One Planet MBA shines a light on Women in Science and Technology

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Young girls in Europe take a great deal of interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, math) and that interest peaks at around age 11. According to a new survey, commissioned by Microsoft, by age 15, girls’ enthusiasm for sciences wanes and all but vanishes by the time they finish secondary school. Much of this is due to conformity and social expectations, and lack of positive female role models. “Not surprising”, says Stephanie Lindan, one of the recent graduates of the University of Exeter’s One Planet MBA programme. Having been featured as an Outstanding Woman in STEM by IBM, Stephanie may very well become the role model young girls need. Continue reading

Encountering the Unexpected by Hugh St Aubyn

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In discussions over the One Palnet MBA cohort’s trip to, St Michael’s Mount the theme of creativity was often talked about, Cornwall is known for its art scene and the arts play a vital role in the life of the local community and in attracting visitors to the area. We were lucky enough to make contact with the Newlyn School of Art who kindly provided one of their artist tutors, Faye Dobinson, to give a talk to the cohort about how artists respond to place. We spend a huge amount of our week applying cognitive learning and group work to challenges in sustainability, so spending a day in an area of outstanding natural beauty seemed like time we could connect with our felt responses to place.

Faye, talked about how there is a growing movement in art that sees humans as living in a landscape they hadn’t counted on. This landscape is a product of ideas, economics, urban, and spatial planning fuelled by an undercurrent of exploitation of natural resources. She asked us how we can rest easy in this landscape and how can we interrogate it? Faye described how she lets spaces unpack around her over time, as she gets to know different places and make artwork in them. Continue reading

MBA Students Step Back in Time: A retreat to St. Michael’s Mount – By: Delfina Zagarzazu

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Picture Credits: Chayaporn Kongcharoenkitkul

Conscious of time with deadlines fast approaching in the next few days, we departed Exeter at 7AM to spend a day away from the books. Away from Devon, we  stepped into Cornwall – a first for many international students who had yet to explore all of the Southwest treasures!

The day was co-designed by Hugh St. Aubyn and myself to allow the 30 person cohort a creative and inspiring visit to balance off the business theory from class. We placed colourful and inviting signs to find the emerging leader within each of us.

Don’t ask what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people that have come alive

– Howard Thurman, Great Civil Rights Leader

The day promised to be filled with friends, nature, personal reflections and a beautiful historic castle to carry our minds away into imaginary stories and tales that made us step back in time – couldn’t have asked for more on a cold February morning halfway through Term 2 of our MBA.

The magic about St. Michael’s Mount is that you can only access it during low tide, something very rare in the 21st century of drones, planes and automobiles. The patience and timing for our visit set the pace for the day, as we removed our MBA ‘speedometers’ and tried to slow down to the pace of the tide to connect with the magic of the island and the castle.

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Dear Donald………..

We recently invited One Planet MBA lecturer Morgen Witzel,  business theorist, consultant, lecturer and author of many management books,  to advise President Donald Trump on his first 30 days in office.

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Dear Donald

You’ve had a chance to get your feet under the desk at the White House now, and – I think we must be honest with each other – it could be going better. Things aren’t really turning out as you had hoped, are they? Street protests, criticism in the press, judges overturning your executive orders; and worst of all, more and more people are making fun of you.

You wanted to be a leader who was respected, admired, even feared. Instead, you are turning into one that people laugh at. Oh, Donald. There is no sadder figure than a leader who is mocked. Do you really want to be the next Jeremy Corbyn?

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Shifting the paradigm in order to create value – Tom Sisk

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As individuals on the MBA, we are on a path to transform for the better, to give back to society and make a difference. The One Planet MBA promotes change and innovation and our lecturers and mentors have one year to provide us with a skill set that will enable us to transform ideas into real projects and execute change for good. Continue reading

The People Are the Heroes Now – Morgen Witzel

 

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The people are the heroes now

Behemoth pulls the peasants’ plough

Thus begins the first act of John Adams’s opera Nixon in China, with a chorus declaiming the victory of socialism: the people rule, and Behemoth – a mythical monster associated by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan with the overweening power of the state – subservient and domesticated to the will of the people. It is the people who now lead.

It is all tosh, of course, with Adams and his lyricist Alice Goodman poking fun at the pretensions of the Maoist state; in reality, in Mao’s China, Behemoth was very much in control and the peasants did what they were told. The illusion of freedom and the reality of dictatorial rule were very much opposed.

But it is forty years since Mao died and the totalitarian edifice he created began to be dismantled, and the world has changed. After the political upheavals of 2016 we are entitled to ask: is it true? Have the people really taken charge of their own destiny, voting for the leadership they want rather than the leadership they are told they should want? And if so, what are the consequences for leadership? Do our old assumptions about what leadership is still stand up in this brave new world? Continue reading

Engaging with Design Thinking and Regenerative Business Models with design thinking agency IDEO and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation

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by Delfina Zagarzazú – OnePlanet MBA Candidate 2016/2017 

One Planet MBA Students at IDEO Workshop (photograph by Tim Pestridge Commercial Photography Photo: www.timpestridge.co.uk)

One Planet MBA participants at IDEO Workshop (photograph by Tim Pestridge Commercial Photography : www.timpestridge.co.uk)

Starting the first week of the program, the cohort of the One Planet MBA was immersed in exploring, discussing and reflecting upon the complexity of the current global challenges facing the world today (see WEF Report on 2016 Global Risks).

The business world is recognizing that operating in fragments with an isolated vision of the world has great implications on other parts of the ecosystem. It is no longer rational to believe the exploitation of resources in Africa won’t have implications on security, migration or food supply issues tied to other activities. As we enter a more fragile epoch with climate change, these operations will directly or indirectly impact our workers, supply chain and/or bottom line of our business. Digital and technological innovation are disrupting entire sectors and promoting new approaches to production and consumption while enabling new business models. Continue reading

A road to sensible decision making

by Thomas Sisk, One Planet MBA 2017 Candidate

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” (Isaac Asimov)

This quote by Asimov instinctively feels correct and true, but what does it mean? Nature and history are about evolution, and evolution is about change. If we use the broad definition of entropy as a measure to gauge the process of degradation, we can observe our planet’s entropy is increasing.  When a child is born, we automatically embrace, encourage and accept change in our children and our parental duty is to guide this change. So why do we, as adults, stagnate, fight change and strive for stability and security, essentially an inert state of being, and deny the disarray and damage we cause in the process? Continue reading

Facing the Dragons

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“Don’t expect anything from anybody, work hard, put your head down, be good at what you do and good stuff will happen…”

Deborah Meaden, Businesswoman

It’s that moment of high drama and pant-wetting tension.  Five infamous and be-suited business moguls scowling at you as you simper, stumble and struggle to communicate a complex presentation, imploring them for their understanding and agreement (as well as their cash…).  It’s excruciating.  Can you make them believe in you?  Does your business case make sense?  Or will the grumpy one look at you disgustedly and bark something dismissive like “You’ve got no idea what you’re talking about, it’s an awful business plan, the finances don’t add up – I hate it – and for that reason:  I’m out…”, as you redden, mumble your thanks and make an awkward bee line for the door…  Is this some kind of nightmare?  A bad reality show?  The moment when your business brainchild and legacy for your kids is cruelly exposed to be nothing but a castle built on sand?

Well, for participants of the One Planet MBA this was, in fact, a reality.  As part of one of their modules (the Entrepreneurial and Intrapreneurial Process:  Starting Successful New Ventures), Tuesday saw each participant facing a panel of successful business professionals to pitch their own, personal business idea. Continue reading