-economic development, innovation, and supporting the needs of local communities.