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Business education has entered the era of digital transformation

25 March2019
Business education has entered the era of digital transformation

Business education has become one of the main topics of the 10th Anniversary Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World: National Development Goals and Global Trends” traditionally held within the walls of the Presidential Academy. More than 15 plenary sessions and round tables devoted to training of managers and leaders of the digital economy were organized and held with the support of IBS-Moscow RANEPA, the leader of the Russian business education. It is worth noting that the 10th Gaidar Forum completed its work a month ago. However, the issues related to the development of national and global business education deserve to be considered and analyzed again.

The results of the National Accreditation Council for Business and Management Education (NASDOBR) Presidium meeting

On the first day of the Forum, an open meeting of the Presidium of NASDOBR was held under the chairmanship of Alexander Zhukov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma. It has become the most important and significant, as the discussion focused on the most pressing issues of the formation of a new paradigm of domestic business and management education.

In his report, Alexander Zhukov reminded that the Association was established during the Gaidar Forum, exactly 6 years ago. Its founders were all major employers of Russia: RSPP, CCI, Association of Russian Banks, Association of Managers, Business Russia, OPORA Russia, Russian Association of Business Education. It was then that the Memorandum on the need to create an independent Association of NASDOBR was signed at the plenary session on the initiative of the Russian Association of Business Education (RABE). Alexander Zhukov stressed that the Report on the activities of the Association for five years was discussed at the last meeting of the NASDOBR Presidium in the summer of 2018 and focused on the most important aspects of the Association activities in the second half of the year.

First, the most important event is the decision to confirm the authority and expand the range of programs and the levels of education in which NASDOBR will, for the next three years, act in the official status of “expert organization for accreditation assessment”. The corresponding meeting of the Accreditation Commission of ROSOBRNADZOR was held on December 7, 2018.

“We appreciate the high confidence placed in NASDOBR assessment by the country’s leading state agency for quality control of education. Dear colleagues, we must justify this trust by our active and responsible work, new forms and formats of cooperation in the framework of PPP!” the First Vice-Speaker of the State Duma said.

He further suggested to establish, under the umbrella of NADSOBR, an intersectoral Professional Qualifications Council (PQC) in the field of management.

As noted by the moderator of the discussion, Sergey Myasoedov, President of RABE, Vice-Rector of RANEPA, Director of the Institute of Business Studies (IBS-Moscow), the current system of sectorial PQCs breaks the system of training of senior and middle managers into “patchwork” of departmental interests, creating a kind of “specific feudal principalities”, which is unacceptable in an environment where the country’s leadership pays increasing attention to training of managers who use the best world practices of management and leadership.

According to him, the creation of PQC in management disciplines is designed to create a single national framework of requirements for managers of the upper and middle levels, reflecting the set of competencies required to manage enterprises and inter-sectoral complexes in the digital economy.

The proposal of Alexander Zhukov to establish an intersectoral PQC in management disciplines was eagerly welcomed and unanimously supported by all the founders, experts of NASDOBR, members of RABE, representatives of educational organizations, employers’ associations and mass media.

One of the most important events of the second half of 2018, according to Alexander Zhukov, is the completion of the work on the creation of a system of testing teachers of management disciplines for management programs and SMM at various levels. “I am pleased to note that the results revealed a number of reserves, unexpected both for the tested and for the testing sides, in the field of professional and personal development of teaching staff of various age and qualification groups,” Alexander Zhukov said.

He proposed to discuss the use of the system as one of the tools of independent quality assessment that complements the state accreditation. “It seems to me that the Presidium of NASDOBR should offer our partners in ROSOBRNADZOR and National Accreditation Agency to create a joint working group that will work in this area: it will concretize the conditions of a competition or skills contest, its stages, etc.,” the Chairman of the Presidium said.

He also noted the close cooperation of NASDOBR with leading accreditation associations in the field of business education.

