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Responsible management: students work side by side with companies to address sustainability issues

A partnership between GSEM and the non-profit organization B Lab Switzerland

Within the framework of the Master-level Responsible Management course, GSEM Prof. Judith Schrempf-Stirling has been collaborating with the non-profit organization B Lab Switzerland to link groups of students with companies that are facing real sustainability challenges in their business operations. The students are tasked with providing the companies with recommendations on how to improve their social and environmental performance while taking into account the financial considerations of the company. On the last day of the semester, students present their proposals to the companies.

The course participants are challenged with real-life situations and have to find ways to solve concrete problems that arise for companies. This strengthens their critical thinking and autonomy. One student participant confirmed that working side by side with real companies provided extra motivation. For course leader Prof. Schrempf-Stirling, it is rewarding to see the students gain confidence and present their findings and recommendations to companies. The companies welcome the fresh perspective and innovative suggestions that are put forward by the participants, and some noted that this exercise allowed them to rethink their practices, and integrate the recommendations into their action plans.

The partnership with B Lab Switzerland connects the academic and business worlds, resulting in a triple victory: students benefit from a unique and concrete managerial experience; companies benefit from an outside perspective, and the community strengthens and improves its environmental and social impact.

April 15, 2021
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