Forging the Future of Business Education
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these themes setting the tone for the conference, additional workshop-style sessions energized attendees to rethink outdated business school models, embrace disruptive technologies like ChatGPT, and better integrate societal impact into curriculum.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:
Breaking news: release of white paper providing guidance on how business schools can make positive societal impact and how to demonstrate it in accreditations: @AACSB and Societal Impact! Use of SDGs optional. #AACSBDeans #UNSDGs @StephMBryant @TheGRLI— Peter Møllgaard (@hpmollgaard)
What are the skills gaps employers are seeing among today’s graduates? This panel of executives from @Accenture_US , @Deloitte , @SHRM and Kindril emphasized the soft skills: collaboration, communication, creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking. @AACSB #aacsbdeans— Juan Carlos Sosa Varela (@jncsosa)
Opening session at the @aacsb Deans conference. A good discussion on the critical role of business schools in leading and educating leaders with the courage to drive positive societal change.— Francisco Veloso (@f_veloso)
#AACSBdeans conference in San Antonio. Happy being back to in-person meetings with some 700 amazing colleagues from 59 countries. #AACSBaccreditation #businessschool #Internationalization #education #research @UEF_Business— Saara Julkunen (@JulkunenSaara)
Love these visuals created live during our conversations!#AACSBdeans— Prof Hannah Holmes (@HannahHMMU)
My favorite session of my #AACSBDeans week was listening to Temple University President @JasonWingard share his informative, inspiring, and challenging insights on how @aacsb schools must be more responsive to the needs of employers and students… or else. #ChangeOrDie— Mickey Hepner (@MickeyHepner)
What a week! Deans Conference concluded with attendees feeling inspired to return to their institutions and make a difference--for the better. #AACSBdeans— AACSB (@AACSB)
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 aacsb.edu/events to see how AACSB can help you stay informed about best practices and expand your global network.