“This allowed the working group of our Association, which worked with leading experts of the RANEPA and HSE, to use the best international accreditation practices in the creation of the updated standard of NASDOBR “National criteria and requirements for the general content and conditions of implementation of programs of “Master of public administration” (MPA) level”, the Chairman of NASDOBR Presidium said. He noted that this standard had been adapted and brought into full compliance with foreign requirements.

Sergei Kravtsov, Head of the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science, outlined the key areas of relations between NASDOBR and Rosobrnadzor, which, according to him, are an example of successful public-private cooperation.

“It is very important to note the relevance of teaching evaluation, and we are moving in this direction. We support both the proposals and the work of NASDOBR, especially in view of the fact that in 2016 NASDOBR was accredited by Rosobrnadzor as one of the leading subjects of development of education in the field of management, the Head of Rosobrnadzor said. 

Business education is a lifelong learning

On the first day of the Forum, participants of the discussion “The future of business schools. Agile-transformation” discussed the conditions for creating an ideal model of a business school in a 20-year perspective. According to AACSB President Thomas Robinson, Lifelong learning is becoming extremely relevant. He also noted that business schools should adapt to changes and not teach students non-existent professions.

According to social entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan, business education has faced a number of challenges today. “First of all, we are getting younger, today more and more young people go into business, and often they don’t have any education. The next point is narrow specialization which is characteristic of business education of the 20th century, and which has lost its relevance in the 21st century,” the entrepreneur says. He specified that earlier the production society was narrowly specialized in the professional training and functioning: marketing, finance, management, etc.

“Today, business education is much broader: it is about exchange, linking different industrial areas into one project, getting rid of stereotypes, it is about ambition and taking risks,” Ruben Vardanyan says. “There has been a transformation of business class,” he continued. “Business class is gone.” And, if earlier business education was a pass to the middle class, now it is an opportunity to be different, to realize your dream with the help of breakthrough technologies, information and thinking.

Charles Iacovou, Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Business, drew attention to the growing gap between the scientific and industrial world, and the slow growth rate of business schools compared to the pace of companies. “We train our student for the past, not for the future. Flexibility promotion and shifting the emphasis to what will be relevant in the future is essential.

Lectures are not fruitful now, on-the-job training becomes actual. Our school changes the company every few months, inviting their representatives to conduct classes and respond to the changing needs of the market,” Mr. Iacovou said.

In response to foreign colleagues, Sergey Myasoedov, Director of the Institute of Business Studies (IBS-Moscow), Vice-Rector of RANEPA, said that the International Advisory Council of the Presidential Academy has made a number of recommendations for the development of a new strategy of development of business and management education in RANEPA, taking into account the rapidly changing priorities and requirements in this area. He argued that today education needs to conduct a continuous dialogue with business to get feedback and active participation in the development of joint educational programs. This is particularly important in connection with the dynamics of changes taking place in the economy. “I have a feeling that, in order to remain competitive, business schools must be ready for rapid and radical changes, constant adaptation to new conditions and challenges of the digital economy,” the Vice-Rector said.

The topic of lifelong learning was discussed at a separate session “Three-L concept of learning, or lifelong learning”. The discussion’s moderator Timothy Mescon, Senior Vice President of AACSB International, noted that lifelong learning is necessary for everyone. The formation of conditions for the development of continuing professional education is one of the important prerequisites for the education system modernization. According to the expert, people who stand at the origins of business education should keep perfecting themselves in order to speak the same language with the new generation.

Mikhail Andronov, President of Rusenergosbyt, has cited in his speech the words of 85-year-old Michelangelo: “I’m still learning!” He fully agreed with his colleagues, but stressed that the older generations of Russians were not willing to learn. “The older people get, the less time they want to spend on self-education. Only 5–6% of the Russians are ready to improve themselves every day,” the expert commented. The speaker cited the following data: to become a true expert in a particular issue, you have to spend 10,000 hours, which means that in 42 years one can master about seven professions.

