The Role of Business Schools in Climate Crisis Resolution

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Business schools and business leadership programs have a big role to play in addressing the climate crisis. They have senior and well-informed faculties with direct links to executive positions in industry, and their schools can therefore work with those with the power and influence to solve real-world problems. There is also a rising student interest in the topic that creates a good opportunity for these business schools.

How Schools can help solve the crisis

Business schools today have a significant role to play in addressing the crisis of global warming. Below are some principles for business schools and other organizations to follow related to this issue:

  • Engage with stakeholders from time to time
  • Involve the host community in efforts
  • Choose climate-related themes
  • Apply the models of business school to other areas where they make sense
  • Build leadership capacity into a strategy based on scenarios relevant to the decade to come

The accelerating climate crisis is a problem of capitalism. Business schools, founded to cultivate the next generation of capitalists, have a unique responsibility to lead climate action – by reimagining what profit, progress, and prosperity look like, and by reconsidering their purpose as institutions.

A stronger understanding of climate change is emerging in the business world, with firms realizing that its impacts carry significant risks and opportunities for their businesses. This new understanding regards climate change as a systemically important issue, and indicates substantial shifts in how firms address it.

Business schools have a role to play in developing managerial leaders capable of understanding climate issues and effectively managing firms’ exposure to the associated risks..  A solution that deserves more scholarly focus in this regard is low-carbon transition economies.

The climate crisis requires an unprecedented transformation of the economy, and business schools are uniquely positioned to inspire, teach and equip students, faculty members, and leaders in order to navigate this transformation.

Business Schools are different because they have the ability and responsibility to play a leading role in catalyzing the innovation necessary to solve this crisis. Business schools can be centers of learning and action related to sustainability. They should be embedded within an understanding of systems thinking; thinking that includes connections among business enterprises, markets, natural resources, technologies, infrastructure, and institutions.  Doing this effectively will require fundamental changes to the ways business schools function

Given current and projected growth in climate-vulnerable industries, business schools are uniquely placed to address climate change and help stabilize the global economy. There are immediate opportunities for business schools to develop sustainability curricula that outline new ways of thinking about economic development. These curricula could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the global economy’s resilience to climate change.

Universities have unparalleled access to teams of experts from across the business and research communities – from economists who advise governments to industry leaders who have established a track record of successful innovations.

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