IAJBS 23rd Annual World Forum University of Namur, Namur, Belgium
Marco Tavanti, Elizabeth Davis
Jesuit Mission and Sustainability Leadership: Collective Visions for Management Education, Sustainability Mindset, and Social Impact Competencies
A common sustainable future cannot longer be an elective in higher education. We live in global communities characterized by volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) situations. Yet, the international community has made important commitments toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the business community has been shifting toward a more integrated triple bottom line. Sustainability reporting is now part of the regular reporting of most corporations. So, the dimensions of global sustainability are deeply intertwined with our notions of global-local contexts and they are a priority concern for our current future generations of students. What is the role of Jesuit business education and higher education in general to adequately prepare the future generations of leaders? A growing body of literature is contributing to identify mindset values and core competencies necessary for equipping sustainable social impact leaders. Studies have shown how the promotion of sustainability mindset is instrumental to the sustainability value development in business. Numerous emerging business innovations have been able to integrate sustainability values, social benefits, and inclusive technology for shared economies. These trends are visible across sectors and evidenced by multi-stakeholders principled-based commitments as in the United Nations Global Compact. Academia too is following these economic and social trends by renewing its educational programs to develop effective social innovators with conscious and sustainable mindset. Business and management education in particular, have an opportunity to lead the way for sustainable leadership education by intentionally, strategically and institutionally invest in sustainable value education, social innovation, experiential learning solutions based on the development of mindsets and competencies. This paper addresses the future directions business and management school in relation to a strategic institutional prioritization of sustainability mindset development and social impact competencies. The 2016 AACSB Collective Vision encapsulates these concerns and trace future directions for our academic programs. It offers a vision for a future where business schools are drivers of global change and hubs for social innovation. This study offers a set of matrixes and models that business and management education leaders can utilize to initiate or fortify a process for integrating sustainability and social innovation into their curricula and programs. It makes a case that Jesuit education, with its 450+ years of experience in promoting social justice is best suited to strategically and systemically investing in social impact education and sustainable capacity development.