According to Andrei Sharonov, President of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, an important factor in the education system is the interest in future knowledge. In his report, he paid attention to the technologies of the LifeLongLearning program. According to the expert, all the education criteria will rapidly lose their value, since the employer will have more reliable ways to check your level of competence. Thus, it is not necessary to strive for a high-status education.

Steve Harvey, Dean of School of Business at the American University of Beirut, noted that many professions would disappear over time, and technology would release a significant part of the working population, who would need to be retrained. According to experts, such training will require changes in existing educational programs and development of new ones. Also, the sphere of education itself can undergo significant changes, as people begin to learn new professions, and the desire for status education will disappear.

Stop getting the hype!

Representatives of the banking and FinTech community also spoke about the need to change educational programs in universities during the discussion “Digitization of Financial Services: a New Round in the Development of FinTech”, organized by the Center for Design of Corporate Programs (IBS-Moscow). The experts discussed the prerequisites and trends of digitization, changing the role of banks, the introduction of FinTech innovations, as well as training of highly qualified personnel. It was noted that today, in terms of training specialists for the banking industry, there was a problem in universities, and therefore corporate universities occurred.

“There are skills that cannot be levelled up in universities,” Ruslan Vesterovskiy, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, said. “It's all about “software” things, team work, decision-making in situations of uncertainty, skills, feedback, planning etc. I would make a special focus on this block of issues. As for digital stories — digital skills and knowledge — we are now developing them very seriously at our corporate university. This is a large area: skills in programming, technology, this is what will help you become competitive and successful.”

The expert also recommended universities to accelerate. “Now the dynamics are so high that while you develop the program, it is already losing its relevance. Universities today need to add momentum. We need to move faster for 3-4 years,” the Central Bank representative stressed.

Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, supported his colleague. “A person comes to work and has to be retrained for two main reasons. First, it’s obviously soft-skills. Second, the banks have very specific knowledge, which have to be transferred to the graduate within the first six months. And he needs to be very flexible, adaptive, creative, and understand the corporate culture,” Alexander Vedyakhin said.

Aleksey Zhdanov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Rosselkhozbank, added that, among other things, now we need to pay attention to theoretical knowledge and science, which are at the junction of different professions, as, for example, in case of business analysts.

In confirmation of the topic, the moderator of the discussion, Sergey Myasoedov, Vice-Rector of RANEPA, addressed the audience with a question on the availability of basic higher education. It turned out that the FinTech section attracted students not only with financial or economic education, but also with technical and basic humanitarian education. “Today, the disciplines are mixed — astrophysics, biochemistry. And now it goes to the management science and the financial sector,” Sergey Myasoedov concluded.

Alexey Minin, Director of the Institute of Applied Data Analysis of Deloitte CIS, disagreed with the representatives of the banks. In his speech, he said that universities should not look to corporate universities. “The human capital that universities are now producing, is of absolutely adequate quality, and higher education institutions do not need to convert into corporate universities! You produce basic education, and the quality of this education is sufficient. We just need to raise this bar,” Alexey Minin said.

Paying attention to the banking industry itself, he called for the unification of human capital, resources and the focus set by the country’s policymakers. According to the Director of Deloitte, the main problem now is that banks have a large number of “poison” people — hipsters of science — who move from bank to bank and do nothing. “You come to another bank - and here he is again! He had already done everything in the previous bank and now came here! How did you do all this, when I’m doing it all instead of you now?! If these people really do everything they had to, we would have lived in the 22nd century, while we are still in the 20th. I think this is the main reason — you need to stop getting the hype and start systematic work. And very carefully look towards open innovations, because closed innovations are a long story, it is expensive, it is difficult,” Alexey Minin concluded.

The death of classical education?!

This verdict was made by the participants of the discussion “Digital talents: how to train digital business leaders?”. In particular, Grigory Avetov, Rector of Synergy Business School, put forward the thesis that the current education system is dying, and, based on the analysis of the development of foreign educational cases, it will not last more than 5-10 years. In the way of evidence the expert said that only 27% of people with higher education work in their specialty.

