Business Schools Must Act with Purpose

The Hoffmann Institute is focused on enhancing INSEAD’s societal impact


We face growing challenges to world peace, climate stability, food security and social equality. In this complex environment, business is increasingly pressured to re-examine its role in society and take the lead on global issues. The INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society is transforming business education in line with new global realities.

Over the last academic year, the Hoffmann Institute has enabled progress across four strategic areas that position INSEAD as a leader in responsible management education.

Responsible Research 

The Institute funded 19 research projects, strengthening the foundation for sustainability in education. To connect research output with current affairs, 10 opinion papers were published in our new Crossroads Series and Season 2 of the Mission to Change podcast focused on business and biodiversity to align with preparation of the COP15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Institute also partnered with The Wharton School to co-host the Responsible Research in Business and Management Summit 2022.

Strengthening the foundation for sustainability in education


Teaching Leaders

To ensure INSEAD MBA students are well equipped to lead into the future, the Institute is working to integrate sustainability into all degree programmes, while two live cases were recently developed for the new INSEAD Executive Programme on Sustainability. Meanwhile, Master Strategist Day continues to bring social impact organisations to INSEAD, addressing real world challenges with business solutions.

To encourage students to act responsibly and drive sustainability in the business world, the Institute hosted the third annual SDG Week on campus with six student clubs, engaging over 1,700 participants. In the past year, this has expanded to include a student-led Health Week and Earth Week.

Master Strategist Day

Expanding Reach

Engagement by the Hoffman Institute aims to involve the INSEAD community and build partnerships with diverse organisations to promote business as a force for good. Last academic year, the Institute collaborated with seven leading European business schools to launch the Business Schools for Climate Leadership initiative at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference. They partnered with Cartier and ChangeNOW on the world’s largest gathering of changemakers and one of the most prestigious social impact initiatives. In the SDG Tent alongside the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Institute hosted conversations on circularity for net zero and the powerful potential of family businesses.

Working with the United Nations, the school joined the #HeForShe alliance to boost gender equality. Dean Ilian Mihov also served as Chair of the UN Global Compact Principles for Responsible Management Education, a group with 880 signatory members aligning business with agreed upon goals.

As an official Accelerator for the UN Race to Zero Campaign, the INSEAD Community Impact Challenge engaged alumni around climate action and more than 50 organisations made a Race to Zero pledge to cut emissions.

Walking the Talk

As a top business school teaching sustainability, INSEAD must also walk the talk. The Hoffmann Institute supports sustainability action across all INSEAD departments and operations. This support has led the school to pledge a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 67% by 2035 across all campuses. For its efforts, INSEAD was awarded a Gold Medal by alumni-led sustainability assessment company EcoVadis.

In addition, the Institute produces a yearly Sustainability Report to measure progress and identify new areas for action, and an Annual Report that showcases major milestones, successes and schoolwide engagement.

Business leaders must act with purpose. In today’s shifting business landscape, purpose must increasingly include considering people and forcefully advancing progress towards our shared global goals.

The Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society champions social impact and new paths to prosperity that reflect the new realities of global business. With the right knowledge and network, every INSEAD graduate can lead in today’s world.

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