This year’s “Global Business School Network Annual Conference” was held in Washington DC, USA from 1st to 3rd November 2017. The Global Business School Network (GBSN) is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to strengthening management, entrepreneurial and leadership talent for the developing world through better access to quality, locally relevant education. Nearly 70 leading business schools are members of this network. Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) – LUMS is also one of the members of this network. SDSB-LUMS was represented by Dr. Atif Saeed in the conference this year. The first day for the conference was open to member schools only, in which challenges facing Business Schools were discussed and brainstorming sessions were held to find solutions to some of the pressing issues the business schools are facing across the globe. Following key challenges were identified: Faculty Development, Research Collaboration, Faculty/Student Exchange and recruiting students.
The second day was open to industry in addition to member schools, where various stakeholders attended the conference. A lot of universities showcased their initiatives which provided a learning opportunity for leaders of the business schools. These initiatives included entrepreneurship and experiential learning programmes. Cross sector dialogues were scheduled in the afternoon, aimed at networking between people from industry and academic leaders from business school which helped in identifying areas of collaboration. The day ended with a debate on whether business schools should go local, global or glocal. The benefits of each were discussed and a strategy for business schools were discussed based on their needs and environment.
The third day involved showcasing business school initiatives. The ‘Women Entrepreneurship Programme’ jointly conducted by Professors from American University and LUMS for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan was also showcased. From American University side, this initiative was presented by Professors Bob Sicina and Stephanie Fischer. This was followed by discussion sessions on various new trends. One such trend was, teaching entrepreneurship which was moderated by Stuart P. Krusell, Senior Lecturer & Senior Director, Office of International Programmes, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA and guest speakers were Imad-eddine Hatimi, Associate Dean, ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco; Sarah Jane Maxted, Executive Director, MIT REAP, USA and Gene R. Keselman, Executive Director, MIT Innovation Initiative, USA.
In the afternoon, two trips were arranged, one to visit the government building in Washington, including the Capitol, whereas the other one was to 1776 Global Business Incubator. At the second location, the entire process of evaluating startups, supporting them through their graduation from the incubator were discussed.
The trip was a very successful one as it provided a lot of insights into the trends in business education which can be replicated in local context.