Responsible leadership in teaching: Strategy & leadership

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Leaders in both the private and public sectors are facing increasing criticism from society. They are accused to act irresponsibly, egoistic and to lack social consciousness. A responsible leadership is urgently called for that is able to reconcile economic success with societal well-being and preservation of natural resources. Clearly universities, the places where future leaders are educated, need to contribute to finding better solutions.
This workshop addressed the integration of responsibility and sustainability into university teaching, thereby focusing on the fields of strategy and leadership in management education. It provided a platform to share experiences, to discuss innovative solutions, and to develop new ideas. In particular, it focused on experiental learning formats that allow for personal involvement and development of the students, going beyond imparting knowledge and involving the development of mindsets, attitudes and values. This should allow for such fundamental questions like “What do the students want to become?” not just “What do they want to achieve?”
We started out with two short presentations offering insights into innovative course formats:
Omid Aschari presented his experiences in initiating and developing the “SIMagination Challenge”, an innovative course format that has received international attention. It is a core curricular pillar of the Master of Arts in Strategy and International Management (SIM-HSG), the globally top-ranked flagship program of the University of St. Gallen. The course enables students to develop distinct leadership qualities and competencies while gently encouraging them to reflect on their own world-views, habits and assumptions. A core element of the course are challenging field projects addressing some current social issue, usually in the developing world, which have to be planned, executed and reflected upon by the students themselves.
Thomas Dyllick presented his experiences with using “collaboratories” as a challenging new learning concept in his Master’s course “Strategies for Sustainable Development”. This course involves the collective clarification of complex and controversial sustainability problems on a regional level and the co-development of practical approaches to solve them. It applies student-run collaboratories as an interactive and inclusive form of learning and acting together with real stakeholders of the issues in question. This action‐oriented and experiental form of learning is based on learning from the practical experiences made during the course.

We spent plenty of time to learn about the participants' experiences and insights also.

Discussed questions (pdf)
Slides on SIMagination Challenge (pdf)
Slides on collaboratory (pdf)
Workshop protocol (pdf)
Omid Aschari, University of St. Gallen
Thomas Dyllick, University of St. Gallen


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