Announcing the 2016 Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award Winners

September 15, 2016

This year’s distinguished award winners are innovative business professors teaching about the most pressing “grand challenges” faced by our society and environment today.

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Trisha King
Program Associate
Business & Society Program, The Aspen Institute

NEW YORK, NY, September 15, 2016 – This year’s distinguished Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award winners are innovative business professors teaching about the most pressing “grand challenges” faced by our society and environment today – such as climate change, inequality, global health, financial inclusion, human rights, resource scarcity, economic development and more. The honorees, announced today by the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, are:

  • Gaurab Bhardwaj, Associate Professor of Strategy and Management at Babson College.
  • Andrew J. Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
  • Ted London, Vice President and Senior Research Fellow of the Scaling Impact Initiative, William Davidson Institute and Faculty at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Special Award Distinction for Field-Building.
  • Nora Silver, Adjunct Professor and Faculty Director, Center for Social Sector Leadership at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Peter Tufano, Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Finance at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Special Award Distinction for Institutional Leadership. 
  • Faculty Team from the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria
  • Anthony Wilson-Prangley, Faculty
  • Dr. Ngao Motsei, Faculty
  • Jonathan Cook, Adjunct Faculty
  • Professor Margie Sutherland, Faculty
  • Morris Mthombeni, Faculty

The Faculty Pioneer Awards were established in 1999 to celebrate educators who demonstrate leadership and risk-taking — and blaze a trail toward curriculum that deeply examines the relationships between capital markets, firms, and the public good. The focus of this year’s call for nominations was to recognize and honor faculty who are teaching (at the MBA level) about business practices that help corporations confront and solve society’s grand challenges.

“This year’s Faculty Pioneers are leading the charge toward a more modern version of business education,” said Claire Preisser, who manages the Faculty Pioneer selection process as associate director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program. “Against the backdrop of society’s ever-increasing expectation of firms, business education is still organized around preparing students to be profit maximizers – focusing them on financial, largely short-term measures of business success. Instead, our Award winners equip students with the kind of problem-solving skills that firms need to make a positive impact on the most pressing issues of our time.”

“We are inspired by these Faculty Pioneers who are pursuing diverse approaches to teaching and curriculum design, giving countless other academics the opportunity to follow suit,” said Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program. “This year’s award winners are drawing on a diversity of disciplines to prepare students to be problem-solvers, change agents and strategists around issues that really matter.”

Syllabi for these award-winning courses and additional details about the teaching approaches are available at online Full biographies of the winners and the selection criteria for the 2016 award are also available on this site.

Faculty Pioneer Award winners will be recognized at Aspen’s Management Education Roundtable in Pocantico Hills, New York on Oct. 26-27. This invite-only gathering will bring together approximately twenty-five faculty and deans from leading business programs to discuss how to best tackle our world’s grand challenges within higher education.

Award nominations were submitted by respected academics and business leaders from around the world.  Award winners were selected by Aspen Institute staff in consultation with academic advisers:  Dr. Bruce Buchanan, Stern School of Business, New York University; Dr. Bruce Hutton, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver; Dr. Maureen Scully, University of Massachusetts, Boston; and Dr. Anita McGahan, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

The Aspen Institute is proud to recognize the achievements of these Faculty Pioneers and share their course curricula and pedagogies with our global network of faculty, deans, and business practitioners.

For more information or to inquire about interviewing the award winners, please contact:

Trisha King, Program Associate
Aspen Institute Business and Society Program
Phone: 212.895.8065


The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (Aspen BSP), founded in 1998, works with business executives and scholars to align business decisions and investments with the long-term health of society—and the planet. Through carefully designed networks, working groups and focused dialogue, the Program identifies and inspires thought leaders and “intrapreneurs” to challenge conventional ideas about capitalism and markets, to test new measures of business success and to connect classroom theory and business practice. The Business and Society Program is most known for the First Movers Fellowship, for dialogue on curbing short-termism in business and capital markets, and for fresh thinking about the Purpose of the corporation. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.  The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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