The Aspen Undergraduate Consortium

Since 2012, The Aspen Institute Business & Society Program has been building a community of faculty and educators from business schools and liberal arts colleges who are prototyping new approaches to blending the liberal arts and business – so that students with career aspirations in business can be better equipped to make high-quality business decisions that stand the test of time. 

Business is a deeply humanistic activity. At their best, businesses address human needs, train and develop people, and provide good and meaningful work. Businesses contribute in meaningful ways to addressing our biggest social issues—climate change, healthcare, economic inequality and the inequality of opportunities. They simply make the world a better place.

But often our businesses fall short of these aspirations. At the Aspen Institute, we believe that changing the norms of business practice begins with influencing future business leaders in their formative years—while they are still in their undergraduate studies. And there, business and the humanities are typically divorced one from the other.

The first cycle of convenings (2012-2013) was done in partnership with Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich and William M. Sullivan – the authors of Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession (Wiley, 2011).

Seed funding for the Consortium was provided by The Teagle Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.