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Deans as catalysts of change is intended to ensure your organisation is positioned and recognised as being rigorous, relevant and at the forefront of what is needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It is specifically open for Deans and senior leaders engaged in and committed to transformative change towards relevant high quality learning and management education that serves people, planet and prosperity.

Inspired by the 50+20 vision inclusive of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), Deans as Agents of Change aims to catalyze the development of globally responsible leaders, enable business to become the best for the world, and engage proactively and systemically with institutional and societal transformation.

Join this pioneering,  peer-based and global collaborative laboratory for Deans and play an active role in catalysing Global Responsibility in organisations, businesses and societies worldwide.

Learning and outcomes

As a participant-driven cohort, the group will jointly determine, based on collective interests and energy, which emergent issues and topics to emphasise during work sessions and virtual meetings – all in pursuit of fulfilling the role as change agents in a peer-based academic setting.

Skilled facilitation, led by a team of experienced senior facilitators from the GRLI network, will support the participant-directed approach – which builds on a framework incorporating Whole Person Learning and Theory-U. Participants will identify and challenge their own assumptions as they move from deep reflection to insights, and immerse themselves in rapidly prototyping their own implementation processes by the end of the program.

Our goal is to convene a diverse group representing a mix of geographies, specializations, and well-established institutions from the developed world as well as fast-rising and ambitious players in the new economies.

Through active and full engagement in the Deans as catalysts of change collaboratory participants will:

  • Develop a deep understanding of the vision of management education for the world.
  • Equip themselves with tools and methodologies to facilitate further exploration and implementation of global responsibility within their own organization.
  • Engage with committed change agents in a facilitated global process of co-learning and co-creation.
  • Define and initiate a transformative change outcome or program for their organization.
  • Share the cohort’s collective learning across leading networks and on global platforms as a bold call to action for educators and the industry worldwide.

Submit a
proposal online

Schedule and fees

This action-oriented learning and innovation opportunity takes place during 2017/18 with three face-to-face and one virtual working module. In between each work session participants will initiate and engage in individual and collective actions. Through these the cohort will “act our way into new ways of thinking” in addition to “thinking ourselves into new ways of acting”.

The final schedule and venues will be confirmed in consultation with participants. Since the cohort is tailored around the expected learning and intended contributions of the participants, we’re inviting participation proposals no later than 26 May 2017.

ModuleDatesDurationPotential venues
Pre-cohort conversation starter7 June, Berlin & 12 June, Cleveland0.5 daysBerlin, Germany and Cleveland, Ohio
1. Imagining16-18 October 20172.5 daysGuelph, CA
2. InnovatingEarly December 20171.5 daysTBC
3. IntegratingJan / Feb 201890 minute webinar sessions & small group meetingsLinked to 2018 AACSB / EFMD Deans events
4. ImpactingApr 20182.5 daysLinked to 2018 AACSB / EFMD Annual conferences

Participation fees are charged per organisation and cover registration for the Dean or Executive Director and two learning partners per meeting.

The inclusion of learning partners are encouraged where possible and may include senior colleagues or representatives from relevant stakeholder groups (e.g. alumni or business leader).

The fees shown are estimates and will be finalised in consultation with successful applicants. Should there be offers from participants to act as meeting hosts and they are able to sponsor the venue and / or meals we would be able to reduce the overhead costs.

Registration typeNo. of seats includedEstimated fee (€)
GRLI PartnersDean + two3,900
AACSB & EFMD MembersDean + two4,500
OthersDean or equivalent + two5,200

Kindly note the following:

  • Following completion of the programme, participating organisations will qualify for full GRLI Partnership at a preferential rate. Participants will be recognised as Associate Partners during participation in the cohort.
  • The application is made by the Dean and learning partners are to be nominated, invited and registered separately ahead of the first meeting.
  • Travel and accommodation is for the account of participants and learning partners and typically require 3 nights stay at a hotel for modules 1 and 4, and 2 nights stay for module 2.
  • The amounts will be exempted from VAT according to art.21, part. 3, 7°, d, of the Belgian VAT code if the company is liable to VAT in a country other than Belgium.

Submit a
proposal online


Voices from the pioneering 50+20 Innovation Cohort, which used a similar approach to create meaningful learning and impact:

Our university has always been aiming  to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the economy and its phenomena. In light of the social, economic and environmental challenges that surround us in the ‘real’ world I feel a sense of urgency to rethink traditional business education and the cohort provided the perfect setting for a start. Our participation lead to a series of interviews and discussions involving 170 faculty members regarding sustainability in their teaching. Apart from invaluable insights gained about my organisation through this process it played an instrumental role in positioning sustainability as central topic within our school.”

Edith Littich – Vice-Rector, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria)

“Participation in the Innovation Cohort connected us to inspiring and innovative people. Coupled with the ideas generated, this has enabled us to act in concert with them to effect change both within and outside our own School.”

Philip O’Regan and Sheila Killian – Executive Dean and Assistant Dean at Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick (Ireland)

“I learnt the value of the new paradigm of education, the ethics of responsibility and sustainability and how we need to work to implement in our schools these values that are becoming more and more important.”

Daniel Serra – Dean of Barcelona School of Management,  Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain)

“The innovation cohort experience transformed us all. Now a dean myself, I was inspired by deans who shared the cohort with me. We have become close collaborators in the exciting work of changing management education, and we have developed a close trust no other experience like this had generated for me before.”

Mary Watson – Executive Dean at The New School (New York, USA)

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