In early September ESADE’s Barcelona campus became a true reflection of today’s global, interconnected society as more than 500 people – professors, researchers, students and business leaders – gathered for the 49th CLADEA Annual Assembly from 3rd to 5th September.
For three intense days, ESADE’s auditoriums, classrooms, hallways and grounds became the nerve centre of Latin America’s largest business school network. It was an academic celebration of the exchange of trend-setting ideas and the collaborative launching of innovative educational initiatives.
Most importantly, however, this year’s assembly demonstrated that building bridges of collaboration between business schools is the only way to successfully fulfil our responsibility to train global leaders.
CLADEA and ESADE in Latin America
The relationship between ESADE and CLADEA dates back to the 1980s. ESADE hosted the CLADEA Annual Assembly two years before becoming a member of the network. In those days, we were barely able to fill a small auditorium. Over the years, we have developed very close ties to the CLADEA organisation and to many of the business schools that make up the network.
These efforts have given rise to the Corporate MBA, which will be jointly imparted by ESADE and the Universidad del Pacífico (Peru), and the Multinational MBA, organised by ESADE in collaboration with Adolfo Ibáñez University (Chile). As Xavier Gimbert, Director of ESADE in Latin America, so astutely noted, “interrelation and joint knowledge are the keys to the future”.
CLADEA attendees learned many lessons from Della Bradshaw, Business Education Editor at the Financial Times, who delivered an inspiring keynote speech about the challenges faced by today’s business schools. Globalisation, technological progress, and the growing importance of regions such as Latin America and Asia are challenges that we must accept with an attitude summed up by Della in her talk: “Business schools must go beyond business.”
One of the primary goals of the CLADEA Annual Assembly was to reflect on educational structures, teaching methodologies, and flexible yet feasible lines of research with applications in places around the world. I can attest that ESADE, like many of the business schools with whom we share alliances, is working to make these reflections a reality.