“Today, the employer is no longer interested in the question what university the employee graduated from. Although this issue used to be a priority. And there are more and more companies that are ready to accept employees without higher education. Of course, if this activity is not related to the fundamental sciences,” Synergy Rector said.

Evgueny Plaksenkov, representative of another business school, member of the Supervisory Board of RANEPA IBS-Moscow, noted that business is already digitized and business needs digital talents. Who are they? And what competencies should they have? He cited the WorldSkills research data on such skills in the future, as the concentration and control of attention, emotional literacy, creativity, cross-cultural approach, digital literacy, ecological thinking, ability to be trained (retrained).

Mikhail Zhukov, Director General of HeadHunter, presented a kind of digitalized bridge between employers and job seekers. He cited in figures the view of HR specialists on artificial intelligence. 69% of them believe that artificial intelligence will never defeat emotional intelligence, 23% believe that artificial intelligence will replace people, 11% believe that artificial intelligence is a threat to human life.

The Director of HeadHunter also cited the data of the research on the issue of what professions are likely to disappear and be replaced by artificial intelligence (robots, systems, etc.). The banking sector, finance, insurance, transport and logistics are primarily in the risk zone.

At the end of the discussion, moderator Anna Morozova, Director of RANEPA Centre for Corporate Programs, Academic Director of FinTech Master's degree program, invited the speakers to express their views on who is a digital leader. “A digital leader is a person who knows how to do what a robot cannot do,” says Mikhail Zhukov. Igor Baranov, Vice Rector of the Sberbank Corporate University, said: “A digital leader is a person who can lead a mixed team and sees the full range of technologies that can be used.” Gregory Avetov is convinced that the digital leader is the company with the highest capitalization, which invests in what will become a monopoly in 20-30 years.

The leader is the master of predictive effect

The topic of leadership was deeply considered by the participants of the expert discussion “How to Liberate the Brain to Achieve Effective Leadership?” The discussion was moderated by Dzhangir Dzhangirov, Senior Vice President of Sberbank, Chief Risk Officer. Experts tried not just to talk about how a person of the future can meet the information challenges of the 21st century, but also tried to “look” into his brain. How will the highspeed response of the human brain change and how to make it work for leadership?

Steven Poelmans, professor of Neuroscience and Strategic Leadership at Antwerp Management School, saidthat leadership skills can only be developed in practice, facing obstacles through blood, sweat and tears, correcting your own mistakes until you succeed at last. “Through a series of exercises, we put a manager in a real social context. Personally, I believe that management schools failed to solve the problem of leadership development — it is impossible to develop leadership skills, speaking about it in the classroom," the Professor said.

He cited the research data from the NeuroTrainingLab: “We monitor the activity of the frontal part of the cerebral cortex to see how our leaders are able to control themselves, how they can focus their attention on the right moments and at different times.” It was noted that leaders can quickly switch between different styles of paradoxical behavior, between opposite activities. This requires a metacognitive approach.

“Speaking of leaders, who do I want to hire? The last person I want to take is a student who counts well, because there is a computer for that. I need some madman, who does not do everything as it should be” – such concept of leadership was given by Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Professor in the field of neuroscience and psycholinguistics.

She spoke about the man of the future and his place in the world of digital technology and rapidly changing reality. “Are we losing ground in this digital world? If we have plans for life, then we need to think about how to live. Can we tell which brain is smart or stupid, or ingenious? And what kind of artificial intelligence do we create? Smart?! What does that mean? Is an ingenious artificial intelligence possible? And what does that mean?” – these words of Tatiana Chernigovskaya forced the audience to ponder.

According to her, artificial intelligence will never replace a person, and so, from an early age, we must learn to adapt to live in the digital world, in order to preserve humanity. “We have to give an account of what we have in the skull and not to err about what we thoughtlessly call “my brain”. Who belongs to whom is still a question,” the neuroscientist sums up.

