2017 Recipients

Institutions worldwide champion change in the business education landscape—expanding their reach beyond the careers of their students and into the future of their communities and the world. To recognize the critical work being done to drive positive impact, AACSB developed Innovations That Inspire, an initiative that highlights ways that member schools are redefining the face of business education.

From an incredible pool of 315 submissions, spanning 33 countries, the 2017 Innovations That Inspire recognizes 35 innovative schools that represent a larger movement. Each falls into one of three categories, and together they help exemplify the myriad ways all business schools engage across disciplines, industry, and diverse communities to enhance learning and change the world. The innovations presented do not represent a “best of” listing, but rather examples of ways business schools are taking a forward-looking approach to education.


View by Category:


Engagement Across Disciplines

Asian Institute of Management

Title: Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF):
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF): Through a public-private partnership, the LIF Program aims to foster the mindset and entrepreneurial capacity of scientists and engineers across the Philippines to help commercialize local innovations, resulting in new investor-ready startup organizations.
Read More


Drexel University, Bennett S. LeBow College of Business

Title: Drexel LeBow Solutions Center and SEI Investments
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Drexel LeBow Solutions Center and SEI Investments: In conjunction with LeBow’s Behavioral Science Laboratory and Neuro-Business Solutions Center, Drexel applied a use-inspired cross-disciplinary approach to conduct a neuro-ergonomics and usability analysis of a new website for SEI Investments.
Read More


East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), School of Business

Title: 'B+T; Educational System
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

‘B+T’ Educational System: The ECUST School of Business established a distinctive ‘B+T’ system that links business (B) with technology (T) at three levels—teaching and learning, scientific research, and extracurricular activities—designed to bridge disciplines and nurture managerial talent.
Read More


ESADE, ESADE Business School

Title: C4BI - Creativity for Business Innovation
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

C4BI—Creativity for Business Innovation: Together ESADE Business School and world-renowned chef Ferran Adrià connected the distinct disciplines of haute cuisine and management through a unique challenge-based competition that employed a systematic “creative process audit.”
Read More


ESSEC Business School

Title: iMagination Week
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

iMagination Week: Dedicated to imagination and creativity, iMagination Week moves beyond discipline-specific approaches and introduces a unique balance of transdisciplinarity, helping students solve complex global issues by broadening student thinking and developing visionary minds.
Read More


Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

Title: Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory (FSIC)
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory (FSIC): The FSIC combines disciplinary silos and inspires change-making through unique, experiential learning pathways—motivating students to create innovative, scalable solutions to address society’s most pressing issues.
Read More


McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management

Title: Managing for Sustainability
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Managing for Sustainability: In concert with the School of Environment and the Department of Geography, Desautels offers a degree (or concentration) for students who wish to integrate management studies with the fundamentals of environmental science and sustainability.
Read More


Southeast Missouri State University, Donald L. Harrison College of Business

Title: Managing for Sustainability
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Catapult Creative House: Catapult cultivates innovation and entrepreneurship by connecting interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and practitioners through a rich array of courses, collaborative projects and competitions, and a commercial learning laboratory that immerses students in the creative entrepreneurship process.
Read More


Texas A&M University, Mays Business School

Title: Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP)
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP): A certificate program developed by the Mays Business School and the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering provides business experience to engineering students and specialization in the oil and gas industry for finance students, increasing employability for each.
Read More


Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management

Title: QTEM Masters Network
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

QTEM Masters Network: Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management created the QTEM Masters Network of outstanding academic institutions and international corporations to help students develop global leadership skills, while leveraging analytical and quantitative techniques in their decision-making processes.
Read More


The University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School

Title: Social Innovation and the Health Services Research Centre (HSRC)
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Social Innovation and the Health Services Research Centre (HSRC): To foster and promote interdisciplinary and innovative health services research, the Alliance Manchester Business School created HSRC, which brings together health services researchers from four disciplines to drive innovative perspectives in research, while making an impact on how health and social care is delivered.
Read More


Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Business

Title: Artist-in-Residence Program
Category: Engagement Across Disciplines

Artist-in-Residence Program: VCU School of Business aims to drive the future of business through the power of creativity with an artist-in-residence program, where renowned artists encourage creative problem-solving among students, faculty, and staff through prominently displayed art, short courses, and guest lectures.
Read More


