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



“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

A challenging first month for our Class of 2016

It’s been an exciting, yet challenging start of the year for our full time and executive MBA participants. The first three weeks consisted in a unique, pre-MBA Foundation programme – covering all the basics to enable them to make the most of the year ahead. With Our Class of 2016sessions delivered by our One Planet MBA team consisting of academics and professionals, the focus was on the transfer of professional and study skills.
Our Speed Reading half-a-day session went down very well, and so did our sessions on digital learning and studying tools, helping participants organise and retrieve their thoughts through Evernote, Feedly and other multi-platform apps. The programme also included sessions on academic and business writing and provided opportunities for submitting their very first (non assessed) essay for friendly criticising. Continue reading

The Extra Mile on the One Planet MBA

By Ernesto Altahona
Full-time MBA student 2014/5


I started to live my dream the day I arrived to the classroom; I strongly wished to be here because I felt some time ago that there was a “glass ceiling” blocking my career development. Somehow the path was obstructed and I knew I was missing the tools for breaking it, in order to develop my full potential, and I expected the One Planet MBA would give me the instruments to do this. Knowledge is the main argument for undertaking a MBA; you know that the teachers will guide you through a variety of disciplines and areas, in which you know beforehand you lack strong pillars. I expected a demanding level of evaluation, and these expectations were fulfilled. Many nights without sleep to deliver presentations, slide decks and essays are now in my luggage.
exeter word map
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Launching the 2015/16 One Planet MBA Programme

Five years ago our ground breaking One Planet MBA programme at the University of Exeter Business School redefined the purpose of an MBA and the purpose of business education. Embedding the values of responsible management and the principles of Change. For Goodtransformative leadership, our One Planet MBA is specially designed for what we call, “professionals in transition” – individuals like yourself who have worked for a number of years and wish to take stock, reflect on their careers, find ways of leveraging their strengths and discover new opportunities while upgrading their skills and knowledge.

More than ever in 2015 does the One Planet MBA stand for personal transformations. And more than ever will we help you change. For good.

Change. For Good

Business is being challenged by global economic, social and environmental disruptors as never before. They are impacting, not only on business practices and strategies, but also on the role of business in our society. They are re-defining the role of the professional manager, and the expectations placed onto aspiring business leaders. Continue reading

Celebrating 25 Years of the Exeter MBA

Our MBA is now 25 years old, and we thought we would celebrate such a milestone with a 25th anniversary event at our partner EY’s London headquarters in the City of London. The event starts at 6pm on 10th June and will involve our students, our alumni (some of them going back 25 years!) and our corporate partners who’ve supported us in recent years.

Our MBA is at the forefront of thinking, and the challenges the corporate world faces today are very different from those of 25 years ago. Continue reading

My One Planet MBA, by Matthew Dearlove

I am Matthew Dearlove, a full time MBA student at Exeter since September 2013 and here are some of my experiences and feelings about my time on the course so far.

Matthew (far right) and members of the organising team, One Planet Sustainability Challenge 2014

The course kicked off with the six core modules over the first term which concluded with a very busy January that was both rewarding and satisfying. The diverse backgrounds and varying experiences of my cohort have made the challenging learning process very interesting and enjoyable. After completing those core modules we began to integrate with the Executive MBA students on our remaining six modules, which again provided a fresh perspective and outlook on business, particularly within the context of sustainability. Continue reading

Discovering One-self and Learning Away from the Classroom: our Study Trip in Bogota

Participants and staff at the start of the week in the forecourt of Universidad del Rosario in central Bogota

Our MBA students have just returned from Bogota, the capital city of Colombia – home to 8 million people, and the largest city in South America. This week-long study trip is integrated in our MBA every year and consists in the delivery of two modules, Sustainability in Context in our full time (i.e. 12 months) programme, and Managing around the World: Roundtables for Practicing Managers for our Exec MBA programme (over 2 years, part time).

A key benefit of delivering those two modules in a different location every year is to provide our students and practising managers with opportunities to “leave the office behind them”, engage with local and like minded practising managers, identify and address key personal challenges, as well as social, economic and environmental challenges that affect the conduct of business in environments away from home. Immersing ourselves into a different environment and culture facilitates reflection and introspection. Last year those two residential modules were delivered in South Africa with our partner Stellenbosch University. This year, we were partnering with a leading Colombian university, Universidad del Rosario in Bogota.

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