2021 Innovations That Inspire Highlights

The Innovations That Inspire initiative recognizes institutions from around the world serving as champions of change in the business education landscape. Demonstrating that business schools are connected for better, highlights of the 2021 Innovations That Inspire showcase schools' positive contributions to society through one of the following ways:

  • Cultivating a position at the intersection of academia and practice
  • Connecting with other disciplines
  • Driving innovation in higher education

To date, members of AACSB’s Business Education Alliance have shared more than 1,000 innovations, creating a robust repository in AACSB’s DataDirect portal to inform and inspire fellow members.

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American University, Kogod School of Business

On the Table

On the Table is designed to foster civic engagement and community action that will bring people from across the Washington, D.C., area together to discuss and reimagine the future of our communities.

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American University of Beirut, Suliman S. Olayan School of Business

Khaddit Beirut

Khaddit Beirut is a unique national initiative aimed at developing a community-led and locally driven roadmap to recovery following the Beirut explosion on August 4, 2020.

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Brock University, Goodman School of Business

Local Roots, Global Reach

Goodman School of Business students gain a global business perspective while addressing community issues during a co-op work term with a United Nations agency.

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College of Charleston, School of Business

Impact X: Making a Profit While Making a Difference

ImpactX is an incubator that uses the principles of impact economics to enhance the school’s relationship with the Charleston community and promote consequential learning.

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Deakin University, Deakin Business School

Deakin Business School: CREATE

CREATE is the first applied research center of its kind that helps people from a refugee background obtain meaningful employment and access to education.

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Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Free Resources for Hospitality Business Recovery

To support the hospitality industry, EHL has set up an online portal bringing together faculty research, web shows, access to pro bono advice, and free online courses.

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EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey

Sustainable Wealth Creation Through Innovation and Technology (SWIT)

Through a circular economy and systems-thinking approach, SWIT creates economic growth without generating waste or deteriorating natural resources in communities of developing countries.

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Globsyn Business School

Embryon—The Entrepreneurship Cell of Globsyn Business School

Students apply their knowledge and skills to create a prototype and implement innovative, sustainable, and value-enhancing solutions for identified areas of concern in a socially responsible manner.

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Grenoble Ecole de Management

Virtual Reality 2020 Back-to-School Challenge

Grenoble Ecole de Management stretches the boundaries of technology with a virtual reality Back-to-School Challenge, immersing its first-year Master’s in Management students.

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Aquatis Innovation Challenge (MBA Program)

IMD’s MBA Innovation Week, in partnership with UNIL HEC, the Inartis Foundation, and Aquatis, the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe, embodies real learning and real impact in action.

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ISM University of Management and Economics

Educational Leadership Program

The Educational Leadership program is a collaborative project that aims to develop leadership and management competencies of high school principals in Lithuania.

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Jagdish Sheth School of Management

Kanyathon: Experiential Program for Social Impact

Experiential courses help develop essential skills such as communication, negotiation, and fundraising execution to address gender equality and education of girls.

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Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School


Hexcite is an early-stage medical software accelerator connecting clinical faculty entrepreneurs with business leaders, design-thinking experts, and technologists.

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Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Business School

Roma Education Aspiration Project (REAP)

REAP aims to develop a self-confident Roma community in Liverpool and to raise educational aspiration, in turn improving opportunities for the local Roma population.

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Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics

Service Robots: Rising or Falling Stars?

Research on the impact and role of service robots in healthcare, hospitality, and beyond engages strategic industry partners and enables synergies between research, teaching, and societal impact.

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Midwestern State University, Dillard College of Business Administration

Entrepreneurship Students Mentor Community Youth

Dedicated to service-learning, Dillard College partnered management students with elementary school-age children during Lemonade Day, a national youth entrepreneurship program.

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Reutlingen University, ESB Business School

Diffusion of Climate Action Simulation in Germany

Climate Action Simulation uses interactive role-playing to engage people across the political divide on climate issues and motivate them to act.

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San Diego State University, Fowler College of Business

BrightSide Produce San Diego

BrightSide Produce enables students to apply business practices to a social venture that increases access to fresh produce in communities where residents experience food insecurity.

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Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business

Reducing Racial Disparities in Medical Appointment Scheduling

By employing artificial intelligence techniques in medical outpatient scheduling, researchers help maximize clinic efficiency while minimizing racial disparities in patient wait times.

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University of Agder, School of Business and Law

Sweet Success: A Co-Created Ice Cream Field Study

This innovative field experiment unites citizens, students, academics, and administrators in co-creation with an ice cream company, challenging prevailing perceptions of dull business research.

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University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

University of Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project

Researchers use hospitalization data from all 50 U.S. states to help quantify the impact of COVID-19 on local hospital systems, forecast future needs, and track changes in disease severity.

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UNSW Sydney, UNSW Business School

UNSW Tax Clinic

UNSW Tax Clinic mobilizes researchers from a variety of disciplines to identify systemic issues faced by financially vulnerable cohorts and advocate for reform.

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University of South Florida, Muma College of Business

Certificate on Post-Crisis Leadership

To address unprecedented challenges faced by both businesses and those in need of employment during the pandemic, USF created a free seven-module certificate to help both groups while showcasing faculty expertise.

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 University of Sussex TIPC

University of Sussex, The University of Sussex Business School

Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium

Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) places social and environmental problems at its core and aims to address global societal challenges.

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