Psychologist Alexander Asmolov, Director for Humanitarian Policy at RANEPA, believes that “The leader is not the one who is authoritarian. A leader is someone who can determine the zone of the nearest development of his employees. The leader is the one who is the master of predictive effect, i.e the one who has no ready-made algorithms. A key characteristic of any educational system, as well as a key characteristic of leaders, is the greatest predictive effect”. 

In his opinion, in order to prepare such leaders, education should be a school of uncertainty – an education without ready-made algorithms. Today, education is a school of behavior in uncertain situations.

In conclusion, the psychologist urged the audience to read science fiction, citing the words of writer Neil Gaiman about why our future depends on reading. According to the writer, those people who became the leading developers in such high-tech corporations as Apple, Microsoft, Google, used to read good science fiction books in their childhood.

Transformation of MBA programs

The 10th Gaidar Forum hosted the discussion “Transformation of MBA programs: overcoming the syndrome of traditions “virginity”. The meeting moderated by Andrew Main Wilson, CEO of AMBA&BGA, established the direction of the debate – the transformation of classical learning into the online MBA format. He also said that it is necessary to unite all MBA schools for the joint development of online programs, as this process requires serious investments.

Koen Vandenbempt, Academic Director, Executive MBA, Antwerp Management School, said that students studied at his school on the job. Accordingly, they are in dynamics with the changes taking place in the economy, and this imposes requirements on both teachers and the process of building the education. “Teachers should take into account new trends affecting the digital economy. They have to keep up with the times, because the success of an MBA will depend on it,” said the expert. He added that the transition of the economy into a digital one had an impact on business education. He called this process not just globalization, but global diversification.

“Our students need skills that correspond to the new reality. The training itself should take place in conditions relevant to the modern economy, on the basis of digitization and globalization, so that education could meet modern challenges,” the Director from Antwerp says.

Continuing the idea of his Belgian colleague, Andrey Kolyada, Rector at Eurasian Management and Administration School, called the current technological revolution the most significant of all those ever occurred, and said business education did not keep up with technological progress. He spoke about his business school, which had both full-time and online training. “Online education cannot compete with on-campus education. There is no team feeling, it’s hard to get together online due to the time difference. There is no opportunity to come together and feel the emotional unity, solving common problems,” Andrey Kolyada said.

He also noted that it was difficult to remotely control a process that had gone the wrong way, and that online programs required an outstanding engineering system of presentation.

Jean-Philippe Muller, Dean of the Monaco Business School, who has been participating in expert discussions at the Gaidar Forum for several years, said that people, who run companies, should be able to manage a new generation. “Earlier, engineers were sent to business schools; today, on the contrary, we must send managers to technical institutes. These areas should be combined to get the maximum result,” the expert said.

The trend is that the MBA schools tend to develop programs together with innovative companies and banks all over the world.

He also addressed the interaction of MBA and DBA programs. Jean-Philippe Muller expressed his opinion on this matter: "The hybrid of MBA and DBA is the future of business schools."

Another opinion was expressed by Sergei Kalendzhyan, Dean of the Graduate School of Corporate Management, RANEPA. He believes that the MBA program is a “breakfast”, and the DBA program is a “dinner”, therefore they cannot be combined. During his speech, Sergei Kalendzhyan noted that ethical values are a criterion for the quality of education at his school. The dean expressed his support for the introduction of cultural studies and philosophy in the course of the disciplines studied, because students should think about the future. The expert is convinced that modern transformation should not lead to the complete loss of traditions. He came to this conclusion: "MBA students should combine the spiritual, material, social and virtual worlds."

A good conclusion to the discussion was the words of one of the experts: “People will continue working with people, and we will find a way to deal with machines.” In addition, the moderator of the meeting Andrew Main Wilson, Executive Director of AMBA&BGA, outlined the main points that are important for the topic of discussion: continuous learning, online learning transformation, global alliance and innovative learning.

