On 3rd and 4th December, I travelled to Erasmus University in Rotterdam with Professors Lluís Pugès, Carlo Galluci and Josep Franch to attend the CEMS Annual Events. It was stimulating to see how the message of social responsibility, so ingrained in ESADE, is shared by other business schools and recognised by influential, internationally renowned institutions.
One of the highlights of the CEMS Annual Events was a lecture by Professor Muhammad Yunus, who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to provide microcredits through Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. After his talk, I and a handful of others had the chance to share opinions with Professor Yunus about what business models we ought to support and how best to foster leadership and social innovation. Professor Yunus urged us to ensure that business schools remain acutely aware of their social role. It was a great privilege to speak face-to-face with Muhammad Yunus.
At the meeting of the CEMS Strategic Board, we elected a new CEMS chair, Thomas Bieger (President of the University of St. Gallen), to replace Bernard Ramanantsoa of HEC, who was standing down after eight years at the helm of CEMS.
I ran into Caroline Beckershaus and Tricia Smith of the University Programmes unit at the CEMS MIM graduation ceremony. Together with presidents, directors and deans of universities around the world, I donned full academic dress to help present official diplomas to more than 500 CEMS students, 40 of whom were from ESADE. For the students, the ceremony marked the end of an important stage in life, while opening the doors to another exciting stage.