Conscious Business Education: Research Project Holds Multiplier Conference in Barcelona

Multiplier Event of the "Conscious Business Education" Research Project in Barcelona; speakers on stage and participants from behind in the audience

On June 28 and 29, the Conscious Business Education research project – in which Munich Business School is actively involved – organized its first major multiplier conference in Barcelona. The event invited teachers and lecturers at universities, high schools and vocational colleges along with researchers, doctoral candidates and students to explore and try out the university courses on conscious business developed through the project.

The Conscious Business Education (CBE) research project brings together Munich Business SchoolJulius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (Germany), the UPF Barcelona School of Management (Spain), Palacký University Olomouc (Poland), Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal), Impact Centre Erasmus (Netherlands) and PIMEC (Catalan Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, Spain) with the aim of developing a comprehensive curriculum covering all aspects of conscious business. The content it develops will then be applied in university teaching and executive education programs.

The multiplier conference in Barcelona had three aims:

  1. Introduce the 21 university courses on conscious business developed through the project
  2. Collect feedback on the courses and the project as a whole
  3. Foster links between like-minded teachers, researchers and professors

Green light for the 21 university courses developed by the Conscious Business Education research project

The first day of the multiplier conference began with an overview of the Conscious Business Education project, its mission and its aims. The special part of the developed courses – the explicit focus on consciousness – permeates both the content and the teaching methods, which rely heavily on participatory, mindful and self-reflective approaches. While giving students an opportunity to discover a more conscious, attentive form of business is certainly possible, it also makes financial sense.

Furthermore, in an effort to broaden the event’s horizons beyond the CBE project, Prof. Michael Pirson from Fordham University, USA, gave a talk entitled: Educating business students to do business more consciously – the humanistic leadership approach. His fascinating project aims to reach around 1,000 professors and lecturers and encourage them to teach a humanistic approach to business.

In the afternoon, the 21 CBE courses were divided into four clusters: Business Strategy & Entrepreneurship; Financial & Value Management; Operations & Marketing, and Organization & Leadership. Participants were invited to choose one of the four clusters to find out more about its courses. A lively discussion developed in each group, providing valuable feedback and comments on each of the 21 courses. This vital input will be incorporated into the next, improved version of the courses.

Multiplier conference in Barcelona provides an opportunity to exchange and network with like-minded educators

The second day of the conference began by considering a topic that is often overlooked: for lecturers to be able to teach conscious entrepreneurship, they must also possess a degree of awareness and self-reflection. Dorianne Cotter-Lockard, creator of the Conscious Leadership courses, shared her personal experiences of growing as a conscious leader and encouraging the audience to engage in self-reflection.

Following her talk, participants had a choice of three parallel workshops hosted by representatives of CBE research partners, which covered different aspects of conscious business (education):

  • The Business Case for Conscious Business: Empirical evidence and research into the success factors of conscious business
  • Promoting Conscious Business Inside My Faculty: How academics can expand their conscious business perspective with peers in their faculty
  • Impacting Companies To Do Business Consciously: How academics can encourage companies to conduct their business more consciously

The multiplier conference was closed by a panel discussion focusing on potential ways to change the way business is taught. The panelists – Prof. Raj Sisodia of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Prof. Michael Pirson of the Humanistic Leadership Academy, Verónica Devenin of EADA/B Academics and Jay Jakub from Economics of Mutuality – shared diverse perspectives and approaches. It was fascinating to see how aligned the panelists were in their ultimate goal of fostering more conscious behavior in business.

Konstantin Mudrack, MBS project manager, summarized the outcomes of the multiplier conference in Barcelona perfectly:

“All the participants, project members and external contributors agreed that it was a wonderful first step in coming together as a community. We’re looking forward to building on this momentum!”

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