A week ago, all of ESADE’s Barcelona campuses experienced the multiculturalism and global and innovative spirit which characterise our programmes closer than ever. As host of the CEMS Annual Events, ESADE had the honour of serving as the focal point for nearly 3,000 people linked to today’s academic world.
Four institutions founded the CEMS Alliance 25 years ago: ESADE, HEC and Cologne and Bocconi universities. Their aim was to create a European executive programme. That is how the CEMS-MIM (Master in International Management) was born, a programme habitually at the top of the Financial Times’ annual ranking of international programmes. Without doubt, the idea of a world without borders, one in which knowledge grows exponentially as it is shared amongst different networks, was ahead of its time.
What makes CEMS so special today? During the ceremony commemorating the Alliance’s 25th anniversary, its Executive Director, Roland Siegers, clearly answered this question: “The CEMS Master is the only educational programme in the world which doesn’t have its own culture or a dominant one behind it; rather, when you become a part of the programme, the world is your home.”
On the following day, I also attended the graduation ceremony for the nearly 1,000 CEMS-MIM graduates. I was moved by how visionary the Alliance’s founders had been. I felt a great recognition to those who in 1988 defined the global education concept when it still didn’t exist: Dr. Jean-Paul Larçon, then Dean of HEC, and Dr. Lluís Pugés, former ESADE Director General and a very cherished person at our institution.
Jean-Paul and Lluís’ idea became perfectly manifest at the CEMS-MIM graduation ceremony. Students from around the world, from 29 reputed institutions such as The London School of Economics and Political Science, HEC Paris, Università Bocconi and Universität St. Gallen, in addition to ESADE, were all taking part in the same, fundamental experience in their lives, an experience which, I’m convinced, has laid the foundations for their commitment to society.
Javier Solana, President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and guest speaker at the ceremony, summarised the importance and significance of the CEMS Alliance and the CEMS MIM programme today: “To ensure a better future, we need global citizens.” Twenty-five years ago, ESADE helped to promote this globalism which is so indispensable today and will continue to be so in the future.