INSEAD launches #SDGSMART to educate and engage on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

#SDGSMART will showcase how the school is aligning with the global goals and what that means for the future of business education

Middle East, Asia, Europe
21 October 2019

       In French

The INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society today launched #SDGSMART, which will connect business education at INSEAD with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. It’s time to be #SDGSMART and INSEAD is taking concrete steps in this direction.

  • INSEAD will raise awareness of the SDGs on campus and online through posters, social media and a #SDGSMART resources webpage
  • As part of the core MBA curriculum, the Master Strategist Day will partner with organisations whose strategy goals include meaningful social impact
  • A new endowed Bianca and James Pitt Chair in Environmental Sustainability will support research in sustainable and responsible business practices
  • INSEAD will host a SDG Week on all three campuses and sponsor the SDG Tent in Davos, advancing the discourse on sustainability in business
  • A recently published Sustainability Report will provide better understanding of sustainability at the school and include goals to improve year over year

Since its inauguration just over a year ago, the Hoffmann Institute has worked to more closely align the school with the SDGs. The Institute produced the Sustainability Report: Academic Years 2015/2016 through 2017/2018, which highlights efforts to bring sustainability and better outcomes for business and society into knowledge, learning, engagement and operations at INSEAD. A SDG Mapping mark by the Global Reporting Initiative shows extensive alignment with the SDGs, highlighting the potential to point INSEAD business education toward positive social and environmental impact.

This potential reflects the need to bring business in line with global sustainability goals. The Institute recently produced a video on how business needs to be a force for good and how INSEAD is leading in this area. See the video here.

Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, said, “To change the norms of global business in line with the globally agreed goals, we have to equip our students and participants with the tools they need to transform business and society. We need to bring the SDGs into the classroom, put them in focus with research and engage with our partners on the critical topic of sustainability. As the Business School for the World, INSEAD wants to shape global growth by developing leaders who champion business as a force for good and innovate new, sustainable business models.

In the past year, SDG-related activity has ramped up around the school, supported by the Hoffmann Institute.

In the core MBA curriculum, the SDGs were in focus on Master Strategist Day, a Strategy course that challenged student teams to scale up non-profit Unjani health clinics in South Africa. Supported by the Institute, students had the opportunity to travel to South Africa to engage with Unjani on the ground. A new Hugo van Berckel Prize for social impact will help future winning teams implement the best strategies for social enterprise, business case studies and social impact internships.

The Institute also supported a SDG-related elective, the SDG Bootcamp. This intensive two-day MBA course explores the intersection of profit and purpose while seeking entrepreneurial solutions. The Bootcamp was part of sustainability curriculum innovations that won the Page Prize for Excellence in Sustainable Business Education.

For knowledge, the Hoffmann Institute showcased INSEAD sustainability-related research at events and started tagging research to the SDG targets. In partnership with INSEAD Research, this tagging will be applied to all research for the new academic year. This shows how academic solutions contribute to progress towards the SDGs. The new Bianca and James Pitt Chair in Environmental Sustainability anchored in the Institute will help the school address critical environmental issues and support research focused on sustainability and responsibility.

Engagement has also included SDG-related outreach. In January, the Institute sponsored the SDG Tent in Davos alongside the World Economic Forum. In the SDG Tent, INSEAD convened faculty, alumni and key leaders from business, government, foundations and civil society to discuss the role of business education in development.

To walk the talk on the SDGs, the recent Sustainability Report helps INSEAD measure and communicate our economic, environmental, social and governance performance. The report also sets goals designed to increase ambition moving forward. This is complemented by recent efforts to reduce on-campus single-use plastic bottles and student-led efforts to promote active, healthy lifestyles.

Hoffmann Institute Executive Director Katell Le Goulven said, “In our first year, we heard the need to bring INSEAD and the SDGs closer together and are excited for the future. When I speak with our students, professors and staff, I hear over and over that sustainable development is the key to a prosperous future where healthy communities thrive on a healthy planet. When I meet with alumni and other business leaders, I hear the same thing. People want to be part of this global movement towards a future defined by sustainability. INSEAD has an important role to play in making that happen.

#SDGSMART highlights INSEAD action on the SDGs, engaging on why the SDGs are important and the future of the SDGs in business education. This aligns with the INSEAD mission and founding values. Moving forward, #SDGSMART will promote opportunities for leaders to better understand how to be smart about the SDGs:

  • The upcoming SDG Week will be held across all three INSEAD campuses from 2-4 December, featuring speakers and exhibits on the SDGs
  • The SDG Tent in Davos will again convene global leaders and INSEAD faculty in sessions affiliated with the official programme of the World Economic Forum in January 2020
  • The ChangeNOW Summit in Paris in late January will again bring together champions of positive social impact, including INSEAD students and alumni
  • The Business and Society Forum on Health sponsored by the Hoffmann Institute and AXA will be held in conjunction with the ChangeNOW Summit

The Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society launched with a goal to equip leaders to make decisions in ways that deliver positive outcomes for business, communities, people and our planet. After a year of capturing many perspectives, alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals can accomplish this. #SDGSMART will shine a light on how INSEAD is leading the transformation towards the SDGs and empowering current and future leaders to do the same.

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. Our 165 renowned Faculty members from 41 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our MBA, Global Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

Contacts for press:

Chris Howells
Tel +65 6799 5490
Email: chris.howells@insead.edu

Aileen Huang
Tel +65 6799 5552
Email: aileen.huang@insead.edu

Ilan Goren
Tel: +33 6 78 04 25 77
Email: ilan.goren@insead.edu

Cheryl Ng
Tel +65 6799 5490
Email: cheryl.ng@insead.edu

Linda Furtado
Tel + 971 2 6515309
Email: linda.furtado@insead.edu

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