How quickly the fortunes of a business school can change. Only a few weeks ago, INSEAD announced that it was suspending its Welcome Week over complaints about hazing. Now the school is unveiling a €40 million donation, the largest in its history.
The gift comes from André Hoffman, an alum in the MBA class of 1990, and his wife Rosalie.
So what does a business school do with a cool forty million euros? In this case, INSEAD is establishing the Hoffman Global Institute for Business and Society.
Hoffman sees the Institute helping leaders to integrate social and environmental concerns into their decision-making processes. He says that “transformational change towards true sustainability will not take place without a new generation of leaders who are willing and able to change the status quo.”
In this regard, the creation of the Institute dovetails with INSEAD’s emphasis that leaders should take into account business’s social impact.
In the words of the school’s dean, Ilian Mihov, the Institute “underpins INSEAD’s vision of business as a force for good.” He says that “business leaders must rise to the challenge” and that “this is where the Hoffmann Institute holds great potential to accelerate progress towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future.”
According to INSEAD, the Institute will tackle topics including sustainability, wealth inequality, the impact of technology and gender representation.
Although the gift to establish the institute is the Hoffmans’ largest yet, it’s not their only donation to INSEAD. They also contributed to building the Leadership Development Center at the school’s Singapore campus, and they endowed the André and Rosalie Hoffmann Chair in Family Enterprise.
André Hoffmann is the vice chair of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holdings and is on the board of Genentech. He has also been an environmental advocate, holding leadership positions in several organizations committed to sustainability and biodiversity.
With their gift, the Hoffmans are helping INSEAD incorporate social and environmental concerns into the school’s educational mission.
Although the Hoffman Institute is still in its early stages, it’s safe to say that if you’re interested in business with an emphasis on social and environmental responsibility, INSEAD is an MBA program worth considering.
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