CEMS places emphasis on global citizenship, and global leadership values, shaping the responsible future leaders of tomorrow. 

The CEMS MIM curriculum includes courses and experiences that focus on leadership, teamwork, and responsible management.

These skills are essential for students to become effective conscious and responsible leaders in an

increasingly complex and interconnected global business environment.

This month we focus on the CEMS projects and the individuals who strive to make leadership a lifelong purpose.

“When values meet driving energy, leadership skills get incredibly strong. There’s hardly a better way to experience this than in the 35 years’ track record of CEMS”

"During the last twenty years higher education has increasingly become a global industry, with an exponential increase of the number of students enrolled in foreign universities and a parallel increase in the number of student exchange programs. Youngsters are more and more eager to acquire an international experience during their studies and employers increasingly need people with cross country and cross cultural experiences. Also, the success of the European integration process, accompanied by the one of the Erasmus project,  made the cross country European study experiences increasingly less "international."

In this context, back in 2008 the CEMS leadership realized the importance of gradually extending the borders of the alliance and transforming it into a global one. The process has been a successful one, as clearly demonstrated by the growth of CEMS both in size and international reputation."

Andrea Sironi, Chairman of Generali, President of Bocconi, Former Chair of CEMS 2015-2016

We express our gratitude to the exceptional CEMS Chairs whose leadership has been vital for the prosperity of CEMS. Guided by cherished values, these 11 Chairs have steered our CEMS Community, propelling the Alliance forward with a commitment to fairness and responsibility.

The CEMS Alliance, and in particular its students, have been instrumental in shaping my role as Program Manager and, consequently, my approach on leadership. The students’ diverse perspectives and unique experiences have taught me the importance of adaptability and open-mindedness. In turn, I hope to guide them by fostering a supportive environment that encourages both academic and personal growth. This, together with CEMS values such as responsibility, inclusivity, and the continuous pursuit of understanding will hopefully make us all grow into a stronger Alliance but also better, more well-rounded leaders.

"As the CEMS Programme Manager, leadership is paramount. Guiding a diverse cohort of students and partnering with global schools requires not only to see the big picture, but also to remain sensitive for the small issues. Effective and clear communication and information as well as the ability to adapt to new situations is key to make sure students thrive."

Changing Role of Leadership

Leadership as a concept and tool has changed over the past 35 years. When the global pandemic gave us all professional and personal challenges, leadership and what it means took on a new facet. Adapting quickly in the face of this and other challenges during such testing times highlights the need for conscious and responsible leadership. This CEMS white paper on leadership in a post-COVID-19 world demonstrates that no two individuals or business schools have had the same experience.

New Market Environements

A shift from global to local

New ways of Communicating

From face-to-face to digital


New Ways of Working

 From fixed to flexible, office to anywhere


New Attitudes to Work

From tried-and-tested to agile & resilient

Leadership in Practice

At Ivey, the CEMSies wrote down their reflections about leadership focusing on various topics. Critical analysis of what it means to be a Western vs Global leader, how perceived culture can lead to bias and how expressing yourself in a  non-mother tongue is a challenge.

Curiosity, Trust and Communication are crucial skills for a conscious leader to develop and hone. The reflections are a key way to show understanding of the Global Leadership Course and how students can use their critical analysis on their own self awareness. 

Click on the buttons below to read CEMS student papers on the topic of leadership


"The course focuses on supporting and encouraging students to actively develop and build upon dimensions of their character, competence and commitment in order to successfully engage in the world of global work and leadership.  Students are exposed to the core values and importance of responsible leadership and their own role in contributing to a more open, sustainable and inclusive world.  More specifically, the curriculum and pedagogy is curated to help them prepare to step into the challenging and exciting world of global leadership by guiding them on a journey through which they: 

  • better situate & understand themselves & leadership within today's context. 
  • come to adapt, be flexible to meet the needs of diverse followers & stakeholders.
  • seek to create effective teams & purpose-driven organizational climate.
  • enhance their capacity and resilience needed to navigate real-world challenges and complexities.
  • embrace and leverage the value of equity, diversity and inclusion in their lives and in their organizations.”

"The main learning objective is to get students to consider “Do I want to become a leader and if yes what kind of leader do I want to become?“ It is not so much about telling the students what to do to be a good leader but to let them discover what kind of leader they can or want to be. At the end of the week, some skills are tested, such as inspiring others, but the true test of success comes when skills are applied in their future careers.”

Pr. Wolfgang Jenewein, Winner of the CEMS Course of the Year, Global Leadership, 2018, University of St. Gallen 

CEMS Leadership extra-curricular opportunities

Leadership as a lifelong skill

"Leadership is having a long-term vision and purpose. It may be at one company or organisation or it may be at a few, but leadership is being able to lead at a visionary level. The purpose being to benefit humanity."

"Leadership also means ensuring the project has elements of fun as well as real purpose. This is great in my current position at Mastercard Global Healthcare, where everyone has a connection to healthcare as it affects everyone."

"The CEMS master allowed me to develop a global and ethical approach to business. For many years, I keep promoting integrity, both with my people and our clients and partners."

Jean-Marie Guian, CEO, SPB Group. CEMS Alum 1990

"Leadership is a responsibility towards your people, your shareholders and the wider stakeholders. It’s not your success that matters, but success through others and for others”

Corporate Insights: Cedric de Thysebaert tells us more about Amplifon’s impact on hearing care.

CEMS students from around the world share their definition of leadership in a word cloud