The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina announced the award recipients for the 2018 Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula. Now in its 11th year, the Page Prize is designed to encourage and support efforts to introduce or substantially upgrade sustainability courses or associated coursework into the curriculum of business schools both nationally and internationally.
The grand prize winners of the 2018 Page Prize are André Du Pin Calmon, an assistant professor of technology and operations management at INSEAD, a graduate business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East; David F. Drake, an assistant professor of strategy, entrepreneurship and operations at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado; and Jackie Stenson, an adjunct professor at INSEAD. They won first place for their MBA course "Building a Sustainable Future: Business Model Innovation as a Force for Good."
The course integrates social and environmental issues into a comprehensive course that embraces Bloom's Taxonomy across three modules: problem framing and design thinking; risk and cost analysis/management; and value chain management and self-regulation. Students are introduced to the topics through lectures and cases, nine of which are authored by the course instructors. Students then synthesize the information through blog posts at the end of each module. Finally, the course concludes with a self-directed Sustainable Development Goal Innovation Bootcamp using the UNLEASH methodology. At the end of the boot camp, students present their work, including problem framing, ideation and prototyping. Students leave the course with a toolkit that can be applied later to define and solve a challenge facing society.
Three honorable mentions were given out this year. Martha Crawford, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, received an honorable mention for her MBA course "Twenty-First Century Energy."
The course takes students on a deep dive into the progression of the energy industry through a sustainability mindset using case discussions and a group project. Across four modules - fossil fuels and climate change, lower-carbon energy sources, electricity transmission and distribution, and smart-use digitization of energy - students examine current energy issues and new business models. Students are equipped with an economic, environmental and political framework with which to assess both the value and sustainability of new business models.
Carol Hee, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, also received an honorable mention for her MBA and undergraduate course "Managing Global Sustainability Challenges."
The course uses a life cycle framework to examine environmental and social issues. The organization of the course is intended to encourage students to adopt a systems thinking approach when confronted with complex situations. In order to provide a global focus, U.S.-focused cases are intentionally excluded from the coursework. In addition to a diverse case set, the course engages students across multiple mediums, including podcasts, videos, documentaries, speakers and white papers. Diversity and inclusion is also well-represented in the materials.
The final honorable mention went to Andrew Hoffman, the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, for his undergraduate course "Sustainable Business in Iceland."
This unique undergraduate course covers a range of sustainability topics and is embedded in a destination. Prior to traveling to Iceland, students learn about climate change, sustainable business and the unique energy situation in Iceland. The class materials prior to visiting Iceland include a nice selection of readings, speakers and cases that students can translate into strategies for both countries and companies. Students end the course in Iceland with site visits, speakers, discussions and lectures. The choice of destination is particularly relevant given the course content.
This year's pool of submissions included courses being taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in business schools across the United States and abroad. The courses covered a range of topics, and there was a general trend toward mainstreaming sustainability in required courses. Compared to previous years, there was also an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship and development of business plans in a sustainability content; cross-functional focus; service learning; coursework embedded in a destination; deep dives into specific areas, including wild fires and energy; explicit global orientation; and diversity and inclusion.
The Page Prize committee evaluated the pool of submissions based on course content, originality and ability to replicate across other universities and programs. While innovative approaches to relevant sustainability issues set some courses apart from others, overall course design, new approaches for conceptualizing sustainability, new sets of reading, thought-provoking questions accompanying the reading and clear descriptions of assignments are valued. Based on these criteria four award winners were selected.
The syllabi and course materials for the award-winning courses are maintained in a searchable database for other educators to use in the development of their own sustainability courses. The Page Prize demonstrates the Moore School's continuing commitment to promoting the development of sustainability curricula and being a leader in business education.
For more information on the Page Prize, visit moore.sc.edu/pageprize. The call for submissions for the 2019 Page Prize will open in December 2019.