The credibility of the rankings of business schools

The role of rankings and accreditations in the activities of business schools as well as approaches to assessing the quality of business education were discussed on the third day of the 10th Gaidar Forum. Over the past decade, there has appeared a paradoxical situation concerning the rankings of programs and schools. Focusing on quantitative indicators to the detriment of other objective criteria and the subjectivity of expert assessments reduce the credibility of rankings.

Moderator of the discussion Sergey Myasoedov, Director of the Institute of Business Studies (IBS-Moscow), Vice-Rector of RANEPA, explained to the audience why business education was often scolded in our country. The reason lies in the mixing the University type, pre-experienced Master of Science programs oriented to the young researchers and Dusiness school type, post experienced MBA programs focused for enrichment through sharing and market driven skills development. The result is the confusion of the customers and dissatisfaction of business.

The understanding that those programs have different customers and goals is often absent both at the Universities and at business communities.“Is a Master of Science Degree owner a creative intellectual? Yes, he is. Does he have to be a manager? Or a manager with the talent of an entrepreneur?” Sergey Myasoedov asks. “The answer is “NO”.

“It is different when we speak about MBA. The people who apply to MBA program of IBS-Moscow (the leading number one business school of today’s Russia) have to have at least 5-6 years of practical work experience. They have to prove at the enrollment tests, esse and interview that they have a talent for management and entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence for agile leadership. MBA programs do not exist for scientisits and researchers. They exist for the business practitioners and leaders. In our country, we still have a constant mix of genres. And because of this, business education is so often scolded. And in the national rankings the university education indicators are often used to evaluate business schools and MBA programs”.

Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor at Financial Times, agrees with his Russian colleague. In his opinion, an MBA program should be aimed exclusively at the training of professionals in the field of business. “Business schools should shape the image of a new leader, develop managerial, communication skills, soft skills, and motivate students,” Andrew Jack said.

In continuation of the topic of leadership, George Iliev, Director of Development Markets at the Association of MBAs (AMBA International), explained that “Rankings and organizations involved in the accreditation of business schools compete in one indicator – this is the time of business leaders.” In his opinion, it is impossible to make a ranking on the basis of accreditation data, because too many factors are taken into account — 300-400 different quantitative and qualitative factors, criteria, indicators.

He compared the rankings with beauty pageants. If your business school is really strikingly different from others, you do not need to compete with other schools, because people will recognize you even without the beauty queen crown,” the Director of Emerging Markets at AMBA said.

“The most serious issue that arises in many rankings is the accuracy of the information,” Yuri Tazov, President of the Russian MBA League and the co-creater of the independent, crowdsoucing-voting-based Russian MBA program ranking system, said.

He spoke about the Russian experience of creation of National ranking of business schools and MBA programs published annually at the web-site: www.mba.suHow the team of Russian businessmen graduated from several best MBA programs of the country desided to create independent web-site, to provide balanced and objective information to the business community.

The ranking is based on the opinions of graduates and involves minimum participation of the estimated business schools.

“Invitations are sent to business schools and there is only one request – to disseminate information about the ongoing online survey among its graduates. This ranking has no more contacts with schools,” the Head of the Russian MBA League explained. The ranking is based on such criteria as income growth, career growth, level of professional connections, and personal and professional development of a graduate. The most important principle of the rankings is the openness of the data on the criteria: the consumer can rank business schools in accordance with the criterion that is the most important to him.

Marco De Novellis, Editor of BusinessBecause, said the credibility of the rankings was a key factor. In his opinion, when choosing a business school, in addition to its position in the ranking, people watch for other factors, such as accreditation, programs provided, recognition and local reputation, and the cost of education.

