Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the last 12 months has seen INSEAD continue to walk the talk on the global stage.
Joining the fight against climate change
This November saw heads of state and the world’s business leaders descend on Glasgow, Scotland for COP26, billed as the make-or-break summit in the fight against the catastrophic impact of climate change. INSEAD was also there, as a founding member of the Business Schools for Climate Leadership alliance (BS4CL), a new collaboration between eight leading European business schools.
Executive Director of the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, Katell Le Goulven was on the ground in Scotland to talk about the BS4CL initiative and to launch a new toolkit, co-created by INSEAD, that offers executives a practical guide to addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the climate crisis.
The BS4CL initiative is just the latest example of INSEAD taking a lead role as a force for good. As Dean Ilian Mihov stated in a recent radio interview: “You have to walk the talk, it is not just enough to be telling people you should do this, you have to also take action.”
Walking the talk for gender balance
In the aforementioned interview, Dean Mihov was specifically referring to INSEAD’s new role as the first business school to join UN Women’s HeForShe Alliance, a global movement for the advancement of gender equality. As well as becoming a HeForShe Champion, the school also made a number of important public pledges towards this goal. These included a commitment to a gender balanced board by 2023, a minimum 40% female participation in the MBA programme by the academic year 2024/2025 and a target of having 50% women faculty over the next three years.
Of course, UN’s HeForShe project is not the only global gender initiative that INSEAD is committed to. The school has also been the academic partner of the Cartier Women’s Initiative, which supports and celebrates women entrepreneurs, since the Initiative’s founding 16 years ago. This May, Dean Mihov participated in the awards ceremony and a remote panel discussion on the need for “Male Sponsorship”. The successful Cartier Fellows announced at that event will now get the opportunity to join the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme.
Championing sustainable business practices
INSEAD also continues to ‘Walk the Talk’ on an academic level through its engagement with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UN PRME), an initiative with over 800 signatories that aims to raise the profile of sustainability in business schools and among business school students around the world. As the UN PRME Chair, Dean Mihov helped open the 2021 UN PRME Forum, while the school published its own UN PRME report this academic year and joined the committee tasked with reviewing business school impact reporting.
For the third year in a row, INSEAD was the major academic partner for the ChangeNOW Summit and assembled a distinguished group of speakers, including a keynote address by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, and Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. The summit saw an estimated 55,000 visitors and had a global reach of 436 million. This year INSEAD took its relationship with ChangeNOW further by also supporting a new study aimed at accelerating biodiversity integration strategies into large organisations.
INSEAD also demonstrated its influence on top-level decision makers with the publication of the latest Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) in October. Produced annually in partnership with the Portulans Institute, the GTCI is a comprehensive benchmarking report, which measures how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent. The 2021 report covered 134 countries and 155 cities from 75 economies around the world.
Through these and other initiatives, partnerships and research projects, INSEAD remains firmly at the centre of important global conversations around the current challenges confronting business, people and the planet. Whether it is gender balance or the climate crisis, the school has demonstrated its desire to lead by example and underscored its ongoing commitment to promoting the power of business as a force for good.