What if? From Ivory Towers to Glass Towers... and beyond

03 March 2023

Ian Hawkings reflects on the latest EMFD Deans Conference.

At the end of January, CarringtonCrisp, along with over 400 Deans, Director Generals and education professionals from across the world, attended the EFMD Global 2023 Conference at IE business school’s incredible, futuristic, IE Tower building.

The theme of the conference was “What if…? Reimagining the role of business schools in 2030”. With sessions on how technology will impact the future workplace, and how to design the next ‘wow’ experience for students, delegates discussed what would be possible if we freed ourselves from the straight jacket of past measures, procedures, and expectations.

To paraphrase David Suarez, IE’s Vice Dean, in a LinkedIn post referencing the event, ‘When we talk about disruption, technology, the future of work and skills, and the role that education professionals need to play, what could we achieve if we simply challenged conventional wisdom in education?’

These discussions were fascinating for us, as this is exactly what CarringtonCrisp tries to do and Andrew Crisp has recently written about the challenges facing the sector on our website. Understanding the context of the industry is key. And listening to the various stakeholders in the market about what they expect and need is a crucial part of our work. But the thing that we also bring to the table is ‘imagination’. It’s the third ‘i’ in our mission statement. It has its own tab on our website.

Imagination is where we say ‘what if?’. It’s where (we hope) we add that little extra bit of value.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, we celebrate 20 years of working with business schools in 2023. And this means we have seen the ups and the downs, the fads, the innovations that have worked, the ones that haven’t so much....and a few things in between.

The last three years alone have seen more disruption, technological innovation and societal change than perhaps the 17 before them. They’ve also led to the busiest period in the history of the business.

So if your school, department, or programme is having a ‘what if’ moment, do get in touch to discuss how we might be able to help. Sometimes, a little imagination is all that’s needed.

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