The 10 most forward-thinking business courses of 2019

Changing course.
Changing course.
Image: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
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As companies continue to tinker with what it means to be purpose-driven, it’s important to think about the next generation of leaders who will inherit the results, and presumably put their own stamp on the idea.

The Aspen Institute, a nonprofit think tank, has recognized 10 university courses and faculty redefining business education with its 2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Award.

This year, amid a time of increased questioning of capitalism in Western and a growing insistence that companies have a broader responsibility to society than many have acknowledged to date, the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program chose courses and scholars probing divisive issues, including “deep distrust in institutions, fractured public debates, and crises like climate and economic inequality.”

“Since the 1980s, the prevailing ideas in management education have bolstered a version of capitalism that externalizes costs and discounts the future,” says Judy Samuelson, executive director of the institute’s Business and Society Program. The courses selected for the annual award were designed to help reimagine the future of business education, with methodologies ranging from reading historical fiction to modeling the impact of a melting glacier.

Here is the full list of the 2019 honorees, with links to each instructor’s faculty bio page:

Assessing the Broader Impact of Business
Diane-Laure Arjaliès
Western University, Ivey Business School (Canada)

Bridging the American Divides: Work Community and Culture (USA Lab)
Barbara Dyer, Christine Kelly, Thomas Kochan, Leigh Hafrey
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management (USA)

Business and Global Climate Change
John Byrd
University of Colorado Denver Business School (USA)

Global Challenges for Business
Sarah Birrell Ivory
University of Edinburgh Business School (Scotland)

Global Issues in Accounting
Nick McGuigan, Alessandro Ghio
Monash University, Monash Business School (Australia)

Leadership in the Global Economy
Matthew J. Slaughter
Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business (USA)

Life-Cycle Assessment, Life-Cycle Thinking, and Business Strategy
Joshua Skov
University of Oregon, Lundquist College of Business (USA)

Market Manipulations: Crises, Bubbles, Robber Barons, and Corporate Saints
Barry M. Mitnick
University of Pittsburgh, College of Business Administration (USA)

Marketing and Society
Kalyani Menon
Wilfrid Laurier University, Lazaridis School of Business (Canada)

People Analytics and Strategy
Bo Cowgill
Columbia University, Columbia Business School