Forging the Future of Business Education

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Friday, February 17, 2023
By AACSB Staff
Session on "Ensuring Graduates Are Workforce Ready on Day One," shared by Joyce Russell
B-school deans worldwide convened to discuss a new future of business education that prioritizes positive change in business and society.

Last week, more than 700 global business school leaders came together in San Antonio, Texas, for AACSB’s first in-person Deans Conference since 2020. The two keynote sessions addressed big questions that deans around the world are grappling with: How can we redefine leadership for positive societal impact? What is the value of business education today?  

With these themes setting the tone for the conference, additional workshop-style sessions energized attendees to rethink outdated business school models, embrace disruptive technologies like ChatGPT, and better integrate societal impact into curriculum. Perspectives from business panelists prompted attendees to question whether their schools are graduating students with the skills and competencies employers need most. In shorter, more conversational sessions, participants were able to openly discuss topics like burnout, leading through crises, understanding global issues, and today’s heightened focus on purpose. 

Coinciding with the conference, AACSB announced its 2023 Class of Influential Leaders—alumni of accredited business schools who are defining what it means to be a societal impact leader. These 25 honorees exemplify the types of leaders business schools are refocusing their efforts on developing, which was a prominent topic of discussion for presenters and attendees alike.  

In support of these efforts, AACSB also unveiled its new white paper, AACSB and Societal Impact: Aligning With the AACSB 2020 Business Accreditation Standards, during a dedicated conference session. In the session, AACSB accreditation leaders Stephanie Bryant and Suzanne Mintz held an interactive workshop to help schools understand how to develop their societal impact strategies in alignment with the standards.  

As always, a key feature of the Deans Conference was the ample opportunity it allowed for networking. Attendees were eager to catch up with old friends, meet new peers, and engage with one another in meaningful knowledge exchange. 

View some of the highlights from the conference captured by attendees: 

We are grateful to the many return attendees as well as the first-timers who came for the unique experience of sharing their time, ideas, and energy with business school leaders globally. We look forward to seeing how you will positively impact your programs and communities! 

Interested in upcoming conferences, seminars, and additional learning opportunities? Visit to see how AACSB can help you stay informed about best practices and expand your global network. 

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