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Press release

Berlin, February 29, 2012

EFMD & ESMT host Symposium on “The Future of Management Education”

At the invitation of EFMD, the leading global network for business schools and companies, over 60 business school leaders from across the globe gather at ESMT European School of Management and Technology in Berlin on March 1-2 to address, debate and exchange ideas on the future direction of management education.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, EFMD has been at the forefront of raising the standards of management education and development around the world. This symposium plays a key role in its reflection on the future. “Business schools have contributed so much in so many ways to the development of people, ideas and society as a whole,” said Prof. Eric Cornuel the CEO & Director General of EFMD. “However, in the current times it is valid to take a long hard look at what is the raison d’être of the business schools and examine their future legitimacy, value and mission.”

EFMD Vice President and Board Member for Human Resources at Deutsche Telekom AG Thomas Sattelberger added, “Business Schools have, in my mind, lost their sense of purpose and responsibility, because the world is changing at an incredible speed and they have not kept up with the changes. This symposium is an important step towards re-thinking the role of business education in the future. EFMD has a key role to play in this debate by engaging its global community.”

“Behind what may appear as a homogeneous business school landscape, there is great diversity of academic approaches that go much further than merely tweaking courses,” said Zoltán Antal-Mokos, Dean of Degree Programs at ESMT. “In particular, schools without historical baggage seem to be well positioned to differentiate themselves from more established ones through innovative curricula, more focus on industrial leadership, and a holistic perspective.”

The symposium will be chaired by Jonathan Gosling, Director of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter Business School and will feature four key areas for discussion

  • Transformational Change led by Howard Thomas, Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore   Management University & Barbara Sporn, Vice Rector, Research, International Affairs & External Relations, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • The Role of Accreditations led by Chris Greensted, Associate Director, Quality Services Department, EFMD & Gioia Pescetto, Dean, University of Portsmouth
  • Sustainability and a More Holistic Approach led by Katrin Muff, Dean, Business School Lausanne & CB Bhattacharya, E.ON Chair in Corporate Responsibility and Dean of International Relations, ESMT
  • Critical Thinking and Powerful Whole Person Learning led by Thomas Sattelberger, Board Member for Human Resources, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vice President, EFMD & Sue Cox, Dean, Lancaster University Management School


Over the past two years EFMD has been leading the debate at conferences and events around the world on how the future of business education might look. A “White Paper” with input from across the international community has been produced and this will be finalized in Berlin and published in the summer. “We are delighted to be back in Berlin with ESMT and know that the symposium will play a critical role in shaping the future of business education,” added Prof. Cornuel.

Press contact EFMD
Matthew Wood, +32 (0) 2626 9542, matthew.wood@efmd.org

About ESMT

ESMT European School of Management and Technology was founded in October 2002 by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, and open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership and social responsibility, European competitiveness, and the management of technology. Additionally the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is based in Berlin, Germany, with an additional campus in Schloss Gracht near Cologne, where USW Netzwerk runs the German-speaking executive education programs of the business school. ESMT is a private business school, accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, and FIBAA.