CEMS vision is rooted in educating responsible leaders. To be part of the CEMS world is to acknowledge that great leadership starts with self-leadership and that we all need to take authentic responsibility. As an alliance of academic institutions, corporate visionaries and social partners, and alumni, this month we focus on our values, the initiatives and stories that raise our collective global consciousness.

"In the early 2000s, CEMS was clearly recognized in Europe. Several Academic Deans wanted this institution to extend its influence on other continents. To validate this new orientation, we then deemed it necessary to strongly involve the No. 1 of our institutions, by extending the circle of Deans to university Rectors and Presidents. This initiative was unanimously approved: the CEMS Strategic Board was born!"

Bernard Ramanantsoa, former CEMS Chair and former Dean of Groupe HEC

CEMS is responsible for the education of Future Business Leaders

In June 2023 the CEMS Strategic Board members convened at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business,  the CEMS academic USA partner.   Set up in 2005/6 the Strategic Board is responsible for setting the strategy within the CEMS vision and mission. 

The agenda included discussions on the reaffirmation of CEMS values and working groups around thought leadership initiatives, promoting lifelong learning opportunities for CEMS alumni, and social impact project collaboration with all members.

 A renewed CEMS Statement is due to be presented at the next Strategic Board meeting in December 2023.

Many thanks to the team at Cornell for hosting CEMS in June. 

“Our combined strengths have a practically infinite reach, and with that comes real responsibility. How can we all collectively be more responsible? In the sharing of our ideas, energies, attention, and resources, across cultures. CEMS for 35 years has offered us a vital avenue for collaboration in service of good business and good futures for all. With this reaffirmation, we respond to the world as it is today, and keep our own thinking clear and focused on the actions that will support our shared values.”

Andrew Karolyi, Dean of Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, CEMS Strategic Board Member

Empowering Education

Alex Liu, CEO of  Kearney- a CEMS Corporate Partner, shared his new book at the Strategic Board meeting in Cornell.

His book, Joy Works is a product rooted in responsible leadership and it provides a dimension to the bold and provocative question: "Why would we settle for anything less than joy at work?" and "How can we build a leadership culture around joy and purpose?" In Joy Works: Empowering Teams in the New Era of Work, Alex Liu delivers an engaging blueprint for ensuring people feel safe and inspired at work. 

In the book, you'll find a step-by-step action plan for approaching joy at work using the three key drivers that determine employee happiness—people, praise, and purpose — and learn how to implement that plan for maximum results and maximum joy.

“May we all work to build a future of work that brings joy, purpose and energy for you. it's always a relay race to the future.'

CEMS ALLIANCE COLLABORATION Ensuring the Quality of Tertiary Education

Several key stakeholder groups convened this month.

Alongside the Strategic Board meeting, Cornell University also hosted the CEMS Academic Directors meeting (Academic Committee). During their meeting, several topics were discussed among which was the Global Citizenship Seminars. The Global Citizenship seminar provides students with the opportunity to engage with Sustainable Development Goals through experiential learning. Congratulations to Christine Côté (LSE) and Ladislav Tyll (VSE) who were re-elected as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Committee for the next two years.

The CEMS Managers met to share best practices. They really are the group that holds the programme together by managing diverse students, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds, with colleagues from all around the globe - working within many time zones. Their operational and coordinating strength enables the CEMS MIM programme to function across the CEMS world. 

The CEMS Global Leadership Faculty Group also met in June and confirmed their ambition to educate leaders who will care about Planet, People, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships.

It takes a whole community to bring CEMS to life and we appreciate and thank all our stakeholders for their valued support, collaboration and dedication to bringing the CEMS Values and Mission to future responsible leaders. 

CEMS engages as a PRIME member

“CEMS has been part of the PRME initiative since 2010, establishing responsibility and interconnectivity as the main priorities towards building a better world. In these times of war, economic turmoil, and re-nationalisation, it has been particularly disruptive in higher education and social unrest worldwide. CEMS is therefore becoming more important than ever as we forge strong partnerships across borders and strengthen cross-cultural exchanges. Our commitment to PRME is unwavering”

Professor Lars Strannegard, CEMS Chair, President of the Stockholm School of Economics

The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations-supported initiative founded in 2007. Its aim is to raise sustainability efforts in schools around the world. PRME equips today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow. CEMS has been a member of PRME since 2010 and is proud to showcase the initiatives of the CEMS Community in the latest edition of the PRME report 2023.

"The PRME initiative was launched to nurture responsible leaders of the future. Never has this task been more important. Bold leadership and innovative thinking are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Reflections on Responsibility

Since 2014, The University of Sydney Business School has been offering the “Poverty alleviation and Profitability’ course, taught by Dr. Ranjit Voola. 

“I wanted to challenge the students to re-think the purpose of business, to question the assumption that making profits and engaging with societal issues is incompatible. The primary pedagogical goal was to engage students in transformational learning that included both management and marketing literature to facilitate reflection on what meaningful work looks like for them and how they individually can make a difference in firms and society."

Mike Den Hartog, a CEMS student was so moved by the course that he found purpose and a sense of responsibility that has guided his career to find a new responsible work path. 

“The Poverty Alleviation and Profitability unit provided me with my “Aha” moment as to what I wanted to do with my degree and career. This course planted the seed in my mind that sustainable socially driven businesses are the answer to poverty alleviation. From working at the United Nations, Balloon Ventures (a social venture capital in Uganda), to leading Google’s Startup Accelerator Program in Sub-Saharan Africa, the top priority for myself has been and will always be to maximize my social
impact and contribute towards poverty alleviation.”

CEMS Responsibility Week Check out the round up of initiatives and activities organised by CEMS Clubs

Global Responsibility Week

Doing Well by Doing Good

FUTURE OF OUR PLANET A new model of collective business leadership and a shift to generational strategic thinking are essential to avert environmental catastrophe. Featuring in-depth insights and recommendations from a range of experts across the CEMS alliance, this review is a credit to CEMS Faculty members and Corporate Partners who set out to offer recommendations for globally responsible leaders, educators and young professionals. Our thanks go to CEMS Corporate Partners ABB, Kearney, L’Oréal, UOB, and to CEMS member schools, National University of Singapore, Norwegian School of Economics, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and University of Sydney Business School.

"Taking Responsibility for climate change solutions" The millennial generation believes that the future of the planet rests in their hands, according to a survey of CEMS MIM graduates in 40 countries. The survey finds more than half are confident that humanity can find a solution. An example of CEMS graduates’ commitment to climate action, Plan A was founded 2017 by Lubomila Jordanova, a CEMS graduate from the London School of Economics.

"If You’re So Ethical, Why Are You So Highly Paid?"

Sandy Pepper, former CEMS Executive Councillor from LSE publishes his book about executive pay. Many believe that in a civilised society everyone has the right to an income that is sufficient for a dignified life, and that companies, not just governments, have responsibilities in this respect.
Pepper argues," it is the market failure in executive pay that has created such wage inflation at the top, and this ultimately requires an ethical response from investors, companies and executives."

Read more about his book published in 2022 here. 

CEMS Alumni making responsibility their role

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Aurelia Ferraro THE OCEAN CLEAN UP   Business Development Manager - LATAM


As a CEMS Alumna, I believe that if you want to make a change and have an impact in this world, you have to act as responsible as possible, especially in strategic roles.

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Lubomila Jordanova PLAN A & Greentech Alliance CEO & Founder and Co-Founder

Now our generation face nature's response to this behaviour and can only address the crisis effectively through a collaborative approach, which gets businesses, individuals, scientists, NGOs and governments working together.