Business Education Must Create New Alternatives to the Current Crisis
With a call to encourage a business education model that promotes social justice and environmental sustainability, Luis Arriaga, S.J., rector of ITESO, and Michael Garanzini, S.J., president of AJCU, inaugurated the Annual World Forum of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools.
"The pandemic continues to question the character of our old normality and demands a continuous reflection on the future of Jesuit business education in current times, where the formation of more preponderant actors to face the context is promoted—a constant transformation that leads us to create new alternatives to face the challenges of the current economic and social crises," stated Luis Arriaga Valenzuela, S.J., rector of ITESO, the Jesuit University of Guadalajara, on the first day of the 26th Annual World Forum of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools.
Arriaga and Michael Garanzini, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), and chair of the board of directors of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU), participated in the opening of the three-day virtual meeting that brings together deans, professors, and administrators from Jesuit business schools around the world.
"The virus of inequality is present. The mission of Jesuit business education must strengthen a deep sense of entrepreneurial and economic activity aimed, on the one hand, at producing wealth as a way of caring for others and, on the other hand, at urgently promoting sustainable living through the creation of opportunities that respect human dignity and thereby contribute to the transformation of our social, economic, and business systems," Garanzini mentioned.
Therefore, Jesuit schools call on companies and entrepreuners in each region to guarantee working conditions that include fair wages, labor rights, gender equality, social protection, and environmental preservation.
Faced with an economy that causes social polarization due to the primacy of competition over cooperation, that alienates instead of dignifying work, that treats the environment as just another commodity, and that therefore harms and threatens the possibility of living together as a community, Jesuit business schools believe it is necessary to promote an entrepreneurial education that encourages and promotes an economic model that recognizes cultural diversity, promotes rights and dignity, and cares for the planet. The formation of competent people, aware of and committed to the challenges of the present is one of the fundamental conditions to favor the flourishing of an economy in conditions of equality and social justice.
In this context, "universities continue to be a bridge between companies, social movements, civil organizations, and governments to articulate meaningful actions to transform our current way of living, which is harming both the most vulnerable and our planet in general," commented Arriaga.
The meeting called for university curricula to address students' concerns in the face of inequality in today's society, namely the following: 1) experiential learning, 2) the construction of integrated knowledge, 3) the generation of a greater sense of community, 4) the consolidation of a global paradigm, 5) spirituality, and 6) a vision of dignified work with meaningful impact.
Participants in the Forum include the deans of the ITESO School of Business, as well as the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University (Washington, DC); the College of Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles); the Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ESADE, Barcelona); Sofia University (Tokyo); the Ibero-American Universities of León, Puebla, Torreón, Tijuana and Mexico City, Mexico, and 65 universities in India.
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More information at: https://ite.so/foromundialescuelasjesuitasdenegocios.