The International Executive MBA at the University of St. Gallen includes a sustainability module as part of the core curriculum. On the closing day of this four day module, taught by Robert Ruttmann from Bank Julius Baer, a panel discussion with invited guests as well as student presentations take center stage.
The panel discussion was focused on the topic of sustainability as business strategy and on the panel were senior executives of the world market leader in medical insulin production, Novo Nordisk, the world's largest food and beverage company, Nestlé, the cigarette maker British American Tobacco, as well as the Humanistic Management Center. Given the diverse approaches to sustainability among the panelists and the active participation of the floor, the discussion was very lively and insightful.
Subsequent to the panel discussion the students presented a sustainability initiative they would suggest to the board of six selected companies whose sustainability strategy they had researched. In these excellent presentations the three above mentioned companies were featured as well as Apple, Yum! and Foster Wheeler and the proposals were evaluated by a jury that included the discussants form the previous panel.
In addition to equally interesting and inspiring discussions during the day, confirmation was had that the appetite for purposeful jobs and a desire for management decisions grounded doing the right thing is of great relevance to executive MBA students.