Sergey Ermak, Deputy Director of Expert RA, said that the agency did not use the word “ranking” any more and called their studies the “maps” of global visibility of schools. “Facing the growing global academic mobility, we evaluated business schools from the perspective of foreign students who receive education in Russia,” the expert says. He also noted that more and more Russian business schools are becoming popular on the international market, their publishing and partner activity is increasing.

At the end of the discussion, Danica Purg, President of CEEMAN Association, stressed the need to revise the criteria for assessing the quality of business education in the rankings according to the real needs of the market. The experts agreed that the focus on accreditation and rankings hinders the most important goal of business schools – the constant modernization of educational programs and their orientation towards real market needs, and called for the development of new methods for evaluation of the business education efficiency.

Do we need responsible managers?

On January 17, on the final day of the Gaidar Forum 2019, representatives of business education from Russia and other countries met at the “Innovative Technologies and Social Responsibility of Business” discussion platform. How business schools can implement PRME principles in life”. As research shows, the Corporate Social Responsibility concept is differently interpreted and perceived in various cultures. In Russia, as in many other Eastern and Central European countries, the Corporate Social Responsibility concept is regarded by business representatives with mixed feelings. At that, in business schools the amount of academic hours allocated to the relevant courses is steadily growing.

The moderator of the event, Natalya Evtikhieva, Director General of RABE and National Accreditation Council for Business and Management Education (NASDOBR), added a new vector of the discussion saying that “the global development trends of business corporations have led to a new focus on assessing the quality of management education with an emphasis on its effectiveness, practical orientation and compliance with the best international standards and practices.”

Irina Sennikova, Rector of RISEBA business school (Latvia), UN Commissioner for the implementation of PRME principles in business schools in Eastern and Central Europe, addressed the audience with the question: “How can responsible managers be trained? And do we need responsible managers? The scandals of the last few years make you think: there is a feeling that neither fines, nor a chance to go to prison for life or a death sentence – nothing frightens people! What can educational institutions do to improve this world?”

She said that companies should draw a clear red line in this matter – should business schools help them? Is it possible to use a universal approach? Or you need to practice an individual approach in each case?

Jonas Haertle, Head of PRME Secretariat at United Nations Global Compact Office reminded the topics that were discussed at the Plenary Session at the opening of the Forum. “Of course, we live in a global world, but there is a danger that the world will be split, there is a threat of climate change, there are geopolitical problems – all this should be taken into account by business schools in their programs in those aspects that relate to responsible management,” says Jonas Haertle.

He cited the words of the head of BlackRock company that, for prosperity, a company should show results not only in financial terms, but also to prove how it helps society. Management issues should be linked to financial results, so school professors who deal with financial issues should take this into account.

Andrew Main Wilson, Executive Director of AMBA & BGA, said that, in terms of saving humanity and preserving natural resources, social responsibility of business is a central element in the development of new management strategies. “We are gathered here as representatives of business schools, and we talk about training business leaders of the future. It is necessary to unite scientists, students, experts to solve these problems – seventeen sustainable development goals,” the expert said.

It is worth reminding that, on September 25, 2015, the UN member states adopted the agenda for sustainable development until 2030. It contains a number of goals aimed at eradicating poverty, preserving the planet’s resources and ensuring well-being for all. Each of the 17 Goals contains a set of indicators to be achieved within 15 years. Joint efforts by governments, private sector, civil society and the people of the Earth are needed to achieve the sustainable development Goals. 

Asylbek Kozhakhmetov, President of Almaty Management University, President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan noted: “We see that the role of universities in the system of innovative development of territories is gradually increasing. Today this issue is widely discussed both within the academic community and at a state level. A modern university should act as a leader in interaction with the state, business, and society”.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is expressed in the readiness of a business corporation to voluntarily bear non-binding social expenditures beyond the limits established by tax, labor, environmental and other legislation, based not on the requirements of the law, but on moral and ethical considerations. Experts agreed that the introduction of CSR ensures the development and stabilization of the organization in the market: the growth of production volumes, the improvement of the company's reputation, the formation of corporate identity.

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