Back to the Top


Category: Engagement With Business

ALBA Graduate Business School at The American College of Greece

Title: Student Consulting Projects for Struggling Businesses
Category: Engagement With Business

Student Consulting Projects for Struggling Businesses: ALBA Graduate Business School actively supports vulnerable Greek businesses, helps them overcome challenges created by the financial crisis, and identifies alternatives for growth—all through student consulting projects in which ALBA students are taught how to become agents of change.
Read More


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management

Title: Developing Social Business Initiatives within Industrial Firms
Category: Engagement With Business

Developing Social Business Initiatives within Industrial Firms: Through a university-business collaboration, socially motivated business students participate in a project-centered course with traditional industrial firms to help them develop sustainable social business models within the firms’ core competencies.
Read More


Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy

Title: Chulalongkorn Alumni Mentorship Program (ChAMP)
Category: Engagement With Business

Chulalongkorn Alumni Mentorship Program (ChAMP): In cooperation with Chulalongkorn Business School, alumni volunteers developed ChAMP, an alumni mentorship platform that links top-tier alumni practitioners and academics with current students and draws on alumni experience and knowledge to guide students toward career goals.
Read More


Deakin University, Deakin Business School (DBS)

Title: Deakin Hallmarks
Category: Engagement With Business

Deakin Hallmarks: The Deakin Hallmarks initiative uses digital badging technology to recognize outstanding student achievement at the course level, as well as seven capabilities that are key to employment success. The approach is intended to encourage a mindset whereby students take responsibility of tracking and demonstrating their own capabilities.
Read More


EDHEC Business School, Lille and Nice

Title: Teaching Factory
Category: Engagement With Business

Teaching Factory: EDHEC co-developed multidisciplinary learning modules with corporate partners and professors through the Teaching Factory, where approximately 2,000 students learn by doing as they work with corporate managers to solve real-life negotiation, innovation, and digital cases.
Read More


Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), ESPAE Graduate School of Management

Title: Industrial Studies - A Collaborative Initiative
Category: Engagement With Business

Industrial Studies—A Collaborative Initiative: To strengthen ties with the local Ecuadorian business community, ESPAE developed Industrial Studies, a new, applied research outlet that fosters collaboration between researchers and business by producing industry-specific reports.
Read More


Sakarya University, Faculty of Management

Title: Harmony Between B-School and B-World
Category: Engagement With Business

Harmony Between B-School and B-World: The Faculty of Management signed an agreement with the second-largest online job posting site in Turkey to conduct content analysis of job advertisements, with the intent to match learning outcomes to the demands of the business world and increase alumni employability.
Read More


Technische Universität München, TUM School of Management

Title: TUM Entrepreneurship Incubator
Category: Engagement With Business

TUM Entrepreneurship Incubator: The TUM Entrepreneurship Incubator provides a unique work environment for startup teams from science, engineering, and business. By closely linking each team with professors and scientific staff, the learning environment helps transform up-to-date research results into tools and exercises for business.
Read More


University of Cincinnati, Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Title: Back to Business
Category: Engagement With Business

Back to Business: The Lindner College of Business launched the Back to Business program to help displaced professionals who have been laid off develop new skills—while updating their knowledge base—so they can quickly re-enter the work force.
Read More


University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration

Title: Pitt Business Professional Academies and Industry Professional Networks
Category: Engagement With Business

Pitt Business Professional Academies and Industry Professional Networks: The Pitt College of Business Administration created the co-curricular Professional Academies and Industry Professional Networks programs to increase undergraduate student exposure to industry leaders through an experience in which students interact face to face with corporate partners and improve business skills.
Read More


University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

Title: The Whistler Experience
Category: Engagement With Business

The Whistler Experience: The Whistler Experience is a partnership between the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, designed to increase economic success in the region by providing customer service training for a community that relies on tourism and the hospitality sector.
Read More


Washington State University, Carson College of Business

Title: Business Growth Mentor and Analysis PRogram (MAP)
Category: Engagement With Business

Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program (MAP): Through the Business Growth MAP, the Carson College of Business provides actionable growth plans for small businesses and experiential learning opportunities for students through a student consultancy and a monthly forum, contributing to regional economic growth.
Read More


Back to the Top


Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Canisius College, Richard J. Wehle School of Business

Title: Canisius Enactus Partnership with Migrant and Inner-City Populations
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Canisius Enactus Partnership with Migrant and Inner-City Populations: Students of the Wehle School of Business partner with both migrant and inner-city populations to understand the challenges they face and develop possible solutions through several impactful student-led programs.
Read More


Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

Title: DC Public Schools Executive Master's in Leadership Program (DCPS EML)
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

DC Public Schools Executive Master’s in Leadership Program (DCPS EML): In collaboration with DC Public Schools, Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business adapted its EML curriculum to benefit a diverse, struggling urban K–12 system, transforming school principals into change agents ready to impact their 45,000 students.
Read More


Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Escuela de Administración

Title: PYME UC
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

PYME UC: Through the PYME UC initiative, the Escuela de Administración provides training classes while connecting alumni and faculty mentors with entrepreneurs from small or medium businesses. In concert, the courses and mentors help provide strategic guidance and business insight, which in turn improves organizational competitiveness and strengthens economic development as well as the employment market across Chile.
Read More


Rutgers University, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick

Title: Business Student Transition at Rutgers (RBS B-STAR) Program
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Business Student Transition at Rutgers (RBS B-STAR) Program: To support high-potential first-year minority students admitted to the Rutgers Business School, the school established the Office of Diversity Programs and implemented RBS B-STAR, a credit-bearing, multi-year student tracking and engagement program.
Read More


S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research

Title: Women Leaders of Tomorrow
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Women Leaders of Tomorrow: S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research launched a pioneering 11-month post-graduate management program that includes personalized mentoring and intensive industry partnerships to prepare talented Indian women, who have taken a mid-career break, return to leadership positions.
Read More


Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic), School of Business

Title: Bridging the International Accounting Gap
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Bridging the International Accounting Gap: The Canadian Account Fundamentals (CAF) certificate program is a unique training partnership between the SAIT School of Business and the Centre for Newcomers, a local nonprofit that helps foreign-trained accountants launch Canadian accounting careers.
Read More


The Ohio State University, Max M. Fisher College of Business

Title: Convening an African American Business Resource Group Council (BRG Council)
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Convening an African American Business Resource Group Council (BRG Council): In partnership with multiple Columbus-based African American Business Resource Groups, the Fisher College of Business has helped develop a regional BRG Council, designed to foster collaborations across the business community, mentorship programs with OSU students, research partnerships with faculty, and community outreach opportunities.
Read More


The University of Georgia, Terry College of Business

Title: Terry Women's Initiative
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Terry Women's Initiative: Created with the purpose of inspiring and empowering women in traditionally male-dominated career paths like accounting or finance, the Terry Women’s Initiative helps foster leadership skills necessary for advancement within the business sphere. By helping to bridge the “Confidence Gap,” participants are encouraged to take measured risks while embracing opportunity.
Read More


Universität Mannheim, Business School

Title: CSR Issues as Video Documentaries
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

CSR Issues as Video Documentaries: By interviewing experts and practitioners and then creating video documentaries, groups of Mannheim graduate students empirically explore current questions related to corporate social responsibility. Together students explore ways in which diverse communities and stakeholders are or are not treated fairly, thereby addressing relevant life issues within the community.
Read More


University of Pretoria, Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)

Title: Nexus
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Nexus: Nexus is a civic leadership program offered by GIBS for middle-to-senior managers who wish to amplify their influence by engaging in and across diverse South African communities, bridging cultural differences, creating learning dialogues, and driving societal impact.
Read More


University of Turku, Turku School of Economics

Title: Choose Your Future Campaign
Category: Engaging A Diverse Community

Choose Your Future Campaign: Students at Turku School of Econimics challenged extremism and won first prize in an international Facebook and U.S. State Department competition with Choose Your Future, a mobile app and Facebook campaign to welcome and acclimate asylum seekers in Finland.
Read More